I recently 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 gun forged at the Pittsburgh arsenal 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.
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