Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Crucible Ferry

(Post edited 1/1/11 due to clarification)
These photos show the Nekoda,the former cable ferry that ran between Greene and Fayette counties near the Crucible Mine.The photo taken from the water was from 1982,showing the ferry where it sat for many years after service stopped.Many people believe the ferry was moved downstream toward the mine pier during the 85 flood.However,the other photos were taken from shore while the pool of the river was dropped due to bardges clogging the Maxwell Lock gates open.The pool was dropped after the flood,so these photos show it was still there post flooding.As a member of the RLVFD,our dive team would dive at the old launch as practice.I remember tagging along and swimming out to stand on the ferry.This would have been early 90's.So...when did it move?Was it scrapped or taken to a museum..or is it still laying in the Mon?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Cheat Lake Bridge

These pix are from the Cheat Lake bridge near Morgantown WV.I thought you may be a little tired of looking at pictures of crumbling concrete and rusting iron.The lovley young lady is Christy Cesarino,a co-worker of mine at WVUH. The pictures are by Yan Liux,another fellow Ruby-ite (we nurses are a talented bunch!)...his profile is here....awesome work!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

More Misc Rices Landing

Here we have a couple more misc shots of Rices Landing Spots...just throwin some stuff up to kill time while the snow melts!See if you recognize anything!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Meeting of the Bloggers?

I was wondering if some of you fellow bloggers would be interested in a meet-up after the holidays to discuss some ideas?I have been wanting to get together with some folks,have a few drinks,some food and talk blogging.Caputos? Lemme know...spring will here before we know it!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Saturday Night Spooks!

Well...its winter and I've been working some dayshifts,so the outside advenures have slowed a bit.But never fear,there will be some good stuff comming up very soon.The leafless trees provide better photo ops in the wilderness that is eastern Greene county,so,stay tuned.In the meantime,something different...
Todays topic is something near and dear to my heart.Cheesy horror movies.You may or may not remember Chiller Theater on WIIC (now WPXI)Pittsburgh Channel 11.Saturday nights,after the news,Bill Cardille presented the best of cheesy horror/sci-fi from the 50s to the 70s.I remember the first night I was allowed to stay up that late watching 'Hush,Hush Sweet Charolette'with my sister,Debbie.These movies are tame if not boring compared to todays remakes of remakes of Hollywood Horror,but If you came up in the 70's and it was 11:30 on a Saturday night,you were watching Chilly Billy!Between movie portions,Billy and his cast of misfits would keep you entertained with skits of local interest.It was very kitsch,and very fun.But alas,along came cable in the early 80's as well as he VCR and Chiller Theater was forgotton for MTV or whatever Showtime movie showed a hint of boobs!
But I have recently discovered a nice reminder of the old Chiller Theater.The 'It's Alive Show" comes on at 1 a.m. on Saturday nights on channel 8,WPMY Pittsburgh.it is awesome!It is very similar to the original Chiller Theater,with host Proffesor Emcee Square and his cast of zany charcters.My fave is Leah the Mummy.Reminicent of Terminal Stare,she keeps the guys attention nicley!
The show features occasional jams by Deathmoblile,the Proffesors band,and the humor is certainlly geared towards us weirdos.It's awesome and I need you to check it out.We need to support local programming like this before were subjected to more night-long commercials!
The It's Alive Show can also be viewed online at www.theitsaliveshow.com and for those who prefer the original,here is a fantastic Chiller Theatre site

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Speaking of bridges..

...check this out.This bridge is parallel to Rt.88.It must have been part of the original route.Seems to be in decent shape.The plaque was gone,so I don't know a date or other details..do you?
By the way...this sucker is dangerous...you can't tell from the pix,but the drop off the side is at least 50'!

Point Marion, PA Bridge Demolition

Well...the middle section is now in eight peices,barged up and ready to go.The ends are comming down this Monday morning.I will have a better watchin spot!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Follow Up..

By far,the most feedback I get about the blog is the Debbie Makel case.I plan on teaming up with Randi and doing a more indepth story including original news clippings and interviews with folks who were directly involved with the search (who aren't hard to find!)I want to explore timelines and walk the trails of the searchers.To do this properly will take time so stay tuned...and PLEASE email me with any memories you have of the event..

Minor Updates

Spoke with Uncle Biff who believes the Crucible Ferry might still be laying in the mud down at the old landing.Uncle Biff operated the Fredricktown Ferry for many years,even during the filming of Maria's Lovers.The river seems a bit low,so I'll check this out.

Spoke with Chris who believes an additional entrance to the Underwood mine may be nearby on his property.We're gonna explore this asap.

The old Pt Marion/Greene County bridge is slated to blast into the Mon at 9am Monday morning.I will do my best to be on hand to cover the demo.

Friday, November 6, 2009


Flu season+broken laptop = big slowdown in blogland...hang tight,kids! I'll be back!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Something a little different...Laurel Mall, Connellsville, PA

Remember Laurel Mall?The one over on 119 in Dunbar,Pa.I decided to make a post on this inspired by deadmalls.com (a great site,check it out).I used to frequent this mall with my Mom when I was small and went on my first date there to see 16 Candles in 1984!
I stopped by and shot some pix today to submit to the deadmalls site.I thought you bloggers would get a kick out of the pix.I still don't fully understand why malls are dying while GD Wal-Mart continues to pop up on every freakin' block,but thats another discussion altogether.
i dig the 70s-80s vibe in these places and remember most of the old stores.They had a cool Camelot Records I got my first 45 RPM record at.Turn to Stone by ELO...the Ames was a Murphy's Mart which kicked Ames ass....in my opinion...
Dave Dursa built bicycles at this Ames the same time I built bicycles at the Waynesburg Ames...coincidence? I think not...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Underwood Mine

Theres an old mine on my Dad's property in Rices Landing.Once owned by a man by the name of Underwood,it's all but covered up.I talked to Mr.Underwood several times about the mine and he tells me there is still a good deal of equipment in there.I'm not sure how...But I'm gonna open this sucker up.
As far as I know this is just one of those small private mines used for the family coal supply.I have no idea how far back it goes.
The cool thing is it's my Dad's property,so I don't have to deal with that end of it.However,It's filled with water and on a hillside I'm not sure if I can get any kind of machine to.Plus,If I do get it open,I'll have to re-gate it to keep the kids out..
Anyone with ideas,advice or just wants to get crazy with a pick and shovel...drop me an email.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Even more Poland Mine, PA coke oven shots!

Climbed atop the ovens to get some shots.Cool insight to the construction of the row ovens.

So...where was the mine...?

I found the tipple remains from the Poland Mine.I thought it was destroyed in the new construction of the Longview pump station on Dunkard Creek.Guess not!I will get better pix soon,as I was too lazy to climb down the hill....and back up.So stay tuned..

Poland Mines..my kind of Patch!

If you were brought up in Western Pennsylvania, Northern West Virgina or any other coal producing area..you've seen a patch.These were the housing built but the various coal companies for their employees.Usually,there was a Bosses Row,larger,sometimes double houses where the mine bosses lived.These rows were commonly a street above or below the main patch.
The rest of the patch homes were usually all alike in tight rows.Also common to the patch was the company store and at least one church or all purpose hall.Mather,Crucible,Nemacolin,Bobtown,Braden,Burson and Poland Mines are all patches in Greene County.I've lived in Poland for 12 years and my in-laws have been here all their lives.
Chances are your grandma, grandpa,aunt,uncle,dad or mom lived in a patch at one point.Most of the patches remain long after the mines were gone.Some of the housing plans were improved on as newer generations came and went...some not so much.People would buy the houses cheap and rent them,therefore a lot of folks came and went.This caused the little towns to become run down,losing much of the original homes and layout.Mobile homes were a popular replacement for the patch homes,because they fit well into the small footprint of the tight knit plan.Due to this,there is sometimes a a negative stigma associated with the patch.
I,however think these areas are a cool leftover from a time long gone.I laugh sometimes when I see million dollar housing plans going up in in the "ritzy" areas around Pittsburgh and Morgantown.I say..."Hell,that ain't nuthin' but a high priced patch!"
The photo here is the last original patch house in Poland Mines.10' on either side was the property line and they all had an outhouse.I believe they were all the same color,but not sure.Every time one of these lots goes up for sale or taxes,my father in law grabs them up.He has torn down more of these houses then he cares to remember,with two more slated for his dozer this winter.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Monongahela Hotel

The Monongahela Hotel site.This is across from the bank.More on this soon...

Friday, October 9, 2009

More Poland Mines Coke Ovens

A few more pix from the Poland Mines Coke ovens.I'm gonna shoot some video this weekend.

more Dry Tavern School

 Stopped back at the school with a better camera..some cool pix! The picture of the gym celing has a story behind it that involves Larry Jamison...and,no...I didn't stop in the office!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Pumpkin Run Project

Talked to Murray Kline yesterday and got the o.k. to do some research in the park.What I wanna do is head down one day with my trusty trimmer,some rakes and the like.I wanna clean out around the foundations for better access/photos.Theres so much stuff in Rices Landing to check out,I'll be focusing there heavily for awhile.
My Mom told me about the stone quarry I was talking about in an earlier post.Thats on the "to do" list,too.As well at the "Red Row" foundations..
I'm getting a new cell phone Saturday (apparently you can't wash them!)I hope to get one with GPS so I can post locations for people to check this stuff out.I believe some gas wells may be going in around the park,which may actually provide some access previously unavailable.So...stay tuned.

Poppin' and Lockin'

Original Lock 6 Gate at rest on the river bottom.This pic from 1985 following the flood.The dams had to be opened to remove barges,so the pool dropped and we got a rare peek at whats in the bottom of the river.

Speaking of stuff in the river...

I would lose my Monongahela River ghetto pass if I didn't mention the B-25 bomber that crashed in the river in 1956.People often call it the B-52 that crashed in the river....no...it was a B-25.MUCH smaller...heres a cool website by some dudes that think it's still in the river near Sandcastle.
They need $25K to find it....Guys, save your money.It ain't there.My father,who worked for the Army Corps of Engineers for 41 years,maintains that plane was removed and hauled away on flat bed trucks that night.Although he wasn't there,many of his old bosses and co-workers were.I have a hard time believing that plane is still there.I would LOVE for them to prove me and the 1,000,000 other people who say the same thing wrong.Not holding my breath...

However...I don't know what a B-25 looks like in the bottom of the Mon...but one put a nice ding in the Empire State Building...ouch.