There are so many elements that help make up the story of Brown's Farm. From where it's located - 2600 feet up along the Cambria/Westmoreland County border - to the story of the families that called this part of the mountain home. It's a 150 years in the making, from the time of Presidents George Washington to beginning of the Nuclear Age with Harry Truman.
The site draws you in and you can't help wanting to go back again and again to explore the hundreds of acres now being reclaimed by the forest. Everytime I go there I see something different. Some call it 'the top of the world' which is a good match of name considering it's location.
"In reference to the killing of John [Joseph] Wipey, Gen. Arthur St. Clair's statement is in entire accord with the fact of the Indian being killed. It is not above eighteen miles, perhaps but fifteen by the old Mountain Road, from the mouth of Laurel Run (Tanneryville), which is located about a mile and a half from Hinckston's Run [to Ligonier]. The old road, known as the Fairfield road (now known as Farifield Avenue), left the Conemaugh river about midway between the two runs."
Location of Brown's
You may be asking yourself, what does all this have to do with Browns? What is the point that I am trying to make? It's this: Edinborough Smith was born in Pennsylvania give or take around 1780. Though some census records list the state of Virginia. Sections of Pennsylvania were at one time considered part of Virginia. To that you can add the well recorded history of African-Americans living amongst Native Americans. His first wife is listed as an 'Indian Squaw' who died giving birth to their son John E. Smith back in 1827. It's things like this Indian Grave located along the road to Brown's
I believe that there was once an old Native American Village located at the site of Browns Farm. There was once an old Shawnee Village in Johnstown called Kickeneepawlin (see 'The Handbook of Johnstown for 1856, A.J. Hite, Johnstown, Pa.) and given that the Mountain Road once it passes Browns ends at what is now Route 711 near the old Fort Palmer Church area.
With Ligonier only a few miles away from there. Several miles to the east along the Conemaugh River was Squirrel Hill Old Town a Delaware Indian Village located along the banks of the Conemaugh River (New Florence, Westmoreland County - see U.S. Register of Historic Places Ref# 80003657). The Squirrel Hill site was also once occupied by a large Monongahela village during the pre-contact period. In fact it was one of the largest Monongahela villages in the valley of the Ohio River.
This cairn at Brown's contains all your basic Native-American symbolism. They used the triangle shape is to block uninvited spirits (water, sky and under the ground) out along with using the symbol to invited spirits in. This is something that a shaman would have used in his services.