I remember the mirror-like stillness of the water on the floor at Scranton Lace stopped my in my tracks. It took me a few minutes to find a composition I liked, but the end image was worth the time spend to find it.
One of the things I find fascinating during the abandoned building workshop’s I’ve attended is chairs. Photographers move the chairs around the buildings to create scenes. Sometimes it’s an industrial chair sitting by a table suggesting the presence of a worker who stepped away for a minute. Other times it’s an arm chair (like the one above) that was originally part of an office suite placed in the middle of a warehouse or manufacturing area. You never know what you’ll find, but there’s usually an interesting vignette to be photographed.
Last fall, I attended Steamtown National Historic Site’s annual Railfest. The highlight of the event was a night photo session that included scenes at the Sand Tower, Mattes Street Tower and the Roundhouse. I arrived in time for the night session Saturday night and then stayed over to see the event Sunday. Special events included demonstrations in the machine shop, tours of the Office and Stores Building, and of course train rides pulled by Baldwin Locomotive Works #26.
Mattes Street Tower:
Machine Shop Demonstration:
Ring of Fire:
Singing the Theme Song:
One of my favorite photos from the night session held during the 2017 Railfest at Steamtown National Historic Site. Steve Barry provided the lighting and did an excellent job as usual. Unlike the typical practice of late where night sessions are lit with a constant light source, this one was done with flash which produces a much better quality of light and freezes the smoke and steam.
Just finished editing the photos from Railfest, so look for a trip Report Tuesday.
Last fall I had the opportunity to attend the last tour of Scranton Lace hosted by Abandoned America. Sadly due to the removal of the roof drain piping, water has created several unsafe conditions in the wooden portions of the complex. As a architect, I was sad to see such senseless and preventable damage. As a photographer, I was happy to have had the chance to photograph it, but wished I had known about it sooner.
Scranton Lace opened as the Scranton Lace Curtain Manufacturing Company in 1890, and eventually became the largest producer of Nottingham lace in the United States. Scranton lace continued operations until 2002 when it closed mid-shift. The complex was so large that it included a ballroom, gymnasium, theater, bowling alley, and infirmary, in addition to the vast production and storage facility. My understanding is that the current owners plan to redevelop the site, hopefully they aren’t too late.
The last of the Nottingham Looms:
The road to Paradise has long been the nickname for the Strasburg Railroad. Fitting name too since the line ran from Strasburg PA to Paradise, PA where it interchanged with with the Pennsylvania Railroad, now part of Norfolk Southern.
I’m headed to Strasburg again soon for a photo charter featuring N&W 475, which will be disguised as her sister locomotive #382. N&W 382 was made famous by O. Winston Link in his photos of it operating on the N&W’s Abingdon Branch, but was lost to the scrapper’ torch.
Cucumber Falls is located in Ohiopyle State Park in Pennsylvania and is the result of Cucumber Run falling into the gorge carved by the Youghiogheny River. A staircase leads to the base of the Falls making it a popular location to photograph.
I had also hoped to visit Jonathan Run Falls and Sugar Run Falls while I was there, but the trails were closed due to the bridges being washed out. Hopefully they’ll be repaired soon. If time allows I may make another trip to Ohiopyle this fall.
The East Broad Top Railroad and Coal Company, located in Rockhill Furnace, PA is a place where time stands still. The railroad, touted as one of the oldest and best preserved railroads, operated from 1871 until it closed in 1956. The EBT was then purchased by a salvage company who eventually decided to operate a portion of the railroad as a tourist line starting in 1961. While operations ceased in 2011, the Friends of The East Broad Top have continued to lovingly restore the structures that make up the Rockhill Yard and Shop Complex.
When visiting it’s not hard to feel like you have traveled back in time a half century or more. So, when my friend and fellow photographer, Matthew Malkiewicz announced that he had secured access for a small group of photographers to visit this past January, I jumped at the chance to participate.
I arrived shortly after sunrise, hoping to get some shots around the yard in early morning sunlight. Unfortunately it was cloudy, but it had been several years since I had been there so found things to shoot despite the less than optimal lighting.
Moss Covered Coal Hoppers:
Moss Covered Wheels:
A Pair of Switch Stands – notice the glove, most likely left by the last person who threw the switch, waiting to be picked up again, just like the line waits for operations to re-start:
The Three Way Switch – a very rare occurrence on railroads. There are only two others that I’m aware of.
Once the rest of the group arrived we headed into the Roundhouse for two hours before breaking for lunch.
Journal Oil Can:
Oil Can and Cobwebs:
After Lunch we moved into the shops complex for a couple of hours.
The Blacksmith Shop – Not many people have been in this building. The columns rotted over the years resulting in a severe tilt to the building that was repaired in the last few years.
The Machine Shop was full of scenes, large and small:
Zanol Cocoa – Quality First:
You could spend days in a place like this and never run out of things to photograph. I hope to get to spend more time at the East Broad Top in the future.