166th anniversary of The Great Train Wreck of 1856 near Fort Washington

On July 17, 1856, a train carrying passengers from Philadelphia to Wissahickon Station (now Ambler Station) for a summer picnic in Shaeff’s Woods was involved in a head-on crash with another train in Fort Washington The train was carrying somewhere between 1,100 to 1,500 people and approximately 60 people died.

In the aftermath of the disaster, the Wissahickon Station and the local post office were renamed Ambler Station for Mary Johnson Ambler. She was a Quaker woman who helped lead the response to the disaster and her home in the then Village of Wissahickon became a temporary hospital.

In 1888, the village incorporated and followed the train station and post office in adopting the name of Ambler in her honor.

Photos: the image at the top is from a New York Daily Times article just after the accident. The clipping is available on Ebay.com.

Map: The map comes from a post on AmusentParkNostalgia.com, that looks to no longer exist, but we found it on WayBackMachine.com. The map is signed by Ray Thompson in 1944.