In relation to my last Post about the J.W. Cooper building I noticed some other strange things while walking around Shenandoah, PA.  I noticed a lot more empty homes.  More than usual, I would venture to say.  Like I have stated before, the Coal Mining town of Shenandoah is very Historic in the day’s when Coal was King.  I have been up to this town on 3 or 4 different occasions, but never really noticed what I did now.


It seemed to me that there were many homes that were falling apart from sitting around with no one there.  This is just one of the 3 that I saw.  Years ago, I don’t think that Shenandoah was ever like this.  Yes, there might have been some homes being neglected, but not this many in my opinion.  I think that I may know why, but not sure.


Over the passing years, the town started getting “other” people moving in.  Most of them were from New York or New Jersey, but not sure.  The long time residents of Shenandoah, started moving out and buying another home someplace else.  Most long time people stayed here, because it’s their Home for many years.  I was told that drugs & crime were on the rise here and that just made things worse than what they already were.  People didn’t like that at all!  The people of the Coal Region were always a hard working, beer loving’ people and would give you the shirt of their back to help you out.  I’m not so sure that this is still true up here.  There have been many changes.


Here is just one example of what I mean.  I had stopped in a local eating place to ask some questions.  Usually the people are very friendly.  However, this time I had a “feeling” that I was not welcome.  The 4 Patrons in the eatery looked at me as to say, “Who are you?”  “Your not from around here!”  “What are you doing with all that fancy camera stuff?”  This is what I felt.  Maybe I was just letting my mind run to far, but locals up there know “who is who”  They know just about everyone in or around the town.  It’s just the way it is up there.  So, when a stranger appears, the people know it.  Now, I’m hoping that the friendly part of Shenandoah will never stop.




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This Post about the J. W. Cooper Building located in Shenandoah, PA was 1st done by one of the Bloggers that I follow.  He is “Infraredrobert”.  Check out his page.  He shoots some great Images in HDR and Infrared.


Anyway, when I saw and read his Post about this old building in Shenandoah, I thought that I’d go up there and see it for myself.  Since I don’t live all that far away from here, it’s not much of a problem to go here.  Just takes me about a hour to drive up to this Historic Town.  When arriving in Shenandoah, I parked the car up on the North end of town, close to the Miners Tribute Wall.  Not really knowing just where this place was, I thought that I’d start walking down the street and look around.  If I didn’t see it, I would stop and ask someone who is familiar with the town.

I walked down the left side of the Main Street and passed a few men sitting outside a Engine Co.  Thought that I’d stop and ask them.  They should know more than what I did.  I said “Excuse Me.  Any of you Gentlemen know where the J. D. Cooper Building is?”  “Yes, they replied.”  It’s just down the next street about a block away!”  I thanked them and I went on the way carrying my camera gear, which they might have thought strange.  “What’s he doing here?”  They must have thought that.

The J. W. Cooper building was built in 1918 and then served as a Hospital in the Flu epidemic of 1918.  In May of 1919 it was named the J.W. Cooper High School and stayed in use till 1986.  It stood vacant for many years until a private person bought the property and is now refurbishing it with private donations, I was told.

Turning the corner, I saw the building right away.  It sticks out like a sore thumb.  You can’t miss it.  I went up and down the sidewalks taking a look and then wanted to go inside and see what’s there.  I went up to the White doors, and knocked to see if anyone would answer it.  Nothing.  Knocked again.  Still nothing.  With that I walked away to the rear of the building.

One thing I noticed while here, is that if you look close at the White door entrance, you will see “Girls” above the door.  The other White door has “Boys” above it.  Why was this?  They had separate entrance’s for Boys & Girls?  Never heard of that before.  It’s different.

I “snooped around” a bit, then noticing that the weather was not getting better, I thought I’d head back to the car.  Dark skies were brewing up some rain, I thought, but it never did.  Just got dark.


Thanks for reading & stopping by.