Realizing The Demise Of A Once Booming City, Brownsville, Pennsylvania 

by Crystal Carder

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I’ve never been a history bluff, but something about old buildings intrigues me. So, when we found ourselves in Brownsville, Pennsylvania over the weekend, it didn’t matter it was only 20 couple degrees out, we got out and walked. 

Brownsville is one of those pass through areas directly in between Washington and Uniontown, Pennsylvania that people don’t realize they are passing through. In fact, most don’t pass through, they just pass-by via the interstate, never realizing the beautiful town they are missing. 

Sure, the beautiful buildings that once lined the town are now abandoned, but the history still remains. The buildings are beginning to crumble and, honestly, I’m not sure many even know the extent to which the city is falling. 

At one time, there were once over 8,000 residents, but since every thing closed down, there’s now only 2,500. Looking at the houses, I can only assume it’s due to the poverty that those still there are*. Looking inside the abandoned buildings, I wonder if those people went to work at one of the factories, only to show up to a closed down building one day. 

Railroad track lines up an old road and the only way to drive down that road, is on the still working train tracks. 

Of course, though, from what I could tell, the road only takes you to residential homes and a train yard. 

Downtown, right along the Monongahela River, lies rows of abandoned buildings like, a National Bank, Union Station, and numerous shops.

The windows of the buildings are boarded up, mostly broken and slowly crumbling to their demise. 

Although, a few mom and pop shops still reside in a few of the buildings, most of the buildings have been left to look like an infamous ghost town.

These photos do not depict all of the abandoned buildings in Brownsville, but only give a small glimpse of the town. 


If you’ve never been to Brownsville, I suggest putting the little town on your bucket list, even if it’s just to visit the  Nemocolin Castle. 

*According to, the median income for Brownsville, PA was just $22,494 in 2013. 

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Windows R Us March 23, 2017 - 12:12 am

How sad! Brownsville has a lot of history and used to be the place to be!

Crystal Carder March 24, 2017 - 10:05 am

I agree, so sad to see the town becoming a ghost town

Adell June 8, 2017 - 8:06 am

Thank you for the attempt, keep up the great work Great work.

Brittany June 13, 2017 - 12:57 pm

I was waiting for this type of issue. Thank you very much for
the location.

Dick July 24, 2017 - 7:49 am

It’s challenging to find well-informed people on this topic, but you seem like you understand what you’re
talking about! Thanks

Jeffrey Smith February 25, 2019 - 3:48 pm

I lived in Brownsville from 1955 til 1963. It’s sad the manse for the 1st Presbyterian where we had lived was torn down as the “new” bridge was built. I’ve really never heard much from the kids I used to know. The church is long gone as well.

Crystal Carder February 26, 2019 - 8:52 am

I can’t imagine growing up there and everything being gone or closed. Brownsville looks like it was such a beautiful town at one time, there is so much history there.


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