Cove Gap in Franklin County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Stony Batter † † † Birthplace of a President
Imagine stepping back in time to April 23, 1791. Packhorses and wagons were pulling into a bustling trading post owned by Scotch-Irish immigrant James Buchanan. There was probably a spring chill to the air. Perhaps the sun shone brightly overhead, for here in Cove Gap this would be a special day. Amidst all the commotion, Jamesí wife, Elizabeth was giving birth to young James Buchanan, who would become the 15th President of the United States in 1857.
James senior called this place, Stony Batter after his ancestral homeland in Northern Ireland. It wasnít by accident that Stony Batter was alive with activity, bustling with teamsters, waggoners, frontiersmen and immigrants trading goods or looking for a better life on the western frontier. Buchananís trading post was located on the main route through Pennsylvania from Baltimore to the west. From here trade goods were transferred from wagon to packhorse and carried over Cove Mountain on an old American Indian trail. Improved in 1768 into a bridle path, to McConnellsburg and northward to the Pennsylvania Road, formally the Forbes Trail.
If you look closly along the hillside above here you can still see what are believed to be traces of the old pack trail. Pa. Route 16 follows portions of this old trade route from Waynesboro to McConnellsburg.
Location. Click for map. Marker is located in Buchananís Birthplace State Park. Marker is in this post office area: Mercersburg PA 17236, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. James Buchanan † † † The Early Years (here, next to this marker); Birthplace of James Buchanan (a few steps from this marker); A Quest for Honor (a few steps from this marker); President James Buchanan (a few steps from this marker); Stony Batter (approx. half a mile away); James Buchanan (approx. 0.6 miles away); Black Boys Rebellion (approx. 3.4 miles away); Big Spring Graveyard (approx. 3.6 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Cove Gap.
More about this marker. A picture at the upper left of the marker has a caption of “Local artist, Charles Stonerís rendition of what Stony Batter may have looked like when James Buchanan was born. It included a trading post, inn, cabins, barns, stables and storehouses.”
Below this is a 1790 map of Maryland and Pennsylvania showing the Georgetown Road to Baltimore and the Pennsylvania Road/Old Forbes Trail from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh and indicating the settlements along each trail.
Also see . . . Biography of James Buchanan. White House website. (Submitted on August 22, 2012, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
Categories. • Notable Places • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 295 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.