African-American Settlement in Cambria County

This Settlement was founded in the late 1790's by Edinborough Smith and William Harshberger - whose families have called the Johnstown Area home for over 200 years.










Saturday, March 24, 2012

Site of Edinborough Smith Murder


I find the mountain the most beauitful in the spring. Heading to the farm of free African-American Edinbourgh Smith who was a Rev. War Vet and later farmed by his son Civil War Vet John Smith. There were more houses up the mountain than people realize. Take for instance here - there were two small ones along side the road.
This large - reworked spring was the main water source for this part of the farm.
Smiths is on the upper right hand side of the road.
I believe this low to the ground wall - might just hold a Naive American burial. Note how the rounded part looks turtle like.
This is hard to see - from my photograph - but this slight hole in the ground once the site of where Edinbourgh Smith lived. Remember that Edinbourgh - served as a Teamster with Geo. Washington during the Rev. War. He was brutally murdered either in this house or nearby in 1865. For more on the murder - CLICK HERE.
An old and unused road - next to the cabin.
Nice small spring.
Nice size cairn near the well.
And a large north/south wall.
This is just a brief look at the old Smith site.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Browns Farm - Early Spring


Nothing beats Browns in the early Spring. This is not a crick - but the road heading to the farm. It's wet because years ago - in order to try to protect the site - old Nick (One Eye - "how you doing there") Fratrick who was married to one of Elmer's daughters - popped alot of the springs along the way. This road is always wet - even when we have dry summers.
Location of where the log cabin was.
Heading towards the cemetery and pond.
Looking back towards the cabin area. Those big pines were planted by the state as a wind breaker.
Remnants of Harshberger's Grove - old Lizzie's beauitful apple trees.
The pond where all the Morrellville boys used to spend their summers. Elmer and wife Annie (Bowser) always had a very welcoming home.
Road along side the pond - leading to the other side of the farm.
Looking back towards the log cabin and springhouse area.
And another shot of the same general area.
Looking towards the cemetery - with the wooden fence we helped the state with last year when we did a survey of the cemetery. I'd like to eventually - when I get a couple of extra bucks - to get a proper plaque to put up there - so that the kids that go up there to drink and party realize that they are indeed on sacred ground - not party central.
The grave of poor old John Smith - he was sort of on the slow side - not sure if he was born that way - or suffered some type of injury in the Civil War. And his wife Maria (Mariah Dorman) Smith did not help matters - she had her fair share of trouble with the law - she was known as a very friendly girl....
And here is the grave of John Brown - Elmer's dad - John was not the nicest of people nor the most responsible - now a days - he would have been considered a dead beat dad. When he did work - he was a barber - but he spent most of his time - getting in and out of trouble.
Another shot of the cemetery from the opposite side.
Just past the pond road and heading towards the other side of the farm.
Another shot from the same area.
Heading towards the middle of the area.
Years ago - I found this cast iron wheel laying on the ground and propped it against this tree.
That's my 7 year old nephew - and this is his first trip up to the mountain.
Heading up the hill towards the top of the site. I said outloud when we got there - "Browns meet RJ and RJ meet the Browns".
If you go left - up to the top - if you go right - heading back to the log cabin area.
Heading up towards the Dry Hollow Area.
But first one of the large Native American (cairn) rock mounds up there.
The cairn was built with a hollow.
A smaller (cairn) rock mound next to it.
This is the top of the Cambria/Westmoreland County Line - to your left is the Dry Hollow Area.
Walking this old road to go to back down towards Browns - I always find Native American nutting stones - they are just laying all around - when we passed this way - I spotted a small one - all you have to do - is simply look down - didn't say anything to RJ - didn't he see it and pick it up - which pleases me to no end - because I now know that he also has an eye for these kind of things. Down below by the farm - I kicked up a small arrowhead - which was very cool - since I don't usually go looking for these things.
Top - left goes to New Florence - Route 711 - straight - towards where some of the George Gates family lived and to the right - back down to Browns.
This large puddle is a big frog area in the Spring and early Summer.
Old dirt road heading back down.
RJ taking in the scenery.
Even though it's hard to tell from this shot - in person you can see parts of Johnstown off in the distance. In the old days - since most of the area was clear-cut you could see even more. To help you get your barings - the log cabin would have been right behind that clump of pines.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

John Brown - Runover by his Wagon

 
Interesting clipping (I forgot to write the year down when I scanned it) - John Brown - runover by his own wagon - ended up - none the worst for wear.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Browns Farm - From High Above

Browns from high above - this shows just one section of the 1200 acre site.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Harshberger's Grove - Brown's Farm

With all this snow - I need a little green. Spring is my favorite time of year and I feel that the true beauty of Browns is best shown off at this time of year. This is all that remains of the old Harshberger Grove - where in the late 1800's - the families on the mountain would gather and celebrate - days at a time - with good food and music.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Early County Maps of Pennsylvania

Thought you readers would find this map interesting and after you study it - you'll see why tracing records back hundreds of years - isn't exactly as easy as it looks.