Archive for September, 2015

Old Economy Village

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Recently, I returned from a visit to Old Economy Village in Ambridge PA.  Old Economy Village is the last of three settlements established by the Harmony Society.  Ms Sarah Buffington, curator and employee of the PA Historical and Museum Commmission guided me through their archives.  Time well spent.


The OE archives have a treasure of wonderful books and documents. In 1825 the Harmonites built a steamboat named the str William Penn. The str William Penn was one of the first 25 western river steamboats built. That alone makes it significant.  Beyond that the archives contain letters, to and from Johann G Rapp and some in German, documenting its conception and design by Henry Miller Shreve to its sale.  Drawings of the design also exist.  Most of the other boats of that day have only their name remembered.  Their details have been lost to history.  Following the Harmonite correspondence and weaving Shreve and the captain and pilot selections into the tapestry would make a valuable historical work of art.


Ms Buuffington is also entwined with the history of the Civil War Battle for the Buffington Island.  So I reread the article about Morgan’s Raiders in the S&D Reflector, June 2013 by Myron J Smith Jr with greater interest.  That Jul 1863 Sunday, my great grandfather made a Paul Revere like ride from Georgetown to Hookstown to raise the alarm that Morgan’s Raiders were coming.  It was reported that you could hear gun fire all over the county. A cannon forged at the Ft Pitt Foundry in Pittsburgh was brought down river to defend Pittsburgh from Gen Morgan.. It ended its service in Georgetown’s vets memorial.  I have a picture of two Kinsey boys “riding” the cannon in c1928. After 78 years as a monument in Oct 1942 the relic was donated as scrap metal for the WWII effort.

To me those stories are fascinating.






Copyright © 2015  Francis W Nash  All Rights Reserved

No part of this website may be reproduced without permission in writing from the author.


Fantastic Week

Sunday, September 20th, 2015

As my wife says, I never tire of telling Georgetown steamboat stories which is Oldspeak for boring people to death. That as background, my presentation to the Beaver Area Heritage Foundation was the highlight of my summer.   There I met many interesting people with a bent for local history.  Every lecture I do I learn something.  Sometimes, like at BAHF, I Iearn a lot.


On Mon before the BAHF presentation, I received an email from the great-great-grandson of Thomas S Calhoon = Mr Mike Libenson.  Mr Libenson was planning to visit Georgetown with his daughter on Sat and notified me via GeorgetownSteamboats.  From Boston, they carried gifts of gold: a book published in 1932 on Ohio Rriver Transportation and photos of Poe men that I had been unable to identify.  In addition to those items, Mr Libenson also has a complete genealogy of the Calhoon, Poe, and Parr families prepared by Dr John Ewing, Capt Thomas S Calhoon’s grandson.  I plan spending much time with that volume.


While visiting the Georgetown Cemetery with the Libensons, we spoke to Mr Tom Lombard who is the president of the Georgetown Cemetery Maintenance Association (donations greatly apppreciated).  Mr Lombard provided the history of the Calhoon cemetery lot, and others, plus a map of the cemetery with every stone marked and accommpanied by a listing by name, where legible, of the people interred.  The map and listing are a fantastic find that I will compare/merge with work already in progress. 




Copyright © 2015  Francis W Nash  All Rights Reserved

No part of this website may be reproduced without permission in writing from the author.



BAHF Program

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015


BAHF Postcard

BAHF Postcard

 Tue eve, I told a Georgetown story at the Beaver Area Heritage Foundation 2015 Speakers Series.  To me it was fascinating to see so many people interested in local history.  The people there had an incredible wealth of steamboat knowledge and river history.  Truly an inspiring evening for me.


The McDermotts, Judy and Jim, and the Deelos, Judy annd Mike, could not have been more accommodating.


I wish I knew more, and was a better presenter of, GeorgetownSteamboat stories.




Copyright © 2015 Francis W Nash All Rights Reserved

No part of this website may be reproduced without permission in writing from the author.