Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Update Video 10-6-2020

 Turns out 2020 has been a wild year for all of us. We know its been a long while since we've done a post, so we decided to kickstart the old blog and get things moving again. We may not post os often as we used to but we have some cool content coming up. We appreiacte those that have stayed with us and hope to meet some new folks!

 We decided to do a quick update on the Debbie Makel case, as it it the 47th anniversary. No real new information to report but I STILL get regular emails about people who follow the case. As always, we welcome comments and emails. Please DO NOT name any alleged suspects in the comments, however, you are welcome to share your thoughts and opinions. We hope everyone is well and are stoked to be back! Dont forget to check out the Facebook page for regular updates on stuff!

Monday, August 31, 2020

Test...1..2. Is this thing on?

 Well..we've decided to revive the blog! Although Evan has kept the SWPARE Facebook up and running, we sort got away from the Blogger format. Actually, a lot of the cool blogs that were around back then have sort of died off.  We put far too much effort into SWPARE to let it die...so we're changing the oil, kicking the tires and seeing what the old girl has left. (The blog, not Danielle).

 Although its easier to post to Facebook and Instagram, theres a lot of crap one has to wade through to find something good to read. I don't know about you but the constant political debate and everyday drama on Facebook are enough to make me seek refuge elsewhere! So kick back, relax and enjoy some cool stuff!  A big Thank You to everyone that stuck around! If you are new to the blog..go feel free to explore some of the older posts! We'll be updating on some of the old posts and bringing some new stuff soon,

 Life has changed for us  a bit since we last posted but Evan, Danielle and I will be keeping the old blog chugging along. We also have some friends wanting to explore and post with us, so stay tuned! As always feel free to comment and share your ideas. 

Your Pals, 

Chip, Evan and Danielle!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Pechin Denbo Marina, Denbo, Pa

Found this on the pier in middle, date unknown

     It was a warm Friday morning, and I somehow managed to get an unexpected day off from work,  so I thought I'd take the long way home in celebration.    I got off the new road, then made my rounds through downtown Brownsville, as word on the street is they were in the process of ripping down even more buildings on the main drag, Market Street.  

View from the rear

     A few of the buildings look to be in the process of being gutted, and there is some revitalization on another building close by.   We'll be back to follow up on this subject, but I got bored with it today,  and had been meaning to stop by the little town of Denbo for a while.

     Now,  a few years back, I did a blog on the construction of the new Route 43 turnpike bridge,

 the bridge that was the final nail in the coffin of the Fredericktown Ferry, or more commonly known as Fred.

     Denbo is a small town along the Monongahela river, and once was home of the Vesta 6 mine,  which supplied coal to the mighty furnaces of the Jones and Laughlin to the north in Pittsburgh.  Vesta 6 shut down in 1946, and since then, it is just another patch town along the river.

    Sometime in the 1980's (unsure of these dates, not a whole lot of info out there, feel free to correct), Sullivan D'Amico of local Pechin's fame opened a marina from a former lumberyard on the main street through Denbo.  I'm no expert, but it looks like he used the existing Vesta structures for barge load out, as a part of the marina layout.   From what people have been commenting on our Facebook page, this Pechin's too, was also famous for its low food prices. 

     I'm not sure when it closed, but the signs on the marina show a 412 area code, and we haven't used that here since 1998, so maybe before then.   As I walked out on the big pier in the center of the below picture, I found these four postcards just laying in the middle of the catwalk, so I took that as a sign to do this post.

     I found an old article in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette about a fire truck auction at the old marina in 2006.  For those of you familiar w/ the Pechin name, you know what a hoarder  collector the man was.....

The same area today

 What follows are a bunch of pictures of the overgrown and abandoned marina today.  It's currently for sale, so who knows, maybe the 3 dollar steak dinner will return (thanx Jeff Mann for the reference).

The catwalk where I found the postcards

Alicia load out, across river

old boat ramp

Feel free to offer any memories, corrections to the blog....


Saturday, March 26, 2016

Some great photos of the Crucible Ferry Nekoda!

Sent to us by Facebook follower Shaundra Bissett, these amazing old photos of the Crucible ferry " Nekoda" give a rare glimpse of the ferry in action. Many people have fond memories of the ferry and their family members who relied on it every day! Shaundra writes:

  "I came across your blog and videos the other day.  The crucible ferry was always an interest to me.  I am 47 and as a young girl my dad would take my brother and I down to the ferry and we would play.  This was around 1982 when it was lateral washed on shore.  I can remember it was tethered by huge thick cables.  Anyway I can remember my grandmother telling me my grandfather worked on the ferry, I don't know what year but I was able to find the two pictures I have.  They both have pictures of them with cars on them.  One has a picture of my grandfather standing on the ferry.  The young boy sitting on the waters edge is my uncle so I am guessing these pictures are around the 1950's.  I was so excited to see your blogs about the ferry.  I remember going down to the river after each of the major events to check on it.  Until it was gone."

And here is the current location from the above pictures.

Thank you, Shaundra! If anyone else has any more great old photos, please let us know! We'd love to feature them!

Check out THIS LINK for some additional pictures of the ferry in action, and sitting underwater.   We have tons of ferry related posts here, so don't forget to use the search box and type in ferry.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Silence of the Lambs/ Riddle filming locations

 Well,  Its been a while since we've made a post but rest assured, we're still around! Evan and I headed out today with no particular destination in mind and wound up at a super cool spot. This post has something for everyone!  Fans of filming locations, railroads, bridges and just plain old beautiful southwestern PA countryside in the autumn. Today's post explores some locations from the 1991 Jodie Foster/Anthony Hopkins film The Silence of the Lambs.

 Evan has been to this spot before so it was his idea to head back today. The weather was perfect so we decided to check it out. Its pretty easy to find and cool to know such a classic film was filmed so close to home!  Another lesser known (WAY lesser known) movie, Riddle,starring Val Kilmer was also filmed in this area. We'll touch on that a bit,too.

 The movie The Silence of the Lambs was released in 1991 and won 5 Oscars. It is a fantastic film that has several aspects based on true events. Several locations in the Pittsburgh area were used, but we'll focus on the house that belonged to serial killer Buffalo Bill and the nearby bridge. The tunnel is in the shot where Clarice (Jodi Foster) is riding in the back seat of a car and she is discussing Buffalo Bill.

 The Layton bridge was built in 1899 and served as a railroad bridge before being converted to a roadway in 1933. It seemed reasonably well traveled by car traffic in the short time we were there, so the locals keep it busy. It is, however, in very poor condition ( as you see in the video). Hopefully, it will be around for awhile as it is a really cool spot. The bike trail gives the best view. check it out if you can.

In the video I mention a long aerial shot in Silence of the Lambs, but after re-watching the movie, I believe the shot of the bridge and tunnel I'm thinking of was from Riddle. The bridge and tunnel can be seen in Riddle starting about the 24 min mark. She drives across the bridge and comes out in Brownsville...lol. Apparently, an episode of the television show Fire in the Hole was also filmed here in Layton.

Here is Riddle

  As Brownsville was used as the setting for the town of Riddle, we recommend checking it out. But be warned, despite the local connections, its ...well,pretty bad.

 Back to The Silence of the Lambs.The house that was used for the residence of fictional killer Buffalo Bill is located just down the street. It is beautiful and has been in the news lately as it is for sale. Evan and I wished to respect the privacy of the current owners,so we only snapped a few pictures and short video. We  wondered if the bridge location was chosen first and then the house, or the other way around? If anyone knows, please,chime in. The thing that caught my eye is the old bus/shed in the yard across the tracks from the house. I remember it well from a short scene in the film. It struck me as 'something you would see around here"...when actually it was! 

The bus today

Capture from the movie

My attempt at the shot from the movie  (from memory...not too bad...lol)

Had we known we were going here, we would have prepped our info a little more, but our best stuff is usually off the cuff. Hope you guys enjoy this post and please feel free to comment with any more info. Its good to be back....more posts to come...soon!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Pollocks Mill Bridge Incident 09.28.14

One of the things that SWPa is noted for, is the large amount of bridges.  When someone thinks of Greene County bridges, most likely, they imagine one of the Covered Bridges dotting the countryside. While the covered bridges are cool enough, I've always liked the old metal brides a little better.  There were literally tons of them in our area, some are GONE and FORGOTTEN, some are largely unknown and a handful still survive.  
A few years back, Danielle did a story on a few of the Old Iron Bridges of Greene County.  We noticed a lot of interest lately in this post, so we decided to do an update to the Pollocks Mill bridge. 

     Everybody in this area of Greene County knows this bridge.  Senior pictures, wedding pictures, band pictures have been taken here. People regularly fish here.  Parties happen.....(we have heard)...  So when we heard of the incident of the water truck, we went on down to investigate.

     According to HISTORICBRIDGES.ORG, The Pollocks Mill bridge was erected in 1878 by the Massillon Bridge Company in Ohio.  Also mentioned is the fact that any Iron Bridge that is older then  1880 is considered historic and worthy of saving.  Click the link above to learn more.

     On the evening of September 28th, 2014 , a 30 plus ton water truck attempted to cross the posted 4 ton limit bridge.  on our FaceBook page, there was a lot of speculation of why this happened, and whether or not the posted weight limit signs from last years pictures were removed...(they were not, just relocated further up the road).   The purpose of our post here is not political or critical, just documentation of the incident. 

      I overheard lots of "just how the hell are they gonna get that truck outta there" theories when I was taking the pictures Sunday.  Some people were speculating the worst, cutting the deck, letting it fall, or bringing a crane down and cutting the top off the bridge.  So We headed on down the next day and watched as they extracted the truck.  Wade's towing, a local company, pulled the truck free at an undramatic 1/2 mph pace with no more damage being inflicted on the bridge.  It seems the bridge is a lot more sturdy then we thought, as the giant wrecker was also partially on the bridge, pulling the truck free.  

Chip and I went down Monday and shot some video of the area and speculated on the bridge....click the image below...

     It's too soon to know what will happen to the bridge.    We'll keep you updated....