Archive for the ‘History of Georgetown PA’ Category

Georgetown Historical Markers

Sunday, November 20th, 2016

 

Foundations (Beaver Area heritage Foundation News Fall 2016)C

Foundations, the news for members of The Beaver Area Heritage Foundation, arrived by post a few days ago.  The column on the Lewis and Clark Legacy Expedition dedication caught my interest.  One of the five places in Beaver County where Lewis and Clark signs were recently erected was Georgetown.  The caption reads:

 

 “A leaky canoe was purchased here and they got stuck on a bar just below town”.  [1]

 

Not a happy experience for Merriweather Lewis no doubt.  

 

Of all the American rivers, the Ohio was the most important.  By way of the Ohio more than any other route, the whole continent was explored and populated.  Little known Georgetown, Beaver County, PA is located at Ohio River Mile Marker 38.9 from Pittsburgh.  It is a river town of lost elegance and importance.  Once there were hotels, taverns, general stores, a ferry, and wrought iron fenced homes that spilled music into the warm summer nights.  One wealthy resident even had a private airport through the 1950’s.  Sadly little of that era is left.  Like many of the towns along the Ohio, the old homes in Georgetown need repair.  The hotels and taverns are gone.  Only the churches remain.   

 

The Lewis and Clark Expedition legacy marker recently installed by the Beaver County Historical Research and Landmarks Foundation (BCHR&LF) is a two-part interpretive marker:  the triangular sign is a trail marker and the rectangular sign contains a comment from the journal kept by Capt Lewis.  A little-known fact is that Lewis in 1794 was sent as a member of the detachment of VA militia involved in putting down the Whiskey Rebellion.  People in western PA, and quite possibly Georgetown, were rebels in that cause.  The old family names, Dawson, Poe, Calhoon, and Mackall, were frontiersmen in Georgetown well before 1794 and long after 1803.        

 

Slowly, I have become aware that the streets of Georgetown, which I had walked every day as a child, had a broad, hidden history.  The Beaver County Historical Society put up a plaque, along Market St not far from my home dedicated to the Georgetown rivermen and the Lewis and Clark Expedition. [2]      At least eight other historical markers are, as the crow flies, within a one mile radius of this marker.

 

St Luke’s Episcopal Church (Beaver County Historical Research and Landmarks Foundation)

A few hundred feet south in a direct line is the marker for St Luke’s Episcopal Church (now Anglican Church).  The first minister to the people of St Luke’s parish was Rev John L Taylor in 1814.  On 11 Jun 1833, John Bever deeded the lots to the Episcopal Church on which the

St Luke’s Episcopal Church Marker (Beaver County Historical Research and Landmarks Foundation)

present building was erected and the first service was held on 15 Dec 1833.  It is fitting to mention that every Episcopal Church in the upper Ohio Valley has been a direct result of St Luke’s and the godly men who ministered there.

 

PA-VA Boundary 1785 (Beaver County Historical Research and Landmarks Foundation)

At the entry to town there is another marker describing the noting the VA – PA survey of the western boundary completed in 17785.  About one-quarter of a mile down river one of the original markers from the survey of 1785 stills exists.   [3]

 

Nearby historical markers include The Point of Beginning [4], The Sandy and Beaver Canal, First Paper Mill/Little Beaver Creek Bridge, and Smiths Ferry are directly opposite Georgetown on the north side of the Ohio River.  The Death of Pretty Boy Floyd Historical Marker is just outside this arbitrary range.

 

Georgetown has at least eight historical markers and one-hundred-seventy-four residents per the 2010 census.  It should have more markers, and more residents.  The Georgetown Cemetery deserves a marker.  The oldest stone in the cemetery is dated 1795.  Small American flags flying from their holders in front of headstones denote the graves of Revolutionary War or War of 1812 or Civil War or Spanish-American War or World War I and WW II veterans.  Many steamboat pilots and captains also rest in peace there.  The River Hotel, which was built in 1802, deserves a marker.  Rivermen, hard-working, hard-drinking, hard-fighting men that most river towns dreaded to see stop, stayed there. The Post office was established in 1802 – second in Beaver County after Frankfort Springs.  It deserves a marker.  The Georgetown United Methodist Church was built in 1877 by steamboat builders and carpenters deserves a marker for its unique architecture.  The Indian Rocks, located in Smiths Ferry, were destination landmarks until flooded by the last series of dams were installed on the Ohio.  Although the petroglyphs will presumably never be uncovered, their history should not be forgotten.  Finally, the frontier fort in Georgetown should be remembered with a marker.

Many private homes in Georgetown qualify for the BCHR&LF Heritage Marker Program but few owners have applied.

 

A classic small town with a big history – Georgetown.

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2016 Francis W Nash
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No part of this website may be reproduced without permission in writing from the author.

 



[1]   Quotation from the journal of Merriweather Lewis in 1803.

[2]  This marker was erected by the Beaver County Historical Research and Landmarks Foundation.
It is included in the Beaver County (PA) Historical Research and Landmarks Foundation marker series.

[3]  The cut-stone marker is on private property owned by FirstEnergy Corp.  Permission must be obtained to visit these national treasures.

[4]  Different historical societies have installed multiple markers commemorating elements of the same basic event – the completion of the survey of the western boundary of PA which opened the Northwest Territory for settlement.  The additional markers include Beginning Point of the US Public Land Survey, Gateway to the Northwest, Land Ordinance of 1785, and The Seven Ranges.

str St Charles

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

Ms Karen McCoy, while metal detecting in Chester, WV, uncovered an artifact believed to be a key fob from the str St Charles.  Ms Nori Muster, far famed steamboat expert and master of steamboat.com, stated the found article might be a state room fob.   

 

Str St Charles Room Key Fob (Courtesy of Ms Karen McCoy) 

 


 

Str St Charles Room Key Fob (Courtesy of Ms Karen McCoy)

 

Capt Way devoted half of two columns in Ways Packet Directory to the str St Charles.

 

 

Copyright © 2016 F rancis W Nash
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No part of this website may be reproduced without permission in writing from the author.

 

Tintypes

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

More unidentified people.  The first group of tintypes are adults; the second children.  The photos were in an album with the Poe family Bibles so I assume they are Poes or relatives.

 

Unidentified Adult Tintypes (Anna L and John F Nash Collection)

Unidentified Child Tintypes (Anna L and John F Nash Collection)

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2016 Francis W Nash
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No part of this website may be reproduced without permission in writing from the author.

 

Unknown Women

Monday, August 15th, 2016

Two tintypes of frontier women.  Are the two images the same woman?

 

 

Elizabeth Hepher possibly (Anna L and John F Nash Collection)

 

 

Copyright © 2016 Francis W Nash
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No part of this website may be reproduced without permission in writing from the author.

Photos

Saturday, August 13th, 2016

 

George William Trimble, aged seven months (Collection of Anna K and John F Nash)

Stored alongside the Poe family Bibles was a photo album.  It contained twelve tintype and numerous printed images.  The only identified person was George William Trimble, the son of Mollie Ebert and John A Trimble.  His photo, aged seven months, has his name written across its bottom margin.  George William was born on 9 Mar 1869 and died on 6 Jul 1958.  He married Zellah Jane Booher in 1895. 

 The photo of two brothers is a tintype which suggests a date between 1850–1865.

 

Poe or Trimble Brothers ca 1850-1865 (Anna l and John F Nash Collection)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2016 Francis W Nash
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No part of this website may be reproduced without permission in writing from the author.

 

Family Bibles

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

My sister, Judy Maravich, has three Family Bibles.  The family records pages of each book  have been scanned and uploaded for your review.  The Bibles follow the Poe line of Nancy Ann Poe to her daughter, Mollie Ebert, and to Mollie’s daughter and my grandmother, Dalena Trimble.

The Bibles

(1)     George Washington Ebert and Nancy Ann Poe

(2)    John A Trimble and Mary Ann (Mollie) Ebert

(3)    Francis M Nash and Mary Magdalena McClelland Trimble

 

The condition of each of the books is poor.  The oldest Bible dated 1845 belonged to George W Ebert and Nancy Ann Poe.  It has been restored professionally.   During its restoration the back cover was used as the front and a simple leather covered binding was added to the back.  The family records pages are intact and have been scanned for your review.

 

The family records pages of the Mollie Ebert Bible have been removed.  The Bible was dated 1855.

 

The third Bible, the Delena Trimble Bible, has been held together by a belt for many years.  The cover and opening pages through the Title page are missing but the family records are intact.

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2016 Francis W Nash
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No part of this website may be reproduced without permission in writing from the author.

 

Bio of Rev Adam Poe

Monday, July 25th, 2016

Bio on Rev Adam Poe by Melissa Stangeland

Several years ago I was contacted by a woman researching her Poe relatives.  She had discovered my website by doing a search for Rev. Adam Poe.  Her interest was in the article I wrote called “The Preacher’s Note” regarding one statement about Adam Poe and his brother’s work in the grain business before Adam went into the ministry.  She wanted a source document to use for a book she was working on regarding Rev. Adam Poe, her great-great-great grandfather.  The source document was passed on to her for her research.  Her book has been published.

 

Melissa Stangeland’s book, Adam Poe: Evangelist and Faithful Servant, is an assemblage of images, letters, newspaper articles, and analysis which paint a sharp portrait of the life of Reverend Adam Poe, her triple great grandfather and circuit rider for the Episcopal Methodist Church.  Her emphasis is on the man and his works against a vivid background of local and national events from the date of his calling in 1823 till his death in 1868. 

 

The old-time circuit riders were a fascinating bunch.  Their ministries were lonely and sometimes dangerous.  With saddlebags filled with Bibles, they traveled by horseback through wilderness and frontier towns preaching fire and brimstone in people’s cabins, in fields, on street corners, and later  in meeting houses.  Circuits were measured in miles and days.  Ms Stangeland writes about the general hardships in the life of a circuit rider and the specific difficulties endured by Rev Adam Poe.  Although Rev Adam Poe was primarily a pioneer evangelist in the newly formed state of Ohio, Ms Stangeland also covered his travels by steamboat to Texas, Kansas, and Nebraska before they were states.  Rev Adam Poe also traveled east, by rail, to attend to church business in Niagara Falls, New York City, and Washington, DC.  It is safe to say that few, if any, Episcopal Methodist Church circuit riders have been so completely documented “from cradle to grave”.  If the Episcopal Methodist Church had a frequent traveler program, Rev Adam Poe’s miles ridden would have earned lifetime benefits.

 

I find this book particularly interesting because Rev Adam Poe spent time in Georgetown, PA where he reportedly received his call to serve his church.  Georgetown was the base of the far famed Poe steamboat men.  This suggests a closer relationship between two branches of the dispersed Poe family than I have been able to find.  Were it not for this book, details of Rev Adam Poe’s time in Georgetown would remain unknown to me.  From her writing, I also learned that Rev Adam Poe was my 1st cousin 4 times removed.  Whether Rev Adam Poe or his son or nephews were transported on the western rivers by steamboats owned by their Georgetown cousins is a continuing mystery.  Whether Rev Adam Poe was spiritually influenced by Elizabeth Hephner,, wife of his uncle who was credited with starting the Episcopal Methodist church in Georgetown, is a second mystery to be unraveled.   

 

 

Author Mellissa Stangeland’s Business Card

This book touches upon issues of continuing relevance – offering a powerful historical lesson for our time – the dangers of racism, intolerance, and the slow pace of social progress.  A staunch abolitionist, Rev Adam Poe’s feelings were deeply held.  The stirring tales recorded and interpreted by Ms Stangeland may be read for entertainment or enlightenment.  From either viewpoint Rev Adam Poe’s life, as depicted in these historical accounts, makes each tale one of absorbing interest. With its twenty-four pages of endnotes, references and sources, and thorough index, Adam Poe: Evangelist and Faithful Servant, will serve as a unique reference book for scholars of the history of the Methodist movement. 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2016 Francis W Nash
All Rights Reserved

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

 

Cannonballs

Saturday, May 21st, 2016

 

Cannon Shot (Frances and John Finley Collection)

This week I brought eight cannonballs to Carlisle from Georgetown.  The munitions were associated with the cannon given to Georgetown after the capture of Gen Morgan and his Raiders near New Lisbon, OH in Jul 1863.  My trip to Carlisle with the canon shot included passing through six tunnels: two in Pittsburgh (Ft Pitt and Squirrel Hill) and four along the PA Turnpike (Allegheny, Tuscarora, Kittatinny, and Blue).   None of the tunnels permit flammable or explosive materials.  Whew!  It was a daring trip.  

 

One piece of shot was missing.  Eight balls, two rings and, two plates made the trip to Carlisle.  The total weight was approximately forty lbs.

 

 

Tom and Jack Kinsey ca 1928 Riding the Georgetown Cannon (Courtesy of the Kinsey Family Personal Collection)

One surviving image of the Georgetown cannon is a photo of the Kinsey boys, Tom and Jack, riding the big gun in about 1928. 

 

In 1942 the Georgetown council voted to donate the memorial cannon to the nationwide drive for scrap metal in support of the WW II effort.  Obviously, the cannonballs were not included in the donation.  The solid shot balls with their stands have been stored for many years in my Aunt Frances Finley’s basement. 

 

My neighbor, who is a professor at the Army War College in Carlisle and an expert on all things Civil War, and his associates have viewed the image of the Georgetown cannon.  The identity and model of the cannon remain undetermined.  To date the team of historians have not seen the cannonballs from Georgetown.  The munitions, combined with the image,  will hopefully help to identify the model of artillery. 

 

The scanned table below identifies the Civil War era cannons manufactured at the Ft Pitt Foundry.  More than 2,000 heavy guns were forged for the Federal Ordnance Department of the US government.  In other words  approximately 60% of all of the heavy artillery purchased by the Federal government came from Pittsburgh.  The Ft Pitt Foundry did not produce field artillery pieces during the war. [1]

 

Heavy Artillery Pieces manufactured at the Ft Pitt Foundry during the Civil War (Arthur B Fox)

 

 

 

Reference.


 

[1] Arthur B Fox, Pittsburgh During the American Civil War 1860-1865, (Mechling Bookbindery, 2002), p149.

 

 

 


Copyright © 2016  Francis W Nash   All Rights Reserved

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

 

PA Canals

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

 The Amazing Pennsylvania Canals by William H Shank, PE, is truly amazing as suggested.  This map scanned from the book displays all 1,243 miles of public and private canals operated in PA, not all concurrently.  The Sandy and Beaver Canal which starts across the river from Georgetown is shown branching into Ohio along a former Indian trail to the Moravian villages.  The first edition of this book was published in 1960.  My booklet is the third edition printed in Oct 1973. 

 

Map of the Connecting Canal Systems in PA (The Amazing Pennsylvania Canals by William H Shank, PE)

 

I had not realized the canal boom of the early 1800’s was so extensive.  The connecting canal systems opened an avenue of transportation between the East and Ohio River Valley before the contrivance of railroads.  Capt Jacob Poe’s river career on the  steamer Beaver No 2 was in the Allegheny River trade transporting passengers and freight between Pittsburgh and various canal stops. Many of the “ports” along the canal system routes developed into sizable thriving communities: Freeport, Johnstown, Hollidaysburg, Middletown, Fredericktown, OH, and Hanoverton, OH.

 

Railroads signaled the demise of the canal systems and the bustling towns along the canal routes beginning in the 1850′s.  Today virtually all that remains of this grand past are ruins of various canal locks and National Historic Trust homes and taverns that have been saved such as the Spread Eagle Tavern in Hanoverton, OH and Union Canal House near Hershey, PA.

 

 

  

Copyright © 2016 Francis W Nash    All Rights Reserved

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

 

The White City

Tuesday, April 5th, 2016

The national bestseller (2003), Devil in the White City by Erik Larson is a wonderful book about Chicago in 1893.  The White City is the World’s Columbian Exposition.  The devil refers to a serial murderer who used the fair to lure his victims to their deaths, at least nine and maybe a total of two hundred. 

 

 

Pass to the World’s Columbian Exposition (Anna L and John F Nash Collection)

For some unknown reason, I have a pass for 9 Oct 1893 with a hand written number – 716,881.  That day, Monday, had been designated Chicago Day.  Chicago was proud of its fair.  Every business closed for the day.  The weather helped also.  It was an “apple crisp” day according to Larson.  On that day 713,446 people paid to enter and another 37,380 visitors used passes.  The total was 751,026, more people than had attended any peaceful event in history.  It easily surpassed theformer world’s record of 397,000 at the Paris exposition. 

 

 

 

Pass to the World’s Columbian Exposition obverse (Anna L and John F Nash Collection)

I have had this Chicago World’s Fair ticket for many years but until I read Devil in the White City I had not understood its meaning.  The ticket was included with the Jacob Poe family memorabilia.  I still have to determine to whom the pass belonged.   In 1893 a round trip fare to the world’s fair on the Pittsburgh and Cincinnati Packet Line was $18. 

 

To me every trip to a library or an archive is like a small detective story.

 

 

 

Copyright 2016 © Francis W Nash
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No part of this website may be reproduced without permission in writing from the author.