I am working on an upcoming blog post and could use your help. Do any of you have any information or memories about the area known around Monongahela as the “Race Track” aka Armstrong Field? Currently located there is a soccer field, a softball field and on the southern end is Cox’s arena.
In 1874 the Monongahela Valley Agricultural Association purchased the 25 acre plot known as the “Driving Park”. The association sponsored fairs featuring horse racing.
Later, the “Monongahela Driving Park Association” sponsored harness racing. Betting was allowed and thousands attended.
Later the area became known as the “Monongahela Speedway” as harness racing gave way to automobile racing. In 1936 “Deb Miller drove a Miller Special at an average speed of over 70 miles per hour which broke all records at that time for dirt track racing.”
During World War II victory gardens were planted there.
Shane and Kate Cox currently sponsor equestrian events most weekends throughout the summer. You can contact Shane and Kate at firstname.lastname@example.org
I found a few old newspaper articles that mention this area and I’ll post a few stories this week.
As a side note, I spoke to one of the software engineers over at Gigapan and he complimented us on your participation in the comments area of the Monongahela panorama. Shortly after the panorama was posted, the image was ranked within the top 25 most interesting images on the whole Gigapan site! Gigapan is a partnership between Carnegie Mellon, Nasa and Google.
So far the Monongahela Gigapan has been viewed 4200 times and has received 43 comments.
I just found an error in my virtual scavenger hunt post of a few days ago. The image link took you to the general Gigapan.org site but not directly to the Gigapan image I created. Sorry about that. Here is a corrected direct link to the image:
Have you ever heard of a Gigapan? It is a photograph comprised of sometimes hundreds of small snapshots, all stitched together by computer software to create one incredibly detailed high resolution image. When the image is uploaded to Gigapan.org you can view it and keep on zooming and zooming to see all kinds of interesting details.
The original postcard photographs were shot from two close but separate positions on Cemetery Hill so it was impossible to get a perfect stitch (due to parallax error) but it’s good enough to make a decent panorama. Unfortunately you can no longer photograph from the same vantage point today because the view is now blocked by large trees. But this aerial picture below can give you some idea what the area looks like today:
(strike throughs mean the item has been identified by somebody as of Monday, March 15, 2010 – 3:19 pm)
– at least two people
– at least two horses or mules
– train cars (aka railroad cars lol, I couldn’t remember the correct term, It’s hell getting old)
– Gregg’s Warehouse (This is the warehouse for the A.M. Gregg Hardware store as seen in this 1908 photograph. You can also see an old ad and picture of the proprietor here.
– 3 and possibly 4 churches (extra credit if you can name them) (two have been found)
– a ladder
– my girlfriend’s old house
– two coal mine tipples (extra credit if you name the coal mines to which they belong)
– two houses with rain barrels (one found so far)
– a barn
– at least 1 coal barge
– another barge (not necessarily a coal barge)
– a saltbox
– three bridges
– Whiskey Point
– an outhouse
– this railroad tower: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4045/4427907903_66f481e672_o.png
– a factory
– the McGough Residence (oldest part built in 1802) was the oldest brick building in town until it was replaced by the architectural masterpiece known presently as the Monongahela Senior Center
– the Hotel Main
– the village of Axleton
– worker houses built by Liggett Spring and Axle Co.
– a gas lamp
– River Hill
I will reveal the location of several of the items above each day until March 20, 2010 unless you all find things first. Also, don’t be afraid to snapshot something you discover that isn’t on this list.
Curious about where Stoggletown is and how it got it’s name? Ever notice the tall brick smoke stack behind Cox’s market and wonder why it was built? Interested in Redds Mill and wonder where it is? If so check out the map below and discover an easy scenic bicycle route following Pigeon Creek from Monongahela to Bentlyville.
You will find only two moderate hills along this route. A person who bicycles occasionally can easily climb them but a beginner might want to push. Total length from the Sheetz Store in Monongahela to the Pilot Truck Stop in Bentleyville is 8 miles.
Click on the icons to view pictures and information of various points of interest along the route. You can zoom in and see a surprising amount of detail. Try clicking on the “+” and “-” signs to zoom in or out. You can also drag the image to move the map around. Click here to view a larger version of the map.