Mystery Photo No. 27 solved

January 20, 2013
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Joe Paletta provided this postcard of the old Monterrey Restaurant.
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Park Burroughs / Observer-Reporter
The Hewitt Avenue bridge as it appears today. Order a Print
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The Hewitt Avenue bridge as it appeared in the late 1950s.

The bridge featured as our Mystery Photo last week is indeed a bridge to somewhere, but not where many people thought. It is not in Midland, nor is it near Glyde, at the intersection of Routes 40 and 519. It is not on Lone Pine Road, or Route 18 in Smith Township or Route 50 in Hickory.

The bridge, which still carries just one lane of traffic, is on Hewitt Avenue in Canton Township and crosses a branch of Chartiers Creek. Hewitt connects Route 844 in Wolfdale to Route 18, just beyond view in the old photo and one taken from the same spot last week.

“That’s the Butch Yanovich barn on the left,” said Angelo Falconi Jr., who thinks the barn was torn down in 1971. “The Route 18 Motel was at the intersection. It had five or six rooms,” he said.

“The field in the right of the photograph always used to flood, and we kids called it the Frog Pond,” Joe Paletta said. “A lot of red dog and dirt and slate from a slate dump up the road went into that area to fill it.”

Paletta identified the building just to the right of the bridge sign as the Monterrey Restaurant, built around 1955, according to Falconi.

Paletta said the Monterrey, owned until 1988 by Joseph and Sandy Sacco, was famous for its broasted chicken. The building later housed offices and apartments until 2004, when it was heavily damaged by nearly five feet of water from Hurricane Ivan. It was torn down and a new building constructed in its place.

Route 18 Plaza and the strip of stores that includes Lowry’s Western Shop have replaced the farm buildings.

The bridge has changed hardly at all. Though it’s not much wider, it carries more weight – 28 tons, compared to just two tons when the old photo was taken.

Though we received more than two dozen phone calls and a slew of emails, no one was able to identify the workers, who may have been Canton Township employess or members of the county bridge crew.

Look for another Mystery Photo in the Observer-Reporter next Monday.

Park Burroughs has been with the Observer-Reporter since 1972. He is the winner of numerous state and regional awards for feature, column and editorial writing. He is the author of two books, “Enter, With Torches: Recollections of a Grumpy Old Editor,” and "Washington County Murder and Mayhem." He retired in September 2012 but continues to contribute to the O-R’s news pages.

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