Steel Valley

Youngstown Sheet and Tube

Struthers, O. - Photo taken 5/28/1937, less than a month before the Stop 5 massacre at Republic Steel during the Little Steel Strike. A bunch of bad ass female pickets at Sheet and Tube.

Image courtesy of the Ohio Memory Connection.

Youngstown Sheet and Tube Brier Hill Works

Youngstown, O. - Congratulations to the blast furnace department at Sheet and Tube's Brier Hill works for logging 1,000,000 man hours without a major injury!

Photo circa 1955 - Image courtesy of Ohio History Connection

J&L Steel + P&LE RR

Youngstown, OH: These photos, which i borrowed from eBay, show the transition of industrial assets during the fall of the steel industry. Re-industrialization maybe?

J&L Steel - Campbell, OH: What once was Sharon Steel Hoop Corp. transitioned to J&L Steel. J&L did not have much of a presence in Youngstown, but their mills dominated the south side Pittsburgh skyline. The Youngstown mill is where my great uncle Al Grilli worked most of his life. When he retired this was known as Cold Metal Products. The photos below show the way they transitioned these mills in the 80s, in this case they just slapped some paint over the iconic J&L, and didn't even take care to cover the whole logo. The mill is still active, and is now known as Youngstown Pipe and Steel. 

Pittsburgh & Lake Erie RR: Locomotive #1501, which once was a workhorse for the "Little Giant" P&LE RR. At some point this loco transitioned to use on the Youngstown & Austintown RR. What once pulled massive amounts of raw materials and finished prodcuts for the steel industry, became my alarm clock in the summer. I grew up 8 houses from the Y&A line on North Hazelwood Avenue. Every morning around 9:15, the Y&A would blast it's horn, which let me know it was time to go down by the tracks and play. I would run outside and count the cars, which was usually 3 or 4. This loco was on light duty in it's retirement compared to what it used to pull I'm sure. Either way, it played a major part in my childhood. It makes me think of the men who ran it for the P&LE in it's heyday, and how their lives were affected by the closing of that rail road. Photos below courtesy www.railpictures.net

P&LE Gateway Yard

Youngstown, OH. Today is the 50th anniversary of a milestone for the now defunct Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad. Per the Youngstown Vindicator, "Railroad officials gather at the Gateway Yard in Youngstown for the "humping" of the 5 millionth car (enough to circle the earth). Humping is the act of shoving a line of freight cars over a hill onto multiple tracks, to be divided into a new train. 

The P&LE got it's nickname, The Little Giant, because they moved so much tonnage in relation to the amount of track they controlled. While they did offer passenger service, they primarily moved steel, and the ingredients to make it in its raw form: coal, limestone and iron ore. 

I have photographed what is left of the Gateway Yard many times, but on an occasion such as this anniversary, I wanted to show it in it's prime, not the post industrial wasteland I know it as. Check out the video below from YouTube user Erie1264.

 

 

St. Mary's Byzantine Rite Church

Youngstown, O.

This Greek Catholic church was located in the heart of Youngstown's Steelton neighborhood, and was literally across the street from where U.S. Steel’s Ohio Works once stood. I wonder what mass was like with the sounds of an integrated steel mill playing back up to the organ? Bang clang bang woosh clang (Amen) train whistle clang clang bang maybe? 

Below is an interior photo of the church in it's early years. When I documented the building in 2010 or 11, the beautiful mosaic floor was carpeted, and the ornate ceiling was dry walled over. A few years after I took these photos an arsonist burned the church down to the brick walls.

 

Images below circa 2010 +/-

Copyright Paul Grilli 2017

Copyright Paul Grilli 2017

Copyright Paul Grilli 2017

Copyright Paul Grilli 2017

Copyright Paul Grilli 2017

Copyright Paul Grilli 2017

Copyright Paul Grilli 2017

Copyright Paul Grilli 2017

Copyright Paul Grilli 2017

Copyright Paul Grilli 2017

Copyright Paul Grilli 2017

Copyright Paul Grilli 2017

The night of the fire. Photo and video below courtesy of Nicholas Serra.

Copyright Nicholas Serra. 

Copyright Nicholas Serra.