observations, ideas and inspiration... from my pennsylvania home, garden, kitchen, and studio

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

History in My Town

Whew! We have been so busy here lately. I can't wait for the school year to end and start enjoying the lazy dog days of summer!!

Lydia's bus stop is about a block from our home at a little church. It got me thinking the other day. I usually leave a little early to pick her up with a magazine or book in hand. But yesterday I decided to take my camera and show you pictures of the church, which is the oldest Episcopal Church in Western PA. Above is what it looked like in 1890 and this is what it looks like now.

We also have a little bit of interesting history here in our township...Most of the land here was once owned by General John Neville, who was a Revolutionary War veteran. After the war there was enormous debts. Our new nation under the leadership of President George Washington instituted an excise tax on whiskey to raise money to pay off the war loans.

President Washington appointed his trusted friend General Neville, Inspector of the Revenue for Western PA, and charged him with collecting the tax. Local farmers violently opposed this new tax and organized protests against it which sometimes turned violent. Whiskey distilled by the farmers sold throughout the country as far away as New Orleans and was their main source of income. Fighting broke out on July 16 and 17, 1794, between the farmers, federal troops and supporters of General Neville at his estate. His mansion and other buildings were burned to the ground. President Washington responded by dispatching 13,000 troops, a force larger than any he commanded during the Revolutionary War, to put down what became know as the Whiskey Rebellion.

And that is your history lesson for today hee hee!

Have a happy day!

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