• Rachel Lingenfelter

Throwback Thursday - Somerset

This week's #ThrowbackThursday features Rockwood, PA in Somerset County!


Pictured below is part of the railroad in the area but Rockwood has some amazing history of its own! Below is a brief history of the area, brought to you by the Rockwood Area Historical & Genealogical Soc. ---> http://www.pagenweb.org/~somerset/milford/rockwood.htm


"Rockwood, situated at the junction of the Baltimore & Ohio and the Somerset & Cambria railroads, is one of the most enterprising, thrifty, and fast-growing villages in southern Pennsylvania. the place is still young, and its business interests are constantly increasing in extent and importance. Rockwood now contains four general stores, two groceries, four hotels, three blacksmith shops, one tannery, one gristmill, one planing-mill, one tin shop, one shoemaker shop, two carpenter shops, one tailor shop, three churches, and one graded school. Two ministers and two physicians are residents of the place.


The town was laid out by Philip Wolfersberger, in 1857. Martin Meyers was the principal surveyor. The first house was built in 1856, by P. & D. Wolfersberger. It was a two-story frame building and was used both as a store and a dwelling. The first hotel was erected by John Poister in 1860 and is now owned by Alexander Rhoads. Solomon Bechtel erected the first blacksmith shop in 1857. The first tannery was built in 1869, by Henry Werner, the present owner. The planing-mill of A. Growall & Sons was built in 1872.


The railroad depot at this place was built in 1871. The post office was established in 1868. From that date until 1871, mail was brought from Gebhart’s, the citizens, by voluntary contributions, paying the mail-carrier. During the first quarter, the receipts of the office amounted to four dollars and fifty cents. The succession of postmasters has been as follows: F. B. Long, William S. Kreger, E. D. Miller.


The first schoolhouse in the place was erected in 1858, at a cost of three hundred and seventy-five dollars. The first teacher was S. A. Will, now an attorney of Pittsburgh, succeeded by E. D. Miller, George M. Baker, R. H. Dull, and others. The graded school building, two stories, 48x50 feet, was erected in 1875, and to date has cost twenty-five hundred dollars. The present number of pupils in attendance is one hundred and twenty-five.


Among the recent improvements are the Rockwood house, built-in 1882 by D. H. Wolfersberger, and the Merchants’ Hotel, a very fine building, erected the same year by Samuel Buckman.


The village was first known as Shaff’s Bridge, named after John Shaff, one of the early settlers of the township. The bridge was erected by Samuel Miller, in 1843. Afterward, the name Mineral Point was given, on account of the minerals found in the vicinity. The present name was finally settled upon, after much discussion. At least half a dozen meetings were held by the citizens, at the schoolhouse, without coming to any decision. Finally, E. D. Miller, P. S. Wolfersberger, and B. S. Harrington gave the town the name which it now bears.


Wolfersberger, being a ticket agent of the Baltimore & Ohio railroad, prevailed upon the managers of the road to call the station Rockwood, and Miller, who was then postmaster, succeeded in changing the name of the post office. Thus, the matter was settled ere the citizens were aware.


The railroad was, of course, the main agent in building up Rockwood."


#FirstFrontierForward #ThrowbackThursday



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