An Investigation and Inquiry into Unsolved Crimes, Mystery's , The Bizarre ,Macabre,Unusual and just strange events and unique properties and buildings which played a part in that have occurred in Tri State Area
My Father In Law recently passed and in cleaning out his basement I had a load of scrap metal that needed recycled on my way back to the scrap yard I came across a well maintained but very old cemetery and came to find it played a very important part in Civil War History seems in 1834 The Cross Creek Presbyterian Church and Cemetery was started but in 1863 it was the site of an encampment of Confederate troops commanded by General John Morgan. Yes that John Morgan and his Raiders seems they spent the night in the cemetery on their way riding thru and terrorizing Ohio residents they would be forced to surrender the next day.
At the end of Cross Creek Road (Fernwood Road) is an old cemetery where
a white figure is reported to have been seen wandering under the trees
among tombstones. The figure is usually reported as female and is
visible from the road. The cemetery used to be a popular place to park,
but few couples go there more than once after hearing strange moaning
sounds there. The ghost is not always visible. Trespassers often report
feeling that they are being watched or sometimes hear someone following
them. The origin of the cemetery’s ghost is unknown.
Never know what you will find riding down those lonely country roads.
As you take River Road Pa 66 east out of leechburg Pa. you can not miss seeing a very uique Steel Foot Bridge which goes over the Kiski River to the little community of Hyde Park
But when you look at the piers which hold it it appears to have held a much larger bridge at one time and you would be correct in your thinking.
At one time this was a railroad bridge built in 1886 which connected trains across the Kiski from Leechburg but this was before the massive Flood Protection Projects to keep Pittsburgh from flooding where put in place ,after a horrendous flood took many lives and caused hundreds of millions in damage in 1936 to Southwestern Pa
You see the problem was before the flood protection measures where put in place Higher up on the Conemaugh River which feeds the Kiski River during the winter time massive sheets of ice would build on the river and come down stream thru Leechburg and several times the railroad bridge was destroyed.
Finally in 1904 in an effort to keep the bridge from being wiped out by spring time flooding they put a train full of coal cars on it and weighted it down to hold it in place and of course this also failed and train was swept down stream.
So then the only way across was a Ferry boat till the earlier foot bridge was built in 1920 with the current bridge version being built in 1955 which is very unique to the area.
With its 600 foot length. and fantastic photographic view This is one day trip well worth it to take about 45 minutes from Pittsburgh.
Its easy to miss as you go out old US 22 William Penn Highway thru Penn hills at the busy Jefferson intersection a small 3 store front shopping plaza behind a Sunoco C store. once an Open Pantry C store and Pizza shop and tavern only the tavern remains open no wonder given its strange configuration for a parking lot and 2 c stores beside each other just does not work.
But thats not the only thing strange about the plaza a Penn Hills Progress article from 20+ years ago tells of strange goings on at the plaza of the paranormal type particularly in the now closed Pizza shop seems an old employee or owner stayed behind after their death.
becuase doors would open and close by them selves and lights turn on and off. was it employyes playing games maybe but then again maybe not. I have been unable to locate the original article but a late freind Noel McCarthy who drinked at the tavern on ocassion said there was talk about the ghost.
among patrons .
I do not have much more on the place but hopefully will be able to investigate it further and confirm what I read all those years ago.
I have worked in many old homes in the Pittsburgh area and many where at one time owned by Italians who make up a large part of the population and even have community's they settled in like Bloomfield , Sharpsburg and Penn Hills etc .
So it would not be unusual to find similar likes and taste in how the homes are furnished . But in one case the old home you own may well have been owned by an old Pittsburgh Mobster or one of their many friends and associates ,if they have a certain top hats' champagne glass and playing card motive in the center of there game room Floor.
It seems that Pittsburgh Godfather John Larocca liked this one particular floor pattern that he had in his own game room in his north Hills residence in Ingomar , its middle square a top hat with cane playing cards around outside border and when friends who would visit with Mr. Larocca and be invited to his game room for drinks asked him about the unique design he would send a rug /tile layer over he knew and had it put in for them.
I found this out after installing a burglar alarm at a woman's house in the Squirrel hill section of Pittsburgh I asked her about it when I saw it in her basement and told her I had seen others and thats when she told me the story about the floors . Her late husband who died in a private plane crash during bad weather was John Larocca's long time attorney and the floor was a gift from Mr Larocca. The center top hat tile was designed custom just for Mr. Larocca and his friends and associates.
I have seen the floor pattern in old Bloomfield ,Squirrel Hill and in East liberty sections of Pittsburgh
It was definitely a 50's Vegas cocktail lounge type theme to it and unfortunately most of the floors have been removed or covered over or the homes demolished , which is a shame as it was seen as dated and uncool. Unfortunately I do not have a picture of the design but needless to say this floor was expensive to put down and since the Pittsburgh mob was big time into gambling I can see why the floor design would have been so popular
Hopefully I will run upon it one more time and be able to share an image of it. But its now one of those great hidden story's about the Pittsburgh Mobs past. They may have been criminals but they did so in style.