Friday, March 30, 2012

Brownsville, PA And It's Old Covered Bridge Over The Monongahela River

Wooden Covered Bridge in Brownsville, PA
One of the cool things about doing this blog are the people who read it.  The past few entries we have done have centered on reader contributions, and this is another one of those cases.  Preston Pratt, from the Carmichaels area, sent our way these pictures of the old wooden covered bridge in Brownsville, PA.  These are taken from his great grandfathers collection.

I admit, I never knew Brownsville had a bridge of this scope until I visited the FRANK MELEGA art museum a few months ago.  Located in the Flat Iron Building of Brownsvilles "neck" area, the museum contains lots of old images of all eras of Brownsville.

Brownsville's Intercounry Bridge on left, the Lane bane Bridge on Right
In the picture above, we see the bridge we all know now, the also historic Intercounty Bridge.  Built in 1914, it replaced the covered bridge we see in the pictures below.  The wooden covered bridge was built in 1831, and carried the historic National Road.  As new automobile traffic made the covered bridge obsolete, it was finally torn down in 1913.

Below are Preston's family photos from the early 1900's.

Brownsville Wooden Covered Bridge

Brownsville Wooden Covered Bridge

Covered Bridge Portal.  Pedestrian walkway in center

Covered Bridge Portal.  Pedestrian walkway in center

Hill View. Circa early 1900's

...and a close modern shot

Divers salvaging a sunken paddle wheeled boat

Ice skating under Brownsville PA covered bridge
Image courtesy of Library Of Congress

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

More Monongahela Lock 6 demo 1965. Rices Landing, PA

These vintage shots are from the collection of Tony Meza of Rices Landing.  These shots depict the demolition of Lock 6 from September through December of 1965.  Great before-during-after shots.  Interesting shots of the W.A. Young Machine shop, too!  Personally, I dig the old blue van!

More info can be found at the Lock 6  Museum, as seen in this post.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Crucible Ferry "Nekoda" mystery solved...?

 If  you've been following the blog for any amount of time, you know the ongoing mystery of the current location of the Nekoda...aka the Crucible Ferry.  It started when I posted a photo of the ferry landing just above the location the site of the former Crucible Mine.  A friend told me he heard the ferry was salvaged for restoration.  When investigating, more...I was told it was scrapped awhile ago by Three Rivers Salvage.  O.K, each quite possible.  
Then, we were told it was salvaged and being used as a ramp for a Pittsburgh boat club.

Mostly,we're told its still in the Monongahela river, marked by a red buoy.

 It seems every time it's mentioned, we're told a different story.

 I do remember going with our dive team for a training session and swimming out to the ferry and standing on it.  Well, these photos confirm my memory was right.   They were taken in the  90's when the pool of the river was down, by my buddy, Tony Meza (more on Tony soon).
 If you study these photos, you'll notice several things.  The ferry is north of the original landing, in the current location of the red buoy.  You'll also notice its not too far into the river, where the river is only 8-10' deep (not in the channel that is navigated by barges).  Looking at the amount of sediment around the ferry, it has not likely moved on its own.  So, if it IS still there, its only a few feet under. So, as soon as we get a boat...were gonna settle this once for all!
Thanks to Tony for the awesome photos!  Look for more from his collection soon.

Crucible ferry "Nekoda" in her sunken home

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Dry Tavern School Demo

Well, shes gone.  The Dry Tavern Elementary School has been dozed.  See the previous blog for a rare look inside the abandoned school just a few short months before she went down.  This is the exact reason we do this blog.  One day something is there and the next, it is gone forever.  There were kids playing in the next yard over and it dawned on me that in 10 years, they won't even remember the school was there.  Stop and think of all the stuff you barley remember.  Would have been cool to have some pix or video, huh?  Send us your memories...

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Crucible Elementary School. Crucible, PA

   After exploring the old Dry Tavern Elementary School, we set our sights on the nearby Crucible Elementary school. Basically abandoned now, it was used by the Carmichaels Area School district until the 91/92 school year, when the kids went to the new elementary near the high school. 

   After being closed, the school was used by several local organizations over the years as a haunted house. It is now used by the Crucible V.F.D. for training. We were surprised to see that most of the scary decor from the haunted house was just left in place. It made it difficult to get good shots, staying focused on the building itself but we tried.  So, disregard any skulls, spiders or scary graffiti you may see. The school was also dark and it was tough to see due to being boarded up. Not to mention the jackass who stole the wiring from the school, leaving the building without power and the town without a fire whistle.

  After talking to some local folks we discovered that there was originally another building, similar to the Rices Landing schoolhouse, that connected to the new school via a hallway.It was constructed of wood and was heated with coal. The younger kids had class in the wood (or 'old school' school, if you will) and moved up to the new building. You can see the difference in the bricks near the entrance where the hallway was.
 We really don't know too much more about the Crucible school. We're still researching and will update this post as we learn more. If you have any info about the school (especially pictures) as always, feel free to email us.

 Special thanks to Kathy McAlanis for granting us access and Jim Rex for being our tour guide (twice!).

Some Video we shot in the school......

I bet these guys are super cool.

Entire ceiling fell at one time.

Class of 2012. Chip, Danielle, Evan and Jim