Crossing the Divide

The Challenge of Bridging Elk Creek Prologue:In early August 1926, over 100 people gathered at Elk Creek, where the state highway connecting Fairview and Franklin Township crossed the stream as reported by The Erie Daily Times. In attendance were Fairview and Franklin residents as well as county and local officials. It was a momentous occasionContinue reading “Crossing the Divide”

Hillside

Prologue: Last week the Girl Scouts of America received a record donation of $84.5 million from Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. Among other uses, the grant is meant to “create more equitable membership opportunities in communities that have been under-engaged” and “foster meaningful program innovation informed by the current interests and needs of girls to prepare themContinue reading “Hillside”

Moses and Philena (Whiting) Baker

Prologue: In an earlier blog, Howard Falls vs. Suburban Sprawl, we discussed how the population of Franklin Township grew exponentially in the latter half of the 1800s, peaking at about 1,000 citizens by 1880. Even in the most remote parts of the township, such as where Henry and Levi Howard lived, neighbors began to settleContinue reading “Moses and Philena (Whiting) Baker”

Early Surveys of Erie County

As mentioned in our previous blog, “History of Franklin Township,” most of the land in Northwestern Pennsylvania came under the control of the newly formed United States of America with the 1784 Treaty of Fort Stanwix. The following year, however, disputes of land claims within the colonies began, and a boundary dispute between New YorkContinue reading “Early Surveys of Erie County”

American Chestnut

In an earlier blog, Old-Growth Forests, we described how an unbroken forest stretched across eastern North America from Canada to Florida and west to the Great Plains before America was settled by Europeans in the 1600s. In that forest, the predominant tree was the American Chestnut, Castanea dentata, dominating vast portions of the eastern U.S.Continue reading “American Chestnut”

The Invisible Lines of the Early Surveys through the Wilderness

As mentioned in our previous blog post “History of Franklin Township”, the layout of Franklin township was almost predetermined by The Purchase of 1784. A huge tract of newly purchased land, originally named the County of Alleghany, was divided into two great sections by a due east-and-west line running from Mahoning Creek, near Kittanning onContinue reading “The Invisible Lines of the Early Surveys through the Wilderness”

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

While most history of the northwestern corner of Pennsylvania starts with settlers coming across a remote, untraveled forest, 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 indigenousContinue reading “History of Franklin Township”

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”