The adventures of Pioneer Girl travelling with enthusiastic Camper Barn Owl Guy

Started as a blog about my trip from Pittsburgh to California in a Ford Pickup, hauling a 30' refurbed trailer/camper. Ah, California Dreaming, 'n all that. Found that adventures can be long distance or in your own neighborhood... I look for my own twist on local sites, don't take the known for granted...and always find something new. It's easy, just open your eyes..

Monday, November 22, 2010

Apollo, PA is a Palindrome

November 21, 2010.  Greetings, fellow Pioneers.  Today's GPS coordinates find me in Apollo, PA located in Amstrong County, northeast of Pittsburgh in a former coal mining region  With scout as my guide, I traveled the 35 mile drive, north on Route 65 following the Allegheny River and across the Kittanning Bridge.   Apollo got it's name from the former mill and foundry located in the area named Apollo Iron & Steel.

As a side, the owner of the company, hired a firm to design a town for all of his employees, as a way to keep his non-union steel workers loyal and productive and that model town became known as Vandergrift.  That's a pretty interesting story in itself

But it's true, Apollo, PA is a palindrome....spelled the same frontwards and backwards!  Something new I learned on my little journey.

Nellie Bly
My next Pennsylvania Historical Marker was located on a narrow side street at 500 Terrace Place.  A marker  honoring the birthplace of fellow pioneer, Nellie Bly.  Born as Elizabeth Jane Cochran, she was an extraordinary, obstinate pioneer of investigative journalism.  It's been fascinating learning about her.  Given her first shot as an anonymous writer for the Pittsburgh Dispatch, she moved on to New York became a foremost writer of undercover reports. She took on the name Nellie Bly as her pen name (made famous by another Pittsburgher, Stephen Foster, in his song Nelly Bly.).  She was a pioneer of investigative journaling and also crusaded for social change.

Nellie's journalism focused on women's rights issues, exposed abuses in politics, employment practices, and negligent hospitals and prisons.  She actually went undercover as an insane woman to get  into a lunatic asylum and get the scoop first hand and exposing the terrible conditions.  And she was young at the time..eventually married a man who was 72 when she was 30, and retired for a while until his death.  Then she traveled abroad and became the first woman in WW1 to depict war news on the front.  Amazing...and here we have Diane Sawyer and many other women, and don't really give it another thought.   Nellie Bly, Nellie Bly, you go girl!

      "Nelly Bly, Nelly Bly....bring de broom along...we'll sweep de kitchen clean, 
       my dear, and hab a little song...." 
A pretty amazing woman.... oh, and as an a child, she had quite an unusual nickname in those days because of how her mother dressed her, instead of the drab grays and calico's, her mother dressed her for success in pink starched dresses, ......and she shared the nickname of a current "radical" pop star and fellow Pennsylvanian, Alecia Moore, also known as...


                                                                             but Nellie Bly was the first....
So, therein was my trip to Apollo, PA, the Palindrome of Western PA.

I saw a sign that read "Peace on the open road," so may your travels be peaceful.
......Pioneer Girl...xoxo

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