“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Beaver in Beaver County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Early Industry And Development 1815-1860

Early Industry And Development 1815-1860 Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, July 3, 2021
1. Early Industry And Development 1815-1860 Marker
Inscription.  This period of our county history saw the establishment of early industry and the infrastructure that would support it. Prior to this time, ferries, not bridges, had been used to move wagons and people across the rivers. Boat building- first flatboats, then steam-powered riverboats-became a major industry due to the vast migration of persons heading west through our area.

During this time the German Communal Harmony Society (aka the Harmonists) moved into the county to found their final home in what is present-day Ambridge. They brought with them knowledge, expertise, and a strong work ethic, resulting in industries that prospered and helped the county to grow.

On the transportation front, canals replaced wagons as a quicker, more efficient way to move both freight and passengers across the county. Their heyday was short-lived, however, with the coming of the railroads in the middle of the century.

The institution of slavery was a controversial national issue that gallvanized abolitionist sentiment among our citizens. Beaver County had a large anti-slavery contingency and was a major player in the Underground Railroad,

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which helped many slaves escape to freedom.

November 11, 1815
A wooden truss toll bridge over the Beaver River opened between Brighton (lower Beaver Falls) and New Brighton in 1816, becoming one of the earliest bridges over a large stream in western Pennsylvania.

Early 1820s
John Boles established perhaps the first boatyard in the county on the Beaver River at Bolesville (between present-day Rochester and New Brighton) for building flatboats, keelboats and finally steamboats.

The German communal Harmony Society established the Village of Economy at the present site of Ambridge.

The Townsend Company was established in Fallston, becoming one of the county's first major industrial enterprises.

James Patterson built a dam across the Beaver River (current Patterson Dam) to run his flour and cotton mills.

Ca. 1830
Edward McGinnis developed Frankfort Mineral Springs in 1835 into a health resort. building a large, three story brick hotel called the
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Abolition & Underground RRIndustry & Commerce. A significant historical date for this entry is November 11, 1815.
Location. 40° 41.883′ N, 80° 17.818′ W. Marker is in Beaver, Pennsylvania, in Beaver County. Marker is on East End Avenue, on the right when traveling

Early Industry And Development 1815-1860 Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, July 3, 2021
2. Early Industry And Development 1815-1860 Marker
north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Beaver PA 15009, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Early Settlement 1772-1799 (here, next to this marker); Native Americans-Early Contact 1600-1771 (here, next to this marker); Beaver County Is Born 1800-1814 (here, next to this marker); History Of Beaver Station & Vicinity (here, next to this marker); County Growth Continues 1881-1900 (a few steps from this marker); A Walk Through Beaver Country History (a few steps from this marker); Industry Flourishes 1861-1880 (a few steps from this marker); Beaver County National Firsts (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Beaver.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 13, 2021. It was originally submitted on July 11, 2021, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio. This page has been viewed 87 times since then and 15 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 11, 2021, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 2, 2023