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Rices Landing Riverfront

Monongahela

Rices Landing Riverfront

Murray Kline in the foundry.W.A. Young and Sons Machine Shop and Foundry

Location Details

PHONE: NA
ADDRESS: River Road
Rices Landing, PA 15357

Description

When Rices Landing was incorporated as a borough in 1903, its streets were lined with shops, taverns, and trading posts. Its abundant natural resources — clay, sand, coal, and lumber — helped local businesses prosper. Its proximity to the Monongahela River made it an ideal industrial and transportation hub.

More than 100 years later, the stores, coal mines, and lock and dam that once defined this community are all gone. What remains is a strong connection to the river and the land. Rices Landing serves as one of the entry points to the Greene River Trail. Running parallel to the Monongahela, this rail trail meanders through the countryside for miles.

Many of the town’s 500 residents also remain connected to the past. One of those residents is Murray Kline. “When I was a kid,” he says, “our house was filled with pictures and stories.” Now this former shop teacher takes it upon himself to tell the stories of his hometown and the people who lived and worked there. A Murray-guided tour begins at the Lock Six Museum, where photographs and memorabilia recount the days when the river was the talk of the town. Next, he suggests a walk through the Hewitt Cemetery. Dating back to 1870, the grounds are the final resting place for the area’s most prominent citizens.

Another resting place (of sorts) on Murray’s list is W. A. Young & Sons Foundry. William A. Young built the original machine shop in 1900. He added a coke-fired foundry in 1908 and turned on the electricity in 1928. When the shop closed its doors in 1965, everything — the tools, drills, nails, presses, lathes, wooden molds and patterns, rags, and empty bottles — was left behind. And that’s where it’s stayed. Although the dust has grown thick and the air stale, the image of what was once a thriving business and a vibrant example of America’s industrial heritage remains clear.

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