Scores of folks flocked to Bridge Day in Nicholson Sunday to celebrate the 103rd anniversary of the mammoth Tunkhannock Creek Viaduct.
Steamtown National Park volunteers Bob and Mary Frey of Rome circulated through town as a quintessential railroad engineer and Phoebe Snow- the advertising gimmick used to suggest that despite burning anthracite coal, passenger service on the trains through Nicholson was never a dirtying experience.
Snow actually predated the big bridge by about a dozen years, but gained greater fame as the engineering marvel itself helped boost traffic past the once bustling railroad town.
Every year for the past 35 or so, the Nicholson Women’s Club has created a street fair in town with more than 60 vendors this year pushing everything from bridge souvenirs to bubble gum, volunteer Joan Kupetsky said.
With overcast skies threatening, Kupetsky added that a half dozen vendors backed out at the last minute for fear the rains would come, but it never did as visitors dealt with cooler temperatures then they have been used to this summer.
Nicholson Heritage Association President Marion Sweet was doing a brisk business sharing old photos of the town at one of the booths, and noted that possibly this week news would be coming forth that bids had finally been accepted to convert the 1849 freight station on the edge of town into a visitor center - which would solidify the town’s rich railroad heritage.
“That’s great news,” Wyoming County commissioner Tom Henry said. “We’ve been waiting a long time for this.”
Members of the Endless Mountains Railroad Club, which had a large model railroad layout in the basement of the Nicholson Fire Hall were also thrilled about the possibilities of a new visitor center.