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At Scollop hill, three miles below Schuylkill Haven, the canal passes through a long and expensive tunnel. The West Branch railroad brings in the product of many rich mines. It has been constructed in a substantial manner, and of such dimensions that the heavy cars of the Reading railroad, with which it here intersects, may run upon it. What effect this circumstance may have upon the welfare of Schuylkill Haven, by dispensing with the necessity of transhipment, remains to be determined. In the annexed view, part of one of the churches is seen on the left-in
Schuylkill Haven. the foreground is the river and basin, with its numerous boats and railroad tracks, and a little beyond, on the right, is the bridge of the Reading railroad.
TAMAQUA was laid out in 1829, by the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Co., on the Little Schuylkill river, 17 miles above its junction with the main stream, and 15 miles east of Pottsville. It lies in a deep valley, shut in by the Sharp and Locust mountains. It is now quite a smart village, with some half dozen stores, several taverns, two churches, a car and coach manufactory, and 465 inhabitants. It depends for its support upon the mines that surround it. Like the other coal towns, it is built on a scale of magnificent distances. There are several detachments, or regiments of houses, on the main road, up the river, down the river, and on the hill. Above the village, on a high eminence, stands the Catholic church, bidding defiance, as it were,
to the Lutheran or Presbyterian church, which looks down from another eminence. The annexed view was taken at the western entrance of the street, on the Pottsville road. On the hill east of the village, the large mansion erected by Mr. Bard Patterson, and now occupied by Mr. Franklin, makes quite a conspicuous appearance
The Lehigh Co. own large tracts of coal-lands in this vicinity. A continuation of the Little Schuylkill road, to connect with the Quakake and Catawissa railroad, was projected; but the Catawissa road has not been made. A stage-road connects Tamaqua with the Mauch Chunk rail
Tamaqua. road, five miles east, and with the Schuylkill Valley railroad, four miles west.
PORT CLINTON is a thriving place, laid out in 1829, at the mouth of Little Schuylkill river. It has grown up by the shipment here of the product of the mines around Tamaqua.
PINE Grove is situated on the right bank of the Swatara creek, in the valley between the Kittatinny and Second mountains, about 14 miles west of Pottsville. A branch of the Union canal has been extended to this place; and a railroad extends up the Swatara, four or five miles, to the coal-mines on Lorberry creek, and the main branch of Swatara, above Sharp mountain. About 20,000 tons of coal were shipped from this region in 1841. A forge has been established here since 1828. This region, before the coal-trade commenced, was settled by a few scattered German farmers and lumbermen, from Lebanon co.
SOMERSET COUNTY was taken from Bedford, by the act of 17th April, 1795. Length 38 miles, breadth 28; area 1,066 sq. miles. Population in 1800, 10,188; in 1810, 11,284; in 1820, 13,890 ; in 1830, 17,741; and in 1840, 19,650. The county is composed of a high and rather level table-land, between the Great Allegheny mountain and Laurel hill. It abounds in what are called glades-level wet lands, about the head-waters of the numerous streams that rise in this county. The climate of this elevated region is too cold, and the summers too short, for raising corn; and the land is generally too wet for wheat. Oats, rye, hay, and potatoes are the principal crops, for which a ready market is found among the numerous drovers and wagoners crossing the mountains by the “glades road." This road, not being macadamized, affords a softer path to the tender feet
of the fat cattle of the west. The glades, when properly managed, form productive dairy farms. The well-known glades butter bears the palm in Baltimore and Washington. Besides the Allegheny and Laurel Hill mountains, the Negro mountain, a bold ridge, runs up from Maryland, nearly to the centre of the county; the Little Allegheny mountain forms the southeastern boundary; and Savage mountain crosses the southern boundary from Maryland, and unites with the Little Allegheny near Wills' creek. Laurel Hill creek and Castleman's river water the southern end of the county, uniting with the Yough’ogheny. Wills' creek drains the valley between the Great and Little Allegheny mountains ; and the Quemahoning, Stony, and Shade creeks water the northern end, flowing into the Conemaugh, in Cambria co. Seams of coal, from three to five feet in thickness, are opened in various townships. In some of the shales between the coal-seams occur thin flaggy bands of iron-ore, of considerable purity. There likewise exists a bed of limestone, nearly three feet in thickness. Iron-ore prevails about Elk Lick creek, near Castleman's river, and in many places along the western declivity of the Allegheny mountain. Bog-ore is also found, but the deposits rarely give evidence of a large supply.
The citizens of this county are chiefly of German descent, and German is the prevailing language. In 1830 this population was divided into the following religious sects: the Lutheran, having 17 churches, German Reformed 12, Methodists 8, Mennonists 5, Baptists 4, Omish 4, Presbyterians 2, and Roman Catholic 1.
The principal business of the county is grazing. The raising of sheep, with a view to wool-growing, for the last few years, has claimed the attention of the farmers. A furnace and forge were established by Messrs. Mark Richards & Co., on Shade creek: the forge only is in operation. Another forge was owned by D. Livingston, but is not in operation.
The national road passes through the southwestern part of the county. Glade turnpike, from Washington to Bedford, passes through the centre; a clay turnpike runs seven miles south of the Glade road. The Chambersburg and Pittsburg turnpike passes ten miles north of Somerset, through Stoystown. The Somerset and Cumberland turnpike opens a communication with the Baltimore railroad, at Cumberland. About two miles north of the Glade turnpike, 14 miles east of Somerset, is the lowest depression in the Allegheny mountain.
In the southwestern part of the county, about 20 miles from Somerset, there are three ancient fortifications, within sight of each other, near Castleman's river, erected long before the memory of the oldest settlers. They are called M'Clintock's, Jennings's, and Skinner's forts, after the farmers on whose lands they are. M'Clintock's is on the left bank of Castleman's river, on a rising ground, which has been cultivated for many years. On the side of the hill issues a fine spring, and to that spring, from the site of the fort, there is said to be a subterranean passage, walled
up with stone. In a part of the field, near the fort, one of the M'Clintocks had, for several successive years, perceived the point of his plough to strike a stone, at a particular spot. At last curiosity induced him to examine the place, when he found a large, flat, hewn stone, of about six feet in diameter, covering a round hole, about fifteen feet deep, in which were a great quantity of bones. These forts are in Turkey's
Foot and Addison townships. It is matter of curious speculation by whom they were built.
The first opening through the wilderness of what is now Somerset co., was made by no less a personage than Lieut. Col. George Washington, in 1754. (See page 331.) This road crossed the southwestern corner of the county, passing the Yough'ogheny about two miles north of where the present national road crosses. Mr. Sparks, in his Life of Washington, says
So many obstacles intervened, that the progress was slow. Trees were to be felled, bridges made, marshes filled up, and rocks removed. In the midst of these difficulties the provisions failed—the commissaries having neglected to fulfil their engagements—and there was great distress for want of bread. At the Yough'ogheny, where they were detained in constructing a bridge, Col. Washington was told by the traders and Indians, that, except at one place, a passage might be had by water down that river. To ascertain this point-extremely advantageous, if true-he embarked in a canoe, with five men, on a tour of discovery, leaving the army under the command of subordinate officer. His hopes were disappointed. After navigating the river in his canoe near thirty miles, encountering rocks and shoals, he passed between two mountains, and came to fall that arrested his course. He returned, and the project of a convey. ance by water was given up.
The following year, Gen. Braddock-accompanied by Washington, then colonel-marched his unfortunate army over this same road. It was for many years thereafter known as Braddock's road. (See Fayette and Allegheny counties.)
In 1758, the wilderness in the northern part of the co. was penetrated in a similar manner by Col. Bouquet, and several companies. They constructed a fort' at Stony cr., where Stoystown now is; and it is probable that Miller's breastworks, at the forks of the road on the Allegheny mountain, were thrown up at the same time. Late in October, Gen. Forbes, with an army of six thousand men, marched over the road. Washington also held an important station in this expedition. (See Westmoreland co.)
During the memorable invasion by Pontiac in 1763, the little garrison at Stoystown was called in to strengthen that at Bedford.
Bouquet's road continued for years to be the only means of communication between Philadelphia and Pittsburg. It is probable that, not long after both these roads were opened, traders and pioneers found their way to this county, and made settlements; but their names and adventures, if any, have not been recorded.
During the revolutionary war, and the Indian wars that succeeded it. parties of hostile Indians occasionally came down and drove the scattered settlers on the outskirts of the co. into the more populous region about Berlin, in Brothers' valley. This is one of the oldest places in the co., settled originally by Germans, many of whom were Dunkards. The name of Brothers' valley was derived from the affectionate appellation bestowed upon each other by the Dunkards. (See page 413.) The town is situated in a fertile region on the sources of Stony cr., 9 miles southeast of the county seat. It contains a Lutheran and a German Reformed church, about 100 dwellings, and, by the census of 1840, 524 inhabitants.
SOMERSET, the county seat, is a neatly-built town, situated on the summit of a hill, near the centre of the co. It was laid out in the year 1795, by Mr. Bruner, and for some time was called Brunerstown. It was incorporated as a borough by the act of 1804, and a supplementary act of
1807. It contains three churches-German Reformed, Lutheran, and Methodist, -an academy, the usual county buildings, and 638 inhabitants. The place is eminently healthy, and enjoys the advantages of pure mountain air and water. Cox's creek passes the town at the foot of the hill. The turnpike between Bedford and Washington passes through the centre of the place. The view here annexed shows the entrance into the
Somerset. village on the turnpike from the east. A turnpike is also located, and partly completed, from Somerset to the national road at Cumberland. The distance to Cumberland is 30 miles, and to Johnstown, the nearest point on the Pennsylvania improvements, 26 miles; to Bedford, 37 miles.
The first settlers about Somerset were Mr. Bruner, (the founder of the town) Mr. Philson, and Mr. Husband, whose descendants still reside in the vicinity. During the great whiskey rebellion the citizens of this county took no very active part, though they were generally secretly opposed to the excise. Mr. Philson and Mr. Husband were more bold in the expression of their sentiments, and were, in consequence, arrested, sent to Philadelphia, and imprisoned. Mr. Husband died in Philadelphia, after enduring an imprisonment of about eight months. Mr. Philson was released. Hon. Judge Black, presiding judge of the district, resides in Somerset. His grandfather was one of the early settlers of the co., about eight miles east of the town. At his father's place was quite an extensive trading establishment. It is said that the distinguished Philip Doddridge, for many years the pride of the western bar, was born in this co.
The following account of a destructive fire which desolated Somerset in 1833, is from the Somerset Whig ;-the catalogue of names and occupations may be interesting for reference at some future day:
About half-past 2 o'clock on Wednesday morning, (Oct. 16, 1833,) the cry of fire was heard in our streets. It was discovered to be in a house owned by J. F. Cox and James Armstrong, and occupied in part as a dwelling, and in part by several mechanics as shops. Where the fire first originated cannot be correctly ascertained further than it was either in a cabinetmaker's ar a hatter's shop. In a few moments we had presented before us an awful conflagration. The flames spread with inconceivable rapidity, east, north, and west, and notwithstanding the most energetic exertions were made to subdue it, its progress was not arrested until 20 dwelling-houses, 15