16 Comments

  1. Jim bailey
    9/30/2015
    Reply

    Does the Digs have photos of the Breakfast Cheer Coffee company that was on Penn Ave. and East Carson Street? This company was started by my great-grandfather, Patrick Campell, Campbell & Woods in 1908. Thanks!!

  2. […] “It's like walking into a tomb” The only items human in scale were the boots and gloves scattered on the floor of a locker room. “At the site, there is an eerie sense of quiet,” wrote Press reporter Christine Vorce. “The air smells of dust, rust and the slightly acrid odor of coke … Read more on Pittsburgh Post-Gazette […]

  3. David Conrad
    9/30/2015
    Reply

    Good to see, Steve…….and now the millenials love the post industrial past……art pop ups and craft beer parties at Carrie furnace…..who woulda thunk it?
    We were all of us born outta those “tombs”.

  4. Carlo Veltri
    9/30/2015
    Reply

    Very good reminder of what we “Pittsburghers” used to be…..Very nice Steve!!!

  5. Jerry Bunda
    9/30/2015
    Reply

    Great memories of a difficult time. Thanks Steve for the photos. My father is Frank Bunda who died about a year ago. Would love copies of the photos.

  6. Dan Holland
    9/30/2015
    Reply

    Your photos bring back fond memories of working in the mill–not as a steelworker, but as a history intern back in 1989. During my junior year at CMU, I and two of my colleagues spent the summer researching the history of the mill, exploring it, and documenting it for the Steel Industry Heritage Task Force (now Rivers of Steel) and the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania (now Heinz History Center). We took photos of our experiences and recorded what we could, but nothing could replace the haunting impression that we were walking into a mill that had just closed. It was as if all the workers had left for the day, expecting to come back, but never did. The size and scale of the machinery and the tools gave us new respect for the work that steelworkers did, and do. It’s a far cry from our laptops and cellphones of today. Back then, people actually made things.

  7. Dean B
    9/30/2015
    Reply

    Where are the editors and proof readers? Last sentence in the second paragraph: “…the mill that had employed HE and his father…” Geez.

    • Chris
      10/1/2015
      Reply

      That’s what you took from this story? A tiny oversight in editing?

  8. Jim Gallagher
    9/30/2015
    Reply

    My safety shoes and hard hat are or were still in my locker when I left in 1984. Still brings a tear to the eyes of many of us.

  9. Gary Boczar
    10/1/2015
    Reply

    I don’t look at it as a tomb. I look at it as a monument to the greed of man and the aftermath of the result. I worked at National Tube in the 70’s and early 80’s I have memories and stories that I tell my children of what it was like to be a mill hunk. I was part of the generation that was forced to move in order to find good work. McKeesport and other cities became a ghost towns when the mills
    Shut down. Books have been written about this tragedy, but none have captured full extent of how a way of life was ripped out of the communities. The people there can rebuild and the area will rise up again as a phoenix because the work ethic is still there. You just have to believe.
    Gary E Boczar

    • Robert Karikas
      3/16/2016
      Reply

      Very true , have to have there and felt the ‘magic’ of the times that were nothing short of greatness. Grew up in McKeesport when it was still booming.

  10. […] From the photo archives of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette — “It’s like walking into a tomb” [Pittsburgh Post Gazette] “At the site, there is an eerie sense of quiet. The air smells of dust, rust and the slightly acrid odor of coke gas wafting out of a pipeline that a USX contractor is removing ….” […]

  11. Robert Karikas
    3/16/2016
    Reply

    McKeesport has lost close to 25,000 people.

  12. Jill Jenkins
    8/10/2016
    Reply

    Is there anyone out there remembers john mcclements the florist. There are no pictures or anything about that family. Also Joyce mcclements catering . There was also reymers

  13. James (Ping) Staton Jr.
    5/30/2017
    Reply

    I will be forever grateful to US steel, and the city of Duquesne and his adult population. Provide my parents an opportunity to make their dreams come true through hard work. All of us got an education that they never had an opportunity for. They were part of the great migration from the Jim Crow south. Pittsburgh made things happen that I otherwise would’ve been impossible. Working Sunup to Sundown six days a week beginning at (3) years of age, thru the sharecropping farming system insured perpetual poverty. The Steel Mill jobs were the gateway to the middle class for the Staton family. The community of Duquesne gave us the foundation that we still benefit from. Best people I have ever known.

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