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Old Ruins - for Gnatbytes

2008.11.28
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Ruins of what's thought to be an old bottling plant in Valley Forge Park. The yellow blaze on the tree is a trail marking for the Horseshoe Trail.
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Ah, there's a doorway hiding behind that tree. Let's go in.
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The "interior" (I use that term loosely, for obvious reasons!). To the right is an archway with a narrow corridor running back to where a natural spring comes out of the ground. The grill in the foreground is obviously a Park Service addition to keep people out of the spring water. A pipe (the white line thru the doorway lower left) then directs the spring outside and under the path, where it flows to Valley Creek.
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The previously mentionned gated off spring waters, and the arched corridor. I did peek in, it's basically a corridor that goes 5 or 6 feet back, then turns right for another 6-8 feet. The spring waters flowed out of the ground somewhere in that back corner.
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Sorry, horrible angle, this is the spring water flowing out under the archway.
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The water was clearly intended to flow thru that pipe, but water always finds its own way, and prefers a crevice in the stone wall.
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View of the building from the lower end.
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Ruins in Valley Forge National Park. I've seen it stated that this was the first bottling plant of Hires Root Beer, but a long and tedious google search turned up nothing but anecdotal comments to this effect. There's no doubt that Charles Hires, the inventor and founder of Hires Root Beer, was a local Philadelphia success story, but every report I could find had his company's bottling plant and offices located on Arch Street in Philadelphia, a location that makes far more sense than the then wilderness of Valley Forge.

But, the building may very well have been some sort of bottling plant, it's built directly over top of a natural spring from which a steady stream of water flows down to Valley Creek. Hard to imagine why else someone would build over a spring. Anyway, apart from some obvious meddling by the Park Service to keep people from collecting water from the spring, and to channel it under and away from the hiking path, the place is being allowed to disintegrate naturally. Sorry for the lousy photos, it was a dreary day! Note to self - go back on a sunshine and blue sky day! ;)
22 Comments
LostAspen Very cool building! I really like 1, 2 and 4.
LostAspen · 2008-11-30: 18:54
sendao wow!Ireally like this kind of photos!
vote for first and last.great work!
sendao · 2008-11-30: 19:39
????? How cool, you know I love this!!!~ R
????? · 2008-11-30: 20:00
mystic1 Very cool Liz, I actually like all the shots the weather gave it more of a mystery effect, fantastic reportage to with the photos :)
mystic1 · 2008-11-30: 20:26
joycephotography Great set, I think it would be a blast if we went out on a shot in the future.
joycephotography · 2008-11-30: 21:03
leocheung Interesting journey. Good shots.
leocheung · 2008-11-30: 21:06
JaCkYe Beautiful set....
JaCkYe · 2008-12-01: 12:05
busybee36 What a great place with atmosphere to take photos, well done.
busybee36 · 2008-12-01: 14:08
BlueLady "Ruins" is one of my favourite photographic subjects.... Very well done... Great post!
BlueLady · 2008-12-01: 15:52
finbarr great post !!! well done!!!!!
finbarr · 2008-12-01: 19:17
quietgal Cool set!
quietgal · 2008-12-01: 19:30
photopoet Oh — I do like the tour. Great set.
photopoet · 2008-12-01: 19:48
coyoteself What an interesting old ruin and reportage
coyoteself · 2008-12-01: 21:57
Mabi938 I noticed fresh water. Nice.
Mabi938 · 2008-12-01: 22:29
catdad I think you did a great job, looks like a neat place to visit , nice shots. cd
catdad · 2008-12-02: 10:45
Sonic7 For some reason this set made me feel really kinda sad. Great set.
Sonic7 · 2008-12-02: 15:34
Jannie Wow, cool old stone building. Great reportage! Excellent photos.
Jannie · 2008-12-03: 20:31
????? Nice set
????? · 2008-12-04: 08:32
NellyBly Really interesting, nice photos. I love old ruins...can just imagine...
NellyBly · 2008-12-04: 10:55
cprior2 That is a great little set! Looked like a perfect day for adventure
cprior2 · 2008-12-07: 17:53
????? Some background...The property was owned by the Hires family, but not for the production of Root Beer, rather it was their spring water bottling plant. Hence all the water running through it. I seem to remember it was called Colonial Springs bottled water. And this was a while ago, back before bottled water was trandy
????? · 2012-10-25: 17:54
????? was there back in the 70's. now 43 memories come flooding back. my father took me there on our nature hikes! Valley Forge has many interesting things. anyone also hear of the "Port Kennedy Bone Cave"? the road along side of it has cancer asbestos signs all over it. very interesting story
????? · 2013-04-24: 21:52
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Views: 761
Category: Historical Areas
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Tagged: ruins old stonebuilding park
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