Eric Frein in Custody

No Deal to Fix New Deal-Era Stone Wall

MOSCOW — Plans to preserve a piece of history in Lackawanna County have fallen through.

PennDOT officials say it will cost too much to repair a stone wall in Moscow built after The Great Depression.

The stone wall along Church Street in Moscow shows its age. What you may not see is its history and the workmanship behind it all. Ken Carling of Spring Brook Township, a mason by trade, has admired that wall and others like it all his life.

“You have got to figure no equipment, hand laid, I don’t know where the labor came from you have to assume it was cheap labor. But, a lot of work went into them,” Carling said.

The labor actually came from the Works Progress Administration, or W.P.A., an organization born from President Roosevelt’s New Deal meant to give people jobs after The Great Depression.

The Church Street wall was hand-built in the late 1930’s but parts of it have crumbled in the past few years. Moscow Borough Council members hoped to preserve it using grant money. But, PennDOT officials now say the work will be much too costly.

You’ll find the work of the Works Progress Administration all over our area. From Moscow, to Blakely, to route 435 in Elmhurst Township where there are 4 W.P.A. walls. Some of the walls are better preserved than others.

PennDOT officials said other walls are farther from the road, so they have held up better over all these years.

The fact the wall on Church Street is still standing though is reason to preserve it, according to lifelong Moscow resident Eleanor Morrison.

“I think they are wonderful, look at all the years they held up. I wish they would repair them but this is a different age,” Morrison said.

PennDOT officials said there are no plans to tear down the wall. But it will have to be removed if it becomes a safety hazard.

But folks in the Moscow area of Lackawanna County said the wall still stands, though crumbling, for a simpler time when hard work was done by hand.

“There’s no replacing them, you will never see anybody build another wall like that,” Carling added.

13 comments

  • John Walter

    How difficult would it honestly be to contact one of the many stone qaurries in northeastern pennsylvania and get blocks of stone to repair the damaged section of these walls? Come on penndot wtf now I know why I would never sink to the level of a penndot employee. Any of the counsel members from this area if u read this and have facebook look me up I know some stone qaurry owners who may be able to help u

  • Keith

    So y cant the ppl of this county go volunteer the labor to replace the section/s of this/these historical walls. I have personally built walls like these and it is a bit difficult but surely can be done. So I close with this not everything needs to have a price if there are kind and caring individuals left in society these days..

  • JimmyDean

    First of all the Jay u don’t even know what ur talking about because the workers u r talking about are maintenance workers and a project like this would be put out for bid because it would be a roadway project and second of all people blame Penndot but guess what the only person to blame is our governor from holding back all the transportation money from being put to good use. I’m not sticking up for or going against Penndot but it starts from the top and the trickle down effect starts. We will see what this new transportation bill will bring to us!!

    • jay

      JimmyDean, i stand corrected. PennDot is efficient, never wastes money, never takes too many breaks, and it’s workers are always busting their humps whenever I see them on the job. Sorry, JimmyDean, a simple mix up on my part.

    • jay

      JimmyDean, so let me understand your union way of thinking… the governor pumps more money to unions and that breeds efficiency and saves tax dollars. Sure, let’s try that. FDR said unions and government employees should never mix. How true.

    • JimmyDean

      Jay I don’t think you’re comprehending what I am saying I am NOT for unions by no means I do not work for PennDOT all I’m trying to say is that these types of projects require a lot of funding because its considered historical. Just to give you an example I seen a bridge that was restored to look like the day it was built and it also was a.very small bridge and it cost over a million dollars to restore it looks like it’s very minor work but there is a lot to it that the eye does not see. PennDOT is very inefficient but that’s what happens when you have a union backing you trust me I understand what you are saying but I’m talking about something totally different

  • jay

    Look at the everyday PennDot road repair job site : 17 non- motivated guys, most of which are doing nothing and making a nice union wage. I love to see them in the summer while they are on one of their many breaks throughout the day, laying around in people’s front yards like beached whales…just beautiful. What an absolute waste of tax dollars ! What’s yellow and sleeps 6 ? A PennDot truck !

  • meitsjust

    What does PennDot do? The roads in Susquehanna County are the worst ever. Rt 29 north of Montrose is beyond okay and they plow so badly. The state is getting all kinds of money from gas wells and tax payers what are you doing with it?

  • pocono_guy57

    PennDOT is by far the most incompetent organization I have ever dealt with. It took 3 months and 6 trips to the title/tag business in my area to simply get a correct owners card and title for a car I purchased…and guess what…there’s not a thing you can do about it. Do something for the people? Forget it…they are too busy blowing your tax dollars. I wouldn’t trust them to mow my lawn.

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