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Showing posts from April, 2017

Phildelphia's Ghoulish Firehouse

In the Rittenhouse Square section of Philadelphia, just a few blocks southwest from the famously spooky Mutter Museum, stands a modest little firehouse. Built sometime in the 19th century, the humble brick structure is tucked among other larger brick buildings on South 16th Street, making it easy to miss.
It has been years since this charming building housed any fire-fighting equipment; today it's just a private, anonymous building with private, anonymous owners, one of hundreds of such buildings that can be found in any given city.

But, like all buildings, the tiny brick firehouse has a story to tell, and it's strange story might even be more chilling than any of the human oddities that have been displayed a short distance away at the Mutter Museum.

In the fall of 1892 the building at 754 South 16th Street was home to the firemen of Truck E. Even back then it was an old building and had fallen into a state of disrepair. It had been built years earlier as a soap factory, and had…

An interesting window display

Nothing attracts customers to a business like human remains in the window. In 1925, C.W. Ross of Oil City found a human skull while excavating at his property along the Allegheny River.  It appeared that the skull was missing its top, suggesting that the skull had once belonged to a native who was scalped during a battle with an enemy tribe.

As any person would, Ross had a desire to show off his nifty find, and decided to place it in the window of his general store on Colbert Avenue.

The following appeared in the Franklin News-Herald on July 10, 1925.




Ancient Giants in Danville?

Could Danville have been home at one time to the world's tallest man? It's possible. In 1901 workers uncovered a stone footprint measuring 18 inches in length. Presently, the world record for the biggest feet belongs to Rodríguez Hernandez of Venezuela, who stands 7 feet 2 inches tall and has feet measuring just under 16 inches in length. The previous record holder was Sultan Kösen, who still holds the record for the tallest living man at 8 feet and 2.82 inches. His feet measured 14 inches-- 1/3 of a foot less than the Danville stone footprint.




So how tall might this ancient giant have been?

The famous American giant, Robert Wadlow of Illinois-- the tallest person who ever lived-- still holds the record for the largest feet of all time. His feet were just a tiny bit longer than that of the Danville giant, at 18 and 1/4 inches in length. Wadlow stood 8 ft 11.1 in height and weighed 439 lbs. at the time of his death at the age of 22 in 1940.

So, it would be safe to assume tha…

The secret tomb of Salem Lutheran Church

A centuries-old secret lurked beneath the Salem Lutheran Church in the Franklin County village of Pleasant Hall until it was discovered by workmen reconstructing the church in the spring of 1929. Even today, very few people are aware of the secret Indian grave located in the bowels of the church building.

The humble brick church that is visible today, a well-known landmark of Letterkenny Township, was built on the site of the original house of worship, which is believed to have been built in or around 1740. Although historians still debate the date of the original church's construction, it is evident that the church could not have been built prior to 1736, when the title to that particular section of land was still held by Indians.

Several decades later a new church was erected on the same spot, and continued to serve the Lutheran worshipers of the Letterkenny valley without interruption until major renovations took place in 1929, at the direction of Rev. W.J. Schultz. Among the sc…