Hoover Mason Trestle Re-visited

The Hoover Mason Trestle in the evening.

The Hoover-Mason Trestle at Sunset

Moon rise at the Trestle

Location: SteelStacks, 711 First Street, Bethlehem, PA 18015

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Hoover Mason Trestle

The Hoover Mason Trestle, at the former Bethlehem Steel Plant, used as a narrow gauge railroad to carry the coke, limestone and iron ore to make the iron from the ore yards to the blast furnaces. Now a public walkway designed to be a museum,  community recreation resource and attraction.  The trestle stands 46 feet tall and 2,000 feet long. Opened on June 25, the Hoover Mason Trestle located along the blast furnaces with one entrance at the Visitor Center and another at either end of the Gas Blowing Engine House providing access from the Sands parking lot or PBS 39 end of the campus.

 

The Hoover-Mason Trestle was completed in 1907 and named after the Chicago-based engineers who designed it. For over 80 years, cars delivered raw materials including limestone, iron ore, and coke to the blast furnaces. Men worked around the clock, in three shifts, emptying carloads of materials into storage bins below.

The blast furnaces operated continuously and required constant feeding of materials. Tons of limestone, iron ore or pellets, and coke would be loaded into the furnace in layers. Hot air was blown in near the bottom to fuel the reaction.

The Blower House generated the “wind” for the blast furnaces. Inside this building, rows of giant gas-powered engines pumped pressurized air out to the stoves. The stoves heated the air before it was forced into the furnace. This hot pressurized air reacted with the coke (fuel), producing intense heat and carbon monoxide.

Location: SteelStacks, 711 First Street, Bethlehem, PA 18015

Cornwall Furnace

Cornwall Furnace is indeed a unique survivor of the early American iron industry. Originally built by Peter Grubb in 1742, the furnace underwent extensive renovations in 1856-57 under its subsequent owners, the Coleman family, and closed in 1883. It is this mid-19th century iron making complex which survives today. At Cornwall, furnace, blast equipment, and related buildings still stand as they did over a century ago. Here visitors can explore the rambling Gothic Revival buildings where cannons, stoves, and pig iron were cast, and where men labored day and night to satisfy the furnace’s appetite for charcoal, limestone, and iron ore.

Cornwall Iron Furnace is part of a National Historic Landmark District by the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service. It has also been designated a National Historical Landmark by the American Society of Metals, and a National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, citing Cornwall Furnace as “the only one of America’s hundreds of 19th century charcoal fueled blast furnaces to survive fully intact.”

Photos taken with a Olympus E-M1 Mark II with Olympus M.7-14mm F2.8 and M.12-100mm F4.0 Lens. Photos were shot in camera raw and made into high dynamic range (HDR) images using Google Nik Collection HDR Efex Pro 2.

St. Michael’s Cemetery

St. Michael’s Cemetery, located at 4th & State Sts in South Bethlehem, PA is the resting place for immigrants who came to America in the 19th & 20th centuries, many of whom worked at Bethlehem Steel & other local industries. The land for the cemetery was donated by Asa Packer in 1867 to create the first burial place in Bethlehem consecrated for the interment of Catholics. St. Michael’s is an excellent representation of the diverse cultures that built our community – more than 25 nationalities are buried at St. Michael’s.

Friends of Saint Michael’s Cemetery, Bethlehem, PA