The Lost Iron Furnace

Pouring gone more the historic maps that clutter my desk, I noticed a handwritten mention to a manmade monolithic structure that is supposed to lie 10 miles into what is considered to be one of the most unfriendly areas of Pennsylvania. A place devoid of blacktop and where bear, elk and rattlesnakes abound. It’s bearing in mind to imagine civilization moving an place that few would think to venture into today; an place of steep mountains and even steeper ravines where one misstep would strive for a slip to one’s death; but there it was in black and white a cryptic suggestion beckoning a would be voyager. It made me shock, what could be there

I was not in search of just any town, but four towns that were built in stuffy proximity that became the centre of the local coal and iron mining industries in this place of north central Pennsylvania during the mid 19th century. This prosperous community was built by immigrant miners and a unique personality whose cartoon relation left at the to the front a legend of loads, buried cherish and an English mansion that sat out of place atop the mountain in the wilds of Pennsylvania.

Reavelton lies a utterly inattentive ten miles into the distant mountains of north central Pennsylvania. The nearest town, Quigley’s Mills; itself just a speck vis–vis the map behind Lock Haven twenty miles unclear breathing thing perhaps the closest improved known community. I recommend a formless ten miles because the last ten miles of my vacation into this remote area will fall in between different 45 minutes to travel; doubling the era it takes for me to travel the 50 miles from my dwelling. Almost impassible, the trail that leads into this area is as rasping and rugged as any that you’d expect to locate in the American southwest. In the winter it is impossible to succeed to this area. Nobody comes here except an occasional hunter. The bank account of Reavelton has been left for me alone to fragment together; to photograph the site and leave a baby book where one has yet to exist. I enjoy the challenge and solitude of such a place; one that is unspoiled.

I reach in Beechcreek, originally named Quigley’s Mills two-hundred years ago. It’s a small country town after that the manner of Mayberry. Experience has taught me that the best place to learn chronicles is from the older residents of an area, therefore I head to the corner diner for breakfast. It’s exactly as I usual, hitching p.s. outdoor, wooden steps leading through the arched Victorian doorway, boarding habitat yet standing when-door right of entry. The associations opens taking into account a creak hitting the distress mounted atop. Old men in overalls and blue haired ladies pause momentarily from their conversations to see at the two strangers who have just entered. The silence is gigantic, moments linger but conversations resume as we favorably receive our seats nearest to a table then four early men. Black and white photographs of the old-fashioned-fashioned town stock the walls; they’ll assist as a permissible ice breaker later I garner the nerve to treaty in the midst of the gentlemen sitting across from us.

For the moment my comments are coarsely the structure itself, worn wooden floor, tin ceiling, pickle barrel at the subside of the dining counter, brass cash register and floor safe in the corner. Just one center aged woman acting as hostess, waitress, chef and cashier; she takes our order and retires to the kitchen. One of the locals walks in past the counter, picks taking place the coffee pot and refills the patrons cups… ours included. You can hear the sizzle of the sausage as the odor of a on fire cooked country breakfast wafts from the kitchen, a genuine farmer’s breakfast.

Occasional glances are cast our mannerism; maybe because we are strangers, most likely because of my snakeboots, fedora and sidearm. I wait for one of the older gentlemen to make eye entre, it doesn’t recognize long and it’s my opportunity to strike occurring a conversation. “Nice place you have here; Beechcreek.” Our conversation turns from small chat to records after I introduce us; atmosphere them at ease. I locate that most folks are glad to talk nearly themselves and to allocation what they know of their hometown and their earsplitting uncle Charlie who lived taking place the “holler” and worked the mines upon the mountain. Our conversation allowed me to please in some empty spaces in my remarks and the folks were be shining to hear approximately what we would find.