Bethlehem Steel In My Basement [VIDEO]
I just moved in to a house in East Aurora. like any other house in the United States, old or new, there is always work to do.With this house, most of the work I have to do thankfully is performing some cosmetic updates here and there.This includes my dream of having a finished basement. A party spot, home bar….MAN CAVE!When we started to gut the old and get ready for the new, I came across this steel I beam. look closely. Yep, made at Bethlehem Steel. It says Bethlehem,NY. I am guessing that means it was made right here in Western New York. More specifically, Lackawanna!
As a son of a former history teacher, I am what some may call a history buff. Little things such as this find always bring a smile to my face and always get me thinking. Thinking about the hard work that went into making this. The man power to mold such a sturdy piece of steel. It represents a different time in America and a much more prosperous time in Buffalo.
From the books I have read and the stories I have heard, when Bethlehem Steel was in it’s hay day, you could see the black smoke from miles away. There was that sulfur smell in the air from the coal burning away to heat and melt the steel. Railroad cars buzzed back and forth along route 5. The neighborhoods were buzzing as well with people and business that were supported by the mills. Bars for example made a killing off of the paychecks some guys would spend on a Friday afternoon.Lake Erie was full of lake freighters that floated in and out of the docks loading the bars, beams, rolls and stacks of pure American Made steel.
Sounds like a great story doesn’t it?The sad part about it all is that Bethlehem Steel in Lackawanna is nothing more than that. Stories. History. I found this video that, although is depressing, shows what is left after years of production left behind as memories of what made our area a jewel of industry.
The question remains…what to do with the steel sites?It has become a home to a mini wind farm and some ideas have been passed around including but not limited to a good place for an amusement part or even a NASCAR track.
Regardless of what will be the future of the site of the old Bethlehem Steel. I am so proud to own a HOUSE that is the HOME of part of it’s past!