Historic Structures

Elberon Railroad Station, Elberon New Jersey

Date added: May 23, 2022 Categories: New Jersey Train Station

The Elberon Railroad Station was one of the finest and most opulent terminals on the Jersey Central Line. Because Elberon is a resort with a transient population, the railroad station has played an unusually large part in the life and growth of the town.

The town of Elberon was built on land which was purchased from Benjamin Wooley by Lewis Brown. It gradually developed into an exclusive seashore resort. When President Garfield was shot in 1881, it was decided to bring him to Francklyn Cottage in Elberon, where he had called many times. It was felt that his recovery would be helped by the seaside atmosphere. Many of the towns people worked for several days to lay a special track from the train station to Francklyn Cottage so that the critically ill president could be delivered free of bumps and jolts.

In 1899 the station which existed in Garfield's time was replaced by this one, which was considered the most artistic on the Jersey Central Railroad line. It was well landscaped with a lawn and flowering shrubs.

A contemporary source described it as follows: "The railway station affords, in itself, an introduction to the beauties which have grown out of the masters hand.... This has all the quaint homelike effects of a well kept country house, and the idea is fully carried out in the interior, with its open fire place, hardwood floors with dainty rugs here and there, its easy chairs and rocking chairs, and many of the adornments which are becoming to a family sitting room".

A fire on May 27th destroyed the building. A new station was built in its' place.

Description prior to fire:

The Elberon Railroad Station is an 1899 Queen Anne-Riehardsonian Romanesque structure of 1 1/2 stories. 60% of the ground floor is taken up by open colonaded area.

The enclosed ground floor area is heavily constructed in rock face stone with a light stone band at the window sill level. The building is surmounted by a massive hip gambrel roof with the original slate. The roof projects beyond the stone constructed portion on all 4 sides, with curved Flemish eaves. It projects an especially long way on the track side where, it also spreads laterally along the track, providing a long open veranda, on a Tuscan Colonade. The lateral extensions have hip gambrel roofs of their own, but of slightly lower profile than the main roof.

The garret of the main portion is lit by a triple sash window dormer on the track side, and one in the rear. Both dormers have massive hip gambrel roofs which play at right angles against the main gambrel roof. The rear dormer has a central stone chimney through it. The enclosed grand floor area is 6 bays wide and 2 bays deep with 2 entrance doors. All windows are of the single, sash, type with one pane below and large diamond mulion panes above. The track side features 2 three-sided bay window projects. Doors are simple with small raised panels.

The interiors are completely original with a continuous chalrrail under the window which corresponds to the light stone band outside. Below the chairrail is horizontal wainscottlng with vertical wainscotting above. The ceiling is also walnscotted. All windows and doors have molded corner blocked frames with bull's eyes. There is also a fireplace, which has been blocked up.