The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

A place called Industry

with 3 comments


– photo by Mitch Waxman

I admit it, it was the Shell Cracker Plant that drew me in, but it was seeing the nuclear plant’s cooling towers which made me happy while visiting Pennsylvania’s Beaver County. I’m semi confident in stating my outright and admitted guess that they’re a part of the Beaver Valley County Power Station. Guessing, as said, but there you are. First time in these parts. I think that I was in a place called Shippingport, after visiting another hamlet dubbed Industry.

I drove about the waterfront of the Ohio River for a little bit after getting a few shots of the Shell facility, doing my ‘lookie loo scoutie’ thing. A humble narrator probably looked pretty ‘sus’ to the locals while tooling along in the Mobile Oppression Platform and sticking the camera lens out the window every now and again, but there you go.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

There was a mill with a lot of people doing some sort of work within. Seemed like a metals business, from the overall shape of the place, but since I’m still trying to just understand where things are hereabouts… I wasn’t going to hang around and ask the hard hats what they were getting up to. There was something else nearby, which I had spotted while scrutinizing a Google map of the area, that I wanted to check out.

I had to drive through a residential town area to get there, but that wasn’t a problem. Really nice and neat little community, kind of lovely water front place with some houses that enjoyed Ohio River frontage property, dogs in yards, that sort of thing, and all framed up with the Nuclear Plant in the background. Seemed like a pretty nice place. I’d show you what it looked like, but I don’t take pictures of people’s houses for this blog because that would just get weird fast.

Factories, bridges, that sort of thing is ok by me. Houses? How’d you feel seeing some weirdo in a black raincoat pull up in a car that looks like a Star Wars Stormtrooper’s helmet right in front of your door, and start waving a camera around? Lock and load, right?

Weird. Fast.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The United States Army Corps of Engineers’ Montgomery Locks and Dam, that’s what’s pictured above, and it’s found on the Ohio River. As I pulled up to this view, a group of fisherman type guys were piling out of a pickup and they filed down a hill to get to some opportune spot below. One followed their pathway, after finding a place to park the car. It’s Federal property, so I’m technically an owner with something like a 1/363,000,000th share of the thing. You too.

Parking in this sort of area isn’t about the difficulty of finding a spot to stick the car, instead it’s trying to find a spot where you know it’s legal or socially ok to do so. In some areas of Pittsburgh, it’s considered an affront to park in front of somebody’s abode if you don’t have any particular business with them or a direct neighbor. Google up “the parking chairs of Pittsburgh” if you want to know more about this sociological wrinkle.

I’ll tell you all about this dam tomorrow.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

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In the Shadows at Newtown Creek,” an 88 page softcover 8.5×11 magazine format photo book by Mitch Waxman, is now on sale at for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

March 21, 2023 at 11:00 am

3 Responses

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  1. The Shippingport “Atomic” Power Station was the “world’s first full-scale atomic electric power plant devoted exclusively to peacetime uses,” and put power to the grid in 1957. It was closed in 1982, and decommissioned. The current operating reactors there are known as Beaver Valley Nuclear Generating Station Units 1 and 2, but still commonly called “Shippingport.”

    Shippingport was a Westinghouse design – the successor nuclear power business still carries the Westinghouse name, and is now headquartered in Cranberry Township.

    Jon H

    March 22, 2023 at 10:40 am

  2. Did you see this, Mitch? . . . . . . In the Creeklands? Or just outside? “Parking Chairs of Pittsburgh”? Makes me nervous for the denizens as to what might transpire.

    georgetheatheist . . . usa chevrolet

    March 23, 2023 at 10:34 am

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