TOWER HOTEL

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Once located on top of Skyline Drive here in Reading, the Tower House was another popular attraction for the Reading area.  Built in1890, it stood just a short distance away from the Summit Hotel.  Here you can see the old Summit Hotel in the distance, with the Railroad that led up to them both.  The Tower Hotel was also destroyed by Arson fire on April 24, 1923.  What is strange about this is the Summit House was destroyed by fire just one day before!  I’m sure that Arsonists set fire to both of them, but why remains a mystery to this day.  They were never caught.

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Built on the old foundation of the Tower Hotel now stands the Mt. Penn Fire Tower that was built in 1932.  The Fire Tower was used as a look-out for mountain fires that surround the area.  The orginial road is still used to this day.

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The Fire Tower as it is today.  The City does not take much care of this structure any longer.  It used to be open to climb the steps to see the City of Reading, but now is closed because of being un-safe.  The lights on it don’t work anymore, and the Dome is falling apart.  The windows are broken and have never been replaced.  It’s used as a radio, cell phone transmitter at this time.

Again, it’s a sorry thing to see that so much History here in my City is going to waste.  As with much of the History here, it also will fall apart.

Thanks for reading.

Les

SUMMIT HOUSE

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The Summit House was once located at the top of Skyline Drive here in Reading, PA.  It was a popular place for people from the City to escape the busy streets of Reading for a week-end or just a few day’s.  The House had rooms, a bar, billard hall, dance hall, and many activities for young and old.  Today, there is not much left of the ole’ place.  On April 23, 1923 it was set on fire by a Arson that was never found.  Image shown was from a Postcard.

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What remains of the Stone steps that led up to the House.  Steps that lead to History.

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Another view of the old steps that still exist today.

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This was once a railroad bed that came right below the Summit House.  People could ride the Train up to the House, and take the steps that I showed above.  The rails & wooden ties have long been torn away.  It’s used as a Walking Trail now.

There is not very much to show of the old place.  The foundation of where it once stood is still there, but in poor condition.  The City of Reading does not take much care of this Historic spot.  It just waste’s away into History.

Thank you for stopping by.

Les

BUNG-HOLE

 Greetings to my NEW readers that I have aquired in the past few day’s.  I appreciate you following what I Post.  Thank you!

Now, on to something else.

In your many conversations with other people you know, have you ever heard the word “Bung-Hole”?  No, it’s not what you might think on the human body!

The word “Bung-Hole” comes from the day’s of Proabition way back in the 1920’s and 1930’s.  Back then beer was made and stored in wooden barrels that were hand made.  It was then used by illegal Rum-runners that would sell them to “speak easy’s” where ever it was needed.

After making a barrel to pour beer into, they had to have a “hole” to get the beer into.  A hole was bored into the barrel and beer was poured into the barrel.  Now, there had to be a plug to keep the beer from spilling out.  The plug was called a “Bung”.  Thus the name and how it came to be.

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How bout’ that!

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

PACKARD AUTO PLANT

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Just recently I have gotten an interest in the Auto Industry that used to be one of the biggest Automotive Factors in the world in Dearborne, Michigan  This is what is left of the Packard Automotive Assembly Plant in Michigan, that used to manufacture luxury cars back in the early years of the 1900s

The PPackardAssembly Plant opened in 1903.  It is a 3,500,000 sq. ft. area that used the latest technology to assemble their cars.  Employing thousands of craftsman, and office workers it became one of the biggest employers in the city.

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This is just one of the many cars that were built there.  It’s the 1950 Packard Deluxe Model.  If you ever saw the movie “Raising Miss Daisy” this is one of the cars that were shown in the movie, but a different color.

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Above is the 1957 Packard Carribian, that also was built there.  In my personel opinion, this car was not bad looking, but back then it was expensive to buy.

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From it’s early day’s, the Packard Plant was slowly going down-hill.  I’m reading the one of the CEO’s bought out the Studerbaker business that used to make the Studerbaker Hawk that never did sell that good.  I’m reading that many mistakes were made during it’s operation, thus contributing to the down fall of the Packard.  Since it was opened for assembly in 1903, and then closed it’s doors in 1958.  This left thousands of workers out of a job, and helping to create Slum areas in Dearborne, Michigan  There were many other factors that helped.  Back then, Detroit, was known as the “Motor City” or “Mo Town” where a number of the Rock & Roll singers came from.  The Ronnetts, and the Supreme’s were just two of them.

I must take time to give credit to Abandoned America for their Images, because I’d never get to see this place for myself.  I would just love to walk around these famous buildings just to experience the History that is here.  I have read in reasearch that these old abandoned building’s harbor some bad things that you don’t want.  Wild dogs, drugs, homeless people, and some of the structers falling apart.  There have been some death’s here in the past.  I’m also reading that the Plant has been sold to some developer that wants to turn it into something, but preserve the past.  Other places like Flint, Michigan was another place were the Auto Industry fell apart.  I am currently reading the book “The End of Detroit” and how it lost it’s grip on the American Car Market.  Most people don’t realize just how close we came to loosing the Auto Industry!

If I have written some wrong information here, please correct me.  Had to Post this on memory.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les

HISTORIC HOMES IN READING, PA

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The City of Reading, PA where I live on the outskirts, is full of Historic Homes that date back to the 1800s.  This is just one of them.

This is the Wilhelm Mansion that was built in 1877 by Charles W. Wilhelm & his Wife, Sarah.  Mr. Wilhelm lived here from 1877-1936.  There is also a Carriage House in the back, that was added in 1890, which I could not get to.  The Mansion is built in the Gothic Style.  It’s located on Center Ave. in the Historic District of Reading.  Is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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This is just part of what is in the Mansion.  Not my Image.

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This is just one of the ornate ceilings in the Mansion.

When I took the Image outside, the Mansion was not open for visitor Tours during the Winter.  I would just love to see this Mansion inside, but not until Spring.

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This is the same place, but I’ve messed with it using Lightroom CC.  Sort of makes it look a bit “spooky”?

Thanks for visiting again.

Les

WILLOW LAKE

Back in the early 60’s, while I was still in High School, I was told about a place named Willow Lake that was up North of here in Schuylkill Haven.  This was about all I knew, so I had forgotten about it until one day last week when the Wife and I got into having a conversation about the Lake.

Eileen was born & raised in Minersville, a small Coal Mining town, that was not too far away.  Since she was in HS about the same time as me, she told me about this place that she & her friends went to a few times.  Willow Lake was a swimming pool where a whole lot of local people & teenagers went to swim, dance, and have a good time.  Every Saturday night a Band named The Jordon Brothers, played here.  Music from the 60’s were their specialty.  Everyone loved them.  The Lake not only had swimming & dancing, but it also had a Stand for Hot Dogs, FF, Hambergers, Soda,  and Candy for everyone.  Since, I was never able to go there, I had no idea about it except for what is told to me.

Now, let’s Fast Forward, to Present Time.

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This is a Image of Willow Lake from the 60’s.  It’s not my Image, because it does not exist any more.  Over the passing years, Willow Lake started to go down-hill for a reason that I don’t know.  Why this very popular place went under is anyone’s guess.  Over time, it just sat there, empty.  No one used it.  So the Owner decided to cover it over with dirt & back fill.  Now, very little remains unless you know where it was.  So, in our conversation, Eileen told me about where it used to be and it got me interested to see this once popular place from the past.

Ok, so I grabbed my camera gear, and went to the place she told me about.  It turned out that it was not as easy to find as I thought it would be.  More than 50 yrs. have passed since the place existed.  I had a heck of a time finding what was left.  I drove up to the location 2 times, but could find nothing!  Frustrated me!  So, I was determined to see this, so I went up for the 3rd time, looking around all over!  Finially, I found it with the help of some local people.

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Ah, yes.  Welcome to what used to be Willow Lake.  My trustee steed sit’s on History from the past.  Like I was told.  There’s not much here anymore.  Just a bunch of trees, grass, and scrub where a Pool used to be.

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What remains of the ole’ Bath House.

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The Door to the Mens Bathroom was open, so I took a look.

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Wash your hands?  The color of the Walls still remain.

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The Girls Bathroom is a mess!

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Here you can still see the black top.  Look at the other Image and you can see what it was used for.

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The outer edges of the Pool are still here.  The Blue color is ice from the cold.

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A closer look.

It has been more than 50 yrs. since this Pool was used.  Now, it has faded into History, like many other places.  While walking around here, I felt a total saddness for this place.  At one time it was full of people enjoying themselves on a warm summer day.  Now, there is nothing but a memory.  What a shame.

 

Thank you.

Les

 

WALKING THRU THE PAST

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Since I do enjoy photographing sites that are up in the Historical Coal Region area, I decided to return to the Primrose/Lytle Colliery that was once here long ago.  When here the last time, I could only go so far for fear of falling into a Mine Shaft that might have been there, but not able to see since the years have passed.  You must be careful on just where you walk, at times.

So, on my return trip here, I wondered if there was another way into this place.  In my slow drive around on the Main road, I happen to notice a small parking area.  I pulled in, stopped the car, got out to take a look around.  I figured the parking lot was there for a reason, and sure enough I was right.  I noticed a path that led into the woods close by the Coal fields that I wanted to explore.  Again, I looked for “Private Property or Keep Out” signs, but found none that I could see.  The above Image shows what I have to walk thru, at times, to get to a site that I want.  It’s wet, dirty, full of Coal dirt, and trees that have fallen down.  It can get messy!  I have learned to wear boots that are made for this sort of thing.

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This is looking back behind what I walked thru.  The parking lot is up on the left of this Image.

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One big pile of Coal Dirt that has been eroded by weather.  Has probably been here for years.

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This is the old Weigh Station that was used to weigh Coal Trucks as they left the yard.

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A barren waste land of nothing but coal dirt/scrap.  It was cold here, and quite windy.  Tried to shoot a video with the camera, but it didn’t turn out very well.  Too much noise from the wind.  I deleted it.

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As I had stated before, area’s like this are used often for 4-wheelin’.

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Looking back to where I had been before.  Notice the cement wall that once was part of the Colliery.

So, that’s it.  I took some other Images, but I think I’ve posted enough.  This will be my final walk thru here.  I’ve seen pretty much of it.  I know what was here, but not the full story.  Only “Ghosts from the Past” will know.

Thank You.

Les