Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Greenville, PA Kidd's Mill Park - June 2, 2016

Kidd's Mills Covered Bridge is a historic wooden covered bridge built in 1868 and is part of a National Historic District. According to WiKipedia, it is rare example of a Smith Cross Truss bridge in the eastern United States. In the early 1960's Mercer County, PA adopted a resolution to maintain the structure as an historic landmark, since the bridge had been bypass and slated for demolitionPennsylvania is the birthplace of the covered bridge. At one time in the 1800's Pennsylvania had about 1,500 covered bridges.Today with 209 covered bridges, Pennsylvania has the most covered bridges of any state. 


The new bridge
The park was very peaceful

The next adventures are in New York State with visits to the Jello Museum, part of the Barn Quilt Trail and Niagara Falls. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Greenville, PA Railroad Park - June 1, 2016

The Park was started in 1985 by a group of volunteers interested in preserving and promoting Greenville’s railroad history. The property was donated by Mr. Marc Rinella. 

The Bessemer Railroad donated the 1936 steam engine, an iron ore car and caboose #1985. Over the next few years a group of very dedicated volunteers built the museum building, the operator’s office/gift shop, the speeder shed, the maintenance shed and completely landscaped the grounds. Along the way another caboose was donated by the UP Railroad, a flat car came from Cooper Bessemer, and the W&LE caboose arrived from Norfolk Southern.

Engine 604- the last of its kind - was the largest steam switch engine ever built. CB&I - Mini CB&I Water Tower and Marker for the CB&I Greenville Plant located in Greenville from 1911 to 1984.

From my research there are not many railroad parks. There are many railroad museums including the Union Pacific in Omaha, Nebraska. It is always interesting exploring the railroad part of our history.

Coming up Kidd Mill Park a covered bridge near Greenville. 

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Greenville, PA - May 30, 2016

Arriving at Farma Family Campground in Greenville, PA during the afternoon, setting up the Bounder was accomplished quickly. Several adventures awaited. The photos below are a few of the unique seasonal or permanent structures in the campground.

The first Greenville adventure will be coming up next: Greenville Railroad Park. 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Weston, WV Jackson's Mill Farmstead - May 2016

The day we visited Jackson's Mill Farmstead we encountered intermittent rain showers, mostly while we were driving around in the car. As we walked up to The Mountain State General Store it began to sprinkle and we sat on a bench on their covered porch and watch the rain pepper down on the pond. 

"Three generations of Jacksons operated mills at this site, originally settled by Col. Edward Jackson prior to 1800. Jackson’s Mill boasted saw and grist mills, a carpenter shop, blacksmith forge, quarters for twelve slaves, numerous barns/outbuildings, and a general store on 1500 acres of prime forest and pasture land.
Six year old Thomas Jackson and his four year old sister Laura came here as orphans in 1830. Thomas lived here until leaving for West Point in 1842.
Tom and Laura remained close throughout their lives until, like so many families, they found themselves on opposite side of the Civil War. Laura opened her house in Beverley, WV to Union troops as a hospital. Thomas joined the Confederacy and became immortalized as “Stonewall” at the First Battle of Bull Run.
Over the years, the Jackson farmstead was divided and passed through several hands. In 1921 the remaining property was deeded to the State of West Virginia to be used as a youth camp and entrusted to the Extension Service of West Virginia University. WVU Jackson’s Mill was developed and became the nation’s first state 4-H camp.
Today, all that remains of the original Jackson’s Mill settlement are the grist mill and the Jackson family cemetery. The other structures as well as the slave cemetery have been lost to the ages." 

Next: Traveling on to Greenville, Pennsylvania 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Weston, WV Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum - May 2016

Our very interesting tour of the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum.

"Formerly known as the Weston State Hospital, this West Virginia facility served as a sanctuary for the mentally ill in the mid-1800’s. The history of the building holds fascinating stories of Civil War raids, a gold robbery, the "curative" effects of architecture, and the efforts of determined individuals to help better the lives of the mentally ill.

The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, constructed between 1858 and 1881, is the largest hand-cut stone masonry building in North America, and is purportedly the second largest in the world, next to the Kremlin. It was designed by the renowned architect Richard Andrews following the Kirkbride plan, which called for long rambling wings arranged in a staggered formation, assuring that each of the connecting structures received an abundance of therapeutic sunlight and fresh air. The original hospital, designed to house 250 souls, was open to patients in 1864 and reached its peak in the 1950's with 2,400 patients in overcrowded and generally poor conditions. Changes in the treatment of mental illness and the physical deterioration of the facility forced its closure in 1994 inflicting a devastating effect on the local economy, from which it has yet to recover."

"Despite being designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1990, the hospital has deteriorated to the point where its very survival is threatened. The entire facility and 300 acres were privately purchased in August of 2007 and renamed Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum (TALA) from The Weston State Hospital. With the aid of government grants, private donations, fundraising events, and a team of dedicated local volunteers, we are committed to restoring the TALA to its former grandeur, thus reviving the local economy and preserving an important piece of American history." 

The picture above is not the area most in disrepair. In much of the building the plaster is falling down and there is much damage due to age and neglect. We were only able to tour a part of first floor of the largest building. There are many out buildings and some have been demolished. They are open for walk in tours Tuesday through Sunday. Special tours such as Photographic, Architectural, Civil War and Ghost are on a scheduled basis.

Next:  A trip to Jackson's Mill Farmstead

Weston, WV The Museum of American Glass - May 2016

We enjoyed our time at The Museum of American Glass in Weston, West Virginia

"Imagine a museum dedicated to the region and nation's rich glass heritage.  A place where examples of thousands of products can be viewed and compared and where the stories of people and processes come to life!  The MAGWV provides this and much, much more.

The Museum of American Glass in West Virginia was established in Weston, West Virginia, in 1993 as a non-profit organization with a goal to discover, publish and preserve whatever may relate to the glass industry in West Virginia, the United States of America or where ever else glass has been manufactured."

Coming up:
Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum and Jackson's Mill Farmstead.