Archive for June, 2011

Point of Beginning

Saturday, June 25th, 2011

Few people know the history of the first US public land surveys.  Georgetown played its part by providing the services of its long time resident and pioneer surveyor – John Bever.  John Bever not only laid out Georgetown, he surveyed the Third Range of the Northwest Territory in 1799.  Before 1785, the Ohio River had been the recognized boundary between the United States and Indian territory.


I loaded a brief summary of the history of the Point of Beginning.  It is a good read.  The monument celebrating its history is located on the north bank of the Ohio at the Ohio and PA state line.  Additional photographs of the monument and the PA and OH historical markers are loaded in Point of Beginning Photos.

A good description of the dedication of the Point of Beginning marker on 30 Sep 1960 (175th anniversary) is found on the East Liverpool Historical Society website



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Jacob Poe

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

I have been thinking about Capt Jacob Poe.  Uncle Jake as he was known to all in Georgetown, PA had a fascinating life which deserves more homage than I have offered.  Events involving Jacob Poe and the str Clara Poe interest me on two levels:


            (1)  What was the pilot certification test in 1890?  Could a steamboat man aged 77 years know every bar, chute, shoal on the Ohio and Cumberland Rivers between Pittsburgh and Nashville?


            (2)  Who was Chas C Townsend?  As the US Army Deputy Quartermaster General in 1890, Chas C Townsend signed the letter denying Jacob Poe compensation for the loss of the str Clara Poe which was burned by rebels on 17 Apr 1865.  It was Chas C Townsend who wrote a note in the margin of an earlier letter requesting an investigation of the event by the Dept of War.  That undated letter I assume was written much earlier than the final correspondence.  The battle for compensation was waged over 25 years through six presidencies ― with the same man ― Chas C Townsend. 


I hope to find some reasonable explanations to both questions.