SHARON, Pa. (WKBN) – A once-popular restaurant is to be torn-down later this week, and with it, a significant piece of history in downtown Sharon.
Crews started working Monday morning to remove utility lines and other equipment in preparation for demolition of Tully’s restaurant and bar on Connelly Boulevard.
Although the business opened back in the early 1970s, the building dates back to the late 1800s, when it operated as a passenger train station serving the Shenango Valley after the Civil War.
“There were seven or eight tracks that came through town at one point in time… The parking lot area was quite a hub for railroad activity,” said Brian Kepple of the Sharon Historical Society.
Kepple said it’s the last train station in town because the others have been dismantled. Over the years, however, the building became a “hodge-podge” of additions, he said.
“There’s issues with the roofing, the flooring, and again, there’s no unique characteristics to it,” he said.
He said a walk-through by members of the Sharon Historical Society uncovered no items of historical value.
Although the front part of the structure will be torn down, the back — which had been office space — as well as a vintage steam locomotive and caboose are to be saved.
They had been part of the original “Old Express” restaurant when it first opened on this site, and Kepple said there have been calls from railroad clubs around the country about them.
“I think there’s enough there in the engine itself that, put in the right hands, I think it can be preserved,” he said.
Demolition should begin Thursday or Friday and should only take only a couple of days to complete.
The building’s owners, TravelCenters of America, plan to maintain the back portion of the structure. The rest will only be history.