All the latest news, updates, events, & discoveries!

The Year 1908

This will boggle your mind, I know it did mine! The year is 1908. One hundred years ago. What a difference a century makes! Here are some statistics for the Year 1908:

  • Rock Point Park was having one of its best years ever!
  • The average life expectancy was 47 years.
  • Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.
  • Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.
  • There were only 8,000 cars and only 144 miles of paved roads.
  • The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
  • The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.
  • The average wage in 1908 was 22 cents per hour.
  • The average worker made between $200 and $400 per year .
  • A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year, a dentist $2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.
  • More than 95 percent of all births took place at HOME .
  • Ninety percent of all doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION! Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press AND the government as ‘substandard’.
  • Sugar cost four cents a pound.
  • Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.
  • Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.
  • Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.
  • Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason.
  • Five leading causes of death were:
    1. Pneumonia and influenza
    2. Tuberculosis
    3. Diarrhea
    4. Heart disease
    5. Stroke
  • The American flag had 45 stars.
  • The population of Las Vegas, Nevada, was only 30!!!!
  • Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and ice tea hadn’t been invented yet.
  • There was no Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.
  • Two out of every 10 adults couldn’t read or write.
  • Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.
  • Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at the local corner drugstores. Back then pharmacists said, ‘Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health.’
  • Eighteen percent of households had at least one full-time servant or domestic help.
  • There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE U.S.A.!

Try to imagine what it may be like in another 100 years…

IT STAGGERS THE MIND!!!!!!!!!!!

11Clicks

Pittsburgh TV station, WPXI Channel 11, recognized the Rock Point Park website by including it in it’s coverage in a recent episode.

After becoming a fan of the show, I wrote in to see if they thought the website was worthy of inclusion, and they agreed that it was! We are honored to have been selected for the segment, and hope everyone will take a look. Please click on the image to launch the program.

Catching up

Hello friends!

My apologies for not posting more often. Life has been busy with spring cleaning, lawn care, new grandbabies, and work. I hope to be able to make it up to the park property soon. Tracie suggested that we all take a walk up the Beaver River from the park to see if we can find the Buttermilk Falls feature shown on one of the old postcards. That sounds like a good idea, and once my schedule settles down, I’d like to plan on doing that. Maybe we could fit it in sometime in June?

Over the last 6 months, many of you have sent pictures that I’ve used in the newsletter. I appreciate that very much, and I’m sure our readers do too! And, I hope that there are some more folks out there who would be willing to share their stories and experiences about Rock Point Park with all of us. I’d love to post your article here in the newsletter for all to read! Just email me your article, and I’ll publish it for you. You can use your name, part of your name, or remain anonymous if you wish. I know there is a wealth of information out there about Rock Point Park just waiting to be written. Here’s your chance!

Click here to email your article.

Walking Tour Update

A small group of friends had a great time at the park last Saturday. Between allergies, illnesses, and family commitments, all those who had hoped to come could not make it. But, a nice couple and their young son joined me for a look around the park. I love to see the expressions on folks’ faces when they start to visualize what was once there, and realize the wonder of the place. Thanks Scott, Angela, and Angelo!

I doubt that I’ll be taking any more tours this year. I might try to fit in one more, but the undergrowth is coming up quickly this year, and passage through the woods will become fairly difficult. I’ll send out an email (as well as post an announcement here) if I decide to go. If you aren’t on the RPP Newsletter mailing list, please click here to begin to receive updates.

Happy trails to all!

Historical Walking Tour – Round 2

Last weekend’s walking tour of Rock Point Park was a lot of fun! But unfortunately, a number of people who wanted to come along couldn’t make it due to prior commitments. So, let’s do it again!

On Saturday, April 26, we will meet in front of the Ellwood City Historical Society building at 11:30 AM to carpool over to the park. We should be able to return to the meeting point by 3pm.

Springtime is the best time to tour the park property because the foliage will be minimal, allowing for better viewing of the terrain and features. Plan on spending about 3 hours for the tour. We will be covering about 2 miles, so wear comfortable shoes with good gripping soles – a hiking shoe, or sturdy athletic shoe will do. Wear heavy trousers because the "jagger" bushes sometimes reach out for you, and wear layers of upper clothing, so you can shed a layer if it gets too warm.

The tour will mostly follow gravel roads and earthen pathways, but will occasionally head off-trail through the woods. The off-trail portions are fairly limited, and if anyone prefers to stay on the roads/pathways, they can remain there, and the tour will return to that point to rejoin them. The pace will be as slow as needed to accommodate everyone. On a 1 to 10 "difficulty scale", I would rate this one at a "4".

We will provide bottles of water, but you might want to bring some extra water, just in case. Don’t forget, there are no toilet facilities available, so please plan to arrive as "refreshed" as possible. Feel free to bring a snack, if you like.

Please let me know if you can make it by adding a comment on this article. And feel free to email me with any questions.

Hope to see you there!

Saturday’s Tour

Nine "Friends of Rock Point Park" enjoyed touring the historic remains of the property yesterday. The sky was overcast, but fortunately the rain held off until we began the ride home. It was a bit breezy and the temperature was in the 50s; a perfect day for stomping around in the woods. We had a great time learning about the locations of most of the main features/structures of the park, and enjoyed each other’s company very much!

I think I heard a few chuckles when I announced at the end of the tour… "well, we’ve seen everything that wasn’t there!"

There were a number of friends who hoped to make it to Saturday’s tour but had prior commitments, so I’m planning another one on Saturday, April 26. I’ll post an announcement here on the newsletter, and send an email invitation to everyone on the mailing list. This will probably be the last historical tour of the season. Soon, the foliage will become dense and passage will become difficult. Also, the thorn-bushes and poison ivy will flourish and make some areas impassible. So, if you plan to visit the property this year, do it soon.

Hope to see you there!

Historical Walking Tour

On Saturday, April 12, at 11:30 AM, Bruce will be leading a walking tour of Rock Point Park. It will cover the historical aspects of the park, including the locations of the rides and structures. The tour will be limited to 15 participants, and will be the first in a series of tours over the next few months. So, if this one fills up, we will schedule another tour as soon as possible.

Springtime is the best time to tour the park property because the foliage will be minimal, allowing for better viewing of the terrain and features. Plan on spending about 3 hours for the tour. We will be covering about 2 miles, so wear comfortable shoes with good gripping soles – a hiking shoe, or sturdy athletic shoe will do. Wear heavy trousers because the "jagger" bushes sometimes reach out for you, and wear layers of upper clothing, so you can shed a layer if it gets too warm.

The tour will mostly follow gravel roads and earthen pathways, but will occasionally head off-trail through the woods. The off-trail portions are fairly limited, and if anyone prefers to stay on the roads/pathways, they can remain there, and the tour will return to that point to rejoin them. The pace will be as slow as needed to accommodate everyone.

We will provide bottles of water, but you might want to bring some extra water, just in case. Don’t forget, there are no toilet facilities available, so please plan to arrive as "refreshed" as possible. Feel free to bring a snack, if you like.

We will meet in front of the Ellwood City Historical Society Museum building at 11:30. In order to take as few cars onto the property as possible, we will carpool from the meeting point over to the park (parking is very limited at the park). The park tour should begin at noon, and should finish by 3 PM. If anyone needs to leave the tour before it is completed, we will make sure they have transportation back to the museum.

If you have any questions, please email Bruce, or call him at 724-869-3370.

To "sign up" for the tour, please leave a comment on this newsletter article to reserve your spot. Just click the "(#) Comments" link immediately below.

PA CleanWays – Volunteers Needed

Trash at the State Game LandsIt’s that time of year again.  Spring is upon us and trash is on everyone’s mind… well, a few people’s minds.  OK, it’s just on my mind, but that’s not the point. We have a number of big events planned and are in need of help.  Below is the list of upcoming event and brief descriptions of each one.  Any help you can provide is appreciated!

Please note that the State Game Lands 95 Cleanup has been moved from March 29 to April 5. 

  • April 5 –Connoquenessing Creek Greenways Cleanup – 9 to noon – We’ll be cleaning part of a greenways corridor owned by Ellwood City Borough.  There are approximately 100 tires, a few appliances and pieces of furniture, as well as the typical mix of random trash items.  The trash is scattered about a large area adjacent to the old railroad bed.  The cleanup area itself is flat with some moderate grades here and there.
    • We’re also working on scheduling a weekday cleanup before the Ellwood City Earth Day Celebration on April 19 to do any wrap up work from the April 5 cleanup, as well as doing litter sweeps of Rock Point and Ewing Park.  Once the date is finalized, we’ll let you know.
  • April 5 – State Game Lands 95 Cleanup – 9 to noon – This is a HUGE site that we’ll be tackling in phases.  See the attached picture, then multiply by 100.  There are 700 to 1,000 tires (we lost count at 700), a couple hundred or so appliances, and a mix of metals scattered over a very large area. 
    • Apart from the tires, the site is about 98% scrap metal, so just about everything there is recyclable.  The cleanup area is flat with some mild grades. April 5 marks the first phase of the site cleanup.  We’ll need volunteers to help move the scattered tires to the abandoned road that runs right through the middle of the game lands.  With the focus being on tires, this should be a fairly easy cleanup.
    • We’d like to work with local scrap haulers to help remove the rest of the material.  Interested haulers can keep money received from the scrap, we just need the weights of the material that is removed.
    • We’ll probably need a follow up volunteer cleanup to pick up the smaller debris once the larger stuff is removed.  We’ll keep you posted.
  • April 26 – Alaron Conservation Area Cleanup – 9 to noon – We’ll be doing a litter sweep and minor cleanup of an area adjacent to Alaron in New Beaver Borough.  We need about a dozen or so volunteers for the cleanup.
If you want to come out and volunteer with us, please let me know ASAP, so that we can make the appropriate arrangements for food and drinks.

Volunteer meeting locations will be announced shortly.

Don’t forget how to dress:

  • Wear long sleeves,
  • Wear boots or thick soled shoes,
  • Wear jeans,
  • Wear gloves – you can use ours or bring your own.

For those coming to the game lands cleanup there are a couple of extra precautions.  The area is known to harbor ticks so:

  • Wear light colored clothing – it makes spotting ticks easy.
  • Tuck your pants into your boots.
  • Spray yourself with something containing DEET, like OFF.  We’ll have some available as well.
 
If you have any questions, please contact:
 
Jerry P. Zona
Executive Director
PA CleanWays of Butler-Lawrence Counties
P.O. Box 581
New Castle, PA 16103
724-658-6925