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The Shawmut shop building, an important site for the Pittsburg, Shawmut, and Northern Railroad, burned down in March 1941 and was replaced with a structure that also had a unique history, according to local historian Ray Beimel.
Beimel discussed the history of the Pittsburgh, Shawmut, and Northern Railroad during a recent presentation at the St. Marys Senior Center, noting that when the shop burned down in 1941, "every amateur photographer in town seems to have taken a picture of it."
"We have more pictures of that fire than we have of almost anything. I have 50 or 60 of them in the collection," Beimel said.
Beimel remarked that, at the time, it was not really feasible for the fire department to try to save the building.
"The fire department, of course, wasn't going to put the fire out. They were just going to make sure that the other buildings didn't burn down," Beimel said.