|Raymond Robinson - Green Man|
Raymond Robinson was born in 1910 and at the age eight he was trying to view a bird's nest on Morado Bridge. This is where the terrible accident happened. At a tender age of only eight he touched a power line, to get to the bird's nest which electrocuted him. And in 1910 having being electrocuted and it causing the horrific facial injuries which never properly healed was probably do to the time he was hurt in 1910.
Raymond T. Robinson was born Oct. 29, 1910, in Beaver County, but little is known about his early years. He was a son of Robert and Louise Robinson, and the family lived on the outskirts of Beaver Falls. Robinson's father died in 1917, when Raymond was 7. So Raymond at age 7 only a year before his fatal accident had lost his father, the year before. His mother that was widowed that year who had married her brother-in-law, who was a widower and between them they had seven children, including Raymond before the dreadful accident the following year. So until the spring of 1919 Raymond Robinson was your typical kind of the 1900's. He would swim in the Beaver River in the hot summer days, hang out with his playmates around the Morado section of Beaver Falls and like ever typical boy at the times liked to take dares with his friends. However, Raymond would never realize how much of a dare would change his life for ever at age 8-age. On June 18, 1919, Raymond and several of his friends were heading for the swimming hole on the Beaver River like they always do every day that summer, when they came upon the Pittsburgh, Harmony, Butler and New Castle Railway Co. bridge spanning Wallace Run. It seems that the bridge that was always there, was torn down years ago and has been replaced by a Route 18 highway bridge, that was connected to Beaver Falls and Big Beaver. Now the Harmony Line, as it was known had regular daily trolley service between Ellwood City and Beaver Falls.
If the boys crossed the Beaver River at Koppel and paralleled the river as it made its way south into Beaver Falls. It came to a dead end just over the Wallace Run Bridge in Morado, where Passengers transferred to Beaver Valley Traction Co. trolleys serving Beaver County.
You are probably wondering where this is all going with the young boy Raymond and his friends at the swimming hole. But don't loose faith I will get to that part of the tale, my friends & Followers. These trolleys lines ceased operations in the 1930's.
Ok I think I found the part where it tells about the young boy Raymond and his friends in 1900's and the terrible accident that changed his life for every at age 8-years old.
[Note Bill Fronczek of Peters who had done extensive research on the Harmony line for
the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum in Washington, Pa, is said that Harmony trolley were powered by over 1,200 volts. and the Line form Ellwood City to Beaver Falls which opened in 1914 which featured a main transmission line carried over 22,000 volts AC. so this will give you an idea why the boy Raymond was so terrible disfigured and almost died].
So the Wallace Run bridge would have carried both voltages, in the 1900's - 1,200 volts and 22,000 volts. So the massive wooden structure was an attraction for local youths, like that of Raymond and his friends to go play in the hot summer days in the late September of 1918. There was another Beaver Falls boy before Raymond and his friends - Robert Littell age 12 who died from bad electrical burns he received while playing on the bridge with his friends.
But it didn't stop their curiosity, even though the boy that died was much older that Raymond and his friends. So Raymond and his four companions knowing about the fatal accident still ventured out into the span at twilight on June 18, 1919. All of them were probably 8-10 of age. However, a newspaper had said it was account that the boys were looking for a birds nest high on the bridges structure.
This is what the Beaver Falls Evening Tribune re-creation of the following conversation between the boys;
[' Who will see how many bids are in that nest," young Robinson said. "Not me, for there are electrical wires up there and a little fellow was nearly killed up there six months ago,'' one of his companions replied."Well, I will find out,'' Robinson said, and he began climbing a 'girder'' (The Daily Times of Beaver reported that he climbed on a box). But he went to far and Robinson was
horribly burned by the high voltage. It was amazing the young boy survived. The Beaver Falls paper gave the young boy little chance for survival. 'Their Headline 'MORADO LAD, 8 SHOCKED BY LIVE WIRE, WILL DIE''
However, even though the newspapers of the time didn't believe the young Raymond would survive, as he was in hospital for over a month, he started to show improvement against all odds. The Doctors all said that the young boy was a miracle.]
Well It may have been a miracle that the young 8 year old Raymond had survived the horrible accident but, he was scared horribly for life at a tender age of only 8 years old. His face had looked as if it had been melted with a blow torch. His eyes and nose were gone! His lips and ears were terribly disfigured. Finally Raymond left arm was burned off at the elbow. Also his upper torso was burned and scarred. It was amazing said the Daily Times which was the last to report on the terrible accident dated Aug 16, 1919, They said that in spite of all his affliction the boy was in good humor. Well that was at 8 years old. According to a nephew
Robinson would carry that trait for the rest of his life even with all the terrible stuff that had happen to him.
Well it seems that Raymond had spent most of his young life in Pittsburgh hospitals after his release from the Providence Hospital. And from there he had hundreds of surgeries to try to improve his appearance, however according to his nephew who wanted to remain anonymous for fear that curiosity seekers would show up at his door step, non of them really worked. Family members cared for Robinson until the last years of his life, when then he moved to a nursing home. His family didn't talk much about how he look and nobody really though about it. Uncle Ray was Uncle Ray and that was that said his nephew and they all loved him.
He never discussed his injuries of his problems said his nephew, It was just a reality and there was nothing he could do about it, so he never spoke about it or never complained about either. Raymond wore a prosthetic nose that was connected to a pair of dark glasses. He also received help from the sparse social services which was available 24-7 to him. Since he was blind he new rudimentary braille and passed his time his time at home weaving rubber door mats and making leather wallets and belts. Raymond also had a collection of metal puzzles consisting of horseshoes and other hardware that he deftly worked to the amazement of his young nieces and nephews.
He loved to listen to the radio and kept a shortwave in his bedroom. He also had a old phonograph on a stand by his favorite easy chair in the living room, which he would spent hours listening too. Raymond would spent most of his time indoors however, sometimes he would venture outdoors, to help with chores, he liked the push the old fashioned manual mower across the family lawn. The other was and favorite was hiking in the wood around his home. Since he was blind he would always take a stick to guide himself, on the gravel path.
No one would bother him or at least the locals, It remained that way until Raymond started to walk at night.
Things were going find till Raymond decided to start walking late at night between Koppel and New Galilee - behind his home. After that, Robinson established a routine. Several times a week in good weather, he would grab his walking stick around 10 p.m. and head outside. He walked for miles, and he usually stayed out until after midnight. Raymond's Mother hated it and was very concerned. She would plead with her son not to go out that path at night for fear that the people would come. However, he would go anyway. He was an adult, and his family couldn't stop him. Whether it was for exercise, or to talk with people other than his relatives, the family never knew for sure. What they do know was it caused no uncertain amount of worry and anguish for the family. His mother couldn't sleep until he returned. If he came home before 11 p.m., things were fine. If he didn't, the entire household was out looking for him. The nephew recalled family members walking the road in the middle of the night.
Sometimes he would be gone all night!
Well the family of Raymond worst nightmare did come true. Word soon spread around that there was a strange man walking around late at night in the area of Koppel and New Galilee and soon local teenagers began to drive out that way to get a look at their beloved uncle. And from there the story snowballed across the country and everybody wanted to see as Raymond was now being called Charlie No Face or Robinson the Green Man. It was scary to see scores of cars loading up in their uncle area of Koppel-New Galilee Road in search of their Uncle Raymond that they all have now called Charlie No Face. Bring beer and cigarettes just to get a look or a few word with as they though the legendary figure which was really a kindly man that just wanted to take a walk out side of his home with a badly disfigured face from a horrible accident as a child. The Robinson's family never understood what drew the crowds. They resented the derogatory nicknames and particularly disliked the fact that people gave him booze. Alcohol was never consumed in the Robinson home. The sad thing about all of this is, Raymond would occasionally get drunk and lose his way. Once his family found him on the side of the road. He had spent the night in woods and crawled to the roadside after hearing traffic. Another time, they found him lying in a farm field. The incidents only served to increase their worry. Doing this post I truly felt for the family and I never understood people how they treat people that are different. Just because Raymond had the disfigure doesn't mean you can treat him any lest of a human being. He just wanted to have a walk outside I truly felt for this family and was angered by the people that did this to Raymond and his family and the awful people that had the gull to ask if they could hire Raymond for the freak show i would had kick them in the butt!!! It got really bad said his nephew adding that he nearly cam to blows several times with people. Because people would pull up right to the house at all hours of the night honk the horns and shouting they wanted to see You know!
After that he had a quiet life as far as I know, at least I pray that he did with his family.
he was a very kind man.. even with all his issues.. He died on June 11, 1985 seven days before the 66th anniversary of his accident at the Beaver County Geriatric Center, now Friendship Ridge, in Brighton township where he spent the last few years of his life. he was buried with the same young boy Robert Little the other Beaver boy who was fatally burned on the bridge nine months before Raymond. in Grandview Cemetery.
Robinson stopped walking Koppel-New Galilee Road several years before he moved to the nursing home, but his legend is permanently ingrained in the folklore of western Pennsylvania. I hope that Raymond had peace in his later years..