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Broad Ford Overholt Distillery and the Ghost of Jacob Overholt

    It seems that almost every building over 100 years old has a ghost story to go with it — particularly the abandoned ones. The Broad Ford Overholt Distillery near Connellsville is no different. In fact, its overgrown property and the ruins of the buildings makes it look like an extremely likely candidate for …

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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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Finding Fairyland Forest at Conneaut Lake Park

There is something about storybook parks that has always fascinated me. Maybe it has something to do with Storyland in Schellsburg being my first love along the Lincoln Highway, or maybe because they have all but disappeared. Regardless, when I found out about Conneaut Lake Park’s Fairyland Forest I was intrigued.  I saw some old …

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From Killarney Park to Mill Run’s Camp Christian

If you know me and you know my blog you know that I love discovering the hidden history of locations that we know and love. Especially if those histories are hiding right under our noses. This is the case of Killarney Park which eventually became Camp Christian, a Christian summer camp.  I’ve been familiar with …

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Ohiopyle, the Ferncliff Peninsula, and the Ferncliff Hotel

Recently, I was lucky enough to have a day off of work so I decided to take an adventure over to nearby Fayette County. While I usually focus on the variety of attractions available in Westmoreland and Allegheny Counties, Fayette County also has a huge variety of attractions, many of which highlight the area’s natural …

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Pittsburgh’s First Roller Coaster at the Point

Where do you think Pittsburgh’s first roller coaster was located? Kennywood Park? West View Park? Maybe even Luna Park? Would you be surprised if I told you it was located at the Point? When most people think of Pittsburgh’s Point at the turn of the century, they think not of an area where people would …

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The Pittsburgh Playhouse and the former Tree of Life Synagogue

I recently read in the paper that Point Park University, who is the owner of the Pittsburgh Playhouse, is planning to demolish the former Pittsburgh Playhouse complex and old Tree of Life Synagogue. Of course, when I heard that I knew that I had to make a trip out to Oakland to snap a few …

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The Hidden Hoist in Greensburg’s McColly Building

The railroad was part of Greensburg’s lifeblood for a long time. After all, goods had to be moved by wagon so most of the businesses had to be local. This is why it can be so interesting to discover the original uses for buildings such as the McColly building on Pennsylvania Avenue here in Greensburg. …

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Rainbow Gardens: A Look Back at the White Oak Former Amusement Park

I’ve previously written about White Swan Park in Coraopolis, but for those on the eastern side of the city, Rainbow Gardens was the place to go. The Start of White Oak’s Rainbow Gardens Located in White Oak at the intersection of Lincoln Way and Route 48, Rainbow Gardens got its start as a roller rink …

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Ligonier Beach: Ligonier’s Classic Swimming Pool

Fifty years ago, large, public swimming pools were common. They could often be found paired with amusement parks and even drive-ins. Over the years, these pools began closing, each one disappearing into memories. Ligonier Beach, which was a local staple, managed to survive for 93 years before closing forever last year. It always seems that …

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Precarious Ruins: The Belvedere Hotel in Apollo, PA

My paternal grandmother grew up in Apollo, PA, so every so often my dad would take us up there to visit relatives. One of the curiosities I always wanted to catch a glimpse of was the former Belvedere Hotel.  If you’ve ever been to Apollo you will know exactly which building I am talking about. …

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The Final Ride: Nine Closed Pittsburgh-Area Amusement Parks

There is something about amusement parks that bring out a sense of nostalgia. This is especially true for amusement parks that are no longer around. If you can believe it, at one time there were more than two dozen Pittsburgh amusement parks, many of them being trolley parks.  Trolley parks were an attempt by the …

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