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

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

 

B&W to Color

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I know that I’ve posted a B&W Image before that was taken in Paris France sometime in 1944 just before my Mother & Father were married.  This is a color Image that I made using my Paint Shop Pro X9 Ultimate Program.

I tried to get the color of Army Uniforms as close to the real thing.  I didn’t know the color’s, so had to do some research on them.  This is about right.

Thank You.

OLD HOME

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This old looking Home was noticed while walking the street of Pottsville, PA.  It happens to catch my eye because it sat up so high from the street level.  It looked like no one has been in there for awhile, but I don’t know for sure.  Notice the Iron Stairs that have to be climbed to get to it.  The Iron Stairs also lead to another level of Pottsville.  Also, notice the Black Cat that is sitting right next to the bush in the foreground.  He/she did not like that I was there for some reason.  Should have had my bigger Lens with me.   Maybe lookin’ for a mouse?

The Historic Coal Town of Pottsville is just full of old Homes that probably date back to the day’s when Coal Was King in this area.  Much of the town where people live is back on the secondary streets, and not much on Main Street.  It is also the town where Yeingling Beer is made.  This beer has been made here for over 100 yrs.  I like it, but can’t drink much of it because it always gives me a headache.  The Coal Crackers here drink it like it’s water!  They are used to it.

Thank You