MORRISTOWN & ERIE RAILROAD
WHIPPANY STATION & GENERAL OFFICE
|The Whippany, New Jersey Station & General Office of the Morristown & Erie Railroad was built by local contractor D.H. Grimes during the latter part of 1904. Officially opened on Friday, January 7, 1905, the 32-by-60-foot fieldstone station featured many amenities for the comfort of passengers and employees alike. An article in the (Morris County, NJ) Jerseyman the following Thursday, described the station this way:|
"The station is of field stone laid up in rustic fashion, with a roof of stained shingles (Note: the cedar shingles were changed to slate in the mid-1920's, and finally replaced once again by simulated-slate shingles in April 2001), overhanging enough to cover the platform.
|On the street side is a pretty portecochere, and on the railroad side a large bay window in the office. Part of the second story has been fitted up for general offices for the company, and the president and auditor have already taken possession. The ground floor contains a spacious waiting room, express and baggage rooms, a store room, large office, and toilet room. The interior of the station is ceiled in wood finish natural. A rustic stone mantle adds to the attractiveness of the waiting room.|
|"The grounds have been laid out in attractive style with a pretty lake and brook, spanned by two rustic stone bridges. The grounds will be seeded down and flower beds set out."|
|The Morristown & Erie operated frequent local passenger service between Morristown, Whippany and Essex Fells from November 21, 1904 until April 28, 1928. Additionally, a through-train service to Jersey City and Manhattan was provided via an Erie Railroad connection at Essex Fells. Stations had been designated at Morristown, Monroe-Cedar Knolls, Whippany and Hanover in Morris County, as well as Beaufort Avenue, Roseland and Essex Fells in Essex County.|
|Over the years it became clear that no railroad anywhere ever had such a peaceful and dignified setting for its general offices as did the Morristown & Erie. The picturesque pond was home to M&E Auditor, Mauritius Jensen's flock of ducks that swam contentedly among the waters. The grounds, pond, ducks and office was lovingly tended to by M&E Groundskeeper Alex Hominick.|
|Regretably, during the mid-1960's much of the beautiful Whippany grounds were sold off for commercial development. The large pond was greatly reduced in size, and the stone bridges that recalled an earlier time were bulldozed, replaced by a parking lot and office building. Fortunately, Hominick, who cared for everything so well, did not live to see this all happen. In 1972, the M&E moved it's the general office out of the station it had occuiped for 67 years to it's engine facility in Morristown. Though still retaining ownership of the Whippany Station, currently, the Morristown & Erie Railway maintains a new presence in the station even as it continues to lease the building to non-railroad related business concerns.
Today, in the center of busy, modern-day Whippany, the historic station still stands proudly...it is a true local landmark, and a quiet, elegant reminder of a much simpler era.
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