About Us

The Mars Area History and Landmarks Society Membership

MAHLS encourages membership in the Society.
The modest membership fee will help to payIMG_1709hdrE200x133
maintenance and renovation costs. Although
the maintenance and renovation work is done
by volunteers, there are costs for materials and
utilities. In 2015 the exterior of the B & O
Station was repainted, work is progressing on
painting and rehab work to the red caboose, and
a Mars Short Line RR passenger boarding
station is in the planning stage. Help keep the
history of Mars alive! Annual membership dues
are just: $15 Individual, $25 Family, $50 Business
Follow the link below to the membership form.

Membership Application

Please click the above link to download the Membership Application Document.

Print it out, fill it in and mail it and your dues check to:

Mars Area History and Landmarks Society
P. O. Box 58
Mars, PA. 16046

The Mars Area History and Landmarks Society was founded in 1980, its mission: Preserve Yesterday for Today.

Mars and the surrounding Adams Township of Butler County, Pa. are rich in history that began in the late 1790s when pioneer families cleared land and established farms near the Breakneck Creek. Because the farmers required other services, two grist mills were built (1825 & 1828) on Breakneck Creek, a general store was opened, and in 1873, a post office was established and given the name Overbrook.

In 1877 the Pittsburgh and Western Railroad laid track through Butler County and through the village. Businesses and homes sprang up on both sides of the tracks. A railroad stop on the nearby Samuel Kennedy farm, situated near a brook, was called the Overbrook stop. Mail destined for the Overbrook Post Office was delivered to the Overbrook railroad stop. This necessitated a name change for the post office. Mars was chosen. A prominent resident and associate judge in Butler County, the Honorable Samuel Marshall, was influential in getting the post office for Mars. It is generally believed that the post office and town were named for Judge Marshall.

In 1884 the oil boom reached Adams Township and Mars. Oil wells were drilled and derricks were visible on the surrounding farms and throughout the town. More growth occurred, prompting citizens to petition for the Borough of Mars to be incorporated. This was granted on March 6, 1895. The first election of the Borough of Mars was held one month later on April 9, 1895.

The Borough gave permission in 1904 to the Pittsburgh and Butler Street Railway Co. to build a track through the town on Clay Avenue. Operating until 1931 this electric street car line made commuter travel, freight and farm produce movement to Pittsburgh and Butler much easier and more affordable. The company car barn and electric sub-station were located just north of Mars and provided employment that drew new residents to the area.

On its property located at 1 Brickyard Road, the Mars Area History & Landmarks Society has an excellent display of buildings and artifacts that recount this area history. The 1897 Mars Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Station, an original Adams Township rural trolley stop, and a 1926 B&O Railroad caboose were all moved to this location and carefully restored. A 1928 Plymouth Gasoline Switch Engine, an operating hand car, and many other railroad related items are on display on the grounds and inside the station. Spinning forty feet overhead with an eight-foot diameter wheel is an operating windmill that was typical of those once used by the local farmers.

Located in the general purpose/workshop building are displays featuring the 1950-1960 Mars Theatre, a model oil well, old business signs, a dog-powered butter churn, and other items that depict life in Mars over the years. The Society unique gift shop, where Mars memorabilia may be purchased, is housed in an original Ronald McDonald Party Caboose.

The Mars Shortline Railroad is a small scale railroad layout designed to ride adults and children of all ages around the Mars History and Landmarks Society property. Traveling at a leisurely pace it provides the opportunity to view all the interesting buildings and artifacts around the MAHLS property. Click on the Mars Shortline Railroad tab above for more details and pictures.

For genealogists a nearly complete set of Mars High School yearbooks dating back to 1916 are on file. Many historical photographs are available. There is a collection of Mars Area histories written by local citizens, a file containing folders of family histories, and information about celebrities that had association with the area.


The Mars Area History & Landmarks Society Train Station and Museum welcomes visitors each Friday from 10 AM until 1 PM, and during the annual Mars Applefest. Tours can also be arranged by appointment.

Address: 1 Brickyard Road, Mars, PA 16046

Telephone: 724-625-4478

Website: www.marshistory.org

Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/marshistory

Parking on site

Rest rooms are available


Volunteers who would like to assist in maintaining and extending the Society facilities and artifacts are welcome and encouraged. Please call 724-272-9588 or attend a Friday (10 AM to 1 PM) work session for more information.


John Watson, President

George Lazzo, Vice President

Christine Clutter, Secretary

Ernest Kuhs, Treasurer

William Swaney, Curator


The Mars Area History & Landmarks Society is a 501c3 non-profit organization. Gifts are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.

Donation of items of historic interest to the Mars Area is welcome subject to the approval of the Collection Committee. The donor is required to sign a form stating the it has been donated. It is understood that the item(s) may be removed from the collection should a better, like item be obtained, or if it doesn’t fit the collection any longer. Donors may obtain a value for the donated item(s) which may be used as a tax deduction.

Individuals are also encouraged to make cash donations to the Society which can be claimed as a tax deductible donation. Make checks payable to the Mars Area History & Landmarks Society, P O Box 58, Mars, PA 16046.


New members are welcome.Annual dues are $15 for Individuals, $25 for Family’s, and $50 for Business

Membership Application

Please click the above link to download the Membership Application Document.

Print it out, fill it in and mail it and your dues check to:

Mars Area History and Landmarks Society
P. O. Box 58, Mars, PA. 16046
Meetings are held in the general purpose/workshop building 7:30 PM the third Wednesday of each month. The Public is welcome.