Had nothing else to do after getting a haircut, so I thought I’d stop by the now empty Fairgrounds Mall just to see what’s there now.

The Fairgrounds Square Mall was built in 1980 by the F&S Construction Co. on the former site of the Reading Fairground Speedway.  The Mall did a real good business for a number of years.  There were over 84 Stores in here.  During the Christmas Season this place was packed with shoppers all getting gifts for the Holiday Season.  During the other months it did well also.  On a Friday & Saturday nite lot’s of the younger generation would tend to “hang out in here” cause there was not much else to do.  Then, as the years passed by, the business started to decline slowly.  Stores started to close and board up their Fronts.  I noticed this when I would go shopping here.  There first to close were the food places, then more & more stores followed along.  I never knew why this place failed, until finding out later on.


Here is a look at one of the Main Entrances to the Mall.  Still very colorful, but there is no one that shops here anymore.  It’s empty of stores, except a few that are still hanging in there hoping business will get better, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.


Empty jewelry stands are void of merchandise to sell.  No shoppers here anymore.


Empty floors & store fronts.


I remember seeing this Pretzel place with lines of people waiting to order.  Not now anymore.


It’s quiet here now.  Nothing except the occasional “Mall Walker” in a big empty area.


A empty display case that once held some pretty jewelry to sell, now waits to be dismantled.

Why did this Mall fail, you might ask?  I found out that the Owner of the Mall complex started to default on taxes and morgage payments.  Then just let the place go down-hill.  Also the younger generation would hang out here and not buy much of anything.  The stores were loosing money slowly.  There were a number of roof repairs that had to be made, because of rain leaking in and leaving a pool of water on the floors.  All that cost money which the Owners were not ready for.  On top of all that, buying products “on-line” helped the problem.  Shoppers could get what they wanted at a better price.  It didn’t help the matter.

This Mall was built over the once famous Reading Speedway Racetrack.  Friday & Saturday nights were a big race time when Sprint cars, Modified cars, and Stock Cars would race the clay & mud track here.  The Reading Fair in September was a big thing also.  It was huge!  I remember going to the Fair in HS and we always had a great time with all the rides.  Now, all that is long gone to History which is a shame.  Time marches on



A few Posts back I had tried to show what is left over from the Boat Docking area in the Union Canal.  This is a Historical plaque showing what once was.

I have been reading that I should keep my Posts short & not too long.  It say’s that most Bloggers don’t care for long winded Posts.  I will try and do so in the future.




The weather today was not too bad, so I decided to take my Nikon P600 out for a stroll and see what was new at the Union Canal.  It was on the cold side, but still not anywhere near freezing like it had been.  Here I tried to capture the “bleakness” of Nature during the Winter months.  Everything is bland with no color at all.


Here is what used to be a Towpath used for the Mules/Horse’s that pulled the Canal boats down the Canal.  Now, it is a walking/bicycle/hikeing Trail.  Of course, the trees were not there at that time.


Here is what remains of the old Canal boat holding area.  Most of it is frozen over.  Long ago, I used to go swimming here, but not anymore.  Guess you can see why.  You can still see the retaining wall of stone on the left.  There are memories here for me that you can’t see.  At that time I had no swimming pool to go to, so we used to jump in here for some fun.  Nothing ever bothered us.  Now, I can only guess what’s in here.


This is something new that has been added.  It was not here before.  It’s still part of a walking trail, but you can only go so far.  Why?  I’m kinda wondering if something was done that made the Historical Commission of Hamburg install this warning.  I can only guess.  I have heard that the “younger generation” has been around this area building fires, drinking, then leaving bottles, trash, and cans for others to pick up.  Not sure on that.  All the time, when I see this, I never venture further for fear of getting caught and getting a nasty fine.




The weather forecasters were telling us that the expected snowfall was only supposed to be a coating to about a inch.  Nope!  Allot more than that!  We got more than 5 inches of the white stuff!  Guess they were a bit off on that one.  Made the area look so peaceful.



“Out There” again, cruising the back country roads with my camera looking for Historic buildings that are all over my area, I came across the old Dreibelbis Grist Mill that was built in 1854.  This Mill once supplied Corn Meal & Flour to the area’s near-by.  It stayed in operation until 1984 until it got to expensive to operate by today’s standards.  The original machinery is still inside.


Behind the 2 story Mill is where the water entered the building to drive the Water Wheel that powered the machinery to make flour & Corn Meal.  If you look at the bottom near the center you see a round opening.  This is where water entered from a Mill Pond.  Now, almost covered over it’s hard to see what it once was.


Located just behind the Mill here is what remains of the Mill Pond that stored water for the Wheel.  You can always tell just where the Pond was because it always leaves a sign in the shape of a round circle or square.  Mill Ponds like this were supplied with a steady water supply from a near-by creek or river.  In this case, the water entered the Pond in the rear.  The Stone in the foreground is where the water entered the Mill.


Hidden by growth of weeds, this is where water entered the Mill.  Known as a Mill Race.  It got it’s name from the water “racing” into the Mill.  Thus the name.  There is no water here anymore.


Back in the early day’s there was no fancy machinery to lift goods in and out of the Mill.  Everything had to be done by hand or use a 2-block hoist.  Located at the top is where a Hoist was installed to do the lifting.  The 2-block Hoist was made of wood & had hemp rope for the pulley’s.  This is the reason for the small roof at the top to keep it covered.


The Old Mill from a different view.  The electric that you see did not exist back then.  All of that was installed later on when a electric generator supplied power to the Mill, thus ending the Water Wheel.

Most all of the Mills around my area are just like this one.  Some are smaller.  Some are bigger.  All of them were powered in the same way with water!  There were quite a few of them.  Some are gone to History.  Other’s remain to this day.