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Mount Moriah Cemetery: Philadelphia’s Abandoned Cemetery

Located just outside of Philadelphia, the abandoned Mount Moriah Cemetery is little-by-little being reclaimed by nature. In fact, at first glance, you might think it the set of some sort of movie instead of the final resting place of thousands of Philadelphians.  What is unique about this cemetery is not just its storied history as …

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Ivyside Park: How An Amusement Park Became a University

I’ll let you in on a little secret. When I was in college I was one of the students who would give campus tours to prospective students. One of my favorite stories to tell the families was the story of how a one-time amusement park, Ivyside Park, eventually became the branch campus of Penn State …

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The Abandoned Broad Ford Overholt Distillery

To read more about the history of Old Overholt Whiskey and the Broad Ford Distillery, check out part one of my post.   By the 1970s, the Broad Ford site had descended into ruin. Although the massive grain silos, warehouse, water tower, boiler house, and warehouse remained their neglect and exposure to the elements made …

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Gettysburg’s Shriver House Museum Tells the Civilian Experience

We’ve all read about the horrors of the Civil War but it is often easy to forget the toll these battles took on the local citizens. Once the troops moved on, it didn’t mean that it was over for the townspeople. Instead, the armies left their injured and dead men and horses behind, along with …

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Morris Arboretum: North America’s Last Victorian Fernery

When you think of Philadelphia, Victorian gardens might not be the first thing that comes to mind. It might surprise you then that there are quite a few gardens right outside of the city. One of these is Morris Arboretum, started by John and Lydia Morris, a wealthy brother and sister. Although it was started …

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Aspinwall’s Short-Lived Ross Grove Park

While I was working on my new book, Lost Amusement Parks of Western Pennsylvania I ran across a curious little park located in the Aspinwall section of Pittsburgh. The problem is that some of these parks were so small and lasted for such a short amount of time that they have been almost completely lost …

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Exploring West Overton Village The Birthplace Of Henry Clay Frick

It’s no secret there are many hidden historical gems right here in Westmoreland County. One of these gems is West Overton Village, located just outside of Scottsdale in Westmoreland County.  West Overton was founded by Henry Overholt in the early 1800s but it was his son Abraham Overholt that took the Overholt farm from a …

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The Best Historic Amusement Parks in Western Pennsylvania

The summer is winding down and so is our summer of the “Western Pennsylvania Amusement Park.” We’ve visited some perennial favorites such as Kennywood Park as well as some smaller gems such as Conneaut Lake Park.   So after visiting all of these historic amusement parks, which was the best you ask? After a summer of …

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Six Things to Ride at Lake Erie’s Waldameer Park

  Located along the banks of Pennsylvania’s Lake Erie is one of only thirteen trolley parks left in the United States. Meaning “woods by the sea” in German, Waldameer Park is the fourth oldest park in Pennsylvania and the tenth oldest park in the nation.    When you head to any amusement park, one of …

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DelGrosso’s Interactive Lazy River With a View

Nothing says summer relaxation like some quality time floating in a lazy river. While there are places in the area where you can actually float on the river, if the man made variety is more your speed, then this 1,200-foot lazy river at DelGrosso’s Amusement Park & Laguna Splash is something that you have to …

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Horseshoe Curve: Western Pennsylvania’s Engineering Marvel

If you have ever been to Altoona, Pennsylvania you have probably figured out that the town has a rich history with railroading. This history is evident not only by noticing the current rail industry in the town, but also the many references that can be found regarding railroaders, railroading, and of course, the famous Horseshoe …

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Conneaut Lake Park’s Blue Streak Pittsburgh Connection

When it comes to the lost amusement parks of Western Pennsylvania, one of the ones that stands out in the minds of many longtime residents of Pittsburgh is West View Park. While I never had the chance to experience West View, as it closed in 1977 (six years before I was born), I had the …

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