Generations of Giving

Dr. King Hartman shared his passion of trains to the community at large by conceiving a display at Overly’s Country Christmas.

Christmas is time for giving, and Dr. King Hartman has certainly done that for his community. During the Christmas season, families have traditions that are near and dear to their hearts, for many that includes visiting Overly’s Country Christmas.

Smiles of joy brighten people’s faces as they slowly drive through the display of brightly colored, twinkling lights. A variety of lights are seen throughout, from wood cutouts to “moving” lights that deceive the eye. 

The iconic red bows are seen as you pull up to the entrance followed by blinking snowflakes,candy canes, a moving train filled with presents, cutouts of the Charlie Brown Characters,Santa in an airplane, the famous cut out cows, and finally to end the loop, blinking fireworks and big light up trees.

 Once parked, you walk through the magical tunnel of golden lights, an iconic picture spot, into a Christmas wonderland. Once inside Christmas Village, you can take a sleigh ride, go to the sweet shop, buy some kettle corn, shop at the General Store gift shop, talk to Henry, the talking christmas tree, and definitely go to the biggest and most popular attraction, the train station, better known as Hartman Station. 

To some this might just be a bunch of trains, but to Dr. King Hartman, my grandfather, this is a passion. As you step inside you are transformed into another world. The red and green spotlights shine down on the G and O-gauge model train display. The display shows a detailed town including houses, people, and of course five trains running and whistling around the tracks. One of the trains has various cars attached to it, one being a beach scene, another overflowing with presents, and one with Overly’s emblem on the side with a light up Christmas tree attached. Throughout the display, snow-covered trees, parked cars, and even a bridge with water underneath can be seen. However, beyond the setup, most people don’t know the behind the scenes of how Hartman Station came to be.

King explained his story that began many years ago. He said, “My love for trains started when I was young. My mom had a display of five trains that ran simultaneously in our house. She started to hold contests to see who could build the best train display and each year she won.”

“About 15 years ago, I was asked by the director of Overly’s, Stephanie Tomasic, if I would do a display. Of course I said yes. I donated some of my trains and soon after Allen Wells, a train collector, helped with the design and construction of the display,” King explained. 

King wanted to add another aspect to the display, being a kid at heart, he decided that a scavenger hunt should be made, so people can look for certain objects within the display. You can search for a palm tree, Santa, a bear, Mickey Mouse, a Coke machine, and the list goes on. This added fun to an already lively attraction.

At the age of 84, King still has a love for his trains. His good hearted personality and Christmas spirit shines throughout his display. Overall, his contributions to Hartman Station bring joy and happiness to families all over Westmoreland County and will continue to do so for years to come.