Mr. Gamble was also a director for The First National Bank of Monongahela. Below is a larger picture showing the building.
Well, what does the building look like 100 years later?
The building has been altered but is easily recognizable. The wooden sign and roof structure have been removed. If you check out the larger photo on my flickr site you can see remnants of the original signage as seen in the 1908 ad. If you look carefully at the lower right hand corner you’ll see remnants of a sign that must have been painted later than 1908. I think I can make out the words “Cows, Horses, Hogs”. Do you have any guesses what the other words might be? I wonder what ever became of D.E. Gamble.
The most startling thing I’ve noticed when looking at old photographs from this period is how few trees can be seen on the hillside. This must have been a concern of the citizenry. Read this quote by H.R. Campbell from the Historical magazine of Monongahela’s old home coming week. Sept. 6-13, 1908 in which Mr. Campbell discusses improvements that the city might make in coming years:
If the future generations are wise they will acquire River hill, from the bridge to Dry Run, reforest it, and make it a public park. Monongahela with a sun baked hill, denuded of trees, so close to its limits, may be a different place from a comfortable point of view, and all the advantages the town now possesses as a city of modest homes, may be lost through the lack of foresight on this one important question.
Well, as evidenced by the pictures you can see that the trees are back! River hill is one of my favorite features of Monongahela. The hillside is beautiful in the spring with the dogwood and redbud trees in bloom. On each 4th of July River hill is half of the spectacle as it reflects the light of the fireworks and echoes the sound back to the crowd at the aquatorium. The fall of course is the most spectacular with the fall foliage providing a wall of color running the whole length of the city.
I hope you enjoyed this first post of mine. Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts, tips or suggestions.
Excellent. I enjoy local historical pieces like this, especially when they concern parts of the country with which I’m totally unfamiliar. There’s something moving about encountering the flow of time this way.
It’s funny, but I’ve already met somebody who is a local history buff too while researching this post. Turns out he lives just 1 block away. Small world isn’t it. We are making plans to go geocache an abandoned railroad tunnel sometime.
I grew up on River Hill and when people ask me where I’m from I say Monongahela, and I love this history stuff from my home town, so first off. Thank you for the page, and the compliments on the hill.
Until now I never would have imagined River Hill stripped of trees… but thinking back too all of my time running through the woods I never really did find any trees of extreme age.
I’d love to find out what happened. Were the trees used to build Monongahela? Who reforested the area?
Anyway – you have a new blog fan!
I’d always wondered what that building was 🙂
All of us history buffs should join the historical society and make it interesting again 😛
I found all of this information to be of great interest.My grandparents moved to monongahela from washington back in the 40’s and I was fortunate enough to have grown up in the valley too.You did a great job on research.i have a friend from yrs ago named Theresa Powell who has the most interesting book I’ve ever seen, full of history and maps of of old monongahela,The mingo Indians and remnants found in the area,pages and pages that will just keep you occupied for hours.I would love to find her to get one more look at this book.This is full of history dating back yrs and yrs ago.Anyhow thanks for sparking my interest again.
Shari, check out this link – it may be the book you are referring to.
I forgot to mention that the link above will take you to an old book published in 1908 I think. You have to scroll through 28 pages of ads before you get to the introduction. The ads are just as interesting in my opinion.
Oh, and yes, I am a new fan!
The house that was behind the building was the home my mother and her family lived in.Unfortunately after too many floods it collapsed.I have wonderful memories of the area.
The building looks the same as in the 40’s and 50’s, at one time
a box factory was located there or beside it. I remember asking my grandparents (lived by the tracks across from the Chess St Park.)