You would never know this small Farmers House would play an important part in providing phone service to farmers in Northern Allegheny and Butler County Pa.

I once was called to do some electrical work in a old but well kept Farm House that sits down off  along Pa.910 in Gibsonia Pa. which has a very interesting history.

Did you ever watch Green Acres or Mayberry RFD  or similar TV show there was always the lady who answered the phone after the caller picked up the ear piece and turned the crank on the old phone.

Well thats exactly what this house once did. When the Bell Telephone System decided to not provide phone service far north of Pittsburgh a bunch of  business men got together in 1906 and started their own. It was known as  North Pittsburgh Phone Service and it took in parts of Northern Allegheny and Southern Butler County and this home acted as the first switch board .

At one time depending what side of Pa. Route 8 you where on you got a discount on your phone service in the rural areas . I had a customer on the wrong side always complained about the servvice he got and rate and he got mad and actually leased phone lines from the Bell Telephone System  so he had a Pittsburgh exchange phone number. 

Now known as Consolidated Communications since various sales and mergers North Pittsburgh phone still carry's on. 

I only knew about the history of the house after working in it and the then  owner telling me about it. he sold it to a new couple . The current operations of North Pittsburgh are across the road . Sadly the house has been remodeled several times and nothing of the original exchange is left to see  not even any wiring its a shame knowing the history of it. There are some old pictures floating around from its heyday I am told but I have not been able to locate them  but an old Pittsburgh North Employee verified my customers story about the house.
The famous Harmony  Trolley also passed close by at one time as well but nothing of it is left as well except some memorabilia . which is a shame how different it was back then. Kids today have no idea the struggles of living in rural areas a hundred years ago.

A Strange Tradition of ringing Cow Bells at the Wheeling Jamboree USA Show in Wheeling W.Va.

I remember many a Saturday night on long ride homes from a job site  or working late nights and tuning in 1170AM WWVA in Wheeling W.Va.
to catch the Jamboree USA show know known as the Wheeling Jamboree from the Capital Theater

Some of the finest Country &Western music to be found short of Grand ole Opery show  in Nashville Tennessee  Which I also still tune in on WSM 650 AM on Saturday nights  ,some times.

Now if you love country music like I do the Wheeling jamboree does not disappoint my wife and I attended a live show at the Wheeling Civic center to see The Oakridge Boys  and Alabama back in the 80s .

 Thou you can no longer listen to it on  WWVA 1170 AM a big mistake on their part
there is an internet TV channel and low power FM station which broadcasts on the internet.

 If you tune in for first time or are a long time listener you will notice the ringing of Cow Bells along with clapping after artists perform. 
While today its mostly just tradition this was not the case back when the show started back in 30's 

Back then travel was tough not every one had a car and there where stil plenty of horses and buggy in rural areas .
So farmers would take their family's to to a local train or trolley stop ,to ride into wheeling  but of course not everyone went especially dairy farmers who needed some on on farm to keep an eye upon and milk the cows . Back then many farms did not have phones  so when you made it to town how could you let people know you made it. 

Yes the cowbells, seems everyone had a certain way they would ring their bell and familys listining at home when they heard their particular ring knew their loved ones made it safe .
I found out about this tradition while listening one night and the shows announcers told the story behind the cow bells .

This neat tradition goes on to this day even thou the show has changed names and venues it continues to be the highlight of Saturday evenings for many a folk.


A possible answer to why a viaduct was built over part of Logans Ferry Road which Penn Dot Discovered was causing road to collapse

Logans Ferry Road is a busy little section of road between Plum Boro and New Kensington Pa.
traffic from the New Ken and Burrel area use it as a short cut to Pittsburgh as it brings you down to Oakmont via cox Comb Hill  instead of having to go thru New Kensington .

Recently Penn Dot had to close down the road to repair it where Logans turns into Coxcomb  as road started to collapse and Penn dot found the road was a viaduct built over an abandoned  railroad spur to nowhere.

Well I have the answer I believe where the spur went and its purpose.
 which was scuttled in 1920 or 30s

  Long ago there was the Logans Ferry Coal Mine this mine produced excellent steam coal which was sold to the West Penn Power Station across the Allegheny  River.
One problem thou was getting coal across the frozen  river in winter when tugs and barges could not operate.

The solution was ingenuous they built 2 tunnels under the river from the mine to the power plant which went under the river in late 1800's  tunnel 1# was used to haul coal cars filled with coal to the plant and Tunnel 2# was used to haul the empty cars back and what Penn Dot found seems to be the old mine workings supply spur . With so much passing of time any one who knew about this is long gone and now there is just some old pictures here and there and paper work sure would love to find pictures of the actual tunnels in use other than the one image shown.

 ,But so much of Pa. old industrial history has just been  torn down and buried such as in this case.