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AMWELL TOWNSHIP
885 Ridge Road
Amity, PA 15311
Phone: 724-222-6427

HISTORY OF AMWELL TOWNSHIP

"In the original record of this county its name is written "Aimwell." At the date of its organization, July 15th, 1781, it was bounded on the north by Strabane township, east by Bethlehem township, south by Morgan township (a township of Greene County since 1796), and on the west by Donegal.

"Its present boundaries are South Strabane on the north, Morris and Franklin on the west, West Bethlehem on the east, and Greene County on the south. On the 19th of June, 1838, part of Amwell was annexed to Strabane township, and at the May term of court in 1856, the township lines between Amwell and Morris were changed and confirmed. It is centrally distant from the borough of Washington ten miles. Its population in 1860 was 2042, of which seven were colored. Its greatest length is ten miles, breadth four and one-half miles.

"This township is drained by the north fork of Tenmile Creek, by the little North fork and Bane's fork of the same creek. It contains four stores, one distillery, and ten schools, employing five male and five female teachers, the former receiving thirty-eight dollars and thirty-eight cents, and the latter thirty-three dollars and five cents each per month, with five hundred and nineteen scholars, of which two hundred and eighty-six are males and two hundred and thirty three are females-the tuition costing each scholar per month eighty three cents. Amount of tax levied for building purposes, four hundred and thirty-eight dollars and ninety-five cents-total amount levied for school purposes, two thousand four hundred and thirty nine dollars and fourteen cents; amount received from-the State appropriation one hundred and eighty-three dollars and thirty cents. The towns are .AMITY and CLARKTOWN (TENMILE VILLAGE.)

"Amity is about ten miles from the county seat, and is on Bane's fork of Tenmile Creek and on the road leading from Washington to Waynesburg, containing thirty-four dwellings, two stores, a Presbyterian church under the care of Rev. J. W. Hamilton, and a Methodist Protestant church, the pastor of which is Rev. F. A. Day.

"This town was located about the year 1790 by Daniel Dodd, Esq., a brother of the Rev. Thaddeus Dodd, who owned the land, formed the plan, and numbered the lots. The position being central, on the main thoroughfare to Greene County, a hewed log Presbyterian church, stores, tavern, and dwelling houses were soon erected. At that early date the churches were destitute of heating apparatus, and the church-going members sat in their pews with their great coats and mittens, while the women were muffled up-not in furs, but in home-made dresses and comfortable shawls. Here we may remark, that both before and after preaching by Rev. Dodd, the male part of the congregation used to resort to the tavern to warm themselves, the house being now occupied as a private dwelling by Squire Clutter, no tavern being licensed in the place. In those early days athletic sports were much more in vogue than at present; long bullets, the ball alley, and target shooting were the favorite exercises, and the party losing paid their forfeit by ordering drinks for all hands.

"TENMILE VILLAGE"

"I have been favored with the following description of Clarktown, or Tenmile Village, by J. C. Milliken, M. D., one of our most successful physicians in this county.

"This town is situated in the southern part of the county, near the line of Greene County, on North Tenmile Creek. It is one of our neatest country villages, with one main street and another running across it at nearly right angles; the houses are generally neatly painted, with yards in front ornamented with evergreens, shrubbery, and flowers. The town contains one large flour and saw-mill, one blacksmith shop, one dry-goods store, one carriage and wagon factory, one shoemaker shop, two physicians, and a population of about two hundred and twenty. It contains a Masonic lodge, and a school-house capable of containing one hundred scholars, in which the usual branches are taught nine months in the year.

"EARLY SETTLERS"

"Of the early settlers in this part of the county, as well as the adjoining county of Greene, we desire to speak. The first settlers were squatters who purchased the land from the native Indians for a gun, trinket, or gewgaw, of whom were John Rutman and Dennis Smith, the former dying at the age of ninety-nine and the latter at one hundred and four; these two, with William Gordon, Russel Reese, John Lorrison, and John James constituted the principal original settlers.

"From the year 1770 to 1790 they were followed by a different kind of men, who patented their lands and obtained them legally; these early pioneers were Nathaniel McGiffin, David Evans, James Milliken, Abel McFarland, George Cooper, and John Bates, some of whom served in the Revolutionary war with marked distinction with Washington, La Fayette, Green, Marion, and Sumpter."

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Source: HISTORY of WASHINGTON COUNTY, From Its First Settlements to the Present Time, second edition, revised and corrected by Alfred Creigh, LL.D., Harrisburg, Pa., B. Singerly, Printer, 1871. Reprinted 1987 Closson Press, Publishers.

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The following other village histories are from RURAL REFLECTIONS OF AMWELL TOWNSHIP published as a Bicentennial Edition in 1977:

"The Village of Banetown"

"NAMES: Benetown, formerly called SUNSET and EVANSVILLE in Earl Forrest's History, is a little hamlet of 22 houses on the old Waynesburg and Washington Railroad. Because of the railroad station, it was called some years later, BAKER'S STATION. There was a railroad siding where freight was loaded and unloaded. It was especially convenient to the farmers of the area to ship hay to Washington and Waynesburg.

"EARLY HISTORY: The village is on the site of a fulling and grist mill which was established by Nathan Bane, about 1790, on Bane's Fork of Ten Mile Creek. The mill and house were under the same roof. The place was originally called Banetown, then Evansville. When the Post Office was established in the late 1890s, the name was changed to Sunset. The Post Office was discontinued about 1906, when Rural Free Delivery was established. The 1910 Census listed Sunset with a population of 55 persons. The only early telephone for miles around was located at the Railroad Station.

"BUILDINGS: In early years, there was a blacksmith shop located on the main road, which was owned and operated by George Sheets. There was also a little church in the village which has been in continuous use to date. The nearest school was PERSHING school, to which all children walked, a distance of about two miles. There were three general stores, one of which was operated by Enoch Vankirk, and then for many years by Thomas Hatfield. Kilgores owned and operated the store when it closed a few years ago.

"SUGAR CAMP: Cal Baker owned what is now the A. A. Blake farm, where he operated a sugar camp. The trees were tapped and the sugar water was boiled down into syrup. Some of the syrup was put into small cups and made into maple candy. The syrup and candy were sold right at the camp.

"HUCKSTER: Elias Hatfield had a wagon specially made with the name, "Sunset, Pennsylvania", printed on it in large letters. Fred Hatfield, now 76 years old, remembers as a small child of 8 or 10, going to Washington with his dad to peddle vegetables and fruits. The old dirt road was replaced by the back top road that now runs through the village in 1935."

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"The Village of GLYDE"

"LOCATION: Glyde is located seven miles east of Washington, along U.S. Route 40, in the very north-east corner of Amwell Township, where Brush Run Road from Lone Pine intersects U.S. Route 40. William Dague erected a store building and handled general merchandise, this building and store room was later acquired by William Hootman. In the early 1920s, Mr. Hootman built a commercial swimming pool and it was known as Glyde Beach.

"LATER HISTORY: About 1910, there was a U.S. Post Office at Glyde. Knute Norris bought the store and swimming pool from William Hootman, operated it for two or three years as a hotel, and continued the beach until the hotel was destroyed by a fire about 1930. After the fire, Mr. Norris built a dance hall that was very well known in the area until about 1950. Glyde Beach is now owned by Mr. Erving, swimming has been discontinued, and the dance hall has been made into a dwelling house.

"EGG NOG HILL: "Egg Nog" hill, located on Route 40 at Glyde, was often in poor condition, and too steep for some of the early stage coaches to travel. Therefore, they would take the Chestnut Ridge Road, or Redstone Lane. This road was used as a cut-off route between Brownsville and Wheeling years ago. It served as a main corridor for travel in those days. It is said that this is the reason why there are so many "take-off" roads from Chestnut Ridge Road."

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"The Village of LONE PINE"

"LOCATION: The following notes were taken from the history of Lone Pine, written by Millicent Walton, March 4, 1890, and also by Norma Bane in 1968. Lone Pine is a village along the road from Hart's Mill to Marianna, where Brush Run Road from Glyde crosses the Marianna Road and leads onto the village of Ten Mile, also where Brush Run Creek empties into Little Ten Mile Creek. The tract of land on which Lone Pine is situated was obtained by Thomas Hill on a Virginia certificate, granted January 20, 1780, and surveyed as "Bottom Lick", containing 400 acres. The town was laid out after the land came into the possession of David Frazee.

"NAMES: Lone Pine Village has been known by the following names: Fort Distress, Violet-town, Buzzard's Nest, and Pleasant Valley. In the late 1850s, Andrew Frazee gave it the name of "Pin Hook". The following story is well authenticated. It is told that one day many years ago "General" Andrew Frazee saw some boys fishing in Ten Mile Creek at the village, and when he was that they were using bent pins for hooks, he was so tickled that he immediately christened the town "Pin Hook", a name that has stuck to this day. The name of Lone Pine came from a lone pine tree which stands on the bank of Ten Mile Creek near the village. There were twin trees, but one was struck by lightning, leaving only the "lone pine." The name was selected by a crowd in J. D. Huston's store, one night many years ago, when the name for a post office was being discussed. The original name of the village in 1859 was Pleasant Valley. It retained that name until 1872, when they erected a post office and the name changed from Pleasant Valley to Lone Pine.

"FRATERNAL ORGANIZATIONS: The Lone Pine Lodge No. 693 I.O.O.F. was chartered in March of 1870. The following officers and charter members were installed: James D. Huston, Noble Grand; Isaac H. Horn, Vice-Grand; Samuel Walton, Secretary; John Sibbet, Treasurer; William W. Paul, John Closser, William Briggs, James M. Sibbet, Samuel Sharp, George Huffman, Henry Hanrod, Isaac Husk, Thomas Reed, and A. J. Riggle. A lodge of the P.O.S. of A. was founded about the year 1911. This organization was chartered November 23, 1913, with J. Wildon Moninger as Chaplain. The CHESTNUT RIDGE GRANCE was chartered in 1895. Lone Pine had a DRAMATIC CLUB in 1937, which performed at social gatherings, and also had presentations for their own entertainment."

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End of Rural Reflections of Amwell Township.

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