*** ONLINE AS OF AUGUST 5, 2011 ***

Help Me Identify These Mystery Photos

Help me! On this page I have shared a handful of photos that are a mystery to me. If you have anything to share about them please post in the comments section at the bottom of the page. I will be adding more photos here in the coming months so please be sure to mention the photo number you are writing about. Any and all information is appreciated.

This photo is identified as simply “New Castle PA.” This is definitely a rural area, maybe out in one of the outlying townships. This is probably a c1910 photo. You can see an outhouse to the right and there is an electric pole in front of the large house. The key to this photo would be the unusual bridge/culvert over the creek. It appears two creeks come together right under the road. Post any comments at bottom of page.

This old class photo is presumably from a New Castle schoolhouse, which is seen in the background. I have eliminated most of the old schools in New Castle from contention. It’s a three-story building and quite prominent. It very closely resembles the old Reynoldstown/Central/Aiken School that sat on Pearson Street in New Castle and right now that would be my best guess. I only have photos that show the whole of the Reynoldstown School from the distance, but the windows/door scheme in those do not match this photo. Could this be the rear of the school – or perhaps its not from New Castle at all? I would say its a early 1900’s photo. Post any comments at bottom of page.

This is a class photo that came from an estate sale – and a family that had ties to New Castle and Pittsburgh. So it could be a class photo from a school in Pittsburgh. It’s probably from c1910. The key to this photo may be comparing the front (if it is the front) of the school with other school building photos. Post any comments at bottom of page.

I really have no idea what this photo is actually depicting, but it is marked on the back as “Prohibition” and “New Castle, PA.” This is an undivided back postcard (from the 1901-1907 era) so it’s much earlier than actual Prohibition (1919-1931) – although the fight over alcohol had long been ongoing. It looks like a large wooden vat in the background that has stairs on the left side, with men in uniform gathered around. They have the same hats and look like railroaders or streetcar operators or policemen to me. It at first appears a man and woman are inside the “thing,” but I believe it’s just a picture hanging there. Could this be some sort of a bust by local authorities? Could this have nothing to do with alcohol and be an outing at a park somewhere? If anyone has any ideas about this one I would love to hear them. Post any comments at bottom of page. Be sure to include the photo number is your post. (c1905)



  1. could be the old Mahoning school ?

    Paul Hunter · 09/23/2012 10:48 AM · #

  2. #3 photo looks like the side entrance to Arthur McGill school on Albert St. in New Castle. I attended there from 1942-1948 face the school from the front this entrance would be on the left.

    Don Adams · 11/09/2012 07:51 PM · #

  3. That is NOT the Arthur McGill school, which still stands today and is used as the New Castle Christian Academy.

    Tim Hall · 12/23/2012 09:10 PM · #

  4. That could be the Arthur McGill school, which still stands today and is used as the New Castle Christian Academy.

    Tim Hall · 12/23/2012 09:11 PM · #

  5. pic #2 looks like a pic of lincoln school(part of the lincoln and garfield schools) that i’ve seen before. iyt had that pavillion looking bldg in the pic i seen too. not 100% sure. it could also be the garfield school which faced Reynolds street. i’ll ask my next door neighbor who attended both lincoln and garfield schools and also his families home was demolished to make way for the new lincoln-garfield school which sits empty to this day. be back with an answer soon.

    Gino Ventura · 03/06/2013 08:22 PM · #

  6. i think im wrong about my guess. I thought of every school bldg in the city modern and old, gone or dilapidated and i dont think its New Castle. Pic #3 I think is Oak st/3rd ward school, look at the door way design and compare it to the pics you have of Oak st. school

    Gino Ventura · 03/06/2013 10:08 PM · #

  7. Thanks to Ida Kirkwood and her husband for locating stone at the cemetery and for the history of the fire and directions to the cemetery. I have not been there yet but I have intentions to Daniel, noneobriot

    Daniel n obriot · 03/13/2013 09:57 PM · #

  8. I may be mistaken but I kinda remembering seeing a very similar photo, and I think it’s Mahoning Town. Maybe this can point you in the right direction. Nice to see someone who cares enough to do this for our home town!!

    Keep up the good work!

    Joseph Fusco · 04/29/2013 11:23 PM · #

  9. I think that’s the Martin Ganz (sp?) school? My dad went there for a little bit, I think it was on Jefferson St. Pretty sure I’ve seen a photo of this building in one of those old historical calendars which I think was put out by the new castle news. I’m not sure if I still have my copy butiwill loll and let you know. I had been saving it but might have tossed it. They were centennial calendars that my mum had saved. Good luck.

    Sarah DiThomas · 05/16/2013 08:21 AM · #

  10. I see it is not Martin Gantz. There are 11 schools pictured but its not any of them. The calendar is from 1987-1988 and was put out by first federal savings bank

    Sarah DiThomas · 05/16/2013 10:08 AM · #

  11. (EDITOR’S NOTE) Sarah, Can you tell me which schools are pictured in the 1987-88 calender you have? I am very interested in learning more about that calender – and possibly getting a copy of some of the photos. Jeff

    Jeff Bales Jr · 05/28/2013 09:46 PM · #

  12. Hi. I thought I also might point out this website too for those that don’t know it exists. One might find information on their ancestors or add to it. It is also very interesting and has been around for some time. Thanks for the great job you are doing with this memoirs website too! ..brings out those nostalgic moments of good ol’ New Castle, PA !

    I hope you’ll mention this website on yours and maybe some will add their old photos of their families on it…great genealogy tool.


    Judy Champion · 07/02/2013 03:10 AM · #

  13. Photo # 2 for some reason, reminds me of a Building I recall near the Courthouse years ago. Not sure though.

    Judy Champion · 07/02/2013 03:13 AM · #

  14. Hi Jeff,
    Sorry it took so long to respond. It’s a 1988 calendar and the schools are: North St, Martin Gantz, Pollack Ave, St. Mary’s, Terrace Ave, McCaslin, Lawrence School, Thaddeus, Croton, West Side School and Highland Ave. I will scan it for you if you like but it will take me a lil while.

    Sarah DiThomas · 09/30/2013 02:10 PM · #

  15. Comments on picture 4.

    My thoughts on this are some type of reunion. All of the men gathered as the central focus of the picture have what I thing are reunion badges. One seems to have a decorative bar as well. If you look closely at the wooden structure that resembles a barrel I don’t believe it actually has that shape. I think it ends just above the shield mounted at the top. Your minds eye imagines it continues. It looks more like the stern of a ship. I also seems to have a small mounted buffalo head on it. Short horns. Just above the picture of the women plus it almost looks as if a lute or violin is hanging from it as well. It seems to be taken in an area set up as a picnic pavillion. No bootlegger would have been using such a giant keg.

    Steven · 12/24/2013 01:19 PM · #

  16. About 56 years ago Shenango Taylor Elementary School closed and children were sent to JP Byers and Shenango Elementary. Could this be Shenango Taylor?

    Chris Marrangoni · 04/13/2014 12:07 PM · #

  17. photo 4
    Are you sure it isn’t Cascade Park? The train used to bring folks from all around for a day out and picnics.

    Jean Adams · 05/30/2014 11:13 AM · #

  18. Photo 1 looks like it might be 168, west of Rt. 18

    Patricia D.Thomas · 10/07/2014 06:33 AM · #

  19. I live in NC now. That #3 is not Arthur McGill – I went there and lived on the North Hill. Those photos are really old – lol, older than me and I was born in 1957…

    Terri Ritchey Freeman · 10/07/2014 01:42 PM · #

  20. if I find the calendar I will let you know .. You can have it. If I find it.

    l price · 02/05/2015 12:04 AM · #

  21. Photo #1..When leaving W Pittsburgh, you can take Old Route 18 (Wampum Rd) and make right on Halltown Rd before reaching the new route 18. This could be vacant house as described by Patricia Thomas

    T · 02/14/2015 10:06 AM · #

  22. photo #1 seems as if it was taken in the community of nearby Enon Valley. The distinctive abutment is very memorable. You might try checking with the Hudak family members there; they were in the water treatment business in the early to middle ’90’s and were also interested in the purchase of #208 and 1/2 East Poland Avenue: myu late father’s former office locstion. Harvey’62,M.H.S.

    Harvatine, Darrell J. · 04/27/2015 12:23 PM · #

  23. I agree with Joseph Fusco.I think its the mahoningtown school..My family grew up there and it looks very familiar.

    Deborah Kramer · 06/09/2015 12:06 PM · #

  24. I’m thinking Moose club get together at the park

    c white · 06/30/2015 08:18 PM · #

  25. Photo 3 looks like the old lawrence school which was at corner of wilder and liberty In tube town

    Tchmura · 07/05/2015 07:33 PM · #

  26. Jeff,
    I have a couple pics of my grandfather in the ’30s and 40’s when he managed the Dairy downtown New Castle. I think it was named Superior, but could be something else. He then went on to manage the Borden Ice Cream plant on the south side and retired in ’68. He lived on Leasure Ave. just across the street from Mae Emma Hoyt and I remember visiting her in her home with my brother and sisters in the ’50’s. She would give us candy in her parlor and she had a parrot that always scared my brother. I took art classes in the Hoyt Institute of Fine Art after it opened in the ’60’s. after Mae Emma passed away.
    My dad, Will Stull, owned a sporting goods store/gas station (later a Pennsoil gas station) out in Neshannock at the crossroads of hwy 18 and Maitland Lane. They were called “Stull’s corners” because dad was the first business there. I even have some old 8mm movies of his station and him serving customers there in the 50’s.
    We lived on Brest Road till ’64 then moved to Columbus Ohio for three years. When we moved back to New Castle, we lived on Clen-Moore Blvd. and I attended George Washington Jr. High where I took wood shop with Woody Duran as the teacher…..he also was my dads wood shop teacher when he attended G.W. Jr. High.
    I have many stories to tell about NC.
    Rev.Jeff Stull

    Jeff Stull · 07/06/2015 09:58 AM · #

  27. photo #3 im sure I have this photo im trying to find it I got it when my mom passed they were from the south new castle boro byers ave I had an aunt peg who lived in Pittsburgh im gonna keep looking for the photo

    Dawn mccrumb · 08/09/2015 04:49 PM · #

  28. # 3 im pretty sure the bottom row 3rd one in from the right is my mom or aunt sandy

    Dawn mccrumb · 08/09/2015 04:57 PM · #

  29. # 3 my mother is the 3rd from the right bottom row it was jp byers school south new castle boro it was around late 1940’s me and my sister used to play at the school I have this picture they lived on byers ave

    Dawn mccrumb · 08/10/2015 05:31 PM · #

  30. Can Jeff Stull contact me? Looking for his brother Terry. Used to hang with he and his sister Sandy when I’d spend the summer at my grandparents, David,and Ann Brest on Brest Rd.

    David Brest · 10/02/2015 01:50 PM · #


    bella may cearfoss · 08/21/2017 10:44 AM · #

  32. The bridge, I believe it was overrun with trees and ground shrubbery in the 60s and 70s. West of Painter Hill somewhere toward grove city I think. If you were coming from the right side of the picture down that road there would have been a hill. Hiked out there with troup 44 from Presp church in easbrook. Road my bike out there with friends now and then.

    There is a road that goes up through Lakewood (right turn if you are coming from Eastbrook) I think if you follow that until it finally dead ends you turn left. It is still a ways but I don’t think there are any more turns before you arrive. Saw a bright lime green snake swimming in the creek below that ran at the time

    I believe there was a store where the house is pictured in the late 60’s early 70’s.

    sorry I can’t be more specific but moved in 1974 and haven’t been out there since.

    Strawhecker, Gregg

    PS might be able to fill in some blanks about Eastbrook, Troop 44, Camp Agawam,possibly other things in the area during that time. just ask

    gregg strawhecker · 01/07/2018 10:35 PM · #

  33. No 3 looks like the old Oak St. School

    Dori moyer · 03/18/2018 12:35 PM · #

  34. Bella May Cearfoss – My aunt was married to Eddie Cearfoss in New Castle. He ended up being the head of maintenance at Disney Land, Disney World and Space Mountain. Just wondering if you knew or were related to Eddie?

    Scott Bishop · 04/09/2018 01:26 PM · #

  35. Jeff,
    I believe Photo #1 was taken at the farm north of Pearson Park on the old Mercer Road, CR 1005 now out in Neshannock Twp. It looks a lot like I remembered as a kid in the 50’s. A look on Google Maps confirmed this for me. The big white barn say C.M. Elder & Son’s on it from the road view, but the pond and stream that runs under the road there looks like the same location and a lot like what I remembered as a kid. The old dinosaur that is there was there when I was a kid also.

    Jeff Stull · 12/08/2018 10:04 AM · #

  36. Hello. Jeff,
    I have been on this site many times and always find it of great interest, I am the great, great grandson of Col. Levi Brinton of Cascade park fame, I’m hoping to gain some correspondence from someone at this site
    are you still active here ?
    Thank you,

    Bill George · 04/15/2019 05:17 AM · #

  37. first photo there is a bridge out passed laurel school part of the old 108 left side going down first drop from school The second on I know of is on 62 other side of mercer left side before auction seen others in my travels with cross country bicycling threw the area.

    eric · 04/19/2019 07:46 PM · #

  38. If any on this web page would like a photo of The 1954 Shaw School Class Picture showing the four grades and Mrs Glenn that taught it, I could scan it and send it your way.We went from that school to Rose point for second grade (I think) and then to Harlensbugh for 4th grade. I might have pictures of the Rose Point class, taught by Mrs Livingston. Last names that come to mind, Boak, Haney, Cooper, Withrow, McKnight, Owens, Kerr, Harlen, Duncan,

    Chet Loch · 04/22/2019 06:20 PM · #

  39. Photo #1 South Main St. Bessemer Pa. Columbiana New Castle Rd. and St. Route 320. The culverts were removed when the road was paved and made wider. This was done in the late 50’s early 60’s after a fatal accident with a car striking one the culverts. My guess could be wrong but I am fairly certain that this is the location.

    Ronald DiLullo · 04/11/2021 12:51 PM · #