Tag Archives: Frank Furness

Stone, Furness, and the Wingohocking Train Station

I’ve admired Frank Furness’s work for years, and while writing The Fascination of Nature I restrained myself mightily and only mentioned him twice. Furness designed the Wingohocking train station – one of several train station commissions he completed in his career. Stone used it for his daily trips to the Academy, and in three consecutive years he found Blue Jays nesting along the entrance path to the station. A visiting New York ornithologist, James Chapin, found the name of the little depot quite charming. “Wingohocking” was the Indian name of a creek in the area that has long since been forced underground, buried in a Philadelphia sewer line. The train station is also long gone, demolished in the early 1930s – one of the many Furness buildings sadly lost to indifference or outright hostile architectural snobbery in the mid-1900s. The location of the old station was equidistant between the Germantown and Wister stations on today’s SEPTA Chestnut Hill East Regional Rail line. Stone and Furness now repose not far from each other in Philadelphia’s Laurel Hill Cemetery.

Lou Brownholtz published an excellent article on the Belfield Avenue area in the Germantown Historical Society’s Germantown Crier in 2006, and it’s the source of some of the info presented here. The only vestige of the station is the presence of a former entrance path (possibly the one the Blue Jays nested along), overgrown and easily overlooked, running between two cast iron fence lines at Baynton and Coulter streets:

Wingo Path

Here are a couple of old photos of the station:

wingohockingSource:  west2k.com

WingStationInterior_600_x_432_JPEGSource: Lou Brownholtz