Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Mount Pleasant Downtown

Doing a 360

       

  

 Coming into South Diamond toward town you will glance right and there is the Geary Historical Marker by the sidewalk, though I believe it use to be turned the other way.
At the Diamond at the meeting of Rt.'s 819 and 31 you can do a 360 degree turn and take in the World War 1 Doughboy statue, the clock tower and the Honor Roll seen here:
           




                and the solemn War Memorial as well:








AMEN to that



Down Washington Street past Goo's Corner Cafe restaurant is the old Overly cabin constructions, worth looking into.

         


   Up street near the corner of Eagle and Spring past Frick Park was the once famous Union or Braddock Spring, so called because General Braddock was thought to of drank from it when passing through the area with the British army. Possibly, George Washington did also, though that's just speculation. It's a shame there was apparently, a sewage problem and the famous spring was clogged and, eventually, buried.
  Toward the 'top' of Main near the church grounds, there is the Memorial to Braddock's passing through the town as well. There is suppose to be an Historical Marker and it's so hard to find, in fact, I'm fairly sure it's missing.

             

        When it comes to Braddock Road, there is another, much more forgotten one, the old Turkey Foot Road with a fascinating history that a guest blogger and writer, Lannie Dietle will be giving a good synopsis of in an article on my next post, so please do check it out.
  I plan on having an article one of these days on the Braddock Road, as well.

  Please check back, now and then!

  - Histbuffer

Monday, January 27, 2014

Meandering in MT. PLEASANT


 Mount Pleasant

   Well, back up here with a newer Post for all you folks out there.

  There are many cultural sights in Mt. Pleasant as well as the township of the same name. We might only get to the most interesting here, but, more could be added. Just imagine all those horses and wagons in the Diamond, and women in their finery; the wooden buildings and hitching posts. A brief, but succinct history lesson would probably be appropriate, so we'll manage to attempt just that.

   Mount Pleasant is located near north of PA Rt. 819, not far from Route 119. When you come to the Doughboy, you are in the heart of the town. For some photos near the heart of the borough please check out the Mt. Pleasant Downtown post!

  Some Dates


    The borough of Mount Pleasant, one of the oldest places around here, was incorporated in 1828 and first settled by those of German descent. This was also the oldest borough in Westmoreland County. In 1798 East Huntington was slice off from the township which is off to the northwest, just to give some perspective to the early size of the place. By the way, Westmoreland County history takes us close to the dim past when it was still a part of Bedford County, and was formed in 1773.

   Now technically, the town began in 1797 when it was laid out by Andrew McCready. This was in those old days when there were some odd laws on the books, (at least in certain parts of the country), such as, at times Catholics were not allowed to own land or build a church and in some places, only given half a vote! The Old Presbyterian Church of the very early 1800's was purchased by the Church of God in 1870. The denomination dates back to 1774. The United Brethren church added the tower in 1874 and in 1890 the rather famous and expensive clock was placed within it.

  Let's hope you don't mind a few numbers, it really is necessary to get an idea of things.

 Well, those involved with the 'tract' finally got the opportunity and paid out for the patent with the amazing sum of $8.37. Talk about inflation ! The price became higher later going for $18 an acre. T he township itself also has some associations with the Whiskey Rebellion. And there is also the Bunker Hill area, which was annexed in 1885.

  The borough also had the 1907 L. E. Smith Glass Company, famous for it's work with colored types of finely worked glass and there is Lennox Crystal, with quality textured material, originally of the Bryce Brothers from 1896, with hand blown glass. The lack of this kind of productivity the place once shared has had a dramatic impact, though the sturdy nature of our surrounding townships lend themselves to adaptions and are managing fairly well. In the 50's there was Permali, Durasteel and Screw and Bolt, all within the township. Levin Furniture are still here on Main Street.

    The area was bypassed early, (some say spitefully), by the railroads until the Mount Pleasant and Broadford Railroad, and eventually others came to the rescue. Then there was the West Penn trolley that served the area well from 1906 to 1952.

   The Mount Pleasant Memorial Hospital was opened on January 1, 1904 from a private fund of Jacob Justice.
    
    The area called 'Dutch Town' was the hole in the wall, a place where they say people went to wet their whistle in Prohibition days. Quite a place to live near, a few would probably be thinking!

   Braddock's Road was authoritatively stated to of passed directly through the borough traveling up Eagle treet and out the Braddock Road to Sand Hill and passing over old 119 to the north and to what was known as Jacob's Cabins. This is an area I will revisit sometime. I would also like to gently point you in the direction of the Braddock Road Chapter, the National Society of The Daughters of the American Revolution for something of this aspect directly related with that era. They own the Warden Mansion where they have their meetings and also various promotions and contests and even their own library, so check it out. Sometimes we don't know what is in our own neighborhood! We can follow the Braddock Road signs around to get a better idea of the route the army took on their fateful way toward Braddock's Field.

    It's also a good idea to hike around when you have time and check out some of the Coal and Coke trails between here and Scottdale.

    Interestingly, there was also once a Grand Opera House that graced Main Street and there was a jail here too, until the late date of 1968. l will attempt to do some checking into this further. (Other information, whether historical, or just your take on things here, would be appreciated by any of you that want to contribute. A private e-mail is another alternative).

    Standard Shaft


    This coal patch called the 'Shaft' by locals, was very busy. A large amount of you will still remember the dust, smoke, and the bustle down there. Though first known as Spring Garden before 1873, it really got going as a coal and coke area in 1890, the streets were laid out in 1916 with the old Union Supply Company store on the corner of Diamond and High streets. Standard was said to have nearly 10,000 coke ovens, though maybe that's 1,000, though that would be rather low. Still, one of the largest  in the U.S. When the no. 2 and 3 mines were combined it was known as Standard Shaft. It was begun by A.A. Hutchinson and Brothers and then built up by H. C. Frick under Robert Ramsey's able supervision and still contains some old company houses. Is anyone else interested in this too ? Well, there is further information available to those more curious folks here and here, as to the houses, baking ovens and the mines themselves. 
  

  Here would be a nice place for a few of those stray anecdotes rather impetuously planned for the site.


  For one thing, Samuel Clemens, Mark Twain himself was claimed to of come through the Mt. Pleasant area on business.
   There was Jess Stairs state representative from 1977 to 2007. He came from here and  resides in Acme.

   Other House representatives include Eugene Saloom and back further, Isaac Kine. More recently, Jess Stairs who lives in the heights of Acme and, as a friend pointed out, once taught a 9th grade class here, was a Republican representative served from 1977 to 2007 for the state.

    A really great anecdote is sbout Al Capone, yes him, who also made his way here once on business heading toward Masontown. Unfortunately, there seems to be little, if any, other information available. Well, maybe that is just as well!

    By 1925, the authorities had to put their foot down and prohibit the practice of cattle driving through the streets. The farmers and ranchers would lose out in this, but one should assume it led to a quieter and safer environment for a growing community.

   We have a more honorable and regional mention up next, with John White Geary 1819-1873, who was a local son of Scotch-Irish immigrants, and once lived at Church Street. He was a highly decorated Civil War General and Governor of Pennsylvania with  his very own Historical Marker right by S. Diamond Street too. Geary Park is, of course, named after this man. He sure had a colorful career! In 1856 he was Governor of Kansas and he fought in The Spanish American War in Mexico, as well as becoming the Mayor of San Francisco. Involved in various battles in the Civil War, including, Gettysburg, while providing undaunted bravery at Culp's Hill; he eventually ended up out west and finally came to be military Governor of Savannah.
   
  Moving further down Main Street, making a right at the light at the tavern and hotel, R x R Station, (without commentary, at least for now, of the ghostly stories associated with it's history, which is covered pretty thoroughly on other sites),
                      
RxR Station as seen from the back


making a left behind the Fire Hall there, you will be on route that was said to contain the street car trolley. This old road went all the way to Iron Bridge. The condition is alright for a mile or so, though there are speed bumps, and then deteriorates fairly quick.

             
behind Mt.Pleasant Fire Hall

    Those Road Names...

   Also, there are some curious road names as most residents should be aware of, like 'Misty Meadow'. Sounds nice, but watch out for the road leading to it- 'Pole Cat Road'! Up North Diamond off of Depot is the 'Helltown Brewing' Co. Over by St. Pius X Cemetery is Braddock Street and there's a Washington Street too, the one with the cabins, then we have Liberty Street more southerly. The Coal and Coke Trail heads past the Baseball field on to Bridgeport. You also have FRONT Street, and what would it be without BACK Street; then Fry Hollow, Simpson Hollow and Brook Hollow Roads, all in the same area. But this is moving out of town a bit, so let's look at College Street, a long road, coming off of S. Church from the South side and Morewood Street to the southwest famous for the 'massacre'.
 
    Finally, near the northwest side there is High Street and...Low Street as well. That about concludes this segment.

    Let's not forget, though most probably have the area to the south west called Texas! You might have to look it up on an old map, like here:




Monday, January 20, 2014

Relatives and Ancestors



Here are some photos of my ancestors. I hope it interests you to check out this post. Some of these of my mom's family are from Somerset County in the 1800's.



two maternal great grandmothers,
one was a very friendly soul


I'd like to of been there and heard this




  
fourth and fifth from the left, my maternal grandmother and grandfather Ida and John Hoover

great uncle Scott Hoover
Here is one from my dad's side of the family:

            
This is my paternal great grandfather and great grandmother, Shed and Mary Wilson

They lived near 'Hatfield Corner' across from the Mt. Olive Church

My great, great, grandfather James, great grandfather Shed, and apparently, my great Aunt Vesta Wilson and baby:
            

  And, finally, what would these old black and white photos
  be without...

          


                                       a horse and buggy


  I would like to take a moment to share a link to a meaningful site with you. This concerns information on how best to share your condolences to one who has recently lost a dear relative in the family. Suzie Kolber has written articles for ObituariesHelp.org.
Particularly this article of hers:
http://obituarieshelp.org/words_of_condolences_hub.html
And here is the link to her guest blog post. This is very helpful to be able to convey your sympathies for such a trying time in one's life, so please check it out. Thanks!


                     An update here:

                        Some graves of my ancestors


                   
   
my maternal great, great grandfather
James Wilson of the Civil War Era.
mustered in 9-24-1862, discharged 6-20-1865

                        

great grandparents in 
Mt. Olive Cemetery

here the graves of my paternal grandparents
(these are all from my father's side here)
my grandmother, Hazel Bowser Wilson, went to
and taught at the Ore Mine School. These are from Green Ridge Cemetery.

And on my mother's side,
Israel Hoover, my brave great grandfather, while carrying his company issued New Testament close in his pocket, which we still possess as an heirloom, who fought from the beginning to end of the Civil War:

courtesy of the Bakersville Cemetery, Somerset

   That's it for now; there is more information about an area not too far from where some of them lived at the bottom of this recent article.

  Keep checking for updates, as I hope to include more information as I go along 


Late April 2014, back with more updates in store here:

 

The Old Slonecker Cemetery and some paternal relative's graves

outer wall approach


inside old Slonecker Cemetery on Longanecker Road, Bullskin township



     I recently visited Slonecker Cemetery, a peaceful nook beside the Bullskin Fire Hall on Longanecker Road, near Pennsville in Bullskin Township. GPS: 40.06524 N, 79.55202 W. It was a nice spring day off, (always making it a pleasant experience), and I headed out with my camera, coffee and, ah...concealed weapon permit, as you just never know! Well, very rarely, in a few areas that one is not use to or that familiar with, as it wouldn't be too good to suddenly realize your on someone else's land and try to explain to a cocked and loaded shotgun that your doing genealogical research for you blog and you really mean NO HARM. Of course, if you know it is private land and are aware of a homestead or farm, you should ask permission and attempt to give an accounting as to why you are going there. It goes a long way to keeping your health intact.

Seriously, as usual, no one bothered me in my little quest and my presence could easily be explained. Most people are helpful and cooperative. AND they are my ancestors, after all.

   I did get some fairly good photos. Though I've read there are supposedly, up to 60 unmarked graves near here, with only slate slabs as headstones, I saw nothing of the kind. I do know there is an old family cemetery on another hill near here, above Mound's Creek, but haven't seen it since I was a teenager. Roughly speaking, including babies and children, there are only 12 or 14 gravestones inside the walls. It is sad to see what poor mothers must of suffered in the days when doctors weren't so available, medicine was primitive, and often just a form of home remedies. Mary Wilson was said to one of those with skills in this area.

   Here lies George Hatfield, 'at rest', my great, great, great grandfather. There were 2 or 3 with the same name and that makes it harder to research. The son, or possibly grandson, of Adam Hatfield, who, by the way, according to 'The History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania' by Franklin Ellis, once owned The Pleasant Valley Country Club area that became Detwieler's. Also the original owner of the mill at Laurelville known as Cherry's Mill, sold to him by John Meason. And there are John and Susana Miner's tombstones there; George married their daughter, making them my my great, great, great, great, grandparents, I believe, without subjecting you folks to too many intricacies. I add this information to gain a better perspective on the old, and little known graveyard near Pennsville, and not to encourage others to trod around much, or disturb the place. I do know that between John Miner and George Hatfield, they owned and operated a sawmill, the Royal Brick works, made wagons, had a distillery, did coal deliveries, and so on.

   Miner also donated the land for the Mt. Olive Cemetery. They were industrious, hard working people and I feel justly proud of them.


George Hatfield from Jan 15, 1819-May 10, 1902
John Miner born, 11-30-1798; died, May 14 (?) 1877
Susana Miner, died, Nov. 11, 1869


northeasterly stone wall
bottom of the Slonecker grave and Monument


An area rumored to be old Indian land:


looking southeast toward Mount's Creek and Rt. 982

I'll be quick to admit I didn't have anything with me to prune out weeds and thorns, so the photos were a bit difficult to take. It looks like the graveyard had been looked after some and gets mowed.

 This UPDATE was done in a hurried way, as to being anxious to publish the visit. I will get the dates uploaded soon. My apologies for not having this finished yet, but hopefully, you won't be reading this soon and all will be in order.


     An Update from Memorial Day
A very solemn time for us at my Mom and Dad's graves at Greenridge Cemetery:


                             * God Bless them both! *

     This is my great grandfather's and great grandmother's old house across from the Mount Olive Church, land that came from Mary, (Miner), Wilson's grandfather, John Miner:

  




old Wilson spring house



Thursday, January 16, 2014

Tarrying In Tarrs

  Tarrs is a village in East Huntington Township roughly three miles west of Mt. Pleasant in Westmoreland County. Historically, there were a bunch of prominent people of that family name, of course. William was one of those. James R. Tarr became prominent in the lay out of the community and much of the development itself. Gasper Tarr was school director back in 1834, also helping put 'Tarr Station' on the map.

Tarrs  Rt. 31 looking west
 
    Peter Tarrs founded the Southwest Coal Company at Tarr Station in 1872, that according to page 68 of the 'Pennsylvania Bureau of Industrial Statistics' of 1872.

   The old Post Office was founded in 1828 and  use to be the big yellow building on the corner when turning to go to C&C Lumber; frankly, at least this is what the nice lady that works at the 'new' Post Office up the hill told me.
                                                    
                                 
Tarrs Post Office, the old schoolhouse


  Her father started that one in 1952. She also said that her grandfather owned what use to be the old company store at Central. Before that the Post Office was an old schoolhouse. This is an old mining patch as were many on the map concerned with this website.

  The Southwest Mine and Coke Works  no's 2, 3 and 4 were around here and serviced by the Pennsylvania railroad. At least one of these mines was originally owned by the Dillinger brothers, according to Raymond A. Washlaski of "patheoldminer.rootsweb.ancestry.com" and they also had business in Ruffsdale about which I hope to get to at an opportune moment. In the 1900's Henry Frick bought them out and took over operations. Before that, at one point, the Ramsey's of Mount Pleasant were heavily involved in production and supervision here. What is intriguing here too, is the small named villages, (some are still here for sure!), and how they were bunched together seeming to almost overlap each other going by the somewhat outdated names. Here you will also find old Parsonage Lane.

  Getting back to that turn to C&C, by the way, would of taken you down to Snydertown and further on, toward Rocktown. There is also the small village of Feree nearby Tarrs down Central road. I may of mixed up my research somewhat, so do please check in on the Ruffsdale post to get a more complete description of the region.


Rocktown Road


It was said to be thus named because settlers and farmers had a hard time with the soil as there were so many large rocks and stones there. That's a good enough reason !

                                       


   The author must also admit to living fairly close to here a few years and not knowing anything of this location !

        As mentioned above, I have a sister article on the history of Ruffsdale that should interest you with more information as it is very close by. I hear the village sign is missing, it would be good to have it replaced. I meant to get a photo of the old clock tower here, but haven't been back there for some time.

I also wanted to upload a few photos at Central, near Feree,as it is right down the road to the north:

   



              
     Hopefully, we can return to this area another time when we have more quality material. If, by chance any of you have more information or even rumors of these places then, by all means, feel free to comment or send an e-mail. Please check out the Ruffsdale post for more information nearby.

    At the hamlet of Central there were the coke ovens and strip mines toward the east, now reclaimed. The whole area contained what was once called 'Jacobs Swamp', an unusual swampland that was said to be planned as a park, though with the coming of what was briefly the Chrysler plant, all bets were off and the swamp was duly drained and paved over, leaving only a few areas pristine. Archeological digs took place in the 1970's, of which I saw some of the evidence of it with my own eyes, but not any material yet in writing. They reportedly found a number of bones to the extent it was said to contain an Indian burial ground in its own right. There were even stories of hauntings near there, Indians on horseback and a female squaw at the railroad tracks!  Make of that what you will. So, the price of progress can be high. This relates more to the Jacobs Cabin area to the east of the Volkswagen/Sony plant, close to the West Tech Industrial Park, (though popularly thought to be closer to Sand Hill Road). and what you still see on the south part of Central Road itself. I did a small mix up on these posts which I just haven't gotten to changing around, so bear with me.

    I want to add that G. D. Albert who, I believe lived in the general vicinity of southwestern PA, wrote in The History Of Westmoreland County' that Captain Jacobs was a noted Indian chief. To quote him directly, "Jacobs Swamp was the designation of a large body of land in East Huntingdon township about Ruffsdale", which should include much of Tarrs. He states this was the name on which a portion of the land was patented. Apparently, the Indian connection is as strong here as anywhere.

Anyone that lives in this area and has some unique stories or pics ? That would be great too.
(I'm still waiting!)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Spaugy's Mill

     Winning The Most Forgotten Award!

 

            
old chimney stack and part of 'mill race'


  This is certainly a very old Mill, long abandoned, that was once called Cathcart's, or Cithcart's back toward the late 1700's and supposedly, Hemminger's Mill from appr. 1875, with various ownership in the 1850's to the 1880's, including Swink, Mason and Long. It was called Spaugy's Mill since my Dad was young, (and he died after a protracted struggle, last year at 89 years old), as he was born nearby. He had stated that it was active within his memory. Does anyone know the year when the Spaugy's took over operation ? There was a 'Spaugy Store' there and apparently, the area nearby was known as 'Spaugytown' ! There were Clay's in the area that were said to be related. So far there isn't much other information available from this place that is very well known, and not much left of it either. There is ongoing  research being undertaken by Kim Brown President of the Bullskin Township Historical Society related in an e-mail discussion we've had recently as to any extra knowledge that could be provided.

                 
chimney stack of Spaugy's Mill and Mill house in background



There is always the off chance that I may run across an old spinster that invites me in some Sunday for lemonade and a brief trip to the attic for a look at some old black and white photos and a dusty, worn journal with all kinds of juicy details from a long time ago...well, it doesn't hurt to have a little fantasy now and then!
  There may only be a handful of locals that are aware of it's more recent name and one reason being because about 15 years ago, before the road was renamed Keefer Road, the old name was Spaugy Mill Road.

  If needed, a little proof might be nice :

        
                             from an old bill


        

   Lannie Dietle, a researcher and writer of the book, 'In Search of the Turkey Foot Road', and some of his associates, has quite a grasp of historical areas, if he doesn't mind my saying so, even more particularly on Somerset County and has the investigative patience of a saint and the determination of a well-trained bloodhound! He put in a whole lot of time and effort toward the old 'Turkey Foot Road'. I e-mailed him to inquire of this and he set me on the path, so to speak, of a fascinating, yet in many ways, obscure investigative journey on a 'packer' road that was once connected to minor paths originally carved out by the Indians themselves, and the northern area was eventually cleared by a industrious local fellow named Providence Mounts before he moved on southward. Lannie will be a guest blogger in a few weeks and it is something to look forward to.

?

   A bit of a brief look at the history may be in order as a reference, (with a nod to the excellent research of Mr. Dietle).
   The old Turkey Foot Road wended it's way from Maryland through Somerset in a circuitous route into Fayette County, coming down Quail Road toward Spruce Hollow and so it would seem, on by the Pleasant Valley Country Club, (the old Adam Hatfield tract), and apparently, very near to what became Rt. 982 and Spaugy Mill Road near the Woodale Fire Hall on the other side. There appear to be variations of the 'TFR' in this region. Additionally, when you make a left turn onto Rt. 982 from here E. Keefer runs up the hill south and driving past it, Spaugy Hollow Road goes up to the next right. It is not a through road any longer as I believe it accesses a farm up there. E. Keefer, or a route near it is a good candidate for the path of the Turkey Foot Road to Wooddale as further research on this blog relates with Jeff Hann's fieldwork south and north of Breakneck Road.

   I personally had some relatives who lived in a rough circle very near the Detwiler Mill. From near Mt. Olive Church, up Spruce Hollow Road, past my great aunt Revenia Kenner's to where the old G. Hatfield place was located a few hundred yards up. Then at the top of the hill going left to Breakneck and the corner of Shenandoah where James Wilson lived in the 1800's and my grandfather lived on Keefer Road to the east as well. There is more material on my genealogy being added specifically here.

   Now in the old days, keep in mind, Keefer Road appeared to end to the north, for all intents and purposes, at the old log cabin on the left about half way toward the Prittstown Road. So you can see it is, indeed, a curiosity and some speculation where the ancient road bed headed from this area, as it headed on toward Iron Bridge and beyond; an area that may just deserve to be the subject of a future post.

  There is still a chimney stack, as you can clearly see and, until recently, part of a half buried building left as a remnant of those forgotten times of bustle and activity here. At least, I didn't notice any building remnants that were left. Maybe they were thought to be an eye sore ? I believe there were a few other buildings connected to it's function as a saw mill on the other side of Keefer Road years ago, but I wouldn't quote me on that.
   Some info more toward the TRF areas can also be gleamed from Wallace's book on the 'Indian Paths of Pennsylvania/' and Veech's 'Monongahela of Old' from 1858.


old mill race to Mount's Creek
                  

   Here in this quiet hamlet is a little, fairly short, piped tributary of sorts which runs, partly underground, to Mounts Creek, ( which runs southward of Greenlick Run), on the north and appears to have it's start from what may be a spring near a farm in the field to the east heading about two hundred yards on the south of 982 and then under the road toward Keefer Road northwesterly and back toward the old grist mill. This can also be seen on an old map from the 1870's. This was known as the 'mill race' by the old timers. It was quite likely used to turn the grinding wheel of a Mill. With a long history going far back, it still travels on, barely noticeable.

                      Here you see it marked as E.,(Emanuel), Mason S&G Mill:
                                 
part of Bullskin map of 1870's
     

   For a nearly forgotten place it does seem to be attracting more attention. Kim Brown is continuing her research on this place and it's names and ownership and we look forward anxiously to any further discoveries.

   Just a small word of caution if anyone decides to head out into the chilly air and take a look, the Keefer Rest Home is quite close by. The keyword is 'REST'.

   Any additional material or a photo anyone has 'out there', please comment or send an e-mail to Histbuffer and you may also contact the Bullskin Historical Society which would really be appreciated, as you could help fill in some needed background information.

   Recent Note, July, 2014:

   With information provided by the Bullskin Township Historical Society President, Kim Brown through research at the Uniontown Courthouse, she does confirm that the Hemminger moniker on the plaque is correct. This means that not only did a Hemminger once own the Detweiler Mill at the Pleasant Valley Country Club, but also did once have ownership of what lastly became known as Spaugy's Mill. Bingo!

   Thanks for your interest in my blog and this post also.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Turning Tides At BUSHY RUN

   The Battle of Bushy Run

                   
                     

wiki commons public domain Wilson 44691
                              

   It was fought along the old Forbe's Road on August 5th to 6th, 1763, which was near Harrison City in Penn Township, a part of Westmoreland County. This is a classic true tale of a difficult victory in those 'British' times for all to learn more of. The troops  were on the tail end of a long march and many were said to be sick and, yes, tired after traveling a brisk pace the great distance of 40 miles from Ft. Ligonier. The battle itself consisted of an estimated 500 British made up of different units sent from Carlisle on the 28th of July to help the distressed Fort Pitt under Colonel Henry Bouquet and an attacking force in a confederation of Shawnees, Delawares, Mingos and even, Huron Indians and maybe, some Wyandots too.
   Though, the Iroquois Confederacy, (see Sacred Ground), didn't actually involve itself in the main conflict, which stretched back through to the Ohio territory and Great Lakes regions all the way to the Illinois country. This engagement was connected to a larger uprising known as 'Pontiac's Rebellion', and he was the main chief of the Ottawa's. Being dissatisfied with the British victories, especially the policies of General Amherst in capturing Montreal, and the eventual losses of the French forces the reactions of this somewhat loose confederacy were clear, even in the east.
   The Seneca's became disenchanted with the 'Covenant Chain' by perceived results of negotiations with the Dutch of the northern New York areas. By the way, this Chain was supposedly renewed by Queen Elizabeth 2 in 2010 in a somewhat roundabout fashion by her Majesty's influence through Canada.

   Having said all that, many other Indian tribes were a part of the more westerly conflict and not associated with this area strategically.
  
           
courtesy of explorepahistory.com


    Well, the British forces were ambushed at a place called Edge Hill near the battlefield site. This is, of course, a listed National Historic Landmark. Though they repulsed the Indians successfully a few times the Indians were relentless and kept on coming, continually surrounding them.
    Under heavy fire, by the morning of the 2nd day, in a desperate measure the fatigued British eventually opened their ranks appearing to retreat to draw the Indians into a trap and, apparently surrounding  their sentries, at last won the field using their light infantry. This disrupted the desperate and bold attack and managing a surprising, if difficult and exhausting victory, with bravery of a high caliber indeed.

                                   Henry Bouquet

                    
Henry Bouquet, circa 1759, courtesy of Wiki Commons

   Some background of this man might be appropriate, so please bear with me.
  Bouquet was from Rolle, Switzerland originally and began his role here as a lieutenant colonel with the Royal American Regiment. He had started out with the 'Dutch Republic' that became the Low Countries of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. He was specifically involved in the heart of the old 'Swiss Confederacy' that included Zurich and Berne. This area of the Imperial Knights enjoyed a largely privileged status within the Roman Empire of Europe, which Voltaire said was 'neither Holy nor Roman...' and it fell to the French amid chaotic revolution in the year 1798.

    He then served the Kingdom of Sardinia which became Italy in 1861. Henry also helped in the making of the Forbe's Road and was the builder of Fort Ligonier in Loyalhanna Township. The Fort was commanded by Colonel James Burd that oversaw the building of Fort Burd in 1759 at Redstone on the Monongahela in Fayette County. But this and the Battle of Fort Ligonier is another thing altogether. Bouquet's whole story can be pretty interesting.
   These days the battlefield is home to ladies tea parties, 'historic' hayrides, lectures and a recent 250th Anniversary Reenactment in August. (The site could really use your support so please, consider making a donation with whatever you can afford, as it is so important to conserve and preserve our history of these counties)!

    Penn Township had the Claridge Mine from 1891-1823 and the Kew Mine functioning from 1829-1825.  Also, the Denmark Mines operating from the mid 1880's to 1923. There are lots more interesting things here as well.
  
    It would be a bit of a quest to, hopefully,  make an excursion there this year or next and include some photos for the blog. As always, feel free to leave a comment or send an e-mail and they will be taken note of. Thanks fro reading!

    ~ Histbuffer

  



  
  

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