A strange fenced in mound of dirt along US 22 in Ebensburg Pa.

For 20 Plus years I have been driving thru Ebensburg on my way to Altoona when I noticed this strange fenced in square of ground with a dirt mound with in blink your eyes you will miss it. Because the field is heavily grown over with weeds. 
Intrigued I finally stopped the one day and checked it out from a far using binoculars as the field is a total swamp.
A sign on it is posted No Trespassing Beth Energy Mines  there is also a sign No Smoking  no open lights or matches .

So what is it at first glance I thought must be a hazardous waste pile which was sealed over and capped  Thinking there was a chemical company on the site but this is not the case . But seeing it was owned by a Coal mining company and knowing the nearby Bethlehem Coal mine in Revloc possibly goes under this area I am more  thinking now this was one of the rescue shafts to get miners out during and emergency or possibly even an air shaft  but it is strange the way it is capped most places use concrete cap but some do use a mound of dirt like this when sealing entrances. Why the no smoking sign. there is always the possibility of methane escaping from the old mine better safe than sorry.
So another mystery solved even if its a small one but there are so many little fenced off and mysterious little utility buildings and mounds and pits all over our state most still in use but plenty abandoned after coal and limestone etc mining operations ceased. So it is best advised not to trespass and photograph from a far to avoid problems


A strange little structure high on a hill in Fayette County . Whats was its purpose?

It sits high on a hill along US-119 a short distance from Smithfield Pa.


 Strangely all by it self with no road or path to it. and a single telephone pole with nothing attached beside it.
 Its not a church or one room school and at one time it appears to have served as the site for Fayette County 2 way radio repeaters for police and fire services , until service was upgraded and moved to a newer tower.
Which explains the telephone pole which had many antennas on it at one time .

Was it possibly used as a rangers observation tower for Forrest fires? Surely possible as high as it sits or it was just made fancy instead of the usual plain looking transmitter huts . Either way its one of those unique pieces of history still being preserved and luckily not lost to history and with a story to tell.


Strange Oriental Statues along a Butler County Road seems no one knows why.

As you ride along rural Renfrew Rd. coming out of Renfrew pa. in Butler county and approach Three Degree Road you are meet by a Bonsai Warrior and companion statues


Put up in the 90s no one not even the  Butler county Tourist Bureau seems to know the story why behind them .They just popped up one day.

All the research I have done short of stopping and bothering neighbors has turned up zilch.

I can not even find an artist name on them. 

But some one cuts the grass and some one knows who put them up and why.


An Oddly Placed Memorial about a forgotten massacare during the American revolution in Altoona area

As you drive towards Duncansville on Pa 764  coming out of Altoona in a small industrialized area you will come across a rather oddly placed memorial right beside the road so close in fact you can hardly stand in front of it a read it with out stepping onto the roadway itself.
it looks like one of those markers for a bridge deck or road mileage marker. But you would be wrong in your thinking because this marker tells of the horrific massacre of 17 Bedford Scouts during the American revolution by English Tories and Indians.



While the whole incident should be noted as part of the Battle of Frankstown it is now largely forgotten except for historians and history buffs. A dam shame these are just a handful of the many patriots who gave their lives to form this great country and this lonely marker is all there is to tell their story a story not well told or recorded at that.

As a side not a Rod equals 16.5 feet so this massacre took place approx. 742 feet from this marker.


Flaigs Guns a Legendary lodge which was hidden high up in a hill side in Ross Twp Pa. and supposedly had Nazi Leanings

The unique wood sign with carved in lettering which sat at the corner of Thompson Run and  Evergreen Rd is long gone but the legendary Flaigs Hunting Lodge and Gun store  will never be forgotten by those who visited it high up on a cliff along the road which took you up a long narrow twisting and intimating steep path to it. Many would turn around and go back rather than going all the way to the top as it was a challenging if not scary drive up there . I was only there one time when I was tracking down my friend Anthony Skotaks firearms ,which went missing and I inquired had any one tried selling them to him ,as they where very high end hunting rifles and shot guns. Many people thought Flaig was a Nazi or had Nazi leaning because he had Nazi flags and a bust of Adolph Hitler in the shop. It was even thought that during WWII there was collusion with the Nazis going on there the late night secret meetings and such which supposedly went on . Any truth to it? who knows  the shop is long closed now and its secrets long lost. Its private property now. But the rumors still go on to this day.


    But lets allow this edited excerpt in the Pittsburgh Press tell the story from when Mr. Flaig Passed



 February 6, 1991 The Pittsburgh Press Mr.Flaig moved to Ross about 1940. After Flaig's death in 1978, Mellon Bank administered the gun business. "He never set up any provisions for somebody to run it," said Forsythe. Former Aspinwall resident John Levendos, an exporter of commercial shooting supplies, bought Flaig's about two years ago. Levendos always knew about the place, but stayed away. "It was intimidating. I didn't want to go up the driveway. It has Transylvania overtones. Dense stands of tall evergreens still line the narrow road , that climbs, twists and leads to Flaig's, a maze of small buildings on 13 steep acres. Customers do business in the lodge, an 18th-century log house, moved to the site in 1927. A knob shaped like a rabbit "hanging by its back paws opens the lodge's front door. Resale rifles and shotguns hang from the ceiling beams. Antlers from European stags and roe deer decorate the .walls. Shooting supplies fill the cases and shelves. Oblivious to the business at hand, deer and squirrels freely roam the property, safe from the test firings performed on every gun,-new or repaired. "They're safe. We're not that bloodthirsty," said Forsythe. Test shots go into a sand-filled concrete chamber built into ground behind the gun shop where Forsythe works. Although he specializes in 'gun work, Forsythe also carves animals and birds in his spare time. Mr.Nelson was always good; with wood," said former Flaig's manager Bill Knabel of Ross. "He'll duplicate anything by hand. He does a lot .of statue carving. One of his hawks is sitting right here in my kitchen."- Forsythe and his wife, Doris, both shooters, spend most weekends at their farm in Lockport, Mifflin County. They have one daughter, Nicola Hood of Richland. ".: The couple, married almost' 40 years, met as youths. "A date was going out groundhog hunting," said Mrs. Forsythe, who has three guns made by her husband. She often hears about his projects at home. "He's always very proud of the guns he has made. He'll come home and say, 'I made a gun for. this person today.' "He likes to see the finished product, the beautiful wood," she continued. "That's what gives the gun-its beauty Lovers of fine firearms appreciate Nelson Forsythe, a quiet craftsman of uncommon artistry. Forsythe chisels and melds the choice woods and blackened steel that become one in guns made at Flaig's, a one of a kind of shooter's emporium on a hillside in Ross. ' Flaig's reputation for "Serving sportsmen Around the Globe" largely rests with Forsythe, "one of the  best stock makers in the country," said shop manager George Lnoll Jr. "He has made guns for kings, and he has made guns for gasoline station attendants," said Jae Levendos, wife of Flaig's owner, John Levendos. one of Forsythe's latest projects include matching hunting rifles for a Saudi Arabian prince and princess.  The prince's rifle, a Remington powerful enough to hunt elephants, will feature a barrel modified to educe recoil. Hand carvings  will embellish the stocks of both guns, priced about $5,300 for the pair. "It's just another job," said Forsythe, who makes the custom riffles and shotguns each year for hunters and target shooters. He specializes in gun stocks, usually made from assorted walnuts. He also repairs and alters guns for customers across the United States. You always run into something you haven't seen before." More than 100 chisels, rasps and chapers hang above the narrow workbench where Forsythe works, overlooking traffic on Thompson run Road. He talked last week while repairing a loaded shell from one gun's ammed action. "I'm a chiseler," said the 61-year-)ld Butler County resident, one of five gunsmiths among Flaig's eight employees. Each custom-made gun begins as a piece of wood that is cut by machine according to one of more than 100 patterns available to suit any shooter's physical build. While other gunsmiths blacken, cut and assemble the receiver, barrel and trigger, Forsythe fits the wood parts of each gun to its metal components. The exacting work of Gunsmith Nelson Forsythe carves out the stock to Donald J. Stetz of The Pittsburgh Press a rifle by tracing over a template 1953, remembers Forsythe the student "His work stood out." Other fans include Howard Wells of Peters, a gun manufacturer's representative and former professional shooter for the Winchester Repeating Arms Co. "He has built several guns for me. He has done an incredible job. He's a tremendous craftsman. The guns I have, that Nelson has built, have worked as smooth as butter." had to hold it up on a fence for me." Forsythe came to Flaig's in 1957 after training at the Pennsylvania Gunsmith School in Avalon. "They needed somebody and I needed a job." He started as a barrel fitter before he found his niche in woodworking. "I was always more interested in wood than I was in metals." George Thacker, director of the Pennsylvania Gunsmith School since Fellow gunsmith George Bole of Middlesex, a competitor, also praised Forsythe's skill: "He is as good as they come." But Forsythe remains humble about his work. "Really, that's the only thing I've ever done. I can't do much else. A lot of people came and went I just kind of hung in there." The late Edwin Flaig, a World War I veteran, established his gun business in 1934 on the North Side  which requires accuracy within a few thousandths of an inch, "to make it look like the metals are growing out of the wood," said Forsythe, who lives , in Jefferson. A railroader's son and a veteran of the Korean conflict, Forsythe grew up in a family of Mifflin County hunters. "Guns were always an interest to me," be said, recalling his first shot from an old Winchester. "

A one time Amusment Park in Chester WV. and a horrifying fire in a Old Mill Ride which killed 3

As you go down US 30 thru  Chester W. Va. past the once notorious Night clubs where Pittsburgher's once flocked because W.Va. drinking age was 18 and Pa's was 21 and go down a seep hill and across a magnificent bridge  you would never realize that at one time a beautiful little trolley Park once stood there called Rock Springs Park which lasted till the owner died in 1970










One of the many beautiful little trolley  parks lost to history it also like many of the parks suffered a horrific tragedy when  a fire broke out in the old mill ride .

Fires where always a big  concern in these old parks due to all the wooden construction and lack of modern fire protection systems.


http://www3.gendisasters.com/west-virginia/5983/chester-wv-fire-amusement-park-june-1915

This fire like the others resulted in the death of 3 individuals who where just out for a day of fun and relaxation.
Its a shame fire Protection Sprinklers where available at the time but they where seen more for protecting property like warehouses than lives and where expensive.

Today nothing is left of the park you would not even know you just drove over top of it
Just another of the many Tragedy's lost to history in the Ohio Valley and Tri-State