Tag: Visiting Mahwah NJ

The Old Station Museum                                      171 Old Station Lane                                   Mahwah, NJ 07430

The Old Station Museum 171 Old Station Lane Mahwah, NJ 07430

The Old Station Museum

171 Old Station Lane

Mahwah, NJ  07430

(201) 512-0099




*The Museum is currently closed for the season yet it was open for this event. It will reopen in late June. Admission to the museum is $3.00 per person over the age of 16 and is free for kids under 16 years of age.

TripAdvisor Review:


As part of my tour on the Eighth Annual Northwest Bergen History Coalition Day, I visited the Old Station Museum, which is partnered with the Mahwah Museum (mentioned in this blog also) and its concentration is on the history of trains and the trains that serviced the area.

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They had an interesting exhibition on the trains that used to run in the area before they consolidated years ago, the companies that ran them and a full train display (as well as there is a complete train set in the lower level of the Mahwah Museum that you should not miss. It will bring the kid out in you).

One of the displays that I really liked was the Pullman Car exhibition of menus, china and other things that were used on the car to make service the best it could be. Like they mentioned in the display, food was a loss leader to the company which was made up in the ticket itself but it is what made the experience for the passenger. It what was brought them to the train in the first place. All I could keep thinking of was Eve Marie Saint in ‘North by Northwest’ when she was dining with Cary Grant.

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The inside of the Caboose at the Old Station Museum in Mahwah.

The best part of the museum is when you tour the museum’s caboose that is located in the back of the museum. There are displays of the men that worked the line and their role in the railroad as well as a display of their living conditions. With new technology the caboose went out of service and there are very few left now. You really see the caboose from inside out and its purpose on the train.

The Old Station Museum and Caboose:

The exhibition at the station this season features several models built by former Mahwah resident, Hollis C. Bachmann. Mr. Bachmann constructed a model of N.Y.C. #999 and several other trolleys. We are fortunate to receive a donation of this balance of Mr. Bachmann’s collection from his niece, Kay Doody. Mr. Bachmann had built out model of the North Jersey Rapid Transit interurban car (trolley) that ran from Suffern to Paterson. You may remember seeing that model in our main museum building. It was constructed of tin cars, was two feet in length and included a detailed interior, having taken Mr. Bachmann six months to build. Please come by and see these really nicely detailed creations that are the offspring of that trolley.

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The Caboose

The Old Station Museum established in 1967 is located in a building that was the original station on the Erie Railroad in Mahwah. It was rescued from destruction, first by the Winters family and later by the Mahwah Historical Society. It contains many interesting artifacts given to the museum by collectors of railroad memorabilia. It also features a 1929 Erie cupola caboose which has been recently restored. There is a scale model of the Erie system and photos of the early days of railroading in Mahwah and along the rest of the mainline.

In 1848, the Paterson and Ramapo Railroad was built through Mahwah to carry passengers and freight from New York City via Paterson  to the mainline of the Erie Railroad located in Suffern, New York. From there, connections could be made to upstate New York then Chicago and on to the west.

In 1871, the leaders of Mahwah petitioned the Erie to allow a stop at a new station in Mahwah. The 1871 station remained in service until 1904 when the Erie expanded to four tracks and raised the roadbed from the ground level. The second station remained until 1914 when it was destroyed by fire. The current station was built in 1914 and still serves commuters today.

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The Old Station Museum with the Caboose


Disclaimer: This information was taken directly from the museum’s website and I give them full credit for all of the work. The museum will be reopening in June so be on the lookout for more information on events at the museum. It is a great place for kids.



The Mahwah Museum                                         201 Franklin Turnpike                                 Mahwah, NJ 07430

The Mahwah Museum 201 Franklin Turnpike Mahwah, NJ 07430

The Mahwah Museum

201 Franklin Turnpike

Mahwah, NJ  07430

(201) 512-0099



Open: Wednesday-1:00pm-4:00pm/Saturday & Sunday 1:00pm-4:00pm/Closed Monday-Tuesday Thursday-Friday

Fee: Non-Members $5.00/Members Free

TripAdvisor Review:



I visited the Mahwah Museum over the weekend and found a very engaging suburban museum that had interesting exhibitions on the subjects of Women’s Rights, Mahwah history, Les Paul memorabilia and train sets that would delight any child or the child within. There were a lot of small children that were getting a kick out the trains in the basement going around and around.

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The Mahwah Museum is open during the Northwest Bergen History Coalition Weekend

The staff is very nice and very engaging with the visitors. They will walk you through some of the exhibitions, explain the concepts and make up of the exhibits. You can see most of the museum in one day but there is a lot to read so try to make a few trips to this interesting little museum in the middle of Mahwah, New Jersey.

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Les Paul Exhibition at the Mahwah Museum

The Mahwah Museum:

The mission of the Mahwah Museum Society is to preserve and present the history of the community and its connection to the region. Museum exhibits display information about the history of Mahwah and the surrounding community. The Museum’s collection of artifacts, photographs, historical records and documents is carefully preserved, documented and cataloged and is available by appointment to historians and researchers. By encouraging discovery, understanding and appreciation of the region’s heritage, the Museum provides perspective for the present and the future.

The Society is comprised of the Mahwah Museum at 201 Franklin Turnpike and the Old Station Museum and Caboose at 1871 Old Station Lane. The Mahwah Museum opened in 2001 and hosts several permanent exhibitions and a main exhibit on two levels. Permanent exhibits include: Les Paul in Mahwah, The Donald Cooper Model Railroad, the Who’s Who of Mahwah, the Lee Vold Gallery and a topographical model of Mahwah Township. The main exhibit changes periodically. Please check http://www.mahwahmuseum.org for current exhibits.

The Old Station Museum and Caboose opened in 1967. The restored Erie cupola caboose shows the daily operations of train crew life. The Old Station Museum was the original Erie Station in Mahwah built in 1871. Many Erie Railroad artifacts and photos related to passenger trains are displayed. The Museum is a great resource for adults and children. Educational programs are offered frequently.

The Trains of the Mahwah Museum:

The Mahwah Museum has an extensive collection of model trains representing all scales. This collection has been made possible by generous donations from the Cooper-Darboe and Margolis families.

The Donald Cooper Model Railroad:

Located in the lower level of the museum, the Donald Cooper Model Railroad is a DCC powered, 28″ x 13″ operating HO gauge model railroad. Designed as a walk-in layout, the visitor can experience the sights and sounds of a real operating railroad.

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The collection that makes up the railroad was donated to the museum by Renee Cooper-Darboe of Mahwah, New Jersey. Donald Cooper lived in Mahwah on Island Road. He went to work for the Erie Railroad in Buffalo, New York as a Yard Supervisor. He was employed by the railroad until the 1960 merger with the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western. After he left the railroad, he moved back to Mahwah and began installing security systems.

It was during this time he met and married his wife, Renee and learned his electrical skills. After retiring, he and Renee decided to construct a model railroad representing the trains that went through his yard in Buffalo. From 1990 to 1995 Don worked constructing the tracks and doing the electrical work while Renee built the buildings and carefully placed the people in the railroad cars. Sadly, Don passed away in 1998 and the railroad sat unused for 8 years. Renee contacted the museum in 2006 and asked if we would like a “train set”. The rest, as they say, is history.

The railroad consists of four levels, a subway, two mainline tracks and a fully operational train yard. We also have a logging railroad and a trolley line. The Donald Cooper Model Railroad is a permanent exhibit of the Mahwah Museum and open during its regular operating hours on Saturday and Sunday. Volunteers are always welcome. No experience is needed. Please visit our museum website for more information.

Jerome Margolis Lionel Collection:

Jerome Margolis was an avid collector of Lionel “O” gauge trains. He was also the owner of one of the most popular pizza restaurants in the area, Kitchley’s Tavern. People visiting his restaurant were treated to three large display cases filled with his trains. What they didn’t know was that he had many more stored away. Thanks to his son, George, they are no longer out of view.

Our museum was the lucky recipient of the remainder of this collection. Currently they are in static display in out layout room for our visitors to enjoy. The collection represents many of Lionel’s most popular models from the 1970’s through 2005. The famous Santa Fe, red and silver “War-Bonnet” F7, Union Pacific “Big-Boy articulated locomotive and Pennsylvania “Mountain” steam locomotive are just a few pieces in the collection. Come and enjoy this wonderful collection of some of America’s best known locomotives.

The Mahwah Museum Society is a nonprofit corporation under the laws of New Jersey and has qualified as a 501(c)(3) tax exempt entity under the Internal Revenue Code. It is governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees.

Open Weekends and Wednesdays from 1:00pm-4:00pm October-June and the Donald Cooper Model Railroad is open on Weekends from 1:00pm to 4:00pm October-June.

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The Old Railroad Station Museum in Mahwah, NJ

Their sister Museum, The Old Station Museum and Caboose is located at:

1871 Old Station Lane

Mahwah, New Jersey 07430

It is open Sundays from 2:00pm-4:00pm June-September.

Mahwah Museum

The Mahwah Museum is part of the Northwest Bergen History Coalition.

*This information was taken from the pamphlets provided by the museum on my visit. Take the full afternoon to explore this interesting museum and their exhibitions.

*Please contact the museum for any changes in exhibitions or schedule of times.