Before I send the fragile, time-tanned page from the Indiana County Gazette, dated May 29, 1931, back to its cubby-hole in the Saltsburg Library, let me capture two or three paragraphs that ought to be of interest to you. I am spurred to this effort by a little piece I found the other day in our Cleveland Plain Dealer, our excellent morning paper. One of my favorite columnists, a Cleveland mother of three lively sons, now grown, has a short, almost daily column, about 'most anything - but always in a delightful manner. Her pen name is Claire McMurray, which is her maiden name. Many of her columns are just "quotes" from her readers - and here is one of them: "Here is an item about Pennsylvania place names (geographical nomenclature, if you're feeling fancy). In the northern end of Cambria County there are two small communities, Cherry Tree and Purchase Line, whose names carry us back to the earliest days of the colony. 'When the king gave Admiral Penn a grant of land in the new world, to be known as Penn's woods, the deed read, 'To the head-waters of the Susquehanna, and one day's march beyond.' The worthy admiral turned the land over to his son, William. The canny Quaker chose his time for the survey with much care, working his way up the river and into the West branch in flat-bottomed boats." "In the spring, when the freshets were heavy and the stream was to spate with the heavy snows, he transferred his exploring party to shallow draft birchbark canoes. They poled their way westward through the virgin forest until they finally grounded where the stream is about four feet wide (and two inches deep) at high water. There they tied up to a cherry tree. Next morning, at first light his strongest and fastest walkers started off, and at nightfall they had covered some twenty miles. (The writer surely means forty). At this point, Purchase Line, Penn set his stakes and bought the remainder of the tract to the Western Reserve line from friendly Indians. Isn't that a nice bit of historical lore?" (signed) POFFY. And charming Claire adds, "The Penn was craftier than the sword." ***
If I have quoted any of the following from J.L. Allison's article in the Indiana Gazette, please forgive the repetition. (I haven't assembled my clippings for a year). "There were certain sections of land in Pennsylvania set aside to redeem depreciated currency. Other tracts were set aside as donations or pensions to soldiers. All land north of the Ohio River was divided by Act of 1783, into depreciation land (south of a line drawn due west from a point above Kittanning) and the donation land north of this line. The application for obtaining and granting land was peculiar. For example: "No. 2390 - George Brown hath made application for Three Hundred acres of land on the Black Lick, to the left hand of the Old Indiana Path leading from Ligonier to Kittanning. Dated at Philadelphia this 3rd day of April, 1769." "4th April, 1769 - Moses Moore, son of John Moore, between Crooked Creek and Plum Creek, on Kittanning Road. One dollar was paid for the order survey and the rate for land was five pounds per hundred acres." (Ah! Those were the days!) Then Mr. Allison goes on to tell of this second method of obtaining land: "By grant from the proprietaries, the Penns." The third form of obtaining grants was known as a warrant under the Commonwealth and went into effect in 1776.
Now I must close before I run off the page. I'll be with you (journalistically) next week.
Florence B. Taylor
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