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Welcome

The Portage Area Historical Society was formed in 1992 as a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation.  We are dedicated to the preservation, education and exploration of the rich history of Portage, Pennsylvania, and the surrounding local area.  

The Historical Society manages the Portage Station Museum located in the 1926 original (restored) railroad depot building in Portage.  The museum contains extraordinary displays of area history and culture formed through the influences of coal mining, railroads, steel, forests, water, and recreation. Dedicated volunteers staff, manage, and operate the museum, its programs and activities.   

The Historical Society educates the public through its visible reminders of the rich history of the area; through its interactions with area schools; dependable participation in community functions; and through the very popular programs which attract visitors from all around the area such as the Christmas Light Tour in December, Summerfest-week activities, and the annual Community Yard Sale in the summer. 

One visit to the museum is never enough.  The museum displays change and include such things as - 

  • The Miners Museum 

  • Local Industry Antique Tools 

  • Famous Area Sports Legends 

  • Glass and Porcelain Displays

  • Historical Documents 

  • Period Clothing 

  • Audio/Visual Room 

  • Pamphlets, Publications 

  • Gift Items, T-Shirts

  • Station Master's Office 

  • Diorama of Portage Area 

  • Portage PA Area Pageantry 

  • Photographs-Portage PA and local areas

  • And now, the finely detailed "Mainline in Miniature", a permanent HO model train display depicts life along the railroad during its heyday from 1926 to 1954.  (The photo at the top of the pages is of a HO model train passing by the Portage Train Station Depot, now home to the Portage Area Historical Society.  Read more about the Mainline in Miniature HO scale model train project here.)

We welcome group tours, senior citizens, classrooms, provide programs for children and schools, and enjoy visitors from near and far.  Our Society and the Station Museum tell the story of life in the area. It is a Welcome Center for the Portage Gateway of the Allegheny Ridge Heritage Park.  Explore the Rail-Trail along the former Martin Branch of the railroad.  The Portage Area Historical Society discovers, collects, and preserves any material which may help establish or illustrate the history of the area. Make special arrangements for a visit to the Portage Station Museum in the historic Portage, PA train depot by calling 814-736-9223.