Fayette County Historical Society/Abel Colley Tavern & Museum

Fayette County Historical Society/Abel Colley Tavern & Museum PO Box 193, Uniontown, PA 15401
A non-profit volunteer group interested in preserving the history of
(94)

The J.H. Hillman steamboat is shown here on the Monongahela River with West Brownsville in the background.  The boat was...
12/06/2023

The J.H. Hillman steamboat is shown here on the Monongahela River with West Brownsville in the background. The boat was built in 1927 in Ambridge. It spent her days towing coal on the Monongahela River. Although she did make one trip to New Orleans in 1939. She is thought to have been one of the best towboats on the Mon. The Hillman was decommissioned in 1951.

Chris

Here's another in the Forsyth collection of sternwheelers.  This steamboat tug is the ATHA.  According to one site is wa...
12/06/2023

Here's another in the Forsyth collection of sternwheelers. This steamboat tug is the ATHA. According to one site is was built in Brownsville in 1882 as the Charlie Clark and that it was renamed the ATHA in 1917. In 1938 she was rebuilt and name the Registal.

Chris

Today we had our annual member Christmas Party at Deer Creek Winery! Thank you to all the members who came to celebrate ...
12/03/2023

Today we had our annual member Christmas Party at Deer Creek Winery! Thank you to all the members who came to celebrate the holiday season with us!

If you would like to be a member, we’d love to have you join us!
Individual memberships $30
Family memberships $40
Student memberships $5
Affiliate memberships $50

I recently acquired this letter which was written by the Reverend Lyman N. Freeman in 1835.  At the time he was rector o...
12/03/2023

I recently acquired this letter which was written by the Reverend Lyman N. Freeman in 1835. At the time he was rector of Christ Church in Brownsville. Freeman was born in Vermont in 1808. He arrived at the church in 1830. In 1832 he married Caroline M. Miller while he was the rector at the church. The couple had 9 children. In 1841 the congregation decided to erect a suitable parsonage. It was John Johnston and Thomas Butcher who was awarded the contract for $2,200. On September 20th, 1841 Freeman tendered his resignation. The couple moved to Chillicothe, then Chicago and finally Kalamazoo, Michigan where he died in 1890. The letter was written to Nathaniel and Charlotta (Gummert) Isler. The couple lived in Brownsville where they had their 4 children. They moved to Fountain County, Indiana where Nathaniel died in 1856; Charlotta in 1866. While he lived in Brownsville he served as the Justice of the Peace.

It's interesting to see such a letter as I doubt many of them survive. Apparently it was important for the pastor to introduce the couple to the pastor of their new home.

Chris

Here's a nice look at two of our boats, the Crucible and Hillman.  I don't know the age of the photos but I believe they...
12/02/2023

Here's a nice look at two of our boats, the Crucible and Hillman. I don't know the age of the photos but I believe they date to the 1930's or so. The collection comes from the Forsyth family of Brownsville (Jefferson Township.) I like seeing the person in the rowboat working his way towards the Crucible. I believe West Brownsville is in the background but please let me know if I am wrong.

Thanks, Chris

A descendant of the William Forsyth family donated a collection of photos, showing sternwheelers, and receipts, beginnin...
11/30/2023

A descendant of the William Forsyth family donated a collection of photos, showing sternwheelers, and receipts, beginning in the mid 1860's from numerous boats that traveled the Mon River. I believe the boat you see here traveled the Ohio River. It was built in 1907 and dismantled in 1941. In 1931 the Hillman Barge Company owned it and then Captain Charles T. Campbell. But please let me know if I got anything wrong here. Thanks to the generous family who donated this collection.

Chris

184 years old! We often tell about this bridge when you visit the Tollhouse and the Museum. It’s amazing that it is stil...
11/29/2023

184 years old! We often tell about this bridge when you visit the Tollhouse and the Museum. It’s amazing that it is still standing and still in use. Now it will be carefully restored!

This is the fourth photograph in the series of January 5, 1940 which shows the aftermath of the Mon River freezing and t...
11/28/2023

This is the fourth photograph in the series of January 5, 1940 which shows the aftermath of the Mon River freezing and trapping boats and barges. Once again the back of the photo identifies the location as the Colonial Docks and it was taken by Charles E. Chandler of Brownsville. Perhaps one of you can let us know what we are looking at.

Thanks, Chris

Here's the third in the series of the frozen Mon  River on January 5, 1950.  The location is identified as the Colonial ...
11/28/2023

Here's the third in the series of the frozen Mon River on January 5, 1950. The location is identified as the Colonial Docks. Chrales E. Chandler was the photographer. From newspapers clippings he seemed to have been a miner as well as holding different offices in Brownsville. I believe there are 18 coal barges frozen into the Mon. I wonder if the boat seen on the bend in the river is also a captive. Thanks to all of you who identified where the Colonial Docks was located. I have one more photo which I will post tomorrow.

Chris

This photo shows the frozen Mon River at the Colonial Docks on January 5, 1940.  Charles E. Chandler of Brownsville took...
11/26/2023

This photo shows the frozen Mon River at the Colonial Docks on January 5, 1940. Charles E. Chandler of Brownsville took this photo. You can see the Thomas Moses boat is also being held captive by the frozen river. Do any of you know exactly where the Colonial Dock was located? I have seen Smock, Grindstone and Newell. Any help you can give would be most appreciated.

Chris

This is a Stereo View of a monument being carved.  The only identification on the back says it was taken in Connellsvill...
11/25/2023

This is a Stereo View of a monument being carved. The only identification on the back says it was taken in Connellsville. Since the sculpture has lilies, I should think it is a tombstone. Does this look familiar to any of you? How about the sculptor? Wish his name had been included. There isn't a date but it looks to be from 1900 or so.

Chris

11/25/2023

The Searight's Tollhouse is being visited by Santa and Mrs. Claus. Be sure to bring the kids today and tomorrow to tell Santa your wishes and listen to wonderful stories by Mrs. Claus...11-3 each day.

11/25/2023

Don't forget...the Tollhouse is being visited by Santa and Mrs. Claus today and tomorrow, 11AM to 3 PM. While Santa will be busy with wish lists, Mrs. Claus will be telling the kids stories of Christmas. It's a real treat for the children.

Some travelers on the national road, stopped in to visit Santa and Mrs. Claus
11/25/2023

Some travelers on the national road, stopped in to visit Santa and Mrs. Claus

Santa and Mrs. Claus are at the tollhouse! Bring your little ones by for stories, refreshments and crafts! We are here t...
11/25/2023

Santa and Mrs. Claus are at the tollhouse! Bring your little ones by for stories, refreshments and crafts! We are here today until 3pm

Before the house we now know as Fallingwater was built!
11/24/2023

Before the house we now know as Fallingwater was built!

In a 1937 interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about where Fallingwater would eventually be built, Frank Lloyd Wright recalled one of his first conversations with Edgar Kaufmann Sr., "You love the waterfall, don't you? Then why build your house miles away, so you will have to walk to it? Why not live intimately with it, where you can see and hear it and feel it with you all the time?"

___
📸 : Postcard, Syria Country Club, Bear Run, ca. 1912. Samuel Stewart Collection, 1993.159a

Don’t forget to visit Searights Tollhouse on Saturday and Sunday to see Santa and Mrs. Claus as they kick off the holida...
11/23/2023

Don’t forget to visit Searights Tollhouse on Saturday and Sunday to see Santa and Mrs. Claus as they kick off the holiday season with stories and crafts for your little ones. We open at 11 am.

From all of us at the Fayette County Historical Society, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!
11/23/2023

From all of us at the Fayette County Historical Society, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

The tree was decorated by our elves today and ready for the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus next Saturday and Sunday! Pl...
11/20/2023

The tree was decorated by our elves today and ready for the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus next Saturday and Sunday! Please join us on November 25th and 26th from 11am to 3pm for Santa’s visit to the tollhouse. Mrs. Claus will be telling stories in the kitchen by the fireplace while our elves help the kids with some crafts. We look forward to seeing you and your little ones there

In January of 1940 the Monongahela River was nearly frozen solid.  There were a number of reported deaths in our region,...
11/11/2023

In January of 1940 the Monongahela River was nearly frozen solid. There were a number of reported deaths in our region, mainly from exposure. The boat seen here is the Thomas Moses. The vessel was named after a man by the same name who, it was said, grew up from humble beginnings. He rose in the ranks of the H.C. Frick Company before retiring in 1945 after 50 years. He died in 1948. His obituary mentioned that he was educated by his wife at home and through correspondence courses. The couple had two sons who were involved in the coal and steel industries. This photo, along with several others, were donated to the Society from a Fayette City family. The photograph, on the back, says Charles E. Chandler, Brownsville, PA., January 5th, 1941.

Chris

The Tollhouse is open until 4 today!
11/11/2023

The Tollhouse is open until 4 today!

Thank you to all who have served!
11/11/2023

Thank you to all who have served!

The Ohiopyle General Store was owned by Robert Criswell Holt who was born in Pittsburgh in 1878.  By 1880 the family had...
11/09/2023

The Ohiopyle General Store was owned by Robert Criswell Holt who was born in Pittsburgh in 1878. By 1880 the family had moved to Ohiopyle. He became an agent for a lumber company in addition to owning the store seen here in the postcard. Holt was married to Mary Francis Robinson and together the couple had one child. The card was sent in 1940 to the parents of little Marilyn who must have been staying with her grandparents. She writes: "I hope you are not lonesome without me."

I'm sure they missed her.

Chris

Saturday, at the Tollhouse, Mr. Dave and his mom, Linda, were “Out-n-About” and stopped by the Tollhouse. Mr. Dave visit...
11/07/2023

Saturday, at the Tollhouse, Mr. Dave and his mom, Linda, were “Out-n-About” and stopped by the Tollhouse. Mr. Dave visits places in Fayette County and makes YouTube videos. He went to the Plum Run Winery and our Tollhouse. Enjoy this video! Our Tollhouse is the second part of the video! Enjoy being “Out-n-About with Mr. Dave”!

Here is the video

Don’t forget our meeting tonight is at our newly acquired Haddenville School, 7662 National Pike East (Route 40), Uniont...
11/06/2023

Don’t forget our meeting tonight is at our newly acquired Haddenville School, 7662 National Pike East (Route 40), Uniontown. Meeting starts at 6! Hope to see you there!

It’s a beautiful Autumn day in southwestern PA! The Tollhouse is open 11-4 Saturdays and Sundays!!!!5 miles west of Unio...
11/04/2023

It’s a beautiful Autumn day in southwestern PA!
The Tollhouse is open 11-4 Saturdays and Sundays!!!!
5 miles west of Uniontown on Route 40 (the National Road)!

Here we have three little ones whose pictures were taken by the Lingo Studio.  Edward Allen Lingo was born in Maryland i...
11/03/2023

Here we have three little ones whose pictures were taken by the Lingo Studio. Edward Allen Lingo was born in Maryland in 1843. He moved to Uniontown where he eventuallly set up a photography studio by at least 1870. That's the first he shows up on a federal census as a photographer. In that same year he married a Uniontown girl, Drusilla Hellen. He was 27 at the time; Drusilla was 35. The couple never had children. Lingo was good friends with Nicholas L. Dukes, Esq. You will recall he was the man who murdered Captain Nutt on Christmas Eve, 1882. And it was Captain Nutt's son who murdered Dukes on the "round corner" in Uniontown in 1883. Lingo's photography studio was just a few steps away from where Dukes was shot and Edward was the first person to reach his dying friend. The coroner, Dr. Sturgeon, recoverd the bullets from Dukes' body and he kept them as a curiosity. Wonder where they ended up.

Unfortunately we do not know the names of these children Lingo photographed. Because little boys wore dresses until they were potty trained, we don't know if these are boys or girls. It's amazing they stood still for so long.

Chris

Happy Halloween my friends from my house to yours.  Chris
10/31/2023

Happy Halloween my friends from my house to yours. Chris

10/31/2023

🎃🍂 Halloween on the Historic National Road! 🌙🛤️
Travel back in time this spooky season along the National Road Heritage Corridor in PA! From haunted inns to eerie tales of yesteryears, the corridor comes alive with ghostly legends. Dare to explore? 🍁

The 1933 coal miners' strike was violent.  One of the victims was Lewis (Louis) M. Padrosky.  The first photo is an orig...
10/29/2023

The 1933 coal miners' strike was violent. One of the victims was Lewis (Louis) M. Padrosky. The first photo is an original press release. On the back it reads: Legionnaires, pallbearers for Louis Padrosky, mine picket slain in disorders in the coal district of Western Pennsylvania, are pictured carrying him into St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church at Brownsville, Pa., August 5. More than 10,000 were in the funeral procession from his home in the "patch" at Allison Mine, near Brownsville. The next photo shows his young family who sadly will have to grow up without their father. Tragically, his 6 year old son Leonard was standing next to him when he was shot by deputies. Will these little ones know how their father fought bravely and was wounded in World War I? How he endured a gas attack in France? The militia commandant explained that his force had been driven to exhaustion. Was this an excuse? Also injured were the following: Ben Brown, William Ralko and William Shaw. Padrosky lived in Allison. I believe it is Allison you can see in the background of the newspaper clipping that shows the large numbers of miners at the funeral. Hundreds of miners accompanied the body to the city, parking their automobiles and trucks in the vicinity of the cemetery and then marching through the city to the American Legion Home to pay their last respects to their fallen comrade. "With straight, sober and grim faces, the hundreds passed the bier after a fleeting glimpse at the remains." At the funeral Reverend Yesko had this to say: "This man happened to be chosen a sacrifice on the altar of the laboring class for the common good of his fellow men. I trust his death will result in no common good. No great cause can succeed without its noblation, without its sacrifce. A corporation is not a man with a soul and body. A corporation is composed of men the same as you and I. They are prone to make mistakes as we. They are prone to do a certain amount of injustice to the coal digger. Sometimes this is due to misunderstanding. Sometimes it demands that men strike to demand their rights of the companies. But I do hope and trust this sacrifce may be for the common good. If we must educate the so-called ignorant classes we must also do away with the spirit of egotism, the spirit of prejudice and above all the spirit of radical prejudice. The working man is misunderstood. We do not have any better element in this country today than our working man."

Two deputies were arrested in the killing of Padrosky: J.C. Brosius and William C. Black, both of Uniontown. They were released on August 4 after posting $5,000 bail, each. On June 6, 1934, the Daily Courier reported that the coroner's jury exonerated James Brosius and William C. Black of any blame in connection with the death of Louis Martin Padrosky, an Allison miner, formerly of Leisenring No 1 who was doing picket duty at the Rowes Run mine of the H.C. Frick Coke Company. The jury said: "That no evidence was presented that the bullet causing the death of Padrosky was fired from the gun of either Brosius or Black and that any shots fired by the said Brosius and Black were fired in the line of duty and self defense and we therefore exonerate the said Brosius and Black from any blame resulting in the death of the said Louis Martin Padrosky."

How the lives of so many, particularly the children would be forever changed. This was not the last of the strikes in this region. More blood would be shed. Was justice served?

As a daughter of a coal miner, I remember all too well the number of strikes our family endured. But nothing compared to these early days of miners fighting for their rights and the future rights of our coal miners.

Chris

One of our friends, Vince Brooks as doing some research and he came upon a 1796 court case that mentioned Uniontown (Bee...
10/29/2023

One of our friends, Vince Brooks as doing some research and he came upon a 1796 court case that mentioned Uniontown (Beeson Town.) In part it reads: "When the Army lay at Beeson Town and troops went over the mountains against the insurgents." General Dan Morgan of the Frederick County militia was put in charge of putting down the 1794 whiskey rebellion here in Western Pennsylvania. So apparently the Army had not been paid and they were suing to try to cover their losses.

We thank Vince for sharing this post with us. Chris

Thank you to all the ghoulish guests that came to visit us tonight and hear the creepy and grim side of our local histor...
10/27/2023

Thank you to all the ghoulish guests that came to visit us tonight and hear the creepy and grim side of our local history. We appreciate all of our repeat visitor and hope to see you all again at the next event!

10/26/2023

Check out the history of our region along the National Road with our interactive visit widget app!

As you may know, the Fayette County Historical Society is busy restoring the Haddenville School.  Can't wait to show you...
10/26/2023

As you may know, the Fayette County Historical Society is busy restoring the Haddenville School. Can't wait to show you some photos, but better yet, come to our November meeting and see for yourself. We will meet on Monday, November 6th at 6:00. The school won't be done, by far, but we have made some substantial progress so don't mind if it's a bit dusty. In the meantime, on the grounds of the school is the Menallen Twp. honor roll. We have an Eagle Scout preparing to restore the honor roll. Right now the names of those who fought in World WarI and World War II are listed but we would like to add the names of those who served in all wars and conflicts since. So if you know anyone from Menallen Twp. who served, please forward the names to us. This photo shows the dedication of the honor roll on July 29th, 1945. Three hundred people came out for the dedication. Thanks for your help.

Chris

These little ones had their photos taken in Brownsville.  The first one was taken by the E. K Abrams Studio.  I believe ...
10/25/2023

These little ones had their photos taken in Brownsville. The first one was taken by the E. K Abrams Studio. I believe the photographer was Eli Kimber Abrams, son of James M and Rebecca Kimber Abrams. If I have the rights photographer, Eli was born in 1847. In the 1870 federal census he was living at his parents' home and his occupation was listed as a photographer. The other two photos were taken by James M Abrams. I believe this was Eli's father. James' occupations were: silversmith, dentist and photographer. James died in Brownsville in 1902 just five years after his wife. Unfortunately, the names of the children are not written on the back. But it's sometimes fun just to look at photos from this time period to see the clothing and studio settings.

But, if you do recognize one of your ancestors, please let us know.

Thanks, Chris

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7083 National Pike
Smock, PA
15480

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