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”

History of Franklin Township

Today it is hard to imagine the northwestern corner of Pennsylvania as a remote, untraveled forest. But, in reality, this land may have once been the ancestral home to indigenous people and the original stewards of what we now call Howard Falls. In the coming years, we hope to explore and research the indigenous peopleContinue reading “History of Franklin Township”

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”

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”

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”