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White Mountain: The PA Ski Area You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

When it comes to skiing in the Laurel Highlands, most people think of the big three ski resorts: Laurel Mountain, Hidden Valley, and Seven Springs. What many people don’t realize is that in addition to those three current resorts is that there were several other popular resorts at the time, including White Mountain Ski Area.  …

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Allegheny Arsenal: The Day Pittsburgh Exploded

Tucked behind a playground and a ball field in the shadow of Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood lies a 200-year-old building which stood witness to the largest civilian disaster of the Civil War. While most of the Allegheny Arsenal is now gone, the powder magazine is still standing as a reminder of this nearly-forgotten …

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The Loyalhanna Gorge Stone Tipple and the Ligonier Valley Railroad

If you frequent Route 30 between Ligonier and Latrobe, you are probably familiar with the old stone quarry tipple which was serviced by the Ligonier Valley Railroad.  The stone tipple was part of a quarry which sat on the north wall of the Loyalhanna Gorge. It was used to load hopper cars full of gravel …

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Cascade Park’s Legacy of the Roller Coaster in the Woods

Cascade Park in New Castle is probably one of my favorite defunct Western Pennsylvania amusement parks. Maybe its because of its fantastic history as an amusement park, but what I think is even more fascinating about the former park is how much of the old park remains — you just need to know where to …

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The Ruins of the McGinnis Rod and Gun Club at Linn Run

Linn Run State Park is absolutely one of Westmoreland County’s best places for hiking and spending time outdoors in nature. Whether you are at the park to see Adams Falls, Flat Rock swimming area, or just to have a picnic, there is one thing most visitors are familiar with — the remains of the McGinnis …

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Abandoned Storyland Park in Schellsburg Pennsylvania

Note: Storyland is located on posted, private property and trespassing is strictly forbidden. Enjoy the trumpeter and statues that can be seen from the road from exactly that — the road. I’ve visited a lot of amusement parks over the years. While I love the historic value and unique rides that can be found at …

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Idlewild’s Former Mister Rogers Neighborhood of Make Believe Ride

Tucked away in a heavily wooded section of Idlewild is a life-size tribute to the late Fred Rogers in ride form. I’m talking about Mister Rogers Neighborhood of Make Believe. During my freshman year of college in 2003, Mr. Rogers passed away from stomach cancer. I felt a special connection to Mr. Rogers, who was …

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The Fall of Aliquippa Park and Rise of the Aliquippa Works

It might surprise you that in the late 1800s and early 1900s, amusement parks were much more common in Western Pennsylvania than they are today. In fact, dozens of parks were operating all around the Pittsburgh area including Woodlawn’s Aliquippa Park located in Beaver County. I’ve written in the past about how I was shocked …

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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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Old Overholt Whisky and the Broad Ford Distillery Near Connellsville

Did you know that the Old Overholt brand of whiskey is America’s oldest continually maintained brand of whiskey and it has it’s roots right here in Western Pennsylvania?    Recently, Ryan and I took a trip out to Scottdale’s historic West Overton Village which is the birthplace of Henry Clay Frick. It was also the …

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