Blog

Journey to the Falls…

Jake Weiggel and the Legend of the Counterfeit $20s

As we continue to tell the history of Howard Falls, there are stories outside the Howard family we feel are equally important to share – stories about families who were also stewards of the Falls Run Gorge. One such family was the Weiggels, who owned a portion of the Falls Run Gorge property to theContinue reading “Jake Weiggel and the Legend of the Counterfeit $20s”

Old-Growth Forests

Have you ever walked in an old-growth forest?  Probably not, as in the Eastern United States, almost all of that majestic forest was clear-cut by 1920.  However, before Europeans arrived in North America that old growth forest stretched totally unbroken, from Florida to Maine and west to the Great Plains, as the virgin forest mapContinue reading “Old-Growth Forests”

Howard Falls vs Suburban Sprawl

As mentioned in a previous blog (Early Scientific Research at Howard Falls) the remoteness of Franklin Township delayed its settlement compared to other areas of Erie County. In the 1820’s the area was still very sparsely settled. There were no bridges over Elk Creek, none of the roads present today even existed, and the only roadContinue reading “Howard Falls vs Suburban Sprawl”

The West Virginia White Butterfly

One of many invasive plants in Pennsylvania, garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) was introduced on the east coast in the 1860s as a valuable food source and its proclaimed medicinal properties. It has since spread throughout the Northeast and Midwest. This shade-tolerant invasive plant out-competes against native vegetation. It can be especially detrimental at Howard Falls,Continue reading “The West Virginia White Butterfly”

Early Scientific Research at Howard Falls

Over the past 200 years Howard Falls and the Falls Run Gorge has attracted scientists of varied interests. Most recently the Falls Run area has been investigated extensively by the Western PA Conservancy, resulting in The Falls Run Gorge being named a Natural Heritage Area of Pennsylvania. But in the 1800’s and early 1900’s severalContinue reading “Early Scientific Research at Howard Falls”

Formation of the Falls Run Gorge

Waterfalls, such as Howard Falls, are dynamic formations but can maintain their vertical faces over long periods of time. A classic example of such a waterfall is Niagara Falls, where over 100,000 cubic feet of water flow over the escarpment every second, yet the waterfall remains vertical because of a hard sandstone layer at theContinue reading “Formation of the Falls Run Gorge”

Birds of Howard Falls

Noted ornithologist, John Tautin visited Howard Falls in 2008 to survey bird species as part of the Pennsylvania Breeding Bird Atlas update.  John, along with Joan Galli, spent a morning in the deep ravine north of Howard Falls. As part of this survey, 22 species of birds were identified. Notably, a Canada Warbler was spotted.  The warbler is a more northernContinue reading “Birds of Howard Falls”

Falls Run Name Correction

Falls Run is an ecologically important tributary of Elk Creek, located in Erie County, Pennsylvania.  This stream has its origins near the St Lawrence Divide as it crosses Franklin Township in Erie County, PA.  Flowing northerly toward its confluence with Elk Creek, it passes through three Pennsylvania Natural Heritage areas, namely Falls Run-Shenango Creek HeadwatersContinue reading “Falls Run Name Correction”

A Visit to Howard Falls, 1891

We cannot do better than copy from the Erie Dispatch, 1891, a description of the annual outing of the Natural History Society for some of our boldest scenery: “On leaving the morning Lake Shore train at Fairview Station, Mr. G. T. Howard‘s four-horse vehicle was waiting to take the party to his residence and stone quarry at Falls Run,Continue reading “A Visit to Howard Falls, 1891”


Howard Falls in the News

1996 Ohio Journal of Science: Fossil Fishes (Arthrodira and Acanthodida) from the Upper Devonian Chadakoin Formation of Erie County, Pennsylvania

August 2016 Edinboro University Magazine: Howard Falls Opens Window to the Past  

Follow My Blog

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.

%d bloggers like this: