The Scot-Irish settled Greencastle-Antrim, as well as the rest of the Cumberland Valley. Who were the Scot-Irish? They were protestant Presbyterian, Lowland Scots. The Scot-Irish were not Irish and were not Catholics. The term Scot-Irish is strictly an American nomenclature. In England and Ireland the same people are called Ulster Scots, which is much less confusing. Refer to Gordon Crooks research.
In the early seventeenth century when James I ascended to the English throne in 1603, one of his main objectives was to civilize the uncontrollable, autonomous Irish - the majority of whom were Catholic.
James I’s chosen action plan to accomplish this objective was to begin an extensive colonization plan which emigrated English protestants, Presbyterian Scots, and even French and German protestants from their homelands into Ireland during the early 1600's. He especially concentrated on the Ulster region which, at that time, included the nine present-day counties of Donegal, Fermanagh, Cavan, Monaghan, Armagh, Down, Tyrone, Coleraine (later Londonderry), and Antrim. The Ulster region is located in the northeastern part of the island of Ireland and lies closest, geographically, to England and Scotland compared to the rest of Ireland. Archie Reid, president of the Ballyclare Historical Society in County Antrim, Northern Ireland wrote the following about County Donegal. "When partition was set up, Donegal was not included in the new Northern Ireland. We still feel an affinity and my Historical Society has close links with the Donegal one and we exchange visits."
The lands that were confiscated had belonged to Irish Earls who had left Ireland seeking help from Spain and Rome to fight the English crown. The Irish Earls never again returned to their homeland. The land was first given to the new immigrants and then to servitors of the King. The native Irish were the last to receive any leftover land. In the process of settling the Ulster Plantation, the English displaced masses of Irish peasants, often refusing them the right to settle on certain lands.
During this time of colonization, the Scot-Irish built towns and villages, commerce and industry increased, and new farming methods were introduced. More importantly, the Presbyterian Church was established in a country very strongly rooted in the Catholic faith which caused great religious turmoil and conflict. This conflict was exacerbated when, through the years, the English monarchs wavered back and forth on their religious policies.
The Presbyterian Scots lived in Northern Ireland for a little over a century before immigrating to the American colonies. The English landlords found the Scot settlers too similar to the Irish natives and resented them. The immigration was precipitated by the English Monarchy who tried to exert its own political and religious authority over the citizens of Ireland, including the Presbyterian Scots, causing constant struggles for religious tolerance, civil liberties, and political rights such as holding office or having representation in government. Economic factors also affected their decisions to immigrate to the colonies. Anglican ministers made the majority of their income by imposing tithes on the Irish - Catholic and Presbyterian alike. The Irish tenants were charged high rents for their land adding additional economic burdens on their families. Consecutive potato crop failures in 1724 1725, and 1726 compounded all the preceding problems and forced many Ulster Scots to seek a new life in America.
The mass immigration of the Scot-Irish took place over a 58-year span between 1717 and 1775. This time period is known as the "Great Migration" and occurred in five "waves". The immigrants from the first three waves established the major settlements of the Scot-Irish in the colonies.
The immigrants from the first and second waves landed in Philadelphia and the Delaware River in Pennsylvania. The third wave of immigrants moved beyond Pennsylvania into Virginia and beyond.
From Historical Sketch of Franklin County, "They brought with them a hatred of oppression, and love of freedom in its fullest measure… The Scotch-Irish, in the struggle for national independence, were ever to be found on the side of the colonies."
The Scot-Irish did not, unfortunately, avoid political strife in Pennsylvania with the Quakers and the German settlers in the early part of the 18th century. The Quakers did not appreciate their interference in politics and were especially unhappy with them when the Scot-Irish gained control of the Pennsylvania Assembly in 1756. It is to the credit of the many Scot-Irish who settled within its borders early on that Pennsylvania is what it is today. The Scot-Irish were military leaders and prominent lawmakers from the beginning of the colony's history through all dangers (including Indians) and especially during our fight for freedom and human rights. They helped write the constitutions and frame our fundamental laws. Fourteen United States presidents were descendents from the small northern corner of the island of Ireland. More than seven Pennsylvania governors were descendents of the Scot-Irish as well as many U.S. senators, congressmen, judges, and other prominent people from all walks of life. Davy Crocket, Mark Twain, Andy Jackson, and Sam Houston were all of Scot-Irish descent. Some familiar local Scot-Irish surnames are Allison, Irwin, Craig, McLaughlin, McLanahan, McDonald, McDowell, McCrae, Alexander, Chambers, and Davison.
The Germans considered themselves to be orderly, industrious, and frugal and thought the Scot-Irish were impetuous, reckless, and quick-tempered. Because of this, the Germans and the Scot-Irish often maintained settlements away from each other and avoided social contact in much the same manner as the Scots did with the Irish people while living in Northern Ireland.
The Scot-Irish who settled in America were descendants of the Lowland Scots who were robust, adventurous, and rebellious. There is no architectural style or type of furniture attributed to them so, in turn, there are no known artifacts surviving that are specific to the Scot-Irish. But the legacy they did leave behind for future generations is their religion. In each settlement they built a church in which to practice their Presbyterian faith. In the early 1700's, the Greencastle settlement was known as the East Conococheague Settlement. The first church, known as the Red Church, was built at Moss Spring.
The Scot-Irish were nomadic. Those who settled Greencastle had made their way westward from Philadelphia and then south into Antrim Township and then again continued west and over the Tuscarora Mountains. Along their route they left settlements about eight to ten miles apart. These settlements were quite often near springs or waterways.
They adopted the Scandinavian housing of log cabins. They didn't have many culinary skills and ate mostly mutton, lamb, and oats. Their music, unlike the Highlanders with their bagpipes, was played on fiddles and dulcimers.
Originally in 1682, there were only three counties - Chester, Philadelphia, and Bucks – that were established by William Penn. Chester included all of the land southwest of the Skuykill River to the extreme western and northern limits of the state.
On May 10, 1729, Lancaster County was established from Chester County land.
At the May 1741 quarter sessions court of Lancaster County, Antrim Township was established. At that time Antrim Township included all of present day Franklin County except Warren, Fannett and Metal Townships.
Lurgan Township was established from the northern part of Antrim Township in 1743.
On August 9, 1749, York County was established west of Lancaster from Lancaster County land.
On January 27, 1750, Cumberland County was established from Lancaster County land.
Greencastle was founded in 1782 by John Allison and was situated in the southern portion of Cumberland County.
On September 9, 1784, Franklin County was established from the southwest part of Cumberland County. Any local research for tax records, deeds, or genealogy dating before September 9, 1784 must be done in Carlisle, the County seat of Cumberland County. All surviving records after that date can be researched in the Franklin County administrative offices in Chambersburg, Pa.
The first white man to settle in what we know today as Franklin County was Benjamin Chambers, a Scot-Irishman. He was from County Antrim in Northern Ireland and along with his brothers James, Robert, and Joseph immigrated to the Province of Pennsylvania some time between 1726 and 1730. With permission from the Indians, Chambers was allowed to settle on the land of his choice. This was about 1730. On March 30, 1734, the agent for the proprietors gave him a license "to take and settle and improve four hundred acres of land at the Falling Spring's mouth, and on both sides of the Conococheague Creek, for the convenience of a grist mill and plantation." This place became Chambersburg.
Antrim Township, established in 1741, is named after County Antrim in the very northeast corner of Northern Ireland from where many of this area's first settlers came. There is also a town by the name of Antrim located in County Antrim.
The land that Greencastle now sits upon was first deeded to Samuel Smith by a land warrant in 1750. It was then transferred to John Smith, then John Davison, and finally to William Allison, Sr. in 1763. In 1769, William, Sr. transferred a portion of the land - 300 acres - to his son, John. If Greencastle was named for a place in the north of Ireland, there is no doubt the gently rolling landscape of this area reminded them of their homes in Ireland.
John Allison was a colonel in the Revolutionary War and served three terms in the Pennsylvania Assembly. In 1787 he was a delegate from Franklin County to the Pennsylvania Convention called to ratify the new Federal Constitution.
Allison founded Greencastle in 1782. Allison, along with the help of James Crawford, laid out the town in 246 numbered lots of equal size (30' x 250') and sold them through a lottery at $8 each. Allison owned and ran a tavern in town. In 1785 he contracted with William Rankin who owned Moss Spring to provide a fresh supply of water via a wooden trunk line into town for daily uses and fire protection.
Allison-Antrim Museum is continuing its research into how Greencastle got its name. There are conflicting references in William P. Conrad's books and news articles and other history book references. Some indicate that the immigrants left from the Greencastle on the border of County Antrim and the city of Belfast. Other references are made to the Greencastle in County Donegal. A third twist is the fact that there were two large houses in Elizabethan times in County Antrim - one was called The White House and the other 'Greencastle'. Although the house Greencastle was not actually a castle it was quite large in comparison to the cottages dotted about it, and according to Archie Reid, to the people who lived in its proximity it probably seemed like a castle. Or, could our town have been named after General Green of the Revolutionary War? The museum will continue investigating the Allison family's heritage through connections in Northern Ireland and will keep this information updated as facts are received.
Compiled by Bonnie A. Shockey
History of Franklin County 1887, Warner, Beers, & Co, 1887
Historical Sketch of Franklin County, Pennsylvania, I. H. McCauley, Publisher - John M. Pomeroy, 1878
Conococheague - A History of the Greencastle-Antrim Community 1736-1971, William P. Conrad, 1971
Shelter for His Excellency, Le Roy Greene, Stackpole Books, Harrisburg, 1951
A History of Pennsylvania, Klein and Hoogenboom, Penn State University, 1980
Archie Reid, President of Ballyclare Historical Society, County Antrim, Northern Ireland,
Various newspaper articles
The earliest settlers of the valley were mainly Scotch-Irish. These people came from Northern Ireland and they were descendants of the Scotch Presbyterians that had migrated from Scotland to Northern Ireland during the reign of King James I of England. This ruler, a Protestant, had encouraged people from Scotland to cross over into Ireland, a distance of eleven miles, by water, and take up land that had been seized by the English crown. The Irish, who were dispossessed, were Catholic and had revolted against the crown because of restrictive religious laws that had been imposed on them.
Thousands of Scotch families went to Northern Ireland and settled in the counties of Antrim, Armagh, Caven, Donegal, Fernmanagh, Londonderry, Monaghan, and Tyrone. This is the part of Ireland where religious conflict between Presbyterians and Catholics continues to this day.
After James I the English government did not always protect and encourage these Scotch-Irish in their new homes and because of difficulties with Roman Catholics and later English rulers, many of them began to come to America. When William Penn founded Pennsylvania as a colony for free lands, free religion and self government, thousands came. In September of 1736, for instance , one thousand immigrated to the colony.
The Scotch-Irish began to fill the Valley, clearing the forest and carving out their farms. Between 1771 and 1773 over twenty-five thousand came. These people were the true pioneers of the Cumberland Valley.
Among the earlier Scotch-Irish were Benjamin Chambers and his brothers, James, Robert, and Joseph. Benjamin and Joseph acquired lands at the confluence of the Conococheague Creek and the Falling Spring. This was the beginning of Chambersburg. James made a settlement at Green Spring, near Newville, and Robert settled at Middle Spring, where Shippensburg now stands.
Locally, the Scotch-Irish founded the Moss Spring Church in 1738 - a Presbyterian Church made of logs and located northeast of where Greencastle now stands.
It was the Scotch Irish who fought off the Indians along this frontier territory and as they came in greater numbers they were the first to establish schools in the community. They were leaders in the movement to gain freedom from England. They fought in the Revolution and later served in the conventions that led to the making of the nation's constitution.
In 1741 Antrim Township was formed. Originally it included all land in what is now Franklin County, with the exception of Fannett, Metal and Warren Townships. The name for this new township, of course, came from northern Ireland where Antrim County was located.
German settlers followed the early Scotch-Irish. These were a people who came from the many different German states. Their basic reason for leaving their homelands was to find religious freedom and as they moved into this frontier region along with and after the Scotch-Irish, they, too, acquired lands and became the leading farmers of the local area.
An early writer describes a visit to the home of Jacob Snively in 1748. The Snively holdings lay to the northeast and eastward from what is now Greencastle and the writer describes corn growing to a height of ten feet and "remarkably fine grasses" for pasture land. Jacob Snively was described as an "honest schweitzer" and a member of the German Reformed Church.
These German pioneers fought in the French and Indian Wars and provided money, leadership, and men for the War for Independence from England, alongside the Scotch-Irish.
Antrim Township is older than Franklin County and older than Cumberland County by nine years. Antrim is also the oldest of all the townships in Franklin County, from which the majority were all subdivided.
Borough of Greencastle
In 1738, the East Conococheague Congregation established the Presbyterian’s red meeting house at Moss Spring; the site selected due to this water source. By 1741 Antrim Township was established, including all the land in the area.
The land at the center of the township, would become Greencastle at the intersection of the much traveled trails, Baltimore and Carlisle pikes. Here is where Allison’s Tavern hosted cattle and sheep herders and businessmen who would make their way south from Harrisburg and Carlisle to the Potomac to sell their wares or from Baltimore north to Pittsburgh bringing goods and then purchasing other items wanted or needed before the trip home.
William Allison, who operated the tavern, gave his son John 300 acres of land. With the help of school teacher James Crawford, the land was surveyed and developed into 246 building lots. The area began to grow once it was founded by John Allison in 1782. The name Greencastle was a reminder of the town in northern Ireland from where many of the new residents’ ancestors had emigrated.
The Scot-Irish Presbyterians were followed by the Germans, Lutherans and Reformed. All the settlers and their families brought their unique customs and names with them, adding to the culture and eventually, the history of the region. By 1794 there were reportedly 60 houses in the village and George Washington passed through Greencastle in October of that year, stopping at McCullough’s Tavern on the southwest section of the Square.
The Borough of Greencastle, by an act of the Pennsylvania Assembly, was incorporated March 25, 1805. Tickets had been sold years earlier, at about $8 each for a lottery to be held; the winner would receive one of the building lots. These lots were along main streets: Baltimore and Carlisle, the chief roadways, or along North (now Madison), West (Jefferson), South (Franklin) or East (Washington) streets. Lot 1 of the new borough would include a hotel where Allison’s Tavern had stood, in the southwest section of Center Square; Lot 2, continuing south around the Square or “Diamond” as it was called, would become the first commercial building; and so on until homes and businesses stood surrounding the borough’s center and beyond.
Carl’s Drug Store began in Greencastle in 1825, opening a storefront on South Carlisle Street. The business is the longest, continuously operated drug store in the United States. The business would later move to three more locations, however all its years of service were within the borough’s limits.
The railroad brought a different means of transport and receipt of goods for business and home. The Franklin Company placed a line to connect Chambersburg and Hagerstown, Md. In 1840, the company laid the tracks and ties in the center of Carlisle Street bringing both cargo and passengers through the borough. In 1849 a printer with a Mormon group who settled in the area because they thought they had found their “New Jerusalem,” began distribution of a weekly newspaper. The Conococheague Herald would later become the Echo Pilot Newspaper , still a part of the local business scene today. The religious group, however, had moved further west by the mid-1850s.
The people farmed the land, there were cabinetmakers, blacksmiths, printers, coopers, milliners, grocers and more as the area grew and prospered. Manufacture came to the community, first employing men in a new work as farm implements were built and sold.
The area was touched by Civil War as Southern troops made their way along Carlisle Street headed for Gettysburg. Capt. Ulrich Dahlgren and his small group of men captured for the Union messages meant for Gen. Robert E. Lee, making a difference in the outcome of the famous battle. Union troops camped in the area and skirmishes were a part of the people’s lives. Corporal William H. Rihl of the First New York Lincoln Cavalry, was the first Union soldier killed on Union soil June 22, 1863, on farmland just northwest of the borough’s limits.
By 1869, the First National Bank of Greencastle (established in 1864) constructed their building on Center Square. The clock above the building, owned by the borough, was added in 1872, purchased through donations of the citizens. It would become a symbol of Greencastle. By 1901, the borough would boast a second bank as Citizens National (now Susquehanna) opened its doors to business.
Fire protection was formalized in the borough in 1896 when the Rescue Hose Company organized. Meeting in Council Hall (constructed in 1888), the company purchased and retains a 1741 hand pumper- brought out on special occasions for demonstrations. 1896 was special for other reasons: the first telephone was installed in Carl’s Drug Store and the Carl residence, and electric lights were made available to homeowners and businesses.
In 1902 many of Greencastle’s former residents would plan and gather for an Old Boys’ Reunion. It proved to be so successful that it was planned again in three years time and would include the women - the event has been held every three years since. The August celebration means cleaning and painting, keeping the borough a beautiful small town at its best, as visitors and former residents, are welcomed “home.” The entire program, from parade to fireworks to pageant, is offered commercial free - financed only through the sale of badges and donations.
In 1923 one of the “old boys” donated five acres of land to the people of the community in memory of his late brother Jerome. The David D. King donation became the Jerome R. King Playground, dedicated during Old Home Week of that year. Including a veteran’s memorial band shell, pavilions, tennis courts, baseball field, swings and slides, the park now covers 15 acres within the borough’s limits.
War would again touch the lives of the people as many of Greencastle’s young men and women would answer the call to serve. Frank L. Carbaugh, killed during World War I, would have his name live on as American Legion Post 373; Harry D. Zeigler would be honored through the name of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6319 following World War II. They would leave their homes during the Korean War and the young men and women would travel to a place called Viet Nam and other unfamiliar places.
In 1955 the by-pass would become part of the landscape as Route 11 was moved from the main streets to a site further west and named Antrim Way. Along this road too, as well as the “downtown” area, business and jobs would be offered. In the 1960s, Interstate 81 would be completed and bring additional growth to the area as businesses and residences were added. Ease in travel to cities - 84 miles to Washington, 70 miles to Baltimore, D.C., 63 miles to Harrisburg, 158 miles to Pittsburgh and 152 miles to Philadelphia - would bring new travelers.
Greencastle is also home to the Lilian S. Besore Memorial Library, open to the public; a school system that includes Tayamentasachta Environmental Center; the John L. Grove Medical Center; and much more. In 1994 Allison-Antrim Museum was formed for the preservation of local items of interest and for the promotion of the area’s history. The Rescue Hose Company building includes the HOCO Museum in its fire hall on South Washington Street. Both of these facilities are open to the public on various occasions - for additional and more in-depth study of the local area.
Above information from: http://greencastlepa.gov/borough-history
by William P. Conrad
Henry Pawling came into the Cumberland Valley in the 1740s when he purchased lands in southern Antrim Township. His holdings lay in the path of what was to become the King's Highway, a primitive route designed by colonial authorities to connect the Susquehanna and Potomac: rivers. He had come from the rural area near Philadelphia in what is now Montgomery County. After erecting his log home he married Mary Hicks, daughter of a neighbor, Nicholas Hicks. Their first child, a son, was named for the father and their only other child, a daughter, was given the name, Eleanor.
Pawling farmed his grant and eventually used his dwelling as a tavern to accommodate the traders with their pack trains engaged in the profitable Indian trade with the tribes of western Pennsylvania. A mill was also built along the stream which ran through the property, but the tavern was the principal business.
The pack trains coming down the Valley from posts along the Susquehanna River and Carlisle or those returning from western Pennsylvania would stop at Pawlings. Here they could rest their animals before resuming their 'journey. As many as several hundred horses could be seen at a time as they pastured in the grass and wooded lands adjacent to the tavern, located south of present day Greencastle.
After a rest of from three to seven days the trains were reloaded to continue westward or to their eastern places of business. Those who were bound for the west would follow the stream at the tavern to the creek. From there they would use a path along the bank of the West Conococheague which led to Black's Trading Post in what is now the Mercersburg area. From here they would continue into the mountain country to the west. This route, like others, connected the interior settlements of Pennsylvania, northern Virginia, and western Maryland, by way of the Potomac River, to the port of Alexandria, Virginia.
Records of Cumberland Valley's early years tell of the retreating army of Col. Thomas Dunbar resting at Pawling's following the defeat of Braddock's forces in July of 1755. During the wars with the French and Indians it was called the "limit of safety on the western frontier."
After the death of his father in 1761, Henry Pawling Jr. continued to operate the business. The earlier log building was replaced by one constructed of rough cast stone. By this time a wagon road extended from Carlisle to the Potomac River, but cargoes destined for the western trade were transferred to pack trains carrying merchandise to Fort Pitt and posts along the way. The James Smith affair of 1765 started at Pawlings when protests were made to the representatives of the Boyton, Wharton, and Morgan firm about the cargo being sent for trade with the western tribes. Smith represented the feelings of the frontier people as they protested against shipping such goods as whiskey, hatchets, knives, firearms, and gun powder to trade with the very tribes who had ravaged their homes for nearly a decade before the defeat of Pontiac and his allies.
During the Revolution the tavern continued as a stopping place for the pack , trains carrying military supplies to Fort Pitt. One account tells of an artillery company, commanded by Captain Isaac Craig, hauling gun carriages and horse shoes to the western fort coming to Pawlings May 27, 1780. By June 29 the march was completed. The elapse of one month, from the time Craig left the tavern. until he reached his destination, indicates the speed with which these trains traveled
Henry Pawling Jr. married a "lady from Virginia." There were no children and the records indicate that he died in 1794. Apparently the property reverted to ‑ his sister, Eleanor, the wife of Dr. Robert Johnston. At her death, in 1818, a 200‑acre farm on which the tavern stood was willed to her niece, Rebecca Prather, who had made her home with Mrs. Johnston after her husband's death.
Rebecca had married her cousin, John Morgan Pawling, in 1811, and they made their home with Eleanor until she died. Rebecca's husband, a nephew of the first Henry Pawling, had lived in Montgomery County. They and their family moved back to eastern Pennsylvania, but returned in 1827 to occupy the property inherited from Eleanor. From this time until his death in 1838, John Morgan Pawling operated the hostelry and mill. He is said to have been a hard drinking man of prodigious strength, being able to lift a barrel of flour from the floor by his teeth.
Seven children were born to Rebecca and John ‑ four daughters and three sons. The youngest child, Thomas, born in 1824, continued to live at the home place helping his mother conduct the business and farm their land. He married Malinda Benedict of Quincy Township and their family of eight children grew up here.
By then the family was supported mainly by farming and the mill operation. The coming of turnpikes, canals, and railroads connecting western Pennsylvania with the eastern markets left little commercial trade for the ancient hostelry. Eventually, Thomas built a new one in Greencastle which he called the Antrim House. However, the home place continued as part of the Pawling holdings. A map of Antrim Township shows it to be owned by the family as late as 1868.
Today there remains little evidence of where the hostelry or mill stood. Older residents tell of seeing its foundation stones in the field where the Milnor Road meets the highway to Williamsport, Md.
However, as if reminding us of the past, one can still see horses in the field where their forebearers once grazed and waited to carry their burdens to the next destination.
Greencastle's Original Water Supply.
(Commonly called, "The Dipping Box".)
Far back in the early 1700's a small cluster of houses, an inn, and a black-smith shop were already established at the cross-roads where Greencastle now stands, but it was not until 1782 that John Allison, who owned much of the ground in the vicinity, laid out a town of right-angled streets and allies, offered lots for sale, and christened his new town, "Greencastle".
Naturally, the new town's first need was a supply of pure water for domestic purposes and for fire protection, and accordingly on March 8, 1785 Mr. Allison, the Proprietor entered into a perpetual agreement with a Mr. William Rankin, who owned a fine spring known as Moss Spring just east of the borough, to divert water from this spring by means of an artificial watercourse thru the town.
This watercourse was laid out in an irregular or zig-zag course across the town so that it might reach as many of the inhabitants as possible. Originally the water was conveyed in a heavy wooden trough, or trunk, about 15 inches square, and for the most part covered on top to keep out contamination. Where the course crossed public streets or allies it was lead thru iron pipes or brick culverts. At each street and alley, and on most of the private lots, a large wooden box was sunk into the ground and kept filled with water from the wooden trunking. This box was deep enough so that the citizens could dip up water with a bucket and carry it to their homes. It was for this reason that the whole system came to be called, "The Dipping Box".
Later, the more ambitious persons tapped the wooden trunking with hollow logs and conveyed the water to other premises not along the direct route of the watercourse; and it is said that at one time about Civil War times this system was quite elaborately developed with hollow wooden logs running here and there on trestles, some as high as six feet. At a later date. a number of wells were dug to supplement the water supply and to serve persons who lived at some distance from the main route.
In the early days, when fire protection was provided by "bucket brigades" or the old fashioned hand pump fire-engines, water was carried from the dipping boxes and poured into the fire engine, but later when the town acquired a steam fire-engine a system of large brick fire cisterns were built along the water-course and connected to it so that they were always kept filled. It was into these cisterns that the old steam fire engine thrust it's suction hose and no doubt prevented many a serious conflagration.
It was naturally important that such a watercourse should be kept clean and free from leaks, and the early borough policemen and constables had quite a job on their bands making weekly inspections; and many were the citizens who were haled before the magistrate for failure to keep their trunking clean or in good repair.
Such was Greencastle's main water supply until about 1895 when the first gravity water system with a reservoir and underground iron pipes were put into operation. From that date on, the old water course rapidly deteriorated, the wooden trunking was allowed to rot without replacement, and no longer was any great attempt made to keep it clean. It is true that for some years afterwards many persons used the water to irrigate their gardens, or for other purposes when purity was not necessary, but by 1922 the whole system bad become so neglected that it was finally abandoned by order of the Board of Health.
A few of the old fire cisterns still remain in serviceable condition and here and there may be found rotted pieces of the old wooden trunking, but in a few more years it is likely that all trace of a water system that served the town for more than 110 years will be completely obliterated.
And yet, John Allison's fore-sight in obtaining a water-right so many years ago still serves the town in good stead, for at the present day the water of Moss Spring is now being pumped into the borough reservoir and is again being distributed to the people of Greencastle thru the piping of a modern water system.
A history of Greencastle-Antrim based on the Mark Noe paintings that hung in The First National Bank located on the square in Greencastle, PA. The bank is now Truist.
Digitized from original VHS tape.
The original 21 minute version can be found under Videos
Henry Walck manufactured grain cradles, grain rakes, and shaking forks in his shop located in Canebrake, Antrim Township during the 19th century. In 1929 Ira Lesher, Marion, PA bought all tools and equipment used by Henry Walck manufacturing business. Ira Lesher produced grain cradles, grain rakes and shaking forks until 1939. Mr. Lesher's son, Ira, has donated all the tools, patterns and equipment used by Henry Walck and his father to Tayamentasachta Environmental Center in Greencastle.
The following is a transcript of a tape recorded interview between Virginia Walck (Ginny) Fitz and Henry Zeigler Walck. It was recorded on February 19, 1984. Henry was the oldest child of Lester Ralph Walck who was the youngest child of Henry Stickell Walck. Ginny Fitz is the youngest sister of Henry Z. Walck. Henry Stickell Walck owned and operated a factory where he manufactured grain cradles, wooden rakes, and wooden forks. The cradle shop was located on the south side of the Leitersburg Road in an area called Canebrake. There was a one-room school called Canebrake School on the other side of the Leitershurg Road and just a bit further west than the shop. The school is now a home. The shop is no longer in existence, but the original Walck home is still on the property.
Ginny: Henry, can you describe Grandpa Walck's cradle shop?
Henry: Obviously the building had been built in three parts on the side of the hill. The oldest part was the farthest down the hill. The very old part had a hard-packed floor—I don't know what they are really called--like you sometimes see in old houses in England. This first section was where the cradles were really assembled. The next section was a little higher, and there was a step up to it. It was very efficient at catching a young lad. There were two or three steps from that section up to the new part. The oldest part housed the things that were done by hand. There was no powered machinery in that section at all. There were three or four benches. There were marks dug into the hardpacked flooring to measure the size and angle of the cradles. Also, there was a potbellied stove and a coal bin. Very close to that was a bench where Grandpa had his nap every day. In front of that was a home-made desk, and he did his book work there. To digress just a moment, he had the strangest filing system I have ever heard of. All the orders, letters, bills, --whatever he got in the mail--during a week were tied up with a string and hung up on the wall. I don't know how he decided what to throw away, but I do know that when he died, or we moved, there were a lot of these packets, and I burned them in the pot-bellied stove. One of Mother's cousins from Hagerstown came by as I was doing this, and he really stormed at me, claiming I had burned hundreds of dollars worth of stamps. To get back to the building—there were two or three steps from the old building up to the floor of the new one. This new section was two stories high, and all the machinery was run by one stationary steam engine. A belt ran from the engine to a pulley on a shaft which ran the length of the building, and there was an idler pulley and a regular pulley at each piece of machinery. Some went upstairs to the second floor, others were running machines on the first floor. There was a band saw and at least one circular saw. Unfortunately, the circular saw took off one of John Greenawalt's fingers. This was before I was born. However, I did see him cut an artery in his leg when he was taking the bark off the planks with an axe. Other machinery on that floor included an ordinary lathe and a sanding machine, and a boring machine. But to me the most interesting machine was on the second floor. This was a lathe; it would not be recognized by someone who operated a normal lathe. This lathe was used to make the cradle handles. The handle of the cradle was cured in two directions, and it was round and smooth. This lathe did its work by having a saw touch a little bit into the wood which had been cut and sawed in shape, but which had the earners still there. The function of the lathe was to turn these squarish pieces of wood into round ones. There was a pattern which was about the same width as the saw teeth, but larger than the piece of wood it was to form. This pattern revolved at exactly the same speed as the piece of wood being shaped. The whole top of the lathe rocked back and forth touching the saw blade as it went This was a very complicated machine, which I believe was invented by Grandpa. Power for it came from the shaft below through an opening in the floor. Also, on that floor was a sanding machine. For efficiency, it was not far from the lathe. The sanding machine was also powered from below. It had two pulleys and the sanding belt. The snath (handle of the cradle) was held against the sanding belt between the two pulleys. During the part of the season that the lathes were being made, the belt was re-sanded each evening. This meant putting on a machine that could be turned by hand. As it was turned by the belt, glue was applied with a brush and then sand was applied. After drying all night, it was ready to be used the next morning. Coming back to the first floor, there was the boring machine near the stairs to the second floor. It was run by the same shaft. The table on this machine was arranged to slide to the rake head. This provided the correct angle between the ground and the rake as it was used in the fields. The table that slid back and forth was boring the holes to put in the teeth. Also, there were two holes for a cured, round support to keep the angle between the rake head and rake handle correct. No hand work was done in this section of the shop. Handwork was done in the old section by machinery that did not require power, beyond manpower, that is.
Ginny: Henry, what years are we talking about in this description?
Henry: I was born in 1908 and my first job was to blow the whistle. Grandpa held me in his arms, and he had fashioned a wire with a hook on the end to extend the regular whistle pull.
Ginny: Did many people hear the whistle?
Henry: Neighbors in quite an area around heard and the story was that they set their watches by it because Grandpa was very particular about the time.
Ginny: This must have made a little boy feel very important.
Henry: I suppose so; at any rate I always wanted to blow the whistle longer than Grandpa would allow.
Ginny: How about telling the story that Mother told me about your first day in school.
Henry: Well the shop whistle blew at 11:30 a.m. as usual, and I walked up and told the teacher that I had to go home now because Grandpa's whistle blew and it was lunch time. She let me go, but said I should ask Mother to explain it to me.
Ginny: And Mother told you that the rest of the world did not run on Grandpa's schedule.
Henry: I don't know if she said that, but I went by the school's lunch schedule the next day and thereafter.
Ginny: Where did Grandpa get the lumber for the rakes, forks, and cradles?
Henry: Well, Grandpa would drive around the countryside with his horse and buggy and look for likely trees. When he saw one that he thought was suitable, he went to the farmer and negotiated to buy the tree. Then the shop crew plus Grandpa Zeigler would go cut the tree down and cut it into proper lengths. Grandpa Zeigler furnished the wagon and horses. The logs were rolled up on the wagon which was usually pulled by four horses. Then we went to the sawmill, Sam Fenwick owned the sawmill. It was about a quarter or half mile from home. Here the logs were sawed into planks of the proper thickness. I went a number of times to get these logs, and I was allowed to drink coffee from the jars they had. I was very annoyed that Mother would not let me have coffee at home. One of the trees was on the banks of Antietam Creek. It was a very hot day, and Dad let me go in the creek swimming, but I didn't know how to swim. All of a sudden, John Greenawalt ran out to me, picked me up, and carried me to shore. I had no idea what was going on, and he pointed to a snake swimming down the stream. John thought it was a water moccasin, but I was not sure.
Ginny: After the prime days of the cradle shop, did you spend a summer repairing cradles for local farmers?
Henry: Yes. That was the first summer after Grandpa sold the business, and I used the spare fingers for the broken cradles. There were a lot of fingers left over, and that was the thing that usually went wrong. The farmers didn't keep them adjusted correctly, and when they would swing into the wheat, "snap" would go the finger. To do the repairs, I used the marks on the shop floor to put the fingers in correctly. Each finger had a heavy support wire running from the finger to the snath. This wire could be adjusted by a metal key. When the wire was adjusted properly, you tapped it tight. I used all the fingers Grandpa had; I was able to hand carve some for the smaller cradles from the bigger ones.
L. R. Walck, son of Henry Stickell Walck built his first hatchery near the cradle shop in 1908. In 1925 he built a second hatchery in Greencastle. In 1928 the hatchery at Canebrake bunred to the ground. He was in the hatchery business until his death in 1942.
Henry Zeigler Walck was a publisher. He served as president of Oxford University Press in New York from 1948-57. At that time he bought the Children's Book Division of the company and began publishing under his own name. He sold his company to the David McKay Pub. Co. in 1973. He had been associated with Putnam's and Prentice Hall before joining Oxford in 1936.
Circa 1928 the machinery from the cradle shop was sold to Christian Bricker who lived on Allison St. in Greencastle. Mr. Bricker sold the equipment to Ira Lesher of Marion circa 1936. Mr. Lesher incorporated some of the machinery into his furniture-making shop which he had founded in 1929. Mr. Lesher's son, J. Ira and his two sons, Jay and Dean, still make furniture and clocks in their Marion shop. J. Ira Lesher donated the Walck equipment and machinery to the Tayamentasachta Environmental Center. It is located in the barn on that property
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