1876 Centennial Map

The following map, found in a book created for the centennial celebration, shows where the Latta Stone house is located. It shows that O.D. Latta, my great, great grandfather, had 60 acres and where the house is located.

Allen Township map circa 1876

Allen Township map circa 1876

Here is a closeup of where the Latta Stone House is located.

Close up of OD Latta property

Close up of OD Latta property

Maps from Calwell’s Illustrated Combination Centennial Atlas of Washington County. Published by J.A. Caldwell, condition 1876, Library of Congress 76-40594 reprint

Published in: on September 30, 2009 at 8:21 pm  Leave a Comment  

Latta Stone House land was originally owned by Joseph Allen

At the LeMoyne House, home to the Washington County Historical Society,  the librarian, Janet, was able to show us maps of the original warrant for the property the Stone House sits. The warrant was issued 8-31-1784, the survey was done 12-15-1784 with the patent issued 8-29-1785 to Joseph Allen. (See information on September 27th entry – 1916 article)

Janet explained to Bob and me that, “Pennsylvania belonged to the Indians (now referred to as Native American) and after the 1780s was able to issue parcels of land.” Because we had the name of the person who was issued the patent from an article from the Roscoe Ledger – January 28, 1916 – we were able to spot the land where the Latta Stone House would be built.

map-JAllenpropoutline

Close up of land where the Stone house would be built

Close up of land where the Stone house would be built

Update: According to Janet, the librarian at the Washinton County Historical Society there are two answers as to which tribe owned the land prior to the Penn Trust purchase. In an email she writes, “The short answer is The Six Nations – Iriquios.  The event was the Treaty of Fort Stanwix in 1768.

She also writes, “The long answer is that is was much more complicated because settlers were moving in this area without a treaty, and both Virginia and Pennsylvania laid claim to the territory until 1780.  Also, there were more tribes using this area than the Six Nations, so some historians claim they had no right to sell the lands to the Penns in 1768.”¹

¹ Email correspondence, 11/15/11.

Images from W. F. Horn, ed., The Horn Papers: Early Western Movement on the Monongahela and Upper Ohio, 1765-1795, 3 vols. New York, NY: Hagstrom Co., 1945.

Published in: on September 30, 2009 at 7:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

LeMoyne House

The LeMoyne House is Pennsylvania’s First National Historic Landmark of the Underground Railroad. The description from their pamphlet states:

The 1812 home of Dr. Francis Julius LeMoyne was where runaway slaves could find refuge as they made their precarious journey  north to Canada and freedom.

Dr. MeMoyne staunchly advocated the abolition of slavery, and turning words into action, risked his own freedom to open his home as a safe harbor to escaping slaves.

The LeMoyne House is located at 49 E. Maiden St in Washington, PA. 724-225-6740. They are opened from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays.

The LeMoyne House

The LeMoyne House

IMGP3994

Published in: on September 29, 2009 at 10:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

Roscoe, PA 15477

After photographing the Stone house, I stopped by the Post Office to see if there was anybody in town that was a historian. Postmaster Connie gave me the name of Joe Cowen, son of the editor of the Roscoe Ledger. Cowen is 79 so I’ll need to contact him (via phone) soon. Perhaps he will have some of his father’s records about the Stone House.

Another lead Postmaster Connie gave me was Harry Chester’s daughter’s name – Cindy Chester – and that she worked at Cornerstone TV and never married. Harry was a first cousin to my mother and her siblings.

Published in: on September 28, 2009 at 9:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

Hiding post view in the Latta Stone House

Windows - view of the railroad and the river

Windows where the runaway slaves had a view of the railroad and the river

Access to the attic was through a closet in this corner bedroom.

Published in: on September 28, 2009 at 9:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

From the river or railroad – the Latta Stone House was easily seen and reached

We are traveling from Delaware to reach the Washington Courthouse tomorrow to review the documents showing who owned the property during the Underground Railroad time period.

We detoured off I-70 after crossing over the Monogahela River to the Charleroi exit. This was the way to my grandfather’s house. I mentioned to my husband that as a child, this was the longest part of the trip from Lancaster, Ohio to Grandpap’s (Roscoe, PA) though it was maybe 15 minutes.

We turned before the Roscoe Ledger building – now blue. I remember it pink. I’ll have to find a picture of it then, when I return home. I parked the car and got out with my camera and took several pictures. Here’s how the house looks today…

Latta Stone House September 2009

Latta Stone House September 2009

I noticed the center windows on the 2nd floor had been replaced.

When we drove away from the house, I wondered how far it was from the river. I could see the railroad tracks on Chester St., so we drove to the river – about 4 blocks away. I got out and took pictures from the river bank.

The banks of the Monogahela

The banks of the Monogahela

Standing from the edge of the bank of the Monogahela RIver

Standing from the edge of the bank of the Monogahela RIver

Same photo, cropped closer to show house

Same photo, cropped closer to show house

If you would imagine the warehouse gone and only land, you could see the house quite clearly.

Looking at the house from railroad tracks

Looking at the house from railroad tracks

Published in: on September 28, 2009 at 11:30 am  Leave a Comment  

Roscoe, PA 1902

My cousin Kirk Holman found a drawing of Roscoe from 1902 on Ebay as a poster. The Latta Stone house is circled in red. As you can see the town built up along the banks of the Monogahela River.

Roscoe, PA drawing circa 1902

Roscoe, PA drawing circa 1902

Published in: on September 27, 2009 at 9:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

1916 article from the Roscoe Ledger describes lineage on the Stone House

Another article I found at the California Area Historical Society was from the Roscoe Ledger dated 1/28/1916. It gave information about the history of the house.

The Latta Stone House was built by Allen Stockdale. In it were born the great great grandchildren of Joseph Allen who was originally granted the tract of land by William Penn. It looks like Mary Allen (my great great great grandmother) married William Latta and thus carrying the Latta name on the house.

Published in: on September 27, 2009 at 9:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

Latta Historical Society in South Carolina

My sister and her husband were driving back to Virginia from Florida when she called to tell me they just past a sign for a city in South Carolina called Latta. There was also a sign for a historical society there.

Were these Lattas descendants of my family? Was this one way slaves heard about western PA as a way to travel on their way to Canada and freedom?

Published in: on September 26, 2009 at 10:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

California (PA) Historical Society

My visit to western Pennsylvania has been very productive. First, seeing the Century Inn where my Grandmother Fiedler worked as head chef, where iron rings bolted to the floor in the attic tethered slaves; and then spending a few hours at the California Area Historical Society to get research on my family’s genealogy so when I visit the Washington County Recorder of Deeds, I have names to check.

California Area Historical Society

California Area Historical Society

California Area Historical Society California, PA

I met the president of the Society – Pat Cowen as well as the secretary of the organization Mary Beth Graf.

Ca-PA_Hist_Soc

L-R: Mary Beth Graf, Patricia Cowen

Ms Graf had pulled several files for me to review prior to my arrival since I spoke with her a few weeks earlier. She also gave me a folder with Underground Railroad stories centered around western PA to review. From the file I have a copy of a thesis written in 1900 about the Underground Railroad and western PA. Can’t wait to read it!

Published in: on September 23, 2009 at 4:48 pm  Leave a Comment  
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