OLE #113

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This above Image is of the ole Steam Engine #113.  Located in the Coal Mining Town of Minersville, PA she was once used to haul Coal & passengers from towns above and below Minersville.  I don’t think that the old steam train is used anymore.  Placed here as a static display.

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Don’t know which view looks better.

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Here is the old Minersville Train Station that is no longer used.  Built in or around 1897 this Station once was a much used Station for passengers long ago.  The train tracks in front of the Station are still used to this day, but no trains stop here.  There are doors located on the building just to to left of the Station, but they were locked.  I wanted to get inside and shoot the old waiting room, but could not do that.  Was disappointed on that.  My Loving Wife, who was born & raised here in Minersville tells me that the Station was still in used while she lived here.  Minersville is another Coal Town that is full of History.

Thank you.

THE BIG BOYS!

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While up in the Coal Region area yesterday, I came across these HUGE earth/coal hauling trucks.  They are known as “Yukes” in this area.  They are massive!  Notice the driver at the lower left compared to the truck.

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A better look at this truck.  What they were doing here was reclaiming the Land that once was a “Strip Mine” years ago.  A “Stripie” as they are called is a big hole in the ground used to mine Coal from the near surface.  When all the Coal was taken out, it was left as it was.  A big huge scar in the earth!  Now, slowly, the Land is being filled in to help Mother Nature grow, that was once a waste land.

There are a number of “Stripie Mines” that are still left over from long ago.  A good portion of them are full of water and can be more than 200 ft. deep!  The machinery that was used is left at the bottom of the Mine.  It’s not really a good idea to go swimming in these “Stripie Mines”.  You have no idea what your going to encounter!  The water is darn cold because it’s usually spring/or rain water that has filled the hole over the years.  There have been people that drowned in these open holes.  Sometimes the temptation is just too great on a hot summer day to take a swim.  By doing this, you just may loose your Life!

 

Thank you.

OLD MILK SHED

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Located right alongside the Union Canal, this old Milk Shed has been here for a long time.

Back in the very early day’s of the Union Canal there used to be a working Farm here.  This was the way that produce, and milk were kept cold with a natural Spring that once ran thru the Shed.  There were no refrigerators then, no ice, and no air conditioning anywhere to be found.  If you open the door, there is nothing there except storage for the Park Service.  One or two old milk cans are all that is left.  The old Barn is just off to the right of my Image.  Now used by the Park Service for bathrooms, and a small soda fountain that never seems to be open.

Thank you.

EMPTY

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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.

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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.

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

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Empty floors & store fronts.

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

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

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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

MUD AUCTION

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On Saturday, I had been told that there was a Auction going on not far from my home, so I decided to go take a “look see” at just what was there.  After finding a parking place, which was tough to do, I started walking around just to see and hear what a Auction is all about.  Above is one of the Auctioneers pointing to baby lambs to be auctioned off.  These people have their own language in selling off what is for sale.  They talk so fast that I just can’t understand them, except for knowing a few words they’ve said.  Guess you must be around them alot more often to take in what is said so fast.  The cute little lambs were selling at $30.00 for one animal.  That was the last bid I heard.

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There are quite a number of Amish people that live in my area, so it seem’d that alot of them were here to see what could be bought.  Here are just some of the Horse & Buggy’s that they travel in.  Some have their Horse’s covered to keep them warm with a blue blanket.

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Some of the Buggy’s even have padded seats!

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2 day’s before this Auction, it had rained pretty hard for awhile.  This plus the snow melt from milder temperatures, made everything a muddy mess!  I shot this Image to show you just how over-cast it was.  The weather was not good, again!  It was cold & windy.  Notice the long lines of cars parked on the side of the road to the right and in the back ground.  Way in the back is where I had to park my car & walk in the slop for about a 1/4 mile.  I should have worn Mud boots for this!