Mysterious Steel structure in Mc Keesrocks is actually used to protect the bottoms area during floods

Yes when you ride down river road past the Lockhart complex in McKeesrocks Bottom area you come across a most unusual looking industrial structure right before the tunnel entrance  to the Bottoms .

It looks like some type of swivel attachment to do with the railroad which runs over top but what it really is used for is that it swings down and forms a protective barrier against when the river floods and helps to hold back debris from entering  thru the tunnel and destroying the Bottoms area as it is known which the railroad embankment helps protect the area as you can see in photo below . Last used around the 1994 flood and made ready in 2004 when Hurricane Ivan remnants caused concerns of river flooding  it sits there ever vigilant ready to be deployed in an emergency flooding situation.  as flooding has devastated McKeesrocks many times over the years. Most people ride right by it never knowing its purpose but now you do.

Missing WW II War Memorial a Wrongly Marked War I Memorial and other mystery's which happened in Carrick.

Carrick the 29th ward of the city of Pittsburgh was at one time a stand alone borough and during that time many things happened which are still unanswered to this day including a more modern mystery.
I grew up in carrick after moving as a young child from Lincoln& Larimer section of  E. liberty section of Pittsburgh  .
In 1975 I started my Eagle Scout project and started to put together a massive research project and display on carricks History.

During this research I cam across many an old timer who gave me much information and which also revealed a few mysteries.  here is the original article I wrote in 1976

One of the first Mysteries.
What happened to the Devlin Log  Cabin? one of the original family's to pioneer the area it was said to have been moved to Phillips park yet no one remembers it being there yet another old timer told me he remembered it and it had burned down  no one knows for sure.

Another mystery a old timer told me about a school behind A Automotive  in carrick across from carrick Shopping center again no one remembers it or has any information.

There was also allegations made and still a mystery to this day that the day Carrick voted to disband its Boro status and join the city of Pittsburgh that a 2nd ballot box had surfaced then disappeared. If this was the case carrick might not have joined the City after all.

But one of the biggest mystery's is what happened to the WWII memorial which stood next to Hazelbarths Hardware.




Well that part was solved but then became a further mystery.

When the marker was taken down the name plates where put into a  2 foot square cement marker with brass metal plate on top  and then placed next to the WWI monument in Phillips Park. and a row of Red Oaks was planted along the main side walk in the park only a couple of which still survive. According to WWII veteran frank Russel which now defunct  Carrick VFW members verified.
 Except when they went to dig under the marker not only was the WWII small marker missing but the name plates as well. was it removed by park employees or by some one wanting to steal the brass plate and took whole marker with them. very good possibility as one of the brass markers at nearby Carrick High was stolen in late 70's which was on either side of doors and remaining one is now high above original entrance.

But then in 1990's the WWI marker was moved down to intersection in front of the park when the new recreation building was built but the small separate WWII marker was  gone.

 and to add insult to injury a base stone was added to the WWI marker saying the row of red oaks was planted to honor the WWII and Korean Veterans.

This is wrong they where never planted to honor the Korean veterans in fact there is no separate marker or any other memorial to Korean veterans other than a generic all veterans marker in South Side Cemetery.  The city screwed up the WWI marker and lost the WWII marker stone and plate  unless it was buried under the WWI marker when it was moved but as usual with the city of Pittsburgh no one knows anything.

What a mess and of course city is not going to fix it any time soon and properly honor carrick veterans.


The Strange Phenomina of familys who experince one Devastationg Fire having another devastating Fire in their home.

Its horrible enough to experience having your home catch fire and losing everything thing to then go thru it again years later.Like a dreaded curse following them.
But Unfortunately I know of many such cases here in Western Pa.
it happened to my late friend Noel McCarthy .
His family lost everything in a fire in an apartment in Lawrencville  section of Pittsburgh  due to bad wiring .Then he had another fire at his home in Penn hills about 20 years later when a spray paint can  in storage exploded due to to getting to hot in a basement  and furnace pilot  set of the paint fumes.
Then there is the case of a family who moved to Penn hills on Berger Street  and the father lost his life in the fire which destroyed the family's home and they had moved there after a fire had destroyed there previous apartment. The father went back into the home thinking his daughter was still inside but she had escaped. He died from his wounds a few days later.
Fatal Penn hills Fire Father Died looking for daughter

Their was also a fire I helped the Then  Penn Hills  Fire Marshal Jack mason  investigate  off Universal Road where that family also had experienced 2 fires in the same home. the second fire due to improper wiring done after the first fire by a restoration contractor.
Yes it seems misery loves company but why does it seem  to re strike certain family's ?

In some cases that I have studied from around the Tri State it seems familys which are  lower scale working class can only afford poor housing which is in bad shape and just plugging in an extra heater is enough to start a fire but this phenomena is  not just happeneing to the poor but the well off too. Is it life styles as far as house keeping and fire prevention practices ? Yes this could well play into it.

But then there is whole different issue with family's experiencing multiple fires and its  Criminal and is fraudulent in nature. In  fact they are catching their homes on fire to collect insurance payments.

Yes frequent fire phenomena is one of those strange cases where science has yet to explain it. is it bad luck a a curse or just luck of the draw? some day we may have answers. 

What really happened when Depression Era Criminal Pretty Boy Floyd Meet His End in E. Liverpool Oh. ?

Pretty Boy Floyd the notorious Gangster  from the Depression Era was in Eastern Ohio  Robbing banks yes in fact he traveled thru Western Pa as well Thou no recorded crime by him was committed  in Pa . that I can find but during his life time he came thru the Tri-State area several times to elude the police who could not cross state lines. 






But how he meet his end 80 years ago  has always been called into question. Many believe he was out right executed like Bonnie and Clyde were by the FBI Agents. G Men as they where called by some that day in a farmers field in Wellsville  near E. Liverpool Ohio.



I became interested in his story many years back when my Brother in Law got married and they held the reception at an old bed & breakfast on the same road up to where Pretty Boy meet his end.

http://sturgishouse.com/

Seems this place was also a funeral home at one time and where they laid out Pretty Boy after they prepared his bullet ridden body.

He may have been called Pretty Boy Floyd but he sure was not leaving a trail of blood and body's of law enforcement and innocent citizens across the Midwest as he robbed banks.
 Unlike Bonnie & Clyde who where first seen as Anti heroes  taking on the big bad banks this guy was a straight out killer.His gang killing 4 law enforcement officers in what became known as the Kansas City Massacre. in 1934





After having committed this horrible crime the gang fled into Ohio where there car slid into a tree needing the car fixed and afraid they would be spotted Floyd and his male accomplice stayed behind as their gun molls went into town to get a tow truck and have the car repaired and as they waited along the road and lay in the grass a local farmer thought it strange and notified police who upon meeting  the 2 gangsters they took off into the fields  the accomplice was caught that day but Floyd eluded police till the next day  when he was spotted by police near a field and thats where things get muddy ,

3 different story's have emerged. a local retired cop got the first shot, the FBI  got him first and where their by themselves or locals and FBI did him in. there is also a dispute as to if Pretty boy was just wounded by locals was ready to go into custody and FBI executed him .

Either way he was very dead but I can see the FBI trying to take all the credit and I do not buy their story.  I believe the true credit goes to locals getting him first and as far as him being executed yes I see it happening because thats whats happened to Bonnie& Clyde and John Dillinger  and probably what lead to Melvin Purvis the FBI lead agent to kill him self  couple years after he gunned down John Dillinger.  

When you think of the 18 months of Rampage as it has become known around the Mid west when Bonnie & Clyde , Pretty Boy Floyd, John Dillinger and Machine Gun Kelly   where running around the Midwest you would never think any of them ever even got close to Western Pa. but they did. in the case of Pretty Boy Floyd as a means to keep police at bay and a chance to cool their heels .