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....

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

34th Annual National Pike Steam, Gas and Horse Show. Route 40, Brownsville, Pa





.....call them what you want but if you spend anytime at all in SWPa,  you'll undoubtedly see them.  Hiding under weeds near old industries, laying in the river, in fields just lingering as you drive down the highway.    A lot of times you'll see them there, then you'll notice them gone.... cut up for scrap, as this famous unit on Rt 51 was almost was.....

These are the machines that built and shaped this country.  Pushing dirt, digging coal, building buildings.   Most of these machines are long gone, lost to progress and bigger and better equipment, but there is a place where they still live.

Welcome to the 34th Annual National Pike Steam, Gas and Horse Show.

Just west of Brownsville, Pa, on historic route 40, you will find, twice yearly, the largest digging show in the United States, and quite possibly the world.

 Even though this has been going on 34 year, my first visit was only 3 years ago.  Frankly, I was amazed.  Take a look at the pictures.  What you see is what you get......the steam and diesel shovels load the dirt into ancient trucks, where they take it to dozers pushing it, and it all starts all over again.

 This place is huge.  I'd estimate the working display area at 20 acres.  I was amazed at how close you can get to the machinery here.  Scattered around the perimeter of the display grounds are all sorts of activities.  There is a working rock crusher for the kids to watch and even feed, old tractors, steam engines of every size doing all sorts of things.  They have flea markets, car shows, live music, vendors, great foods of all types.

One of our longtime friends is Pete, of the Ohio Vintage Coal Company.  He and his group invited us down a few days ago for a sneak peek at his groups display.  He took us up in the lift for a birds eye view of the place....

  His group has a working tipple and dump, the Vesta 4.

Here, Chip and Pete have conversation 60 feet in the air, talking about the show

Also, the OVCC have a working Lee Norse continuos miner, made right up the river in Charleroi, Pa.  This is said to be one of the only working models still around..check out the video to see it just tear up the place.....

Just push play......

 This show is an awesome way to connect with our past and talk to a lot of great people who worked these machines. Kids will absolutely love this show, as there are great hands on displays for them, and what kid (of any age), doesn't love giant construction toys? 
 The following pictures are from last years show, but every year, it is getting bigger and better, so stop on out.

You can find information and times of this years show here, at the National Pikes home page.
Also, check out the good people at Ohio Vintage Coal Company here, at their home page.