Haunted Roads of Western Pennsylvania

Arcadia Publishing
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The twisty roads—and twisted tales—of the Appalachian Mountains make for distracted driving in western Pennsylvania.
 
Ghostly travelers are said to wander the lonely roads of western Pennsylvania. A creeping fog rises from Blue Mist Road, and stories of car crashes, lynchings and even strange beasts haunt this isolated stretch outside Pittsburgh. Is it the angry spirit of a jealous husband or a gypsy king who stalks Erie County’s Axe Murder Hollow? Shades of Death Road in Washington County may be host to phantom coal miners killed during a deadly labor dispute. With firsthand accounts and historical research, authors Thomas White and Tony Lavorgne travel the backcountry roads and byways of western Pennsylvania to discover their ghost tales and mysterious legends.
 
Includes photos!
 
“The authors include a history of each road along with the supernatural legends and other unexplained activity. Surprisingly, they are able to provide possible explanations for most of the alleged hauntings, but admit that they cannot account for every one, which allows the roads in question to keep their allure and spooky possibilities.” —PopCultureGuy
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About the author

Thomas White is the university archivist and curator of special collections in the Gumberg Library at Duquesne University. He is also an adjunct lecturer in Duquesne's history department and an adjunct professor of history at La Roche College. White received a master's degree in public history from Duquesne University. He is the published author of nine books, all of which focus on Pennsylvania history.

Tony Lavorgne is an independent researcher of historical mysteries and the unexplained. He specializes in obscure paranormal and anthropological topics. A native of Pittsburgh, he was most recently a contributing writer for the book Supernatural Lore of Pennsylvania: Ghosts, Monsters and Miracles. Lavorgne resides in Southwestern Pennsylvania where he operates his own antique business.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Arcadia Publishing
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Published on
Sep 28, 2015
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Pages
131
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ISBN
9781625855985
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Language
English
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Genres
History / United States / State & Local / Middle Atlantic (DC, DE, MD, NJ, NY, PA)
Photography / Subjects & Themes / Historical
Social Science / Folklore & Mythology
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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A VIVID AND FASCINATING LOOK AT AMERICAN HISTORY THROUGH THE PRISM OF THE COUNTRY’S MOST STORIED HIGHWAY, THE BOSTON POST ROAD



During its evolution from Indian trails to modern interstates, the Boston Post Road, a system of over-land routes between New York City and Boston, has carried not just travelers and mail but the march of American history itself. Eric Jaffe captures the progress of people and culture along the road through four centuries, from its earliest days as the king of England’s “best highway” to the current era.



Centuries before the telephone, radio, or Internet, the Boston Post Road was the primary conduit of America’s prosperity and growth. News, rumor, political intrigue, financial transactions, and personal missives traveled with increasing rapidity, as did people from every walk of life.

From post riders bearing the alarms of revolution, to coaches carrying George Washington on his first presidential tour, to railroads transporting soldiers to the Civil War, the Boston Post Road has been essential to the political, economic, and social development of the United States.



Continuously raised, improved, rerouted, and widened for faster and heavier traffic, the road played a key role in the advent of newspapers, stagecoach travel, textiles, mass-produced bicycles and guns, commuter railroads, automobiles—even Manhattan’s modern grid. Many famous Americans traveled the highway, and it drew the keen attention of such diverse personages as Benjamin Franklin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, P. T. Barnum, J. P. Morgan, and Robert Moses.



Eric Jaffe weaves this entertaining narrative with a historian’s eye for detail and a journalist’s flair for storytelling. A cast of historical figures, celebrated and unknown alike, tells the lost tale of this road.
Revolutionary printer William Goddard created a postal network that united the colonies against the throne. General Washington struggled to hold the highway during the battle for Manhattan. Levi Pease convinced Americans to travel by stagecoach until, half a century later, Nathan Hale convinced them to go by train. Abe Lincoln, still a dark-horse candidate in early 1860, embarked on a railroad speaking tour along the route that clinched the presidency. Bomb builder Lester Barlow, inspired by the Post Road’s notorious traffic, nearly sold Congress on a national system of expressways twenty-five years before the Interstate Highway Act of 1956.



Based on extensive travels of the highway, interviews with people living up and down the road, and primary sources unearthed from the great libraries between New York City and Boston—including letters, maps, contemporaneous newspapers, and long-forgotten government documents—The King’s Best Highway is a delightful read for American history buffs and lovers of narrative everywhere.

A critical era in California's history and development—the building of the first roads over the Sierra Nevada—is thoroughly and colorfully documented in Thomas Howard's fascinating book. During California's first two decades of statehood (1850-1870), the state was separated from the east coast by a sea journey of at least six weeks. Although Californians expected to be connected with the other states by railroad soon after the 1849 Gold Rush, almost twenty years elapsed before this occurred. Meanwhile, various overland road ventures were launched by "emigrants," former gold miners, state government officials, the War Department, the Interior Department, local politicians, town businessmen, stagecoach operators, and other entrepreneurs whose alliances with one another were constantly shifting. The broad landscape of international affairs is also a part of Howard's story.

Constructing roads and accumulating geographic information in the Sierra Nevada reflected Washington's interest in securing the vast western territories formerly held by others. In a remarkably short time the Sierra was transformed by vigorous exploration, road-promotion, and road-building. Ox-drawn wagons gave way to stagecoaches able to provide service as fine as any in the country. Howard effectively uses diaries, letters, newspaper stories, and official reports to recreate the human struggle and excitement involved in building the first trans-Sierra roads. Some of those roads have become modern highways used by thousands every day, while others are now only dim traces in the lonely backcountry.
Discover the twists and turns of one of America’s great infrastructure projects with this “engrossing history of the creation of the U.S. interstate system” (Los Angeles Times).
 
It’s become a part of the landscape that we take for granted, the site of rumbling eighteen-wheelers and roadside rest stops, a familiar route for commuters and vacationing families. But during the twentieth century, the interstate highway system dramatically changed the face of our nation. These interconnected roads—over 47,000 miles of them—are man-made wonders, economic pipelines, agents of sprawl, uniquely American symbols of escape and freedom, and an unrivaled public works accomplishment.
 
Though officially named after President Dwight D. Eisenhower, this network of roadways has origins that reach all the way back to the World War I era, and The Big Roads—“the first thorough history of the expressway system” (The Washington Post)—tells the full story of how they came to be. From the speed demon who inspired a primitive web of dirt auto trails to the largely forgotten technocrats who planned the system years before Ike reached the White House to the city dwellers who resisted the concrete juggernaut when it bore down on their neighborhoods, this book reveals both the massive scale of this government engineering project, and the individual lives that have been transformed by it.
 
A fast-paced history filled with fascinating detours, “the book is a road geek’s treasure—and everyone who travels the highways ought to know these stories” (Kirkus Reviews).
Delves deep into the underbelly of the NYC subway system to reveal the tunnels and stations that might have been. Robert A. Van Wyck, mayor of the greater city of New York, broke ground for the first subway line by City Hall on March 24, 1900. It took four years, six months, and twenty-three days to build the line from City Hall to West 145th Street in Harlem. Things rarely went that quickly ever again. The Routes Not Taken explores the often dramatic stories behind the unbuilt or unfinished subway lines, shedding light on a significant part of New York City's history that has been almost completely ignored until now. Home to one of the world's largest subway systems, New York City made constant efforts to expand its underground labyrinth, efforts that were often met with unexpected obstacles: financial shortfalls, clashing agendas of mayors and borough presidents, battles with local community groups, and much more. After discovering a copy of the 1929 subway expansion map, author Joseph Raskin began his own investigation into the city's underbelly. Using research from libraries, historical societies, and transit agencies throughout the New York metropolitan area, Raskin provides a fascinating history of the Big Apple's unfinished business that until now has been only tantalizing stories retold by public-transit experts. The Routes Not Taken sheds light on the tunnels and stations that were completed for lines that were never fulfilled: the efforts to expand the Hudson tubes into a fullfledged subway; the Flushing line, and why it never made it past Flushing; a platform underneath Brooklyn's Nevins Street station that has remained unused for more than a century; and the 2nd Avenue line long the symbol of dashed dreams deferred countless times since the original plans were presented in 1929. Raskin also reveals the figures and personalities involved, including why Fiorello LaGuardia could not grasp the importance of subway lines and why Robert Moses found them to be old and boring. By focusing on the unbuilt lines, Raskin illustrates how the existing subway system is actually a Herculean feat of countless political compromises. Filled with illustrations of the extravagant expansion plans, The Routes Not Taken provides an enduring contribution to the transportation history of New York City.
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