Friday, November 5, 2010

Lehighton Middle School Students Conquer Mt. Pisgah

Students get glimpse into the Switchback Railroad's glory days by ascending the old Wagon Road.  At the top, they walked along the old Trestle foundations and out toward the old pavilion and on to the old strip mine pits, toward the Indian Spring and the Hacklebernie Mine, which is the first deep tunnel mine ever driven in the United States.

Maura Phelan is all smiles as she catches her first glimpse of the Lehigh Gorge from 900 feet above, just below the Mt Pisgah Engine House along the former Switchback Railroad bed (All photos courtesy of Fenna Millen-Phelan).

Students viewed an old cast iron pipe that brought water to these cisterns for the Mt Pisgah Engine house just above the bank on this picture (Picture: Fenna Millen-Phelan).

Students Elena Beckett, Maura Phelan, and Traci Edmunds pose at the base of the cistern (Picture: Fenna Millen-Phelan).

Students see historical artifacts and beautiful fall views of the Lehigh Gorge, the Lehigh Gap, Little Gap, the Upper Mauch Chunk Cemetery, and climb the old culm piles from the strip mining from atop Mount Pisgah.

West of the Trestle, students found this culm pile, debris coal from the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company's mining operations on the top of the mountain.

To descend, the students went down the plane the empty coal cars were pulled up.  It's about 630 feet of relief to the bottom to Sam Miller Baseball field.  Originally, the plane was about 660 feet in elevation but they filled about 30 feet of dirt atop of what was once the Barney Pit.  The Barney pit housed the cars that were pulled by steal bands and pushed the cars to the top of Mt Pisgah.

Students pose high above the gorge with quite a view.  (Photo courtesy of Mrs. Beckett)

Ethan and his mother enjoy fooling with an abandoned car atop Mt Pisgah.  (Photo courtesy of Mrs. Beckett)

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