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I’m over at this place again, yesterday, because I wanted to get “out there” and do some shooting with my camera.  I seem to be drawn here to the Grings Mill area many times hoping that I’ll find something different.  Usually most all of it remains the same, except when the Seasons start changing.  Soon the leaves will change color and Fall will be here.  It is one of my favorite times of the year.  Water here is a bit on the high side because of the rain we’ve had before.  It’s usually not this high.

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At the far end of the bridge that cross’s over the Schyukill River is this old Pump House.  The Pump House dates back to the middle 1800’s and was used, at one time, to pump water from the river into the Union Canal that once was here.  It stayed in operation until the Union Canal was no longer needed.  The Pumps that were here have been removed.  They are no longer needed. Now, the old house serves as a storage area for the Park Service.

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It was such a nice beautiful, somewhat cool day, that I could not resist pressing the shutter button once more.

Images taken with my Pentax K10D using a Tamron 17-50mm AF Lens.

GRIST MILLS

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

COAL CHUTE

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Yesterday, I took my Wife up to her old home in Minersville, PA to meet with some of her long time girl friends that she has known since High School.  They were going to have some lunch together at the old Washington House.  So, after I dropped her off, I had a few hours to spend just “snooping around” the area with my Pentax.

Located just outside Minersville on the road to Dunncock is this left over Coal Chute that was once used to load Coal into waiting trucks to be taken where-ever needed when Coal Was King in this area.  Located just behind the shed is a rusty old conveyor that was used to move the coal from one place to another.  You can barely see it because of all the over-growth.  I was not going to climb up there just to get a shot of it.  I’m surprised that the old thing is still standing.  It’s just wasting away into the past.

Like I had stated before, the Coal Region Area is just full of History.  The only problem is knowing where to find what remains.  I’m slowly doing this.

UNION CANAL TUNNEL

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Built in the year 1879, the Union Canal Tunnel, was the first of it’s kind around the Lebanon County area.  Located just outside Lebanon, PA the old Tunnel still stands the test of time from long ago when Canal transportation was a main means of transporting goods from one place to another.

The Canal and Tunnel were all dug & built by Irish immigrants looking for work to support their Family’s.  The Tunnel had to be dug thru Limestone rock and each stone was put in place by hand.  The Tunnel is 647 ft. long and 20 ft. wide.  It took 3 yrs. to build.  The first Canal Barge to pass thru the Tunnel was the Alexia, on November 3, 1882.

Back in those day’s there were no gas powered motor’s to power the Barge thru the water.  All of them had to be pulled along via Horse or Mule attached via long rope to the Barge.  When entering the Tunnel, the horse or mule had to be disconnected from the Barge and then led up a path to the other end where they were connected back again.  The Barge had to be “pushed” thru the Tunnel via long poles that were held against the over-head in the Tunnel.  They also used the sides to help push the Barge thru.

Over time the Railroad was beginning to be a better and faster way to transport goods from one place to another thus creating the down-fall of the Canal system.  The last barge to pass thru was in April of 1903.

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Looking down at the Tunnel from the other end.

Thanks for stopping by.

Les