Old Ruins - for Gnatbytes

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! ;)

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.

Ah, there's a doorway hiding behind that tree. Let's go in.

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.

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.

Sorry, horrible angle, this is the spring water flowing out under the archway.

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.

View of the building from the lower end.

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    There are 17 comments, add yours!

    • # Tom

      Very cool Liz, I actually like all the shots the weather gave it more of a mystery effect, fantastic reportage to with the photos :)

      2008.12.01 Reply Cancel

    • # Laura

      "Ruins" is one of my favourite photographic subjects.... Very well done... Great post!

      2008.12.01 Reply Cancel

    • # Neil

      I think you did a great job, looks like a neat place to visit , nice shots. cd

      2008.12.02 Reply Cancel

    • # Mel

      For some reason this set made me feel really kinda sad. Great set.

      2008.12.02 Reply Cancel

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