Ma & Pa Railroad Month

A Ma&Pa Railroad locomotive, as photographed in 1932 in Baltimore. (Jerome Murphy Collection, Baltimore Sun Media Group / June 13, 2014)

It's June in Delta, Pa., time for the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad to return to the Old Line Museum at 602 Main St. for its yearly visit each Sunday of the month.

What began, on a single Sunday, as a very limited display of photos and memorabilia relating to the Ma & Pa at the York and Peach Bottom Railway Station on Broad Street has, over the years, developed into the best attended event on the museum's schedule. It is also the only one that has been repeated yearly since the museum's founding in the mid-1970s.

Once again this year, the Old Line Museum and the Maryland Pennsylvania Railroad have awakened from their slumber to present the 39th edition of this museum favorite - Railroad Month.

As in past years, the J.E. Murphy Collection, one of the best known and admired collections of Ma & Pa photos and memorabilia, will again be featured. In addition to the Murphy collection, those of other well known Ma & Pa historians, photographers and model railroaders will also be on display. Most of the material on display will range from the 1900s through the end of operations in about 1980. Some, however, go back into the early 1870s, the era of its predecessors when the line was a narrow gauge or three foot gauged railroad.

Many of the photos and drawings that will be available for viewing were featured in the newest book relating to the line published by local authors Henry C. Peden, Jr. and Jack L. Shagena Jr. titled "The Ma & Pa Remembered," which is fast becoming a must-read item.

Over the years many of the visitors have recommended that the comments of both the historians and the visitors be recorded for future generations to enjoy; beginning this year the comments of our visitors who will permit the vocal recordings will be put on tape for use this year and in the future.

Since a major purpose of the museum is to record any and all materials relating to the Ma & Pa, visitors are requested to bring any material relating to the beloved line with them so it can be viewed and, with the owner's permission, copied for future viewing.

Over the course of the month there will be about 10 exhibitors. Parts of the exhibit will change each week thus, it will be possible to return to the museum and see new and interesting material. As the material changes, so do the exhibitors. All are happy and willing to talk about the Ma & Pa and their exhibits. In fact, they welcome conversation with the guests. Questions are encouraged.

The Old Line Museum will be open each Sunday in June from 1:30 to 4 p.m. There is no admission fee but donations are welcome and appreciated for the upkeep of the museum. For questions and other information, call 410-592-7491.