Sunday, April 18, 2010

Beaver-Monaca railroad bridge

The railroad bridge over the Ohio River between Beaver and Monaca PA turns 100 next month. A story in the Beaver County Times about the bridge is here. A really good photo by Flickr user "artistic pursuits" is here.

The 90 miles of Ohio River between Pittsburgh and Wheeling contains a number of amazing old bridges. Some are historic, and some are merely old and scary. It's been almost 11 years since I was up that way last. Now that I've gone digital, I really want to get up there and shoot some of those bridges, such as the old one at Steubenville OH, before they come down.

Even better would be shooting them on a boat at sunrise or sunset.

For decades, I've enjoyed shooting bridges and dam, along with riverboats. I have a lot of pictures in  my archives, but there are thousands more to shoot. Too many angles, too little time, too little money.

From the archives: Two Ashland Oil boats

I was able to grab some time on a scanner yesterday, so I scanned about a dozen river photos from the 1970s and 1980s. Some of them turned out okay, but some didn't. Maybe next time I'll read the instruction book. I hear that usually  helps.

So, here are two photos of old Ashland Oil boats.

(Reminder: These photographs are copyright by me, Jim Ross, and shall not be reproduced without my written permission).

This is the Aetna-Louisville preparing to lock through the Gallipolis Locks and Dam in late summer 1978 or 1979. That's based on a couple of other photos in the packet I found this one in.

I kind of liked the Aetna-Louisville and its twin, the Allied-Ashland. From what I understand, the Aetna-Louisville was dismantled a few  years ago, and the Allied-Ashland was sold to South America about five years ago.

Look behind the Aetna-Louisville and you'll see people enjoying the river bank. Dare I call it a beach? The spot was popular with people who wanted to fish, including those who brought a tent for an overnight stay. And you could get close to the boats as they entered and left the locks. But the beach was removed when the new lock canal was built there in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

This next photo is the old Valvoline.

This was an old boat that I liked seeing when it passed through the area. It, too, was dismantled a few years ago.

I remember riding the new Valvoline in 1988 when David Smith was the captain. We arrived at the Gallipolis locks after dark, and they were locking through three up and one down. We had to wait a little longer than expected because the old Valvoline, then with another name, had gotten there upbound and moved ahead of us in the queue.