Harlansburg June 21 - June 23, 2005 . . .

Tuesday June 21

Smitty arrived at 1:30PM. Late as usual. He had to stop for a nap in East Kittanning. Guess I can't complain - that's better than taking a nap at 60mph west of Kittanning.

We grabbed a couple of hot dogs at the Slippery Rock DQ. And of course a little obligatory ice cream.

Find out what the heck's east of Black Run/Moon Rd or north of W Valcourt . . .
I use wunderground to get weather predictions, and they also show personal weather station data. The station closest to my house is KPAMERCE1, and they give his longitude and latitude. So I took a look at his location with Microsoft's TerraServer, and found this. Well, being the curious sort, we decided to go find out what those patterns are. It turns out to be some kind of fish farm, actual details unknown. But according to a neighbor, the fish do get fed.

Check out Water Associations:
Buhl Lane off Old Ash just south of 208. Two HUGE water towers! Obviously to handle the commercial establishments in the area. Thomas D Cyphert; 331 Old Ash Rd; Mercer 16137; 724-748-9168
Leesburg Water Assn, 1359 Brent Rd, Volant, PA 16156. Nobody there. These were the people I really wanted to see to find out about the Falls Road spring.

Banks Covered Bridge.
Built 1889, rehabilitated 1999. It's in the National Registry of Historic Places.
It's southeast of New Wilmington on Covered Bridge Road (T-476) over Neshannock Creek. South End North End Neshannock Creek flowing under the bridge.
S.R. Thompson House
It's on Market St. in New Wilmington and is in the National Registry of Historic Places.

The house is directly across from the Westminster College quadrangle. It has been owned by the college since 1946 and is currently being used as office space. It is believed to have been built by Mr. Thompson c. 1884.

Samuel R. Thompson (1833-1896) was a Professor of Physics and the leader and developer of Westminster's science department. He was at the college from 1884 until his death. As chairman of the College Building Committee, he was instrumental in securing funding for the Mary Thompson Science Hall and a wing on another building.

Went through Mercer, stopping at the Muhariks. One car was there, but only the dogs were home. I wonder which dog drives. Gene left a note.

Visit Mercer County Historic Places:
Big Bend Historic Area. 6 miles NW of Mercer.
New Hamburg Historic area. Up the river from Big Bend.
Both places are in the National Registry of Historic Places, but we couldn't find any of the artifacts listed in the application. Bummer! Maybe if we return when the leaves are off the trees we might see something. Or maybe not.

Dinner with Beverly at the North Country Brewing Company in Slippery Rock. Good food, good beer, questionable wine.


Wednesday June 22

Gene and I were on the road at 8:00AM, before the cleaners arrived. Breakfast at Hudson Lunch in downtown New Castle. Beverly will be heading to Cleveland later for a night at the opera.

Heading south, we stopped by the New Castle Armory and took a photo, but the lighting was bad so I didn't include it here. I wanted a photo of the armory because it's in the National Registry of Historic Places.

The bridge across Slippery Rock Creek at Camp Allegheny
Bridge nameplate: "Pittsburgh Bridge Company; Nelson And Buckman, Agents; 1891"

Slippery Rock Creek gaging station.
On left bank at downstream side of bridge.
Lat:40:53:02 Long:-80:14:02

"Stream Gaging Station; Maintained by United States Geological Survey in cooperation with Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Forests & Waters and United States Army Corps of Engineers"

"U.S.G.S.; 100 Church Hill Road; Pittsburgh, PA15205; (412)490-3800; http://pa.water.usgs.gov"

The reason for my interest in this gage is that we live in the Slippery Creek watershed. Thus, data from this gage gives an indication of the amount rain that has fallen in our area.

West Pittsburg Railroad Station.

The station with 4.5 acres of land have been acquired by the Beaver Valley Junction Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society. They plan to restore the building and turn it into a railway museum.

According to Mitchel Olszak in the New Castle News (6/1/2005), the group is encouraging individuals interested in rail preservation to visit the site, take pictures, and enjoy the trains as they rattle by. They are also looking for help on the project.


The station is directly across the road and railroad tracks from THE big smoke stack in Lawrence County southwest of New Castle.

I've seen that stack for years and never knew what it was. It turns out to be Reliant Energy's New Castle facility, a predominantly coal-fired electricity generating station.

So that means Reliant Energy must really carry the coals to New Castle.

Old Homestead
a.k.a. "Honey Creek Farm" or "Pine Grove Farm".
NW of Enon Valley off PA351 between PA551 and Gilmore Rd, opposite the Little Beaver Cemetery. It's visible from Gilmore Rd.

It's in the National Registry of Historic Places.

The house was built in 1824-1825 by Enoch Marvin, an agent of the Pennsylvania Population Company. Enoch accumulated a total of 590 acres of land and in 1838 laid out on that land what has become todays Enon Valley.

Buttermilk Falls Natural Area, a.k.a. Homewood Falls

The area is 1/4 mile south of the turnpike on PA18. The falls can be accessed by walking a very nice trail along Clark's Run from a parking area just off PA18. Or you can drive up a narrow road to the Homewood United Methodist Church, built in 1869. Park in the church lot and the falls is right there. We opted for the latter procedure.

The falls is very picturesque and well worth the visit.

Lunch at the Back Door Tavern; 128 Beaver St; Fallston, PA . . .
The place was recommended because of the beer selection and the Reuben sandwiches. The beer selection was great, but the Reubens are a Tuesday special and not available on Wednesdays. We had the Penn Weisen (wheat) Beer, which was good. It's a very nice tavern. And an added attraction: the waitress's parents are neighbors of Joe Namath's parents in Brighton.

Beginning Point of the First Public Land Survey

This monument has been designated a National Historic Landmark. It is located on the OH/PA border at the Ohio River, on OH39/PA68. The beginning point of the survey is actually 1112 feet south. It was originally on the north bank of the Ohio River, but is now under water because of a dam built in East Liverpool. The land between the monument and the river is privately owned.

The Land Ordinance of 1785 was adopted May 20, 1785 by the Congress formed by the Articles of Confederation. It established the basis for the Public Land Survey System, which charted the land west of Pennsylvania to make it available for sale. Land was systematically surveyed into six mile square townships, with each township subdivided into thirty six sections of one square mile or 640 acres. The system was followed in forming and dividing most states west of Pennsylvania.

This monument marks the starting point of the first survey on September 30, 1785 by Thomas Hutchins, the first Geographer of the United States.

Old Economy National Historic Landmark

It is in Ambridge Borough, roughly bounded by PA65, 12th St, Economy Beltline RR and 16th St. It contains the remaining buildings of the Harmony Society, a German communitarian sect who settled there in 1825 and built the town. The district includes Old Economy Village, a four acre museum complex containing more than a dozen major Harmonist buildings. The museum is owned and operated by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Historical and Museum Commission. Around three sides of the museum is a grid of seven streets lined with over 90 Harmonist houses and other Harmonist buildings which are privately owned and serve mostly as residences.

Visited Patty Pollock in Economy . . .
We had a tour of her digs, including a basement inspection. It was apparently a dungeon with running water when she bought the house four years ago. Now it's quite a nice, usable, basement. Then a Candle-Lite (Lounge) dinner with Patty at Conway Wallrose Rd and PA989, Patty doing the driving.

US19 Cranberry DQ pit stop on the way home. Expensive, but doing a brisk business. 40¢ more than the Slippery Rock DQ price for an equivalent cone.


Thursday June 23

Breakfast at McDonald's Wilmington Rd, then back tracked for a cappuccino for Larry at Steamers.

We went looking for Zambelli Fireworks on Harbor Rd near Nashua at Lat:41.05293 Long:-80.40740.
There are no signs, but a chain link fence, rental trucks, a guard shack at the entrance and "Zambelli" on the mailbox convinced us that we found the place.

Space Exhibit at Eastwood Mall in Youngstown Niles though July 10, 2005.

I learned about this on a TV spot on a Youngstown station. We went to Youngstown and started looking for the Eastwood Mall. It turned out to be in Niles on US422 just west of SR46. Here. Duhhh!

I was surprised to discover that NASA's space shuttles and rockets are nothing but a bunch of inflatable balloons. :-)

We also visited the Sears hardware at the mall and each bought more much needed tools.

McClelland Homestead
It's located northeast of Bessemer close to the west end of McClelland Rd.
It is in the National Registry of Historic Places.
The house was originally built in the 1840's and enlarged in 1879.

Pyrotechnico (Fireworks) is apparently no longer at 302 Wilson Rd. The field was full of rental trucks and no sign of the small separate buildings. Later, I found them listed at the same location in the December 2004 Sprint phone directory. So maybe they are still there, just have camouflaged their operations a bit. They were more obviously a fireworks company in January of 2002, the last time we went by there.

We checked out the water dispenser at the State Street Shop 'n Save. 29¢ a gallon in your container, 59¢ in theirs. Filtered and UV'd. Probably plain old city water.

Lunch at C's Waffles Family Restaurant amidst the senior set.

NWS New Castle Shenango River gaging station search . . .
NWS Advanced Hydrology Prediction Service (OH River) NCSP1 Lat:41:01:04 Long:-80:21:46.
We checked Sampson St (US422) opposite the 2nd Harbor Rd connector. Then behind Jameson hospital, but the Pennsylvania-American Water Company road was posted to keep out.
We discovered a Jewish cemetery down Maple drive, just north of Jameson Hospital.
We then wandered down Rocky Road and were asked if we needed help. Rocky Road turned out to be private, even though the street sign at the top implies differently.

Muddy Creek USGS gaging station search . . .
Left bank 1000' from dam. Lat:40:57:47 Long:-80:07:31
It turns out the trail from the US422 exit and Muddy Creek doesn't follow the creek as expected. It's also on the wrong side of the creek. Bummer! See it here.

Back in the Sylvania woods, the metal detector indicates the lost wedge is under the tree we cut down. I'll dig it out later. On the way to the downed tree, I stumbled across a suet cage stolen from our bird feeder by a raccoon about a month earlier.

Gene left at approximately 5:00PM with doggy bags in hand.


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