Papa’s World – Memories from the past – part Seven!

Historical Mt. Nebo Lutheran Church

In North-Western Pa. in the midst of the very ancient Alleghany Moutains –

Sits a village known as Mount Jewett.

A town was built and settled by Swedish Emigrants.

Sherry’s mother and her mother were Swedes – her grandmother was born in Sweden.

Memories of past generations.

Historical Mt. Nebo Lutheran Church

Built in 1885 by the Swedish men – this is a replicate of an actual EIGHT-SIDED church still existing in Sweden. This church was built for them and services were held there regularly through out the 1900s until the early ’60s.

When a new church was constructed by the ancestors of the Swedes of the 1800’s!

Memories of generations!

Today it is on the Historical resgister

It is completely surrounded by graves of those early settlers and this view is almost from the graves of Sherry’s parents and family members.

The interior of the church is a Octogon and consists of two levels.

The mural behind the altar was painted by a traveling artist and signed in the early 1900s.

All the original altar – organ – pews and communion vessels remain.

Memories of a congregation of immigrants.

Nearby is the historic Kinzua railroad bridge – the highest bridge built at the time in the 1800s.

A tornado came through and took down half the bridge – today it is a tourist area and a state park.

It also was the location for the TV series ” FINDING BIGFOOT”!

Memories of a long-gone dream of transit railroad through the mountains.

The little Swedish coffee shop

KAFFE SOL – Swedish for coffee shop – sits in the heart of the town of Mount Jewett.

If you like homemade cooking and great tasting treats of cinnamon rolls etc.

Then this is a must to stop and eat.

But it closes in mid-afternoon so they can go home and start that homemade cooking all over again.

Memories of sights and smells of the past in NWPA!

The center of town and their little town square.

Thanks for reading Papa’s World




Papa’s World – The first time I met Bill – Sherry’s father.

We had been dating for a couple months – and now it was time

she told me – to meet her parents!

I had a 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix and this was 1981.

It was a burgundy red with a half white leather top.

All leather inside to match the burgundy and bucket seats!

My thought was maybe he would like the car

and then like me! LOL

So goes a nervous mind of a 31 year old!

Bill was a man – and a vet of WWII.

Serving in the war and told me a few stories.

Sherry told me he had been in a motorcycle accident some years before.

And had been injured really bad

to the point he almost died.

He was a master carpenter and did all the remodeling

on their home – building additions

and was currently building a chimney

and facing it with bricks as we drove up and parked.

She told me just be normal – but he was imposing – 6′ 2″

Sherry got her height from him and his personality

I was later to find out.

She reminds me so much of him.

We got out of the car

and he later told me he thought I was a State Trooper

because I looked like a State Trooper friend of his named Carl.

Sherry Debby Bonnie standing just to the right of the front porch he had put on and was facing the chimney with bricks

He stopped as we walked up and she introduced me and we shook hands.

It was a firm grip – a grip of a Vet and father if you know what I mean.

He had Three daughters – Sherry being the oldest.

We both had been married before

and man I was nervous.

Debby Sherry Bonnie

But – after a few words he made me feel at home

and ever since that day – he became a second father to me.

Teaching me all about construction –

I still can not master it but at least I know some things!

My own father passed when I was 19 and the last years of his life

he spent in a battle with lung cancer.

Bill loved to cook – as did Barb – but I remember him standing

in the kichen at the stove watching over the fry pan

making breakfast – smiling that crooked grin he had.

Sherry Bonnie Debbie Barb Bill

That first day back then started a friendship

that lasted some 18 or 19 years until he passed away.

He told me many a story – both about the War

and his early life growing up in Ludlow

where my brother in law Bill grew up.

Cindy Tom ( Papa) Sherry

We have been together 39 1/2 years Married 38 years

and every time I look at her

I see Bill – certain little things I notice.

And a lot of people tell her that I look like her father

some who did not know us asked if I were his son.

Tom ( Papa) Sherry

Yep – that day in 1981 I drove my car up the driveway

and by the way – he liked that car!

Just another day of memories

and one that I cherish to this day-


Thank you for reading Papa’s World



Papa’s World – The wonders of the KINZUA BRIDGE

Hundreds of years ago – this was the land of the Seneca ‘ s –

One of the five nations in Western Pa. and New York State.

And in this land – was a river and mountains and a valley –

The river – the Allegany – the mountains the same –

and the valley – ” THE KINZUA ” !


Both Sherry and myself

were born and raised in this beautiful part of Penna. and NYS .

Her in a little hamlet called Mount Jewett –

a SWEDISH founded community on top of the mountains –

And me – in the river valley in a little town called Eldred.

Both situated within the boundaries of the Allegany mountains

and what the Indian nation called ” KINZUA ” !

Land of the Senaca’s THE KINZUA VALLEY

Back in the late 1800’s – a way to bring coal to a place to store and sell –

You had to go up and down in these mountains –

A long hard trip –

So – a solution was to build a bridge – spanning this valley –

And to ship the coal by RAIL !

Thus was born ” THE KINZUA BRIDGE ” !

What is left of the bridge

At the time of construction ( I think in record time of months )

It became one of the WONDERS OF THE WORLD –

At its highest point – over 300 feet straight down –

and almost a half mile long !

Disaster struck – a TORNADO

The bridge was used for years and years –

undergoing a complete renovation in the years to follow to strengthen it –

As the trains became larger – heavy – and loaded with coal.

Then – it was deemed the end of transporting the coal era –

And became somewhat of a tourist attraction –

A look down from the bridge

The bridge – became a ride across –

with a steam locomotive carrying passengers .

After years of this – it was deemed unsafe –

But the locals still walked across it

and many rode snowmobiles across it

( Sherry’s father rode across countless times on a snowmobile )

Today – a historical site

About 12 to 15 years ago – disaster struck –

they had just begun restoring the old bridge-

It was going to be safe once again –

They were done for the day –


Conditions became perfect for Mother Nature !

The winds increased in the valley –

And a TORNADO ( rare ) formed –

The bridge went down – half of it !

One half left

In the years that followed – it was deemed as both historical

and a State Park – with a multi million dollar museum –

and bus loads of tourist all year around.

Glass floor installed

You can now walk out on it to the platform

and peer straight down through a reinforced GLASS FLOOR –

300 feet straight down – not for me –

There is a bench before you walk out –

That is my seat until all come back !

The entrance to the visitor center & Museum

The Visitor center and museum – gives a detail history of the construction

and a timeline and pictures of the destruction from the Tornado.

Along with interviews of eye witness ‘s and rescues !

The old rail road grade

The OLD RAIL ROAD GRADE has been resurfaced

and made into miles of walking and hiking trails

through the top of the valley.

Also known as the ” KINZUA DAM “

Several miles away – part of the valley was made into a dam –

No houses are allowed as it is one half state property –

And the other half belongs to the SENACA INDIAN NATION.

The marina on the KINZUA RESERVOIR

Boating and water sports and fishing is allowed – must purchase a license.

Miles and miles of shoreline in both NYS & Pa.

The area is beautiful – full of wild life –

much as it was hundreds of years ago.

The Senaca Nation owns and runs the Casino –

And the reservation encompasses much of the land in both states.


In the little town of Ludlow Pa. –

Is the site of the OLMSTEAD MANOR –

Built in the early 1900’s –

We have stayed here many times –

It still has the old phones – that you would blow into –

And the names of all the family who lived here-

With the number of the phone and which room they resided in !

There is a one lane bowling alley in the top floor !

Buck – Cindy – Sherry – Tom

All our friends are from the area – and we go home –

The Bridge is a must stop to see destination.

I hope you liked the blog and a little bit of information –

On the Allegany foothills and the KINZUA VALLEY & BRIDGE !

Thank you for reading Papa’s World

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Sherry & Tom