On October 16, 1859
began his failed assault on the federal fort at Harpers
Ferry. He and his followers were captured two days later and
eventually hung several months later in December.
Brown was an
abolitionist and was active in the Underground Railroad. For ten
years, he had a farm and a tannery not far from here in a small place
called, New Richmond, PA. His first wife and two children remain
buried at the site which now is a museum which documents his life in
This year, the nation
began commemorating the beginnings of the tragic Civil War and it is
worthwhile to recall some of the events which led up to that bloody
conflict. Slavery was certainly an issue for many particularly in
many of the churches and isolated farms which were active in helping
slaves win their freedom.
In many of the
cemeteries, large and small, graves are still marked noting service
in the Civil War. There are a lot of them, including a few
Confederates who settled in this region after the war and worked in
the oil fields around the Titusville area.
Brown for some was a
cold blooded terrorist, for others, a freedom fighter. Needless to
say, he was and remains a controversial figure. A lot of histories
overlook his ten years in Pennsylvania, but they were important years
in the nation's history.
It is important not to
forget the events and the men and women who died and suffered in that
war. Sure it is a war that began a 150 years ago, but it's scars
remain and fester every now and then.
October – A Reminder
- Winter is Coming (as if we all didn't know that already)
Now is the time to get
planted, divide perennials and plant spring/summer bulbs.
Potatoes, onions and even some greens can also be planted at this
time for an early spring harvest. Actually, there are some
which can go in the ground before the snow gets
here. Doing the little extra work this fall is actually an
investment, and will help avoid sticker shock at the supermarket and
healthier eating (think cantaloupes and listeria). The most recent case of
, melons from Colorado is a horror story about the hidden dangers in large farms and the food supply.
If your safety isn't a big worry, government studies
will continue to rise for the foreseeable
Enjoy the colors on
the trees this month.
For the most part, the garden was mediocre. The spring was cold and wet and there was a serious problem
with woodchucks. But the tomatoes were fantastic. I mainly grow a
variety called Speckled Romans. This tomato was developed at Seed
Savers and is a cross between Antique Roman and Banana Legs.
I have grown them for
about five years and save the seeds. I just seem to get bumper crops.
This is a good variety to try. The seeds are available at
Information and the Half King
First Old Mossback
I wrote a story for Yahoo on
Old Mossback and the LeBoeuf Creeper
lure. Old Mossback was a legendary muskie which lived in Lake LeBoeuf
and out smarted many anglers back in the 1930's – 1940's. One
angler, R. Exley made a lure called the LeBoeuf Creeper lure which
caught plenty of other muskies but not Old Mossback. The lure became
very popular and was made at the LeBoeuf Bait Shop. Along the way,
there was a patent dispute over the lure and it was made by another
company and then discontinued.
A researcher recently
emailed looking for more local information on the lure and the patent
dispute. If you have any information, send it along at the comment
Waterford, PA and was the site of an old French Fort during the
settlement years. George Washington, who was then a British General,
traveled to the Fort, under orders from the governor of Virginia, to
ask the French to get out of the territory. To commemorate
Washington's visit, the citizens of the town had a statue erected,
perhaps the only one which depicts Washington attired in a British
uniform. Read more about the historic statue and the events at the
Here is a brief
article which is, well alarming,
My Rant for the Week
Good Blogs to Read and
Step by Step in theKitchen by Kathleen Richardson
– This is a good blog about healthy
eating and cooking. Kathleen has some great recipes here that she has
discovered. I tried the Sloppy Janes but added venison burger. There
wasn't anything left over.
Uncle Sam's HistoryBlog
– An interesting blog on early pioneer history in western
Pennsylvania. Sam is a noted author and you can check out his books
good environmental and social justice blog, well worth the time.