In 1864, a large stone arch bridge was constructed in the forest of Big Shanty, Pennsylvania, on a railroad grade. It has been said that it was constructed by Confederate prisoners of the American Civil War.
Let me start by telling some of the reasons behind the construction of the arch bridge and the railroad line that runs through Big Shanty.
The lands of the Big Shanty area were owned by Daniel Kingsbury, who was a stock holder in the United States Land Company and purchased 60,000 acres in the McKean county area in 1851. These lands that were purchased in Lafayette township had a wealth of bituminous coal deposits. The problem was transporting the coal deposits to the Buffalo and New York City, New York areas. The railroad companies at that time were in demand of the coal, iron ore, and lumber. This railroad line would supply higher quality resources, especially lumber, that was quite scarce at the time.