Day 7: July 7, 2006
Through West Virginia



I'm now getting into slightly familiar territory. This is Searight's Toll House just west of Uniontown, PA. I've been here before and the building appeared in Stewart's 1950 photograpgic study of Route 40 and in Vale's later version.

There are two things that are almost always mentioned in any road related description of Brownsville. One is this 1836 metal bridge; The first in the country. The line of cars is being held by a flagman for some road work just beyond the bridge. The area has certainly seen better days and whether the current repairs (There is also some work going on at a nearby riverside park.) is an effort to improve things or just some street patching, I don't know. As I walked back to my car, a funeral procession, lead by three Cadilac limosines, rolled by the boarded up store fronts. The flagman did get the procession through intact and as quickly as possible.

The other thing that is always mentioned, and another indicator of Brownsville's brighter past, is Nemacolin Castle. The home that Jacob Bowman built in 1789 is certainly impressive and it commands an impressive view of the Monongahela Rivers. Tours are available.

The Pennsylvania Madonna of the Trail in Beallsville. Standing where it has for nearly 78 years.

Today's arrival in Scenery Hill was better timed than the previous two and I found the Century Inn open. This place has been in continuous operation since Stephen Hill first opened it in 1794. The inn now known as Century Inn and is currently in the hands of Megin Harrington. It is a class act. There are nine guest rooms and I'd certainly like to spend a night here some time. I probably should have eaten lunch here today but only did a beer and a walk through. There is something really cool about drinking in a bar with an original 1794 Whiskey Rebellion flag on the wall.

The S-Bridge near Washington, PA. I have been here before so made just a brief stop today.

This bridge is over Wheeling Creek but I don't know if it's actually in Wheeling or Tridelphia. Built of limestone in 1817, it was covered with gunnite, for protection, in 1958. In places, the gunnite has fallen to reveal the stone underneath. Good for sightseers but maybe bad for the bridge.

Another brief stop at a place I've been before. I've stopped at various Madonnas over the last couple of years but this stop was the first one where I was not alone. Two older (older than me, even!) fellows were looking over the statue when I pulled up. One of them told me, "This is the first time I've been here since I was a little kid. Always mean to come by but always end up on the expressway." A late life roadie in the making?

I've been by here before but never stopped. It is amazing that in 151 years and less than 100 yards, that the "original inhabitants" went from chasing white guys over cliffs to welcoming "all wayfarers". What do you think that broom is for?

In Wheeling, one of my favorite bridges is still carrying traffic after a hundred and fifty years. The nearby Jamboree is atill going after seventy some years but Marsh has gone. "Moved to Indiana", a local told me. From the web, I did find that Marsh joined Frankfort, IN, based National Cigar but I could find no reference to Marsh or Stogie on their website.

The first picture shows US-40 heading west over the 1933 Arches of Memory viaduct in Blaine, OH. The 1828 stone bridge it replaced can be seen on the lower right. On the upper left, a truck can barely be seen entering the picture on I-70. When I was here in March, I told myself that I'd take a picture from the steps that lead to the deck of the viaduct when I came back.

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