Even though Chip, Danielle and myself have lived in this area for most of our lives, sometimes we find something close by, but "new" to us all. This Bridge was one of those finds. While I was doing some reading on the Ten Mile Creek Country blog concerning the Jefferson/Mather railroad station, I noticed he mentioned a branch of the then Monongahela RR crossing the creek into the Mather mine. I had never seen and/or heard about this before so I looked at the Bing maps, hoping to see at the very least the remains of the bridge, but to my surprise, the bridge was still erect. Well, most of it.
It being an overcast, rainy day and all, Chip and I set out to find our bridge. Now the Mather Mine is a blog in itself, and we will cover that in the future, but quickly, the Mather mine was a huge mine built in 1917 and operating into 1964. Say "Mather" to anyone in our generation, and they will respond w/ something to do w/ the waste pile. The waste pile was, and still is huge. Some said it was one of the few man made objects that could be seen from outer space. Through the years, they have reclaimed some of it, but its size is still looming as one stands under it.
|A rather terrible picture depicting just how big the Mather, PA waste pile is. Trust us, it's large.|
|Bing image of Mather, PA and the pile. The fallen bridge can be seen upper left.|
But back to the bridge...
A rambling video discussing Mather, trains, waste piles, bridges, Van Halen, chicks and whatnot. If you just wanna see the bridge, head past the 4 minute mark
We just had to walk a short distance to the bridge and found it as we were told about it, with a section fallen. It seems that the two end abutments were both concrete and wood, while the center was purely concrete. From our best guess, the timbers on one side simply failed, or we noticed some fire damage to the top, causing the one section to collapse.
|Fallen Mather, PA RR bridge|
|Chip explaining his "falling bridge theory" or telling me why I should go to Van Halen w/ him|
|The top of the wood supports was burnt. Maybe this is how it fell?|
I'm sure one of you out there can clue us in to some more history of this bridge, and we welcome your comments!