Friday, September 14, 2007

Joanna Furnace and Railroad Graveyard

Driving anywhere in southern PA is something of an extreme sport these days: people don't stay on their side of the road, they go forty under the speed limit, and they drive trucks and massive farm equipment down winding 2-lane roads. I lost count of how many stupid drivers we encountered today, but it was far too many.

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Joanna Furnace was our destination. After a bit of scouting, we happened upon this restored 19th-century iron furnace, owned by the Hay Creek Valley Historical Association. They hold a lot of festivals in Joanna, but visitors can also see the restored ghost town on non-festival days.

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It's not much of an urbex destination, but for history buffs it's a treat.

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The furnace, where workers spent twelve-hour shifts producing iron.

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We got ourselves lost, and passed through this:

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Then we ended up finding a graveyard full or rail cars and random vehicles, including a school bus.

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Pennsylvania never fails. Even if you're not looking for abandoned things, you'll find them anyway.

11 comments:

Eric S. said...

Very cool, I especially liked the vehicular graveyard!
I live in NEPA, and your blog has inspired me to go out exploring also. When I actually get out and take some pictures, I'll let you know!

Al Ebaster said...

Hey Eric, thanks for the comment! NEPA is an explorer's paradise, as I'm sure you know -- when you post some pics, we'd love to see (and link to) them!

Anonymous said...

Where you took the photos of the abandond trains, was there a junk yard across the street for cube trucks with the roofs ripped off? Was this still around RT 82? I am looking for trains or a train graveyard to photograph for a layout of a CD for a band and happen to live south of where I think these pix were taken. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Almost all the trains are gone. There are on giegertown rd

Anonymous said...

cool pix dude the steam tractor in the train graveyard is worth a mint

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the trains are on Geigertown Road right near where it meets Route 82. I grew up nearby and have fond memories of being in the general store driving past those trains regularly and wishing I could play on them. They belonged to the Shirey's who owned the general store right across the street. I always heard the plan was to refurbish them and have a small train for rides in the field. Apparently one of the sons really was a fan of trains but was killed operating a crane and the project kind of fell apart after that.

Tom said...

Really enjoyed reading this post and seeing the pics. Railway history is pretty interesting and it's amazing how much stuff gets left behind after the industry is cleared out. Love the old office buildings and train graveyard! And for some reason (is just me?), that furnace looks a bit like an old English church??? Anyone else think so?

Mikes said...

An energy saving furnace can be one of the best investments you can make in terms of cutting your carbon footprint, reducing your home energy bills, and saving money.

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About ForgottenPA

Created by Al Ebaster in 2007 after a trip to Centralia, ForgottenPA has become one of Pennsylvania's most popular urban-exploration websites. Brian is our photographer, and we're happy to have Ethan Smith, aka Bluecapriethan in the comment sections, on board as an author and photographer as well.

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