This is the third in a series of posts featuring an essay my great aunt wrote, as a school assignment in the early 1900s, about her hometown in western Pennsylvania.
“About what time did the Indians leave this place, Father,” asked Ted boy-like, interested in Indians.
“By 1800 this valley was uninhabited expect for the wolves that were everywhere on the hillsides. The Indians, with all their war-like ceremonies had retreated before the onward march of settlement.
The favorable reports of the richness and the cheapness of the land in northern Pennsylvania soon spread to eastern settlements and western immigration began. Soon, along the Warren road, little log cabins began to appear which told the tale of the pioneers.”
“What did they do for a living?” asked Ellen.
“When the country became thickly populated, saw mills were built; many on this Maguire Run Road. Each creek flowing into the upper Allegheny River had at least one, and many four or five.
Those were known as river rafting days, the river being the great highway by which the lumber and logs were placed upon the market. it was here, at Tidioute, that some of the largest rafts were gathered for their journey to Pittsburgh.
It must have been a very picturesque scene, to the stranger from upper waters looking for a mooring in this port, to see the dozens of rafts lying end-to-end against the shore.”
And thus our touring party visited places of historic value in Tidioute for a few more days, learning from each account given by Mr. Gray–who apparently knew every inch of ground for miles–something of interest and value and nothing to be regretted.
Back home again in Florida. We again see the little bungalow, occupied by Mr. Gray and family.
“John, I am so glad that we visited Tidioute, aren’t you?” said Mrs. Gray.
“Indeed I am, — and I, and I, and I!” exclaimed their children.
“We wouldn’t part with Florida,” they all agreed, “but just the same, Tidioute with all its beauty and history, is equal to it.”
And Mr. Gray was satisfied.
Thank you to Laura Boggess @ The Wellspring for allowing me to link my little family story to her Playdates community: