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The Crane. The crane continues to fascinate. How many people have driven by and never stopped but wondered what was going on? How did it get there? Who owns the crane? Is the graffiti changed by the same person? What memories do people have of the crane? Did anyone make love by the crane? There are many unresolved questions. A complete investigation is necessary (which, of course, will spawn new questions).

The crane is located on PA route 51 south between Perryopolis and Uniontown in Waltersburg.

Tuesday, August 18, 2014

Crane Dismemberment Photos

The photos show the scrapping of the crane. Read the Tribune article on 06.30.2014.

June 30, 2014 Tribune Review article

Monday, August 4, 2014

Karen Matheson
I don't know if u are still interested in this. My dad Emil Revala ran this shovel when he worked for Piccolomini for a good part of his life. Unfortunately, my dad died at the age of 92 in January or I could give u some information about it. I have some old photos of him on the shovel somewhere (or my brother does). Actually, I have a 30 second or so VCR tape converted from film. My brother is older and probably knows a lot more. I didn't know that the shovel had so much notoriety till I read the article in the TRIB recently.

June 30, 2014 Tribune Review article

April 19, 2014 Tribune Review article

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Emmert Herbert
I lived in Fayette all my life and that shovel has been part of my life I remember getting my picture took with when I was little. The first time I took wife to Kenny wood my car broke down there. I mean that shovel has been a Fayette land mark. now I work with the guy Larry masung owns it now in fact he bought the property about nine years ago and the shovel with it. he was telling me about how that is his retirement plan to turn it into a hot-dog shack where you would walk under the boom to go in and eat, but couple weeks ago some one started to cut it up the boom is on the ground in pieces. when he seen the boom laying on the ground it ripped him a part I never seen him so mad and he is my one of my bosses . but when he went to the cops and they wouldn't do anything about it so I was wonder if we could get your support

Wed, April 24, 2013

On 12.20.2006, Rich Klein asks:
Does anyone in this forum have any local knowledge or history of the large power shovel along Route 51 near Waltersburg, PA a few miles north of Uniontown? I think it has been there many years. We often pass through between Virginia and Pittsburgh and see it. It did not seem to move for years but recently it appears to have been moved a bit on the same lot. Attached is a photo from 2004. Read more: Old Excavator

Wed, May 12, 2010 3:01:03 PM

Mr. Frisbee,
I happened to be browsing this site Glenn Tunney and came across the inquiry concerning the piece of equipment along route 51 at Waltersburg. I can remember this piece sitting along 51 ever since I was a little kid growing up in Smock. Our school bus use to go by it everyday on it's way to Uniontown. As a number of people have commented about it being moved periodically and the reason(s) for it being there are correct. The land does not have to be reclaimed as long as there is a piece of "working" equipment on the land that must be moved to validate this. If I recall correctly it seems to be moved ever 8 to 10 years or so. I remember it sitting right next to the highway, then next to the cliff area etc.... This strip mining operation at one time belonged to the Piclomini (sp) coal operation out of Waltersburg. I am not sure if the own it any longer since I haven't lived there since 72 and have not been back there since 2002. If I had to guess, I would say that the Piclomini's still have something to do with it.

Gene Vitikacs
Formerly of Smock

06.10.06 writes,
In looking up info on "the crane" (steam shovel) I found your site. I have always heard that the steam shovel was left there years ago so that the improvement would not have to be done. I don't know if that is factual or not. I don't know who said that "the crane" was no longer there. It was there yesterday. I have some very close ties to some of the owner's whose property surrounds that piece of ground. I can find out if any of them have any information about it. I remember reading the article in the Herald Standard. It is a shame it isn't available electronically.

05.20.06 writes,
RE:Koehring 1005 shovel
comments = This machine was used by William Picclominni coal company to strip in and around Fayette and Westmorland county during the 50's and 60's. It is a 1951 buildt machine. It was for sale on ebay about a year ago twice, but never sold. It is a shame how people have messed it up with graffti.
You can contact the Herald-Standard in Uniontown for article in their archives for more info. I see it every year when I go to Uniontown from Texas via Pittsburgh airport. There is other equipment near Greensburg from this company I have heard. This shovel has a two cubic yard bucket and was for stripping overburden. I remember it in York Run, Fayette County, in 1960.


rose glitter writes

I grew up in Belle Vernon and moved away in 1979. My many trips back home to visit family we always comment about the crane. I know that it changes everytime we come by, but never leaves it's resting spot. I always thought that if someone moved it I would never know were I lived. I believe it has in someway significant value and should be made a landmark. At least a placard should be placed in front of it. If it indeed was used by the coal mines, which are long gone, I think it would be a great monument to the coal miners. There also used to be bee hives in that area, which were recently removed. We noticed this on our many trips home.


Louis J.Prah of Uniontown writes:

hello mr.frisbee,
I recently read an article in the Uniontown news paper written by Glenn Tunney concerning the coal stripping shovel that is parked on the north bound side of rt 51. The last time that I remember that shovel being in continuous use dates back to approximately 1964-66 time frame. It has sat there unused and abandoned for many years until "lo and behold", an article appeared in the H.S. (Hearld Standard) paper about a year ago detailing the refitting of new batteries and replacing the rusty load cables on the boom. This work was performed by a gentleman last name of Piccolomini from Connellsville.
The machine was started with little difficulty according to the article. I drove by there shortly afterward and it was obvious that it was driven around the lot several times. Since then I have seen evidence of further movement at various times, boom up and stopped in a different position. The machine was painted but graffiti is returning. The latest thing that I have noticed near the "shovel" is the installation of light poles---so something is diffinitely in the "works" for that site. Maybe a museum or shovel rides for a Sunday afternoon!! One thing for sure"it ain't a dragline"


Ronald Sterbenz wrote:
Not sure if anyone passed along this information or not but the Herald Standard did have a large article just a few years ago on this crane. Don't know why it wasn't mentioned.
Ron Sterbenz
California, Pa
Does anyone have a copy of this article?


RE: the crane . . . was part of a taffy pulling stunt gone awry in 1966 or 1967 . . . haywire antics or madcap shennigans, i believe . . .
Red Puccoon

UPCOMING! -Just in from Glenn Tunney-
In this coming Saturday's column, I plan to include some reader responses to your inquiry about the Route 51 "crane". If you give permission, I will include a sentence that says, "Any reader wishing to further discuss this unusual industrial “landmark” with Emmett Frisbee may contact him."
Don't forget the submit button or to e-mail:


emmett comments:
The name Piccolomini keeps surfacing. Does anyone have an e-mail address or phone number for Mr. Piccolomini?

bob garrett writes:
The Community Foundation has nothing to do with the crane in question, excavation or construction business, however, in talking with staff in our office we think that a Mr. Mario Piccolomini may have had an interest in it at one time….that it purely speculative and not necessarily factual.   Hope you find an answer. Maybe one of the State Legislative offices has the answer?
  Robert W. Garrett, Director of Marketing
Community Foundation of Fayette County
2 West Main Street, Suite 600 Uniontown, PA 15401 Telephone: 724-437-8600

ray washlaski writes:
What you are referring to is a large strip mining shovel, probably left on the site after it was strip mined many years ago. The company that stripped the area may have gone out of business, or failed. You see these things in mining area, equipment abandoned after the coal is taken out. If you could track down the company that stripped mined the area, after it was deep mined, you may find more information.

Ray Washlaski, Editor of "The Old Miner"
The Old Miner
Pennsylvania Iron Furnace Sourcebook

david w writes:
I do know what you are talking about.......however I do not have any info on the crane.  

glenn tunney writes:
  I do recall reading an article about that crane a few years ago -- I believe it was in the Herald-Standard -- but I am afraid I do not have a copy of the article nor do I know when it was written or by whom, and I do not have any other information about the crane.  Sorry I cannot be of help.  Good luck in your research.
P.S.  If you would like, I can ask my readers if anyone can supply information about the crane.  I do this in a monthly "potpourri" column in which I ask readers questions that other readers are seeking answers to.


dj huber writes
Levitating Crane-..& RR too
re:Detremental:detroit-->FOMOco closing 8 plants,(not enuf 'defense',i.e.:war CONtracts).go way of Nash/Hudson/StuDebaker/olds/whores& buggys,bugs me. CRane options->maybe remnant-early ET,(alien)exploration,or plot by Howard Hughes,(RKO films)excavate deep treasure trove stolen Nazi art,etc.,or was playground prop for era of Giants-of-Industry,now kaput, see above. go to rockbuddharock. net Soiree bout this...
Denny J Huber,Publicist

gene n boots candy writes:
think it was owned by a fellow named piccolomini, and it was a shovel not a crane. It was up around Waltersburg. on the left traveling south. and by- the-way it is not there anymore..

Say its not true. Could someone please check this? I'm over 40 miles away in Pittsburgh and would have to hitchhike. E-mail:

H.S. Letters of the Herald Standard writes:
No. We may have done stories on this in the past, but they would not be electronically available.

Lana Domico writes:
The only thing I can tell you is that is has been there for about 20 years. I don't know how it got there or who it belongs to. Over the years it has been basically become a part of Rt,. 51. Call the Uniontown Chamber of Commerce and they may be able to tell you more.

erika carr writes:
Thank you for visiting our website. does not have that information available.


Uniontown resident John Allen Gibel believes that the crane remains on the property so that land use and improvment laws do not apply. (Sort of a decades-long construction project.)