A Landing a Day

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Guys Mills, Pennsylvania

Posted by graywacke on October 13, 2011

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-a-week blog), I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”  I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location.  To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean in the first paragraph), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

Dan –  Gettin’ even wilder ‘n crazier now, with my fourth USer in a row (and 5/6) as I landed in an erstwhile OSer but now a proud USer . . . PA; 27/29; 6/10; 156.2.  Here’s my landing map, showing my proximity to Guys Mills:

Here’s a broader view:

Here’s my GE shot, showing that I landed near a north-south road that separates farm fields to the east from some wetlands to the west.  (Unfortunately, there’s no Street View coverage on the road.)

I landed in the Woodcock Ck watershed; on to the French Ck (2nd hit); on to the Allegheny R (7th hit); on to the Ohio R (123rd hit); on to the MM (775th hit).

So, I couldn’t out much about Guys Mills, however, if you check out my landing map, you’ll see the little towns of New Richmond and Lyona.  Well, between those towns is the old farmstead of John Brown.  Not just any old John Brown, but the famous abolitionist who was hung after his unsuccessful 1859 raid on the Federal Depot at Harper’s Ferry WV (to obtain weapons for a planned slave rebellion).

From ExplorePAHistory.com:

In Pre-Civil War Crawford County, Pennsylvania, the farm of the great abolitionist John Brown played a strategic role in the Underground Railroad. Disbursing “depots” in the area, John Brown aided in the passing of an estimated 2,500 slaves. In the town of New Richmond, his farm and tannery was a major stop on the Railroad, marking its place in history from 1825 to 1835. The farm, now a museum, proves to be an educational, exhilarating experience as you learn more about this great man of history and his many heroic efforts. Tour the remnants of the tannery and take a walking path to the cemetery

Here’s a picture of the “remnants of the tannery:”

Here are some excerpts from a fine article I found in HubPages.com, by “solokoyote”,

The old farm house, remnants of the tannery building, and the small cemetery remain on the isolated, rural country road. John Brown, who led the failed raid on federal arsenal at Harper’s Ferry on October 16, 1859, is still remembered, in this small place called New Richmond.

The former John Brown farm, today the John Brown Museum, is located about 12 miles from the county seat at Meadville, Crawford County in northwestern Pennsylvania. The region, when Brown arrived to farm and tan hides, was then a semi-pioneer wilderness, dotted with small, almost frontier settlements in 1826. When John Brown arrived, the nation was at a threshold of history over the question of slavery..

Brown, who was born in Connecticut in 1800, spent more time at the New Richmond farm than at any other location during his lifetime. At the homestead, Brown suffered some deeply personal tragedies. He buried his first wife, Diange Lusk, on the farm not far from the house in 1832 following complications from childbirth. He married her in 1820, and together they had seven children; two children died in New Richmond and are buried in the burial plot.

Later, Brown also met and married, 17 year old Mary Day, who lived in Meadville and worked at the Brown tannery. Brown and Day had 13 children together. Some died in childhood, others remained with Brown and joined his militia in his later years. Day shared a final meal with Brown the day before he was hung in Charles Town on December 2, 1859.

Brown was not a hermit type farmer during his New Richmond days on the 200 acre farm. He was a community activist, a person on the threshold by today’s standards. He was appointed the first postmaster for the region by President John Quincy Adams and held the position for seven years; Brown opened the first school in the area using the second floor of his farmhouse. He was an accomplished surveyor and laid out many of the roads in the area.

Brown, during the time he spent in New Richmond, was actively involved in the anti-slavery movement. Although many of the actions of the Underground Railroad remained secret, because of the violent and tumultuous political climate, Brown appears to have been actively involved in helping to transport slaves from the then-frontier settlement of Meadville to freedom further north into Canada.

Wow.  John fathered 20, count ’em, 20 children.  Much easier for him than for the poor missuses.  Here are a couple of pix of ol’ John; here he is as an intense younger man:

And here he is as an intense older man:

I’ll close with this Panaramio shot of Guys Mills by H.D. Pat:

That’ll do it. . .

KS

Greg

© 2011 A Landing A Day

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