During my recent excursion, I visited the town of Saltillo, PA, a town with 343 residents as of
the 2000 census, and former important stop on the now-abandoned East Broad Top Railroad.
Per Wikipedia, the town got its name from the Mexican War Battle of Saltillo on October 23,
1840. It was a major tanning center during the late 18th and early 19th century, with
two tanneries in town. The railroad arrived in 1874. In addition, there were two short-lived
industries in town: an iron mine and a limestone quarry, both on the SE side. In the
early 20th century a large ganister (fine-grained stone used in manufacturing firebrick)
quarry was established on Jacks Mountain above Saltillo, to supply a plant in Mt. Union at the
other end of the railroad. The EBT had a 3 track yard, water tank and wye in Saltillo, and in
1942 a spur was built to serve the ganister quarry. It remained in service until the railroad died
in 1956. The quarry then closed, in 1970.
EBT tracks remain in place, but the water tank burned in the 1980's and the station deteriorated
over the years. It was reportedly demolished in the mid-2000's due to its decrepit condition.
Below is a picture of the (former?) hotel in town, which is located just across the street from the
site of the train station. (It looked more like a home, or apartments, to me.) The narrow gauge
tracks can still be seen peeking out of the grass on the right-of-way and the asphalt on the road
just out of the picture to the right.
Below is the site of the former train depot. Tracks are just beyond the walkway to the rear.
When I arrived in Robertsdale, I was interested in locating the other town relic - the
Reality Theatre. As I mentioned in a prior post, it was supposed to contain a museum
about coal mining. Here is a picture of it...nicely maintained, for a small town of 759
as of the 2000 census. Though it is now a church... (If you didn't read the account of
my interaction with the two men inside, check my post of 10/18, part 2 of the saga.)
Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of the church where the coal mining museum is now
At the campground and store by the grist mill, I noticed a rather unusual speed limit sign.
It definitely catches your attention...though I don't think a ticket for going 4-6/10 mph
would stand up in court...LOL!
While I was off chasing "ghost trains," my wife was on an extended visit with her sister in
Chicago, thus when she arrived back in town, I needed to pick her up. I went into Baltimore a
bit early, planning to visit a few charity shops to look for some things. But the weather turned
out to be so spectacular that I postponed shopping for another day, and took some time to visit
Fort McHenry, which is important in USA history for many reasons, one of which is that it
was the site where our National Anthem was written.
Trust me, that weather was spectacular!
Needless to say, I was dressed in my normal androgynous manner on my run to Baltimore.
And it worked the way it normally does...I was addressed as a woman while I was visiting
at the Fort, the only place where I interacted with the public.
An interesting sidelight: I was wearing dangly silver earrings and silver necklace, with
a black stone bracelet of my mother's on my left arm. (Most of my jewelry comes from her
jewelry box.) My earrings came off before I picked up my wife, and she's used to my
wearing the necklace. But I forgot to remove the bracelet.
And nothing was said about it....go figure! (But I'll be more careful in the future.)
Bye for now...