Saturday, January 30, 2016

Captain Jacobs: Part One

 Forward With Details

  I promised a post on this fascinating subject some time ago. I figured an explanation of how some of this took place would be appropriate. I wouldn't have anyone to be deceived in any way; for various key reasons this pursuit has been delayed and fraught with minor, though significant problems. One thing appears to be partly an HTML issue that still shows in the final publication with imperfections that needs more ironing out. Another situation is recovering from a rather prolonged illness. These factors were an unavoidably complicated process. Further exacerbation occurred because I had placed large chunks in one draft of all the planned material planned for Part One and part Two and naturally had to remove and add many small items as the subject matter grew proportionately even as it was slowly divided, thus creating some logistical problems in placement and spacing, while making numerous adjustments in development. In modern parlance, the thing became a bit of a monster in its own right that taxed the blogging system completely.

  Gathering much of the information began around the middle of 2014. As time rolled along, the sense of urgency eventually led me to decide to let any other issues ride for now, bumps and all. So please ignore any minor inconsistencies in parts of the text. I might attempt to combine the two posts at a later date and make one huge post that can be followed consistently without any element adjustments or internal oddities. An alternate plan would be to rewrite everything and build all the various parts from scratch, a larger task I hesitate to institute now. Thank you for your understanding and patience!


   At the outset, an acknowledgement is in order to Lannie Dietle and aspects of his research. At my behest and President Kim Brown's approval, he graciously wrote up a fair sized article for the 2015 Fall Issue of the Bullskin Township Historical Society Newsletter documenting Captain Jacobs. This was done with his usual mastery. Various factors led to his decision. In fact, he originally requested that I make the attempt. While his confidence in me was, and is, appreciated, and I had started collecting some key information for a rainy day going back to 2014, I felt a qualm or two, since the time was not propitious for the undertaking. We had broached the subject in general through private emails which led up to the impetus for his article, the consequence of which also led to this point, and I am striving to keep somewhere near to his level of expertise. My main thrust is not normally as far afield as historical places like Kittanning, and frankly there may not be as much to add here beyond the basic facts. In Part Two I would like to round out the project with further details I hope will be quite interesting.

 The Known History of Captain Jacobs

  The main theme concerns the importance of establishing evidence of the existence and whereabouts of Captain Jacobs, a Delaware Indian Chief in the early to mid-1700's. Under the broader context of the French and Indian War and specifically, the struggle for who would ultimately wrest control the Ohio Country, there is the reality of one particular Delaware Indian Chief, his travels and later rampage through parts of the state addressed through historical writings and documents generally confined to the north-central counties of Pennsylvania.
  Tewea, known by the moniker of "Captain Jacobs", was said to of been born about 1730, with his father being a French fur trapper from Canada and his mother a Delaware Indian. Tradition holds that his wife was a captured white woman. What else is known through documentation will shortly be revealed.

  Captain Jacobs and King Shingas, (or Shingask), were terrors to the Pennsylvania frontier with the taking of Fort Pitt by the French forces. At Fort Granville, (modern Lewistown, Mifflin County),  left with only a small contingent of men to defend the fort, Lieutenant Edward Armstrong attempted to withstand the French and the Indians under Jacobs command. He lost, and was scalped by Jacobs for his bravery. Intriguingly, as Paul Wallace notes in "Indians In Pennsylvania" on page 176, Jacobs was falsely reported as killed in January of 1756 in Northhampton County as well as in April in Cumberland County. He was, in fact, killed at Kittanning on September 8, 1756. He also tellingly points out, "A nephew, also called Captain Jacobs, survived this attack, (though reported killed); the Mason and Dixon surveying party met him in August, 1767".

    As stated in "The French in the Allegheny Valley",by T. J. Chapman on page 76, "Kittanning was the headquarters of Captain Jacobs a noted Delaware Chief."

       Kittanning and the traditional Captain Jacobs of the Delawares:                           

    (Note: I've decided not to recount the whole battle in detail as this can be located elsewhere and I feel it isn't necessary).

   Kittanning is a borough of Armstrong County, Pennsylvania on the east bank of the Allegheny River, 44 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. This was once the site of an Eighteenth century Native American village on the western terminus of the Kittanning Path.

   In retaliation for the burning of Fort Granville and to disrupt the raiding of British settlements in Pennsylvania after the previous year's defeat of Braddock's forces, on the early morning hours of September 8, 1756, Lieutenant-Colonel John Armstrong led his Second Battalion of over 300 in a brave attack on Kittanning in the French and Indian War. While the noted Chief, Shingas was away, Jacobs took charge to repel the invaders. Here, holed up in his log cabin, he tried to escape through an upper window after it was set fire to, but his squaw was killed first, while Jacobs was shot next trying to escape, followed in most accounts by his son.

   At the battle of Kittanning in the mid-1700's, (called by the Indians "Adena"), in Armstrong County the firm ground of Captain Jacobs, or Tewea, as his Indian name was said to be, perhaps lies most prominently the final recorded historical information for the Delaware Chief. Here after a night of heavy travel through a dangerous wilderness of 150 miles, Armstrong produced his raid with 300 men to results that were not as auspicious for success as was claimed at the time. He himself received a wound in the shoulder. While we are not immediately concerned with all the logistics involved in this famous skirmish, or the likelihood that depredations were worse for the British settlers for the next year and a half than before the battle took place, King Shingas was not there, while the implacable Captain Jacobs was eventually killed here after rallying his forces to bravely defend the Indian village. It was quite a struggle with varying reports of British wounded. Eventually, Armstrong ordered his men to set fire to Jacobs house, with the basement full of munitions. It is believed other members of Captain Jacob's family were hidden in the woods, so surviving until later years.


     An excerpt of a letter to William Buchanan refers to the Indian trader, George Croghan's account that a Delaware Indian by the name of Jo Hickman gave this description of the Indian village: "That he went to Kittanning, an Indian Delaware town on the Ohio, 40 miles above Fort Du Quesne, the residence of Shingas and Captain Jacobs, where he found 140 men, chiefly Delawares and Shawanese, who had then with them, above 100 English prisoners, big and little, taken from Virginia and Pennsylvania."

     Colonel Armstrong reported in a September 14, 1756 letter kept in The Pennsylvania Archives, "It was thought that Captain Jacobs tumbled himself out at a Garret or Cock Loft Window, at which he was shot; our Prisoners offering to be qualified to the Powder Horn and Pouch there taken off him... The same Prisoners say they were perfectly assured of his Scalp, as no other Indians there wore their hair the same manner. They also say they know his Squas' Scalp by a particular Bob, and also know the Scalp of a young Indian called the King's Son."

    Volume Nine of The Provincial Council of Pennsylvania contains further information.

   Also, as stated in "The French in the Allegheny Valley", by T. J. Chapman, page 76, "Kittanning was the headquarters of Captain Jacobs a noted Delaware Chief."

   Colonel Armstrong's brother was killed by Captain Jacobs, a prominent reason for John Armstrong seeking swift revenge.

   Evidence for Jacobs Cabin in Westmorelamd County is provided as far back as 1754 by way of Christopher Gist's Journals on Washington's trip to the French forts with this entry:

     "Tuesday, January 1st, 1754-"We set out from John Frazer's and at night encamped at Jacobs cabins". Gist's Journal appears to provide corroborative evidence that Captain Jacobs would of at least used this area for his hunting parties before the French and Indian War, therefore this will be explained in detail in the next post on the subject. Not to be missed!*

 He lived in a House - Surprise!

    In actuality, much proof exists that Indians frequently used and lived in houses and cabins. This need only be addressed briefly before moving to other matters.

     From "The Pennsylvania Archives" is listed a supposedly first-hand report "...then surrounding the houses, it was thought Captain Jacobs himself tumbled out of 'a Garret, or Cock Loft Window", as repeated above, which of course shows Jacobs lived in a cabin or house with windows, an attic and a basement. 

     In Armstrong's personal account of the Battle of Kittanning he makes specific mention to "the House of Capt Jacob." Also, of returning fire upon the house and the other houses of the village, as well.

     How many persons have not heard of "Shawnee Cabins"?! They were quite real, rest assured.

      Although it is highly unlikely to have any connection to our supposition, according to the Papers of Sir William Johnson, the prominent Chief, Teedyuscung, had a son named John Jacobs, who he stated was sent off on the warpath, apparently in the year 1757.The refernce to the King's Son also could leave some room for speculation, as King Shingas' title seems more appropriate for this early mention.

    For a brief note on Jacobs and Jacobs Creek and his connection to the borders of Westmoreland and Fayette counties, according to a 1914 footnote of Paul A. Wallace, "the creek is thought to have been named for Captain Jacobs, a famed Delaware war chief who assisted in the defeat of Braddock in July, 1755, and a year later in the capture of Fort Granville on the Juniata. He was killed at Kittanning on Sept. 8, 1756, by Colonel John Armstrong's raiders."

  A reward was offered for the heads of Shingas and Jacobs "Chiefs of the Delaware Indian Nation" for the sum of 700 pieces of Eight, or 360 pieces of Eight for each, while Virginia chimed in with a ransom of 100 pistols for the heads of both.

   As stated in "The Indian Wars of Pennsylvania" by C. H. Sipe, on page 314, "Relatives of Captain Jacobs, who were also killed at the destruction of Kittanning, are mentioned in a letter written at Carlisle, on December 22, 1756, by Adam Stephen: "A son of Captain Jacobs is kill'd and a Cousin of his about seven foot high, call'd young Jacob, at the Destroying of the Kittanning." (From The Pa Archives, Vol. 3, page 83).  This may not include the mystery of the nephew, living or dead. As he sensibly goes on to state, "Probably another relative was the Delaware Chief, called Captain Jacobs, who attended the conference held at Fort Pitt, in April and May, 1768." He was also presumably known from a meeting at Fort Ligonier with Joseph Brant in 1768. These conclusions verify a probable relative of Captain Jacobs used the same name after his 1756 death..

   From the Minutes of the Provincial  Council of Pennsylvania VOl. 9 come the following  confirmations:




Jacobs Death

 From The Minutes of the Colonial Records of the Provincial Council of Pennsylvania, page 381 contains an extract of a letter from Colonel Adam Stephen dated the fourteenth of November, 1756, "A son of Captain Jacobs is killed, and a Cousin of his about seven Foot high, called young Jacob, at the destroying of the Kittanning, and 'tis thought a noted warrior by the Name of Sunfish, as many of them were killed which we knew nothing of". Although the first sentence is reasonable, it can be discovered that Sunfish was not actually killed there, and there is some question that this cousin or  possibly a nephew, had in fact died at the noted battle. As to Braddock's No. 15, July 2, "Camp at Jacobs Cabbins," the report centering on Halekett's orderly book of 5 to 6 miles from the crossing of Greenlich Run appears to be a sound estimation.


 In Colonel Armstrong's report,

  From the "Annals of Southwestern Pennsylvania" comes the statement "Colonel Armstrong says that a son of Captain Jacobs was killed at Kittanning, and if that be so, there were two Captain Jacobs, one of them living at Jacob's Cabin near Iron Bridge at the Great Swamp on Jacobs Creek. The settlers called him Captain Jacobs as he resembled a burly Dutchman of that name in Cumberland County." First of all, there appears to be a misnomer here originating with the possible confusing of Jacobs Swamp with the Great Swamp. And while Jacobs Cabin could be said to be near Iron Bridge, it is a bit of a stretch, since the principal description would be better served using Mt. Pleasant as a reference. Another point is that Isaac Meason named his tract at Iron Bridge "Mount Pleasant",and this could help explain the mystery of the reference. Be that as it may, there might of been two Jacobs, allowing a correlation of the evidence, but whether the Indian owner of the hunting cabin was a descendant, or the first Chief Jacobs, this is not ascertained.

       Captain Jacobs Boots

  In a footnote to his "The History of the county of Westmoreland...", on page 436, Albert writes that "The body of the Indian killed there was identified by a pair of long military boots which he had on, and which had belonged to Lieut. Alexander. He could not escape with them on, and was slain in trying to get them off. At that time he was not in "good standing." He was a small man. There was, however, another Capt. Jacobs, probably his son."

      Various Quotations
   From a report from The Annals Of Southwestern Pennsylvania we read of his death and the belief there is another Indian named Captain Jacobs, likely a relative. From "Victory At Kittanning" we read of Captain Jacobs death:





      Now, according to certain sites on and Rootsweb, etc., there are some folks that studied particular genealogical research, and perhaps not without some apparent justification, attempting to prove they are descendants of Captain Jacobs, or one of his other relatives. I am only giving this information through the fair use act for research purposes. No copyright infringement is intended. One point I would like to observe, if much of this is based on one William Jacobs as it is preseted, an early settler to Redstone in Fayette County, he may be a relative of some sort, but if he was in fact born, as is claimed, in the year 1760, he could not be his son, as he himself was killed in 1756.

  Above is said to be one of Jim Jacobs cabins.

      From the "Minutes of the Provincial Council of Pennsylvania" on page 381, we read at the bottom of the page of a cousin of his supposedly killed, but not of a nephew:



Not to necessarily call mostly quality research into question, but, as an added note Norman Baker also claims on the very next page that Mount's Creek was named after Abner Mounts, who was granted a tract of land "with Braddock's Road Creek". As far as I can be sure, it is claimed in other sources with good authority the creek was named after Providence Mounts Sr. and not one of his sons by that last name.  \Consequently, neither would the naming of the creek been derived from one Caleb Mounts. So, error can follow upon error, even with the best of researchers. It isn't hard to surmise this in analogy in relation to following stories as one tangled, wet knot, not always  easy to untie.

 Legends of Chief Jacob:

Excepting some curious stray, perhaps mixed up stories which should be relegated to the legends they are, these might pertain to anyone, although there is fascination in considering Captain Jacobs may of caused this kind of interest from olden times.

   An initial claim made by one Peter Tittle of Cumberland County, could be given short shrift, as this could relate to the 'burly dutchman' observation; he signed an affidavit on March 4, 1760, stating that he heard that "an Indian Doctor John spoke contemptuously concerning the soldiers, saying they were good for nothing, and that THEY HAD KILLED Captain Jacobs, but that he had known another Captain Jacobs, (again, without the 's, you will please note), a very big man, bigger and stronger than he who was killed." What is to be made of this? Well, whatever the estimation of this other Jacobs, he was hardly known as such a warrior and terror on the frontier as the original Captain, and it could be let stand at that, only as an acknowledgement of another man by the same moniker, possibly a relative. Otherwise, there is a lingering unlikelihood that this Jacobs may have been a possible descendant at Jacobs Cabin. In the long run, this is pure speculation and nothing else can come from it because the older usage of the name of Jacobs Cabin is more probably from the days of the earlier Captain Jacobs, and again, hardly a descendant.

   As a brief look forward to the examination of circumstantial evidence for the existence of Captain Jacobs in southwestern Pennsylvania, the legendary material below is included for more than purposes of completion. I feel this makes more clear the point of view that Captain Jacobs may well of once been known along the stream called Jacobs Creek dividing Westmoreland and Fayette counties. Such unusual traces of myths, distorted as this might be, through the years and in convolted condition it became through distance and fading memory from the source of the actual facts, yet it does allow for a possible explanation toward his ancient travels near the Jacobs Cabin region. Keep in mind, we know so very little of his whereabouts near the Westmoreland and Fayette border area.

 A Curious Owensdale Legend:
There is a newspaper article that claims a cannibal by the curious name of "JACOBS" would throw rocks at settlers and sometimes ate people that got too close to him. Quite a mish mash, but once again, this could be a garbled folk tale that may hold the seeds of an earlier, distorted recollection of Captain Jacobs the Delare Chief of old and his fearful mien along the banks of the creek he is named after near where he once hunted and held such sway. Until I can update this post and include this old article, please bear with me for the time being.

  A Story of Laurelville

  It should be fairly obvious, in spite of a supposed tradition of Jacobs near the headwaters of Jacobs Creek, the plank road reference would not contain any proof from the legacy of Captain Jacobs from the early to mid-1700's, while white men were few and sparsely settled in this general region.

Everson Tales
A description of a supposed legend concerning Chief Jacobs comes from LaVonne Hanlon's book on Everson. She told me through an email she believes the "bottoms' at Everson is the region of Captain, or Chief Jacob's village. She is a knowledgeable woman and a helpful one also. I have not seen a newspaper article or historian that refers to such a theory. Whether there is any source for the belief is unknown to me and although it appears to be speculative, she herself is convinced enough to state a genealogical research book she authored, (which I haven't managed to search out), gives some evidence toward this theory. I know her ancestors found geniune Indian artifacts nearby, on the other hand, I am not aware if there is a definitive basis in genuine tradition. I haven't located the quote where from this is derived.

A portion of the above material comes from George D.Albert,  Report of the Commission to Locate the Site of the Frontier Forts of Pennsylvania. Vol. 2. 1896. and, Col. Armstrong’s Defeat of the Indians, at Kittanning.” The Register of Pennsylvania of 1828

    For the Next Captain Jacobs Post, Part Two:

  * The Forbes Survey of 1769 showing Jacobs Cabin and Jacobs Swamp. A fallacy? Mistaken identity? Such is hardly the case. While other areas have been occasionally suggested that may have some basis in reality, yet the key evidence for a Captain Jacobs and his hunting cabin(s) must be deduced as accurately described from this main source alone.

  * Coordinates from old surveys confirm his cabin at West Tech Industrial Park.This will be expounded upon. Some of the evidence was further researched by Lannie Dietle, author of "In Search of the Turkey Foot Road", and he graciously provided key surveys of Westmoreland County.

  * The inclusion of old maps which clearly shows the differences between the Great Swamp region and Jacobs Swamp where the cabin was located will be addressed.

   *  An early Presbyterian church was near Mount Pleasant and originating at Jacobs Swamp. This church received a visitation from a prominent minister, David McClure in 1772. Two years later they were visited by the famous Reverend James Powers who by 1776 became their main pastor and was himself buried in the churchyard, reinforcing the venerable age of the Jacobs Cabin/Swamp/Fort area. I originally found out about this while doing research on the Walnut Hill church.

   * Gist's reckoning of Camp No. 16 which would be the "Goudy's fording" of Sewickley Creek at Hunkers. This is accurately stated to be four miles from Jacobs Cabin, and so refutes any suggestion that this cabin was at Greenlick in Bullskin Township.

   * The Barr survey where intriguingly, the cabin placement is called 'Jacobs Fort'. This factual aspect of Jacobs cabin(s) referred to as a fort, also relates well with the Kittanning documents and also in the study of Westmoreland County. I will investigate this connection more deeply in Part Two.

   * Ruffsdale, Owensdale, Everson and Woodale- all these hamlets or boroughs have in common stray traditions of Captain Jacob's which actually helps bolster the reality of his existence. The Captain Jacobs encountered in these places, particularly between Ruffsdale and Mount Pleasant, may well of been more than a burley Dutchman he was said to of patterned his appearance after. Our man was surely a Delaware Indian.

   The next Episode will deal with this information thoroughly and exclusively.

   The Jacobs Cabin location in Westmoreland County will be closely examined as the major piece of evidence for his visits and experiences in southwestern Pa. Is this a probable place for the Delaware Indian Chief, Captain Jacobs, to of had a hunting ground, you may rightfully ask? Well, for now I will only pass on what is certainly known of Logan the famed Mingo chief. As told by Franklin B. Sawvel on page 15 of his knowledgeable book on this man who had such a tragic and undeserved end, "He often went on hunting trips to the mountainous regions of western Pennsylvania and to Virginia and learned the lay of the country so well that he became a trusted guide and messenger." It is also known that when Washington visited Tanacharison, the Half King of the Mingos at Logstown, he was delayed from this meeting because he was then at his hunting cabin. SO, the answer to this question is clearly in the affirmative. Yes! Jacobs could easily have taken some time to have a hunting cabin, perhaps at a small village on the southern border of what became Westmoreland County in southwestern Pa, particularly when we consider the unique quality of archaeological discoveries uncovered at this spot. It isn't as if there were no depredations or Indian attacks in Westmoreland county during various decades of the eighteenth century. Soon circumstantial, yet fairly firm evidence toward a conclusion with extraneous reasons for an Indian of repute living for some time at the Sony Site outside of Mt. Pleasant, will be presented in detail. More to come!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Various Inquiries and a Retrospective

  * First, I hope you had yourselves a Merry little Christmas and were on the receiving end of the gifts you so wanted and needed this holiday season as well as giving the same delight to others! *



   A Few Words to start with

   Some extra time was taken recently to actually re-gather information, re-classify some items and celebrate the holidays, more or less, in the same space of weeks. Another way of putting it, frankly, I am a bit behind on completing articles.

   I sometimes find myself at little key crossroads, not necessarily in a literal sense, but more in the form of searching for more information, talking to or e-mailing other people, usually more enlightened in their field than I, yet sometimes they are engrossed in their own regional endeavors. There are so many posts contemplated that I haven't had the time to give due consideration to the research they each require. Therefore the blog is unfairly left to play catch up and occasionally suffers the consequences of a lapse in judgement.

   Driving my high mileage car around the local roads and looking at maps, sitting on my computer like some modern day alchemist sifting through a bunch of arcane material, missing key ingredients of the exact temperature for mercury or how many weeks to distill something for the third time! Thus, much of my profitable allowance of energy is spent without getting enough accomplished which can be a frustrating and humbling experience.

   I do not wish to overly bore you with too many details of my unnecessary predicaments. One of which, to appear in good taste, was briefly alluded to only as an aside in the last post. I have faith that everything can and will be smoothed out eventually for the better. I only want to offer some description of the 'WHY' to help explain a conundrum in preparing a good blog article that is acceptable to me and for the visitors willing to allot a percentage of their valuable time browsing these pages.

  Behind the Scenes

   Much discussion and occasional correspondence takes place among a few truly valued friends, and secondly, with certain acquaintances. Most of these have been on my Honor Roll. I am considering an updated version for this year. To go into the interesting emails and messages now, ones like...well, that's just it, I don't ask if it is alright to include excerpts of my private e-mails with colleagues and correspondents. You see, it is hardly good etiquette to do so without permission. This is a habit gained over the years from noticing such a tell all approach can be more than a bit touchy for others. Unfortunately, such a fairly entertaining pursuit would provide insightful enlightenment. Specifically toward how hard headed Histbuffer can be to making any changes to initial ideas in a speedy way. I know many bloggers and webmasters who do quote others' private emails often without any consultations or preliminary requests; although apparently they are often not openly ostracized for this behavior, yet I think this depends very much on the content and the perceived intent in revealing others private thoughts. My point being this is just not a convincingly proper outlet, at least in my way of understanding. Obviously the problems that enmesh Hillary Clinton are not on this minor level! So there you have it. Some people rarely email me unless something is really on their mind and this might be only a technical matter, or it might be more personal to their own interests. Adjustments are constantly made in this area many are basically familiar with, so I hope this is better understood.

  A former collaborator who was suddenly trying to be very helpful wanted to discuss my lack of using You Tube videos on the site. I was a bit skeptical because how much more interesting is a video in the sense of what you can show in a photo? Technically, I have conducted a few of these, but wasn't really pleased yet with either the quality or the audio. I do realize the influence of video and the personable nature of using the medium. A few people I know are also strongly in favor of an upscale website, private hosting and forming a non profit, (something I have yet to get familiar with). H'mmm... I suppose this needs more serious thought...and...time.

   One unnamed individual promptly informed me his otherwise helpful services would involve revamping the site, expensive hosting, AND should include leaving any colleagues behind. Basically, drop all collaboration or acknowledgments, especially publicly. See what I mean? Zilch.This appears a tad unsavory and a less than principled approach to improvement, but realistically is likely where the market is headed and I am only being old-fashioned. A darned thing called conscience.

  Other ideas were on firmer ground as sensible advice and I will look into those forthwith. The long and short of this is, people can of course become moody and uncommunicative if I don't immediately act on a proposal or respect their intuition. Others are nice, polite and can offer a degree of valuable services. I am not without moods and emotions too. Still, should the fact this would tend to make me feel like a hypocrite and possibly an ingrate not concern me in the least? So goes the days of our lives.

  Back a ways,  I had a fine talk with Jeff Hann's granddad, who apparently had some info on my grandfather who lived in Bullskin township as well as a few anecdotes about some of my other ancestors. Jeff kindly told me to come out the Butler area back sometime in January, but with the arctic weather, I let this opportunity slip by for too long. I'm glad I made the little trip.

  I have been in the process of reading various books. Nothing really unusual about that!  A few of them were actually from authors who corrected me on a statement or two I had made on a blog post. I didn't have time to locate the book in the one instance, (it's around here somewhere), so I did as she asked to keep the peace. Seemed like a good idea. In the other, I took the time to explain my position on a couple of points as respectfully as I could. Honestly, I do what I can to not appear offensive to people. Although I'm not certain of exactly how this was received, one authoress proved helpful and even sent me photos of some coke ovens that hadn't been otherwise acquired. This is really appreciated and a nice bonus.

  A somewhat rare book on Redstone Fort from the 1930's I purchased online has allowed for fresh ideas. The Indian Chiefs Of Pennsylvania is another one that was sort of long on the shelf and not long ago got around to reading it all. I go back to it now and  then, but initially read the primary parts having most to do with the southwest PA region I live in, then I slowly getting into the rest, "WHEN I HAD THE TIME." A saying probably being worn out by yours truly. Yet, this is the reality staring me abruptly in the face.

   A nice friend and confidant has kindly lent me a few books, one is on the National Road, even giving me a fairly rare pamphlet in the bargain. A memoir of Route 31 and Mendon. What a bargain! I know I e-mailed her, but here's an extra Thank You too!  This does have a small amount of info on the toll houses, something I wrote about that available information is severely lacking on. A lot of people can attempt to guide you and give such sound advice, not too many put it out there in this special fashion, do they? The kicker is, she ended up GIVING me ALL the books! Although I've told her this before and she may get tired of the reminder, THANK YOU so much, dear lady!

  This is great and all, God forbid I would complain of small matters. OK, I am perusing a Google book list that keeps growing and growing and.... I'm only one person and my eyes do get tired from the monitor, OK? Would someone like to do the honor of reading and condensing material for me in their spare time? I would welcome this. Well, I have a bunch of draft posts that will be worked on in more depth, sooner than I would estimate, but maybe later than you would expect!

  Through reading this post one might form the unwelcome idea "Histbuffer" is a person a little  behind on research, especially in a few key areas. Well, I confess you would a discerning person as that is a fair enough assessment - to a point. I am the type of guy that needs to be passionate and informed and am, at times, hesitant in turning a draft post toward reality. The Final Product. Distant interests are alright, practical matters that must be dealt with are all around us. Again. I am no exception. Bills, taxes, dentists, groceries, work, laundry, an off hand get-together, discussions on occasional subjects, holidays, intricate worries that are often there in one form or another. But, I digress, as the factor of delaying a write up is simply a weakness I must confess to.

   Please do take a moment to let me know your thoughts, as I truly value getting good advice through your comments and emails. While you're at it, tell me what your favorite articles-are! I'm really very curious.

   A Look Back at 2015

    Another year has been added to our life account. Already, you say?


    In the last twele months we have covered a few of the local festivals and highlighted some others. There is more to come on the subject of forts, but a post on Fort Ligonier was long on the drawing board. A covered bridges post from August 19th receives a mention and which was accepted pretty well. The blog also related the passing of a close family friend that showed a photo of my father and mother and, a bit of a rarity called, 'staying in the modern day', a congressman; we helped to give dates and places concerning the origin of the counties for a substantially large article on the eve of the Fourth of July; an important post full of fresh research was a continuation which if you missed it, visitors should gain some good information from and which is almost a part two, is about Iron Bridge and what has been regularly termed the Mount Pleasant Road with a fine collaboration with author, Lannie Dietle. This was presented in June and included vintage newspaper stories on how dangerous the area had been in times past.

   Another  post I enjoyed writing that necessarily held a unique air of sadness was of my two heroic uncles in World War Two that was brought to your attention, appropriately enough, by Memorial Day. Other than that, some information was tossed out and presented on gathering research material; a hopefully informative one which would not be amiss in referencing, dealt with alluding to an alternate and as far as I can estimate, formerly unknown, historical slant in 'Scoop on the Old Braddock Road in Westmoreland County'; the importance of the Connellsville Canteen with some valuable additions from researcher Bobbi Kramer; an interview covering West Overton's history was provided in early April with extra material about the old Museum, and let's not forget the Lost Toll Houses. Jeanette and Smithton received proper postings back in March and May respectively; we even broached dealing with the subject of the paranormal in old newspapers for Halloween! Personally, I feel the year gave a good cross-cut representation for our region.

  Some Upcoming Posts for 2016

    Another issue I have been looking at pretty closely and with some trepidation, is the soon to come expensive Penn Dot roadwork near McClure while planning a rather controversial extension of the Kendi Road along Rt. 119. This could be a touch and go circumstance considering the likelihood that two branches of the Turkey Foot Road and one branch of the Braddock Road ran through the general vicinity. A second branch was traditionally stated to of gone through Broadford to the old Stouffer Sawmill located down Dexter Road to the left of the Jacobs Creek bridge. There will be much more on this subject in the future. Some kind of work or construction has been going on there lately. 

   Among upcoming posts, we will be soon be examining some of the regional historians, honing in on those of the nineteenth century; plans are afoot to add to the Relatives and Ancestors database; I will be including snippets and tidbits of material to give needed updates relating to old articles that could use an interesting additions without going back and changing them, while local Indian traditions and burial grounds which appear to be little known will get their due in a listing that encompasses parts of both counties of Westmoreland and Fayette here in good ol' southwestern Pennsylvania. A refreshing History Contest is in order, as well as seriously contemplating a new and exclusive interview. I'll keep the bulk of the details under wraps for now. I want to have something to genuinely surprise visitors with! An overdue subject will connect with Uniontown for a historical rundown of the exciting experiences and events the county seat has been involved in since its inception naturally concentrating on lesser known intriguing facts, while Greensburg will not be left out either. A gander at my 'nook' where I do most of this might be  in order. Alright, let's take a deep breath! I know a percentage of you skeptical sorts may be wondering if I will get to this by 2017! Believe me, there is much else too long to list that I have planned in the early stages, so keep a stiff upper lip, or something like that.

  In the middle of all this, I continue to gain valuable knowledge. Research, yes!

  Not to go into details right this minute, but there is the odd coincidence here and there that I chock up to my faith in God. He does help lead those that try to help themselves and all that. I need all the guidance I can get!The inexplicable and unique discovery of the mortarless bridge structure is an excellent example of this kind of thing. I still have not quite gotten it the attention this deserves and this may ultimately be my own fault for not persevering deeply enough. That may yet be forthcoming, we'll have to wait and see what can be gained through a professional assessment.

  One of the most fascinating experiences for me is the trans-formative quality of learning while putting two and two together as I gradually move along down the road and around the bend. When I'm not too lazy, or sleepy, or hungry. Everyone requires the small 'get away', to rest the brain, charge the battery and there can be many distractions and just as many excuses. Oh yes, I am usually involved in making inquiries of all sorts, some propitious, some dead ends. Attempting to keep tabs on everything, color coding, entering new items in folders and then trying to locate them again (!), highlighting meaningful sentences, planning talks to important people (which often take place out of the blue); well, those that will give me the time of day! Printing articles, scanning things, making notes, and do understand,  this is not job related. If this looks like a plea for sympathy, maybe that's subconsciously true. Normally everything does run smoothly enough. Yet, I had a technicality on scripts on Google which was causing me a few nights of restless sleep. Guess what? Sure enough, it was simply my own cautious browsing approach that was behind it all. And there is a case of writing  in a few other areas that could become a nice opportunity if I keep at it. You never know!

   Still the Sole Admin for good or ill

  The last thing I would mention is to clarify the obvious: that I am the final arbiter of just what material goes on the site and where, in exactly whatever form this takes. This is a privilege I allow myself to indulge in frequently. I try to do this as responsibly as I can manage. Certainly this is a luxury in some aspects, particularly toward man power and time constraints. Any mistakes or lack of dexterity and thoughtfulness lie at no other front door, either. The reins are not likely to be handed over (even with administration duties) to others, unless they would be well tested to be properly vetted and experienced in their own historical position. That's the brakes, folks. DO bear with me, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, as I ponder the future of 'Fayette/Wesmoreland Forgotten History' in all its forms amid possible changes and adjustments. In an open minded frame of reference, I assure you they will be for improvement and quality. I will most likely maintain my equilibrium as well as my complete control. Thank you just the same.

   Last, but not least

Finally, we have recently reached the milestone 2nd year of existence and entering onto a third year. Ya ! Here's to the upcoming weeks and months being full of further interesting information to pass on for your enjoyment and consideration. Thank you for your patronage!

   We are nearing that peculiar season of the year many of us get the cold, grey blahs. To get a glimpse of melting snow and the sun peeking out from behind wintry clouds does have the opposite effect. You are not alone. Snow and ice are beautiful and serene, until you have to defrost the car or truck and shovel the knee deep white stuff! In a few months again the birds will be tweeting, flowers growing and the spring sunshine will begin working its lush magic. In the mean time, please bear with me and look forward as I attempt to get back on track with key ingredients for the particular recipes needed for brewing our regional history!

  Happy New Year!

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