To ride by this Monroeville Pa. property today you would never know the importance it played during the cold war as a nuclear parts manufacturer for US Navy

Yes thousands of people ride by this place everyday on Monroeville Blvd and have no idea of its history. in the 1990's I had the privileg to do so when I installed an alarm system in the structure as a sub contractor.

What starts out as a one time normal looking big house and was the private residence of William B Kelly it  has behind it several sunken structures with just the roofs visible  rather strange you might say but at one time up to a dozen or more people worked here making essential parts for nuclear reactors for US Navy





By the time I got to put the alarm in the property had changed hands several times and has done so again the house use to be a financial planners office and residence. But when I first looked the job over and saw the sunken and underground structures and heavy power which once went to machines you just knew there had to be a good story behind it. In this case there definitely was.

Ends up a funny story about this place a customer of mine who owned a chocolate shop and worked full time as a machinist  stopped and applied for a machinist job from Mr. Kelly and did not take it thought it was just a small place to work for not knowing how much he did not see that was underground.

The forgotten Eagle Scout Lodge in Allegheny Countys South Park and its interesting history

A Mounted Eagle Scout Troop a deliberately forgotten piece of scouting history

As you travel past the rotting structures of the once proud Allegheny County  South Park  Fair which was permanently cancelled  in late 1960's you will come across an interesting building now called South Park Cottage but originally it was called Eagle Scout Lodge .

Why I wondered was it called Eagle Scout Lodge ?   I remember as an Alter Boy at St Basil's Church  in Carrick 29th ward of City of Pittsburgh Pa.  that we once held our alter boys appreciation  picnic  there for many years  till some of my fellow alter boys damaged one of the vacant buildings next to the lodge in early 70's and our group was no longer permitted there and that it was called Eagle Scout Lodge. Many in scouting I asked  thought it was to honor those who earned the Eagle Scout Award  one old timer told me it was to honor a group of eagle scouts who served as Calvary Scouts in WWI but the dates did not correlate as scouting had just started about that time . So I decided to find out why after never getting a satisfactory answer from any one in executive end of  scouting including the worthless  Allegheny Trails Council now known as Laurel Highlands Council .
entrance to Eagle scout Lodge












Well after doing some research it seems the building was dedicated to the first Mounted Eagle Scout Troop in Allegheny county in 1933
 when South Park first opened.

Mounted Eagle Scout Troop?    Like Calvary Troop ?
no not that but close you see in that time period when scouting first started  to be an Eagle Scout you had to show proficiency in Horsemanship because even up into the 30's horse's where still being used  for everything from delivering milk to farm use so it was a needed skill to be able to properly handle a horse. Especially during the depression when only the rich could afford cars in many areas .  You where  even required at one time  to earn the Horsemanship Merit Badge to get to Eagle Scout Rank and award .
 Horseman Ship skills also where important if you where considering becoming a military officer which many eagle scouts did back then because the US military still had mounted Calvary units  into the 40's .
 So this is what this building was all about was the training and advancement of Eagle Scouts to
become excellent in there horsemanship skill and become officer material in the process. kind of like an early ROTC program.  many do not know it but General George S. Patton started out as an expert horseman and Calvary Officer in his early career.
While doing my research on the eagle scout lodge  I came across a couple articles on this which I have included below.
So mystery solved despite the facts scouting has hidden this excellent chapter of its history. Why it has been forgotten who knows why would a group be ashamed of this?

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=EjIbAAAAIBAJ&sjid=eUsEAAAAIBAJ&pg=2011,2128688&dq=mounted+eagle+scout+troop+allegheny+

As you ride down Pa 66 in Apollo you pass the old creepy Hotel Belvedere and yes some one actually lives in it.



If you ever take a ride down Pa 66into Apollo before you cross into Apollo you come across one of the creepiest old places you can find in Western Pa. The Belvedere Hotel which is actually located in Boro of Oklahoma

Built in 1905 by Joesph Gianini  a contractor who built piers for railroads  with 28 rooms  kitchen and 2nd floor dining room which featured French cuisine  and a 1st floor candy shop and ice cream parlor it sits in decay as some one still lives in it to this day.

Ice cream Parlor and candy store 1st floor

As you can see in its heyday its  a very fancy place I spoke to a hospice  nurse who visited us while my mother in law was still alive, and she told how as a little girl in 60s' there was a candy counter in there . which you can see in the picture above but apparently its been sitting abandoned looking since at least late 80's
As iit sits today
 But you  can see below it was very nice place at one time but in 2008 Penn dot was worried the building was going to collapse as seen in article below




A one time favorite for many a traveler  to stop  on their way to Greensburg information has been very hard to find on the place . An  elderly women still lives in the old place having blocked off a couple rooms they heat with wood stove

The Hotel was also the way point for when many soldiers when they left for war on the railroad many never to return and there last memory of the Kiski Valley. So you would have to think spirits are still lingering around .
The hotel was viable till just after WWII when the automobile and decline of trains saw it become apartments and first floor candy shop a bar named the Tin Hut and Giannis at one time .
The elderly woman who bought it wanted to fix it up but it was not to be .

Unfortunately thou just a short distance up the street is where Apollo Policeman Leonard Miller lost his life when he pulled over the  Kill for Thrill  Killers John Lesko and Michael Travaglia . So this place has been a place of great joy and sadness and lingers as one of the best places to get a photo as many come with just the purpose of photographing it.

Here are some videos made by those who have explored hotel 













UPDATE July 23 2019

Unfortunately hotel was lost due to suspicious fire .




after it was condemned and was going to have to be torn down in days before fire front porch posts had badly bent meaning hotel was in state of falling into street .