History of that part of the Susquehanna and Juniata valleys,
embraced in the counties of Mifflin, Juniata, Perry, Union and Snyder,
in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania...
Edited by F. Ellis and A. N. Hungerford.
Published in Philadelphia by Everts, Peck & Richards, 1886
TURBETT TOWNSHIP, Part II.
By A. L.
In the sale of King to Rice he did not include a strip of about twenty acres,
Port town and extending down the creek a quarter of a mile to D. E. Robison's.
upper end of this strip, and next the creek, Mr. King laid out a town, some time
1792 and 1799, which he called "St. Tamany's Town." Main and back-streets ran
west, and there were five cross-streets. April 15, 1800, King sold Thomas
nine of these lots, of which No. 57 is the highest number given, and a small strip
south by the "lots in St. Tamany Town, running to a point at the east." Tusccrora
the north, and "the land that the aforesaid Thomas Henderson now lives on," the
containing ten acres. It appears by this deed that King still retained some of this
that other parts had been sold previously to Thomas Wilson. King had the whole
patented June 14, 1802, and it is called Emsworth. It had nineteen acres, eighty-
The road from the Church Hill region passed in front of David Hertzler's house
crossed the Tuscarora Creek at the junction, coming out at the Wilson mill, on
the bank of
Licking Creek. The road from the Blue Spring region came down by the dam and
the foothill, probably the like of the tracts to D. E. Robison's house, where it
creek. In November, 1801, a petition for a road from George Wilson's mill to Saint
was presented to the court. The report of the viewers was confirmed at
1802. It was said that the secret of this move was to get the travel away from
who kept a public house, and bring it past Henderson, who kept a house at the
south end of
the present bridge. It is along this road that the present Old Port town is built.
To whom King disposed of the other parts of Emsworth does not appear.
store, tavern and had a distillery, and March 1, 1825, was drowned in the river,
Saint Tammany a few years previous. In 1826
the sheriff sold a tract of one hundred acres, which clearly included Emsworth,
and a part
of a tract above it, over the mill, containing forty-seven acres, warranted to
on application No. 4719, January 26, 1768, to W. M. Hall, who sold it to Alex.
James Thompson, August 17, 1830, when passing to the widow of the latter. It is
owned by her son, Jerome G. Thompson. Magonigle took the p1ace of
Henderson at the
end of the bridge and kept store. It was while Magonigle was Chief Sachem of
Tammany that the post-office was established, and it is probable that he was
in having it named "Port Royal." This was probably 1833, and at this period
with its Port Roval post-office, was still a much more important point than
advent of the railroad carried business to its station, and in 1847 the "Port Royal"
office was moved to the borough, and finally the borough in 1874 appropriated
itself, since which the old Tammany town is generally spoken of as "Old Port
the post-office was started out in Old Port town, they did not wish to have it called
little town across the creek; but at the time of the removal of the office into the
they could not change the name to Perrysville, because it was already in use in
Here, in the early days, before the canal was made, there was a
warehouse on the bank of the creek, about two hundred yards below the bridge.
built up the creek, partly loaded, floated down to this warehouse, where they
favorable rise in the river. It is possible that this quiet retreat in the bend of the
near the river, suggested the idea of a port, and the "Royal" would come in as a
King Tammany, or Lawrence King. Now all is changed; the store-house, the
the still-house are all gone; the old tavern-house alone remains to remind one of
the days when this was the centre of everything and the "Great Crossing of
Tuscarora." The town was finished long ago, but is by no means dead. Here
Noah Hertzler is a store-keeper and has been for forty-seven years now past. No
other merchant has remained so long in one place in this county.
LUTHERAN CHURCH ON CHURCH HILL. Jacob Rice, on January 1,
1803, sold one and a half acres of the land patented by his father, Zachariah,
under the name Spring Hill, to "Valentine Weishaupt and Peter Rice, Trustees
named and appointed by the German Lutheran Congregation of Tuscarora
Valley," for sixteen dollars. "Witness, Benjamin Kepner and Christian Brand.
Endorsed, deed poll in trust for the German Lutheran congregation of Tuscarora
Valley," on "the road from George Wilson's mill to Hunter's Gap." For this lot
William Harris made a survey as early as May 12, 1802, when it was yet the land
of Lawrence King. The early history of this church is in doubt, but there must
have been a building already erected at the time of the survey, for Harris' draft
has a neat picture of the church, having two windows on the side next the road,
and he says it is "for a Burying-Ground and a place of Worship for the use of the
German Society." It appears, therefore, that there was no partnership in this
building. In later years the Presbyterians helped to repair the church and were
allowed to occupy it on the unused alternate Sunday. Both congregations rebuilt
in town, and the old church was sold to N. Hertzler by the Lutherans, and torn
down by him in 1856. Some of the timber went into the mill and some into a
house in the borough. The yard adjoining the old church contains a large number
of graves, the oldest dated 1803. Adjoining this, grounds have been secured and
a cemetery regularlv laid-out, where most of the burials have takes place for
Beside the old grave-yard and cemetery on Church Hill, there is in the middle of
the township a burial-place commonly called Kilmer's Grave-Yard. It is said to be
older than that at Church Hill. There are many unmarked, but the oldest marked
is 1811. The names occurring are Kilmer, Strouse, Kepner, Bolinger, Humaker,
Lauge, Morrison, Mohler, Jacobs, Harris, Hartman, Crozier, Logan, Brandt,
Moss, McBride and others. On the creek-bank, below Groninger's bridge, on
Johnson's farm, in the orchard, are buried a connection of Littles (later Lytle) and
Sandersons, who were first settlers here. Gradually the plow, furrow by furrow
has encroached upon these graves, until now not a grave is distinguishable,--a
sad comment on the avarice of men. About two hundred yards east of this, on
the line fence, is another grave yard, chiefly of the Brandt family. Christian Brandt
died on this farm October 6, 1822, aged seventy-four years. He was a
Mennonite, and had big meetings at his house, but most of that sect came from
the east side of the river.
The bridge across Tuscarora Creek, at Old Port Royal, was built in 1818. In
1822 the frame and roof were put on; and it still stands, the first and oldest of all
the bridges. John Rice lived at the north end and filled up the abutment. The
petition for this bridge was first presented to the court at August term, 1815, and
was said to be where the road from Mifflintown over the Tuscarora Mountain
crosses the creek.
SCHOOL-HOUSES.--Turbett township has five public schools. 1. The
one near the river, on the south side, is called the Olive Branch. It is on the
Strouse farm and took the place of an older Olive Branch on tbe North farm. 2.
Next up the valley is the new Mt. Hope, on the Kohler farm, built in 1850, and it
took the place of an older Mt. Hope built in 1820 on the farm of Koon's heirs. 3.
The upper one is called Freedom, and is on the Turbett farm, now Graham.
These three are built of brick. The house that preceded the Freedom was called
the Bottom, and stood at the same place. A still older Bottom school-house stood
near by. 4. Near the dam on the north side of the township is the Old Port or
Dam school-house. 5. The last house is called Church Hill, being near the old
church grounds. The two last named are frame buildings. There was formerly a
school-house at Kilmer's grave-yard. It is said to have been the first in the
township and in use as late as 1820. Teachers: James Garner (as early as
1798), Jacob Buehler, David Powell, Benjamin Lane. There was in early times a
school-house in connection with the Church Hill Lutheran church. James
McKean, Peter Hench, George Gibson, William Knox, George Meloy, Michael
Fletcher, "a fine scholar and good musician," and Olsdorf (German) taught here.
Sandy Point school-house, built of stone in 1839, was used until 1850, when the
new Mt. Hope and Olive Branch were built. A third and oldest Mt. Hope stood at
the forks of the road near James Koon's. In a deed of Benamin Kepner, in trust
for a school-house, to James McLaughlin and John Franks, the place is thus
described: "That piece or lot of land that the said Benjamin Kepner has lately laid
off for a school-house lot on the public road leading from Colonel Thomas
Henderson's towards the Tuscarora Mountain and Kilmers, and on a handsome
round rise of a small hill and including a spring." Teachers: David Powell,
Richard Morrison, John Meloy, George W. Baker, Jesse Fry. Another old school
stood on the Turbett farm, at the south corner, older than the Bottom houses
above named, in which Samuel McFadden and David Powell taught. Here the
father of the Hon. William A. Wallace did his first teaching after coming to this
country, and ever felt great gratitude to Stewart Turbett for securing him the
school. The first schools under the free school laws were at Church Hill, Kilmer's
and Freedom. There were one hundred and sixty children attending school in
THE GOSHEN ROAD.--From the region of the Tuscarora Station there
was a road made along the south side of the river, down below opposite
Thompsontown. It is known as the "Goshen road." Near Vandyke Station was a
celebrated shad fishery, where "Goshen" John Thompson lived. Some say the
road was called after him, but the fact is, "Goshen" was a name given by the
people to that locality and the road, to distingnish them. Old people, now living,
"went to Goshen for shad." As the Israelites were assigned to the lands of
Goshen, because it was a good pasture-ground for their flocks (Gen. xlvi: 34),
the farmers along the north river-bank were in the habit of putting their stock
across the river during the summer, and thus arose the name for that strip
between the river and mountain, and that part at Thompson's was patented
under the name of the "Happy Banks of Goshen." The name is in use to this day.
This strip was in Milford formerly, as the record shows: June term, 1791, a
petition from inhabitants of Milford township "setting f'orth that a small part of this
township situate between the Tuscarora Mountain and Juniata River lies
detached from the main body of the township, and very convenient to Fermanagh
township. Your petitioners tberefore request that the strip or neck of land lying
below Widow Bonner's plantation, and extending along the Juniata to the
Cumberland County line, map be struck off from Milford and annexed to
Fermanagh township." The court appointed James Harris to view and report next
session, This strip constitutes those portions of Walker and Delaware now south
of the river.
Tuscarora Station, on the Pennsylvania Railroad, is located on the Captain
James Patterson tract. It was made a block signal-station in 1876. There is a
large reservoir here to supply engines with water. A short distance below
Tuscarora Station James Williams once had a small tannery.
The Roaring Spring is a short distance below the station. Before the railroad
was made over it, a large stream issued from crevices between the rocks with
such force as to cause a loud roaring sound, that could be heard at quite a
distance. The flow of water is still accompanied by considerable sound.
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