Huntingdon July 9 - 12, 2005

Saturday July 9

Larry left Harlansburg exactly 10:00AM on a sunny Saturday morning, 235.2 on odometer. Got to the end of driveway and stopped to check out rattle under car, decided to ignore it. Realized gas was low, so stopped at Books, reset trip odometer to 0. Left Harlansburg 10:21. Pit stop at Prospect FNB for cash infusion. Now 10:38. Big Butler Fair in session. Lots of people. Listened to the Roadhouse Podcast on the way-got through two downloads. Went via Altoona and Skelp. Arrived at Smiths at exactly 1:00, 150.7 miles on odometer, 159 minutes from Books = 56.9mph.

Observed new traffic patterns at Fairgrounds Road and PA26. Lunch at Kelly's Korner. Drove up and checked out Walmart construction. One cinder block wall is going up. Checked out a couple of new houses down the road, one a Bed and Breakfast. Back to Gene's for Larry's camera and water.

Headed south for a tour of some of the Bedford County registered historical places, but got sidetracked at Shy Beaver Eats 'N Treats for ice cream.

Arrived in Bedford County at the . . .

Juniata Woolen Mill and Newry Manor

The mill is on SR2019 just north of Lutzville, on the Raystown Branch of the Juniata.

The three sides visible from the road look very good. The side of building toward the river is completely gone, lost in a 1936 flood. It's quite a surprise when you walk around the edge of the building.

Built in 1805, it was reputedly the first mill of its type west of the Susquehanna River. Newry Manor across the road is also considered part of the site. Both the Juniata Woolen Mill and Newry Manor are in the National Register of Historic Places.

Old Bedford Village and Claycomb Covered Bridge.

The village is 2 miles north of Bedford, PA on Business US220.

The bridge was built in 1844 in Reynoldsdale and in 1975 was dismantled and moved to its present location. Many of the houses and shops in the village are authentic, moved here from locations around Bedford County. Others are reproductions.

None of the buildings or the bridge are in the National Register, I assume because they were moved from their original locations.

We arrived at 4:50 for a 5:00 closing time, our usual modus operandi.

We hopped on the turnpike and took it to Breezewood . . . it turned out to be a free trip due to construction on Rt 30.

We stopped at Juniata Crossings and admired the building there. Then went east on US30 and got directions at a restaurant on how to get to the Felton mill and bridge. We were warned that Felton was a "different" individual.

Feltons Mill and Covered Bridge.

The mill and bridge are southeast of Breezewood just off SR2029 on Brush Creek. They are on private property owned by Paul Felton, a rather colorful individual and a one-man counter culture.

The mill was built in 1853, two years before Gene's grand-father was born. It was operated by water from a dam that was below Paul's house. Paul says the mill is in working order except for the bearings and the wheel, which is half gone. And of course the water supply dam is missing, another minor detail.

The bridge, but not the mill, is in the National Register of Historic Places.

Jackson's Mill Covered Bridge

Also known as Bedford County Bridge #16, it is across Brush Creek, upstream from the Felton Bridge.

The bridge is named for M.J. Jackson who bought the adjacent mills in 1867. Adam Karns Bottenfield and Jacob Pee, brothers-in-law, built the bridge in 1875 for $1284.

During the storm that caused the Johnstown Flood of May 31, 1889, the bridge was washed about 200 yards downstream. John G. Rohm, Jr. and William B. Karns reset the bridge at its present location at a cost of $675. The kingpost truss approach spans were constructed at that time.

The mill was built in 1839, according to the sign above its door.
The bridge, but not the mill, is in the National Register of Historic Places.

After trying two closed restaurants, we ended up back in Huntingdon at Grubbs Diner, where we had an ughly dinner. Larry was not thrilled with the turkey salad plate swimming in mayo. We won't go back there for awhile.


Sunday July 10

We installed a SimpleDrive 120GB 7200RPM USB External Hard Drive on Gene's computer. Well, that means we plugged it into the USB port, loaded the driver and turned it on. We started transferring Gene's "xxx" directory, which turned out to have 3 some gigabytes of stuff in it. Windows told us it would take an hour. Lets see, is that right? USB 1.1 is limited to 11 megabits per second and that's a little over 1 megabyte per second. Since there are 3600 seconds in an hour, that means 3 gigabytes takes almost an hour.

So we exited stage left and went to the Lighthouse for breakfast. And a good breakfast it was, with Windows transferring away all the while.

Then, ignoring the disk, we went off to visit Huntingdon County historic places . . .

Christian Oyer Jr. House.

It is located close to Saulsburg at 258A T513 (Franks Road) off PA1015 off PA26. The date of construction is unknown, but it was prior to 1844 when Oyer lost the farm in a suit brought by a Dr. Benjamin McMurtrie. The house is in the National Register of Historic Places.

Greenwood Lake Dam.

The dam was built between 1933 and 1935 by the men of CCC Camp S-59.
It is in the National Register of Historic Places.

We took a side trip over to the Greenwood Furnace and ran into Tim and Yolanda touring the area on a Malaguto scooter.

Then back roads over to Alan Seeger Natural Area so we could walk the nature trail there. And ran into Tim and Yolanda again. After chatting with them for several minutes, they settled down by Standing Stone Creek and we took a hike. The nature trail is a half mile long and really spectacular. The rhododendron were still blooming. You can read a little about the trail here. I think the trail is worthy of a repeat performance. Maybe sometime when those pesky flies aren't buzzing around.

Whipple Dam State Park, Day Use District.

The park was developed between 1933 and 1941 by the men of CCC Camp S-60.
It is in the National Register of Historic Places.

Indian Steps Trail
Southern Trail Head
On Harrys Valley Road 1.8 miles from PA26.
Northern Trail Head
On Kepler Road 3.8 miles from PA26.

On the north side of Kepler Road we saw a couple of deer enclosure fences "Protecting your new forests". There were also many tree blow-downs on both sides of Tussey. And beautiful ferns . . . we need to go back with a fern guide sometime.

We went down Pennsylvania Furnace Road for the first time. It's a nice road within Rothrock State Forest, but when we got out of the Forest it got rather bad. There were lots of rocks and swales in the road. Gene was really concerned he might rip off the oil pan. But we made it off the mountain OK, due to some expert rock crawling. And across PA45 to . . .

Pennsylvania Furnace Mansion

The mansion is located in Pennsylvania Furnace, on the south side of Marengo Road (PA4031) 0.1 mile from PA45. It was built in 1834 and is the largest of Huntingdon County's ironmaster's houses and one of the best preserved. The mansion is in the National Register of Historic Places.

Spruce Creek Rod and Gun Club.

It's on Clubhouse Lane, off PA45 between Graysville and Seven Stars. It includes a significant collection of four buildings reflecting the recreational pursuits of prominent Altoona businessmen. The club was established in 1904. They purchased the land in 1905 and built the clubhouse in 1906.
The club is in the National Register of Historic Places.

Hugh D. and Martha S. Seeds Farm

Also known as Eden Hill Farm, it is on Johnson Hill Rd (PA4021) 1 mile east of the village of Pemberton. The house was built circa 1830 and the Pennsylvania bank barn was built circa 1880.
The farm is in the National Register of Historic Places.

We observed some of the railroad bridges in Spruce Creek, but decided we need to come back in the winter to photograph them. We also did a fly-by of the Spring Ridge Club, but found no obvious access for Conrail tunnel pictures from their property. However, their web site does show they have a road out by the tunnel, so we may try to again in the fall or winter.

A local fisherman told us that Donny Beaver and the Spring Ridge Club lost the lawsuit with the state about access to the Little Juniata River. The club was limiting access and the state contended it is a navigable waterway, thus open to the public for fishing, boating, and other recreation. The suit was filed by filed by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC).

Pennsylvania Railroad - Bridge over Shavers Creek

The bridge is in the south end of Petersburg, near the confluence of Shavers Creek and the Juniata River. It was constructed in 1889, with major repairs in 1967.
The bridge is in the National Register of Historic Places.

Warrior Ridge Dam and Hydroelectric Plant

Also known as American Hydro Power Company, it is located two miles south of Petersburg at the end of Warrior Ridge Road.

The dam and power plant were constructed between 1905 and 1907. The Agnes Flood of 1972 destroyed its turbines and other equipment. A major portion of the power plant was demolished in 1978. Since 1985, five new generators and a new transformer have been installed.

The dam, power plant and operators village are in the National Register of Historic Places.

Returning to the Schmidt house, we found it rather warm. Gene decided he wanted to do something about the heat, so we made a quick trip to Altoona, going via Dale Miller's cornfield. We had dinner at El Campesino Authentic Mexican Cuisine. Then to Walmart, where Gene purchases a 20" Weather-Shield Performance Box Fan. Returning home, we stuck the fan in computer room window, and it created a good draft throughout the upstairs.


Monday July 11

We stopped by Bric-a-Brac about 8:05 and found it still closed, opening at 8:30. So we made a trip to the first historic site, a place Gene has been to many times . . .

Lloyd & Henry Warehouse.

Also known as Laneys Feed Mill, it is located on S 8th St in Huntingdon.

The warehouse was built in 1863 between the Pennsylvania Canal and the Pennsylvania Railroad. It was used to transfer freight between the canal and railroad. In 1899, it was moved 450 feet to its present location when the Pennsylvania Railroad decided to fill the canal and put the railroad mainline right-of-way on it in the Borough of Huntingdon.

The mill building was constructed in 1879. It was originally 4 stories, but reduced to two after a devastating 1935 fire.

The buildings are in the National Register of Historic Places.

Returning to Bric-a-Brac at 8:30, we had a great breakfast, followed by an excellent cappuccino by Skip. And off to more Huntingdon County historic places . . .

Huntingdon Armory

The administrative section dates from 1930 and the drill hall from 1937.

The armory is in the National Register of Historic Places.

Pennsylvania Canal Guard Lock and Feeder Canal

Guard Lock

Feeder Canal

The ruins of the original Raystown Dam, the Raystown Guard Lock and feeder canal remain at this location on the Juniata River just below the confluence with the Raystown Branch, two miles east of the Borough of Huntingdon.

The dam was built across the Juniata, using the island as part of it. The guard lock and feeder canal run parallel to the Juniata River. The guard lock was constructed in 1831. It is 90 feet long, eight feet high, and 15 feet wide. The feeder canal extends 0.9 miles from the end of the lock to the canal proper.

The purpose of the dam and feeder was to maintain the proper level of water in the Pennsylvania Canal, replacing water lost due to leaks and evaporation. It also permitted boats built on Standing Stone Creek to enter the canal.

H.O. Andrews Mill

Also known as Mapleton Farm and Garden, it is located north off the west end of Main Street in Mapleton.

The original mill dates to 1914, with several additions throughout the years. Mapleton Farm and Garden currently conducts business in the buildings, which retain their original character and use. Much of the original milling equipment remains in use although some has been removed.

The mill is in the National Register of Historic Places.

We didn't drive to the end of Hill St and/or east on Main St because a local told us there's no short way to Mount Union from Mapleton and Smitty actually believed him.

Harbison-Walker Refractories Company

It is located at the west end of Shirley Street in Mount Union. Original construction of the plant was in 1898-1899. Production started in 1899. It was the first works in the United States constructed exclusively for the manufacture of refractory brick. By 1910, the plant employed more than 600 men and could produce 150,000 bricks per day. The plant continued operation until 1985.

The plant is in the National Register of Historic Places even though there's not much left to it.

We drove through, but didn't photograph the Mount Union Historic District. We stopped and visited with the barber who has a local historical center in his shop.

Gene headed for the Smalley Homestead, but Larry stopped him after he turned on to PA103 from US522. Larry wanted to try the scenic route. So we went back to Mount Union and searched for the Mount Union - Kistler Bridge. We finally found it and crossed the Juniata into Kistler and up the road to Newton Hamilton. But had a wait for construction. Actually it was just a telco guy in a bucket and two flaggers. So into Newton Hamilton, across the bridge and back PA103 to . . .

Lewis Smalley Homestead.

It is located on PA103 2mi E of Allenport (US522), at the confluence of Aughwick Creek and the Juniata River. Lewis Smalley purchased the land in 1797 and built the house. It is one of the oldest houses in Huntingdon County and is in the National Register of Historic Places.

We then visited the Atherton Flag Company on US522 north of Shirleysburg. They sell flags and do repairs to larger flags. Larry bought a couple of flags, then left them in Gene's car.

Back to Mount Union and a Sheetz MTO lunch to go. Couldn't find a shady spot anywhere in Mount Union, so we headed south until Gene spotted a farmers road up through a woods. Some horse flies came to visit as soon as we opened the windows. One was really an angry critter. After we evicted them, it was a rather enjoyable spot for lunch, even though we were criminally trespassing.

After lunch, we took back roads over to Aughwick Creek, where we found a USGS gaging station and . . .

Runk Bridge

Also known as Huntingdon County Bridge #9, it is located 1 mile south of Shirleysburg and 0.25 mile west of US522. It carries Twp373 over the Aughwick Creek. It was constructed in 1899 by the Pittsburgh Bridge Company and is 267.5 feet long with a 13 foot wide yellow pine deck.

A local said that after Ivan in Sept 2004, Aughwick Creek was up over the bridge's deck. The day these pictures were taken, the stream flow was 62 cubic feet per second, with a gage height of 3.09 feet. On September 18, 2004 (the day after Ivan) it was 21,400 cuft/sec with a gage height of 18.5 feet. And on January 19, 1996, it hit 44,400 cuft/sec with a gage height of 19.46 feet.

The bridge is in the National Register of Historic Places.

Leas House-Fort Shirley

The house is on the west side US522 at the very north edge of Shirleysburg. It was built in 1850 by Benjamin B. Leas, an early merchant and tanner. In 1852, he sold the house to the Shirleysburg Female Seminary and it was used as a school for women until about 1866. Since then, it has mainly been a private residence for various individuals, but twice was utilized as an "Old Folks Home".

The 1755 Fort Shirley was near this site, but the its exact location is unknown. In 1843, Benjamin Leas bought the fort tract and built this house.

The Leas house is in the National Register of Historic Places.

We returned through Germany Valley, paying our respects to the Bard family in the Germany Valley Cemetery.

We decided to not complete the Thousand Step hike.

Took a side trip up a road off US22. We saw the Blue Moon Pet Retreat and Gene stopped to see if they board dogs. They do, and it turns one of their clients is looking for a good home for a lovable mixed breed, part golden retriever. Gene left his address and phone number, so he may soon have another dog.

Looked for stained glass Leah at her new location. It turns out to be: Woodland Gardens & Design "Natures Outdoor Experience" 814-644-6688. They are in Mill Creek on Main Street just east of PA829. We talked to Bobby Dell her husband.

Back to the Schmidt house for a rest call and relaxation before din-din.

Millers Family Diner dinner, "Finest in Homestyle Cooking".

Stopped by Spriggles on the way back and visited for a couple of hours.


Tuesday July 12

Said hello to Dot and Red Pollock. Delivered mail and newspaper to Gene's neighbor Irene.

McDonalds breakfast and a Bric-A-Brac so-so cappuccino by Billi.

Keystone Foundry Museum.

At Hopewell.
Open Saturday and Sunday 1:00 - 4:00.

Since it was Tuesday, we conducted our tour as you see to the left.

Returned via Martinsburg and Ritchey's Dairy, picking up 3 bricks of dry ice and a Styrofoam cooler and aluminum foil at the Dollar General. Time out for Subway twofer subs. Threw dry ice in a plastic jug 1/3 full of water and put on the cap. Three times nothing happened. Got more aggressive with the ice on the fourth and WHAMO, what Gene's neighbor, Dale Boeshore, describes as a righteous explosion!

Left Gene's at 2:30 with the temperature at 93 degrees. 89 degrees at top of hill on US22 coming out of Huntingdon. I watched for the car planter on US22. I didn't see it, but I think it was right at 305 and there's a shed dealer there now. Went though the village of Skelp and arrived at the Altoona Plank Road exit in 40 minutes (34 miles). Temperature was 91 degrees in Altoona, 83 degrees at the Gallitzin exit. Road construction delays in downtown Ebensburg and 3 miles west of Revloc. Too hot to check out castle in Strongstown. 5:20 arrival at home with 301 miles on odometer. So 150.3 miles traveling west, 170 minutes = 53 mph.


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