Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Clyde Mine. Fredericktown, PA. A series of pictures of the deconstruction of the prep plant.

     It's been a slow month blogging here at SWPARE due to deadlines and commitments, but we have plans on ramping up production soon in the next week.  In the meantime, this "then and now" series of the deconstruction of  The Clyde Mine Prep Plant  in Fredericktown, PA will suffice.  From what I researched, the mine began production in 1903 as the Clyde Mine and Coke Works in 1903, and operated until 1989 as a LTV steel facility.

     If you are from this area and grew up in my era, you will remember this prep plant beside Rt 88 in Fredericktown, PA.  Its most memorable feature, at least to me, was as I was driving to and from college at Cal. U in the mid 80's.  As you approached Fredericktown from both directions on 88, you'd notice the giant waste pile opposite the prep plant, with a steady flow of cars running on cables, crossing Rt. 88, hauling waste product to the top of the pile.

RT. 88, where the cables crossed the road

     It was something I always watched for and remember the cars opening up on top, spewing the waste up on top. I considered it a treat (yea, I'm weird like that), when I was close and a cable car would pass directly over me as I drove through the viaduct.  Then the traffic of these cars slowed, eventually stopping.  Until recently, I always imagined them running again, but they never did.

Picture of intact prep plant, waste pile behind.

Close up

     Above two file photos from Coal Camp USA, where there are nice interior shots shown.

     Early last year I noticed new activity at the Clyde Mine site, the prep plant was coming down.  It was a slow process, and for the longest time, just the center metal "core" remained standing.  As I drove past last week, it was finally toppled, so I thought I'd go ahead and post the series of pictures of its demise.  There are quite a few pictures, but each on show some progress of it end.


Right across the road are a series of still standing buildings near the old rail road tracks, I stuck my head in and took a few shots, but was limited by time, so we plan on getting back there soon before these are the next to go.....these buildings follow.


     Lastly, there are a few older brick buildings near the prep plant that also still remain for now....

     There is a nice Bing Map of the area taken a few years ago here.

Friday, April 29, 2011

We're still here!

Due to demands of work/family the blog has slowed down a bit latley,but have no fear,we haven't gone anywhere!The warmer weather usually forces us out of the woods to focus on some other cool stuff.We have some cool now/then photo features planned and are working on some cool"things that are gone" blogs.Now is a good time to email us with ideas for posts.
We will also be doing re-visits on some old posts,so check back on your favorites,as they may be updated with new info.So,stay tuned and see whats up for spring/summer 2011!Email us at

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Poland Mines, PA. A return to the former mine site and the Point Marion coke ovens.

Last week, Chip and I returned to the former Poland Mines air shaft site and filmed some video.  Buried in the woods behind Poland Mines, we found a derelict fan house high above the Dunkard Creek.  We then shot down the road to Point Marion, PA and looked at some coke ovens for a future post.  Enjoy.

From Greene County Living.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Carmichaels, PA. The Falls.

As always, click on the pictures to enlarge.

The whole idea of this post came to me waiting to get a root canal performed at my dads office, Dr. Evan Williams.  He was telling me about a patient,  Ed Begovich who was recently in the chair and noticed a picture of the Carmichaels falls my dad had taken back in 1983.  After the procedure was done, I set off in the rain (again) to visit the falls.  Drive down N. Market street in Carmichaels, hang a right at Laurel Hill Cemetery and drive on back and you will notice a sign greeting you.

Now, there is no question that every good Carmichaelian knows about this little spot where Muddy Creek tumbles down over the rocks.  The Falls I've been told were a "rite of passage"  of sorts for many a town child.  School was skipped here in the summer,  lovers met here, and days were spent swimming in the pool under the falls.

But not for me. 

I had always heard about this spot growing up, but lived way out in the sticks so riding a bike here like the town kids did was not an option.  The first time I even visited was about 14 months ago, and yesterdays trip was my second return.  

This is the photo my father took in 1983.  On the center left you can see Toby Worch and Ian Williams playing on the rocks.

Roughly the same shot as my dad took, mine shot yesterday, 2011.

Seeing as my knowledge was limited on this subject, I turned to one of my best resources concerning local history, Dave Jack.  Plus, I needed a haircut anyway and he's the town barber.  Mr. Jack told me that the falls started their life as a quarry in the early years of the towns history, then was a entry shaft for the Crucible mine which made sense since the land was donated by Consol and relics of ancient buildings lie scattered about.

I'm not terribly sure about the current ownership of this little spot, but it looks like it could use a little freshening up, as graffiti of the most profane (and some amusing) and broken bottles litter the picnic pavilion and parking area,  and high uncut weeds grow in the former grassy areas.

Who knows how long this has been here.  Tumbled down the rock face from the junk yard above .

In a way however, its kind of interesting. 

There is a fence around the high area of the falls, but little muddy paths will take you down to the base of the falls and further downstream as well.  Use caution as these are basically dirt/mud foot paths w/ no safety devices installed.

On a return trip later that day, Danielle brought her 3 year old son, Remy, to check it out.  Soon as we got out of the truck, the sound of the crashing water seemed to wake him up.  As we approached the falls and he caught a glimpse of them he just had one word to describe his thoughts, "WOW!".

"WOW!" indeed, Remy.

We hope you enjoy these pictures and really encourage you to share your favorite falls stories here ....

Updated 06.17.11
Went back down just yesterday and shot some video and took a few more pictures.

A nice little column written by Kimberly Cockroft for the Observer Reporter paper about the falls can be read here.