The Last Frontier: Venango County Indians, Oil, Ghost Towns

Venango County. Its name is derivation of a the Seneca Indian word earliest for explorers “French and Creek.” Its earliest explorers and settlers were the French, shortly followed by the English. At one time, the territory was claimed simultaneously by France, and the colonies of Virginia and Pennsyl­vania. But Venango County’s rich history bespeaks vigorous pioneering a spirit...
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History is Alive and Well in Beaver County

On June 6, 1824, the steamboat Ploughboy with the first contingent of Harmony Society members came around the bend in the river at Legionville; the skipper gave a cannon salute. After dropping anchor, the passengers disembarked and made camp. The following day, Father Rapp, leader of the Harmonists, wrote to the remaining members at New Harmony: “I consider this place the most healthful in...
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Washington’s Mission to Fort Le Boeuf

The Lands upon the River Ohio, in the Western Parts of the Colony of Virginia, are so notoriously known to be the Property of the Crown of Great-Britain; that it is a Matter of equal Concern and Surprize to me, to hear that a Body of French Forces are erecting For­tresses, and making Settlements upon that River, within his Majesty’s Dominions …. If these Facts are true, and you shalt...
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Erie County: Where Geography Has Shaped History

Erie County forms the northwest corner of the state, bounded by Lake Erie on the northwest, the states of Ohio and New York on the west and east respectively and parts of Warren and Crawford counties on the east and south. Historically the county was divided into two sections. The sou them region of 259 ,000 acres fell within the original land grant to William Penn. The northern portion of...
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The French in Northwest Pennsylvania, 1753-1759

Every summer numerous va­cationers from both within and beyond Pennsylvania’s borders come to the northwest comer of the state to use the recreational facilities of Presque Isle State Park. Probably few of the summer visitors sunning themselves along the state park’s beaches, or swimming in Lake Erie, pause to ask themselves how the park and peninsula came to bear a French name. It...
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Westmoreland County: Welcome to the Western Frontier

Westmoreland County, estab­lished by the Provincial As­sembly with an act signed on February 26, 1773, by Lieut. Gov. Richard Penn, was the eleventh – and last – county created by the proprietary government. Taken from part of Bedford County and named for a remote county in En­gland, it has played many significant roles in the origin and development of both the Commonwealth and the...
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