A common field one day. A field of honor forever.
So last week, I mentioned how Ryne referred to Lancaster County as the Shire. This past week, staying in the town of Somerset, PA, it was named Somerset because it reminded the founder of Somersetshire in Western England. Fun story about that founder: His name was Harmon Husband, or as he ended up be known in Pennsylvania, Tuscape Death because he has a bounty on his head in North Carolina! He protested taxes and the injustices in the local courts down there. He was living in exile from the south and laid the foundations for this town. To be totally honest, that's not that last bit of wild history this area has.
- Husband fled there in 1771
- The town was officially settled in 1795
- From 1791-94, Somerset was central stage for the Whiskey Rebellion, the rebellion on "whiskey-tax" the first tax on a domestic good which was intended to help fund the debt caused by The Revolutionary War (Harmon Husband so all over that). Who could blame them though, what was one of the sparks or that war? Taxation without local representation.
- 1872 brought in the B&O Railroad. Its a monopoly card for a reason. Remember the Robber Barons? They didn't like the monopoly over the Pennsylvania railroad. They started building Southern Penn. There's a reason you never heard about it, you know it as something else. It was never finished. Then The Great Depression hit and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania bought it and finished it as the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
- The next 100+ years were pretty quiet for this area.
- September 11, 2001 A plane left Newark Airport intending on taking it's passengers to San Francisco. 4 members from al-Qaeda hijacked the plane 46 minutes into the flight intending to crash it into the US Capitol Building. The brave men and woman aboard this flight made the quick and brave decision to try and take back control of the plane. During their efforts, the plane crashed near a reclaimed strip mine in Somerset County near Shanksville. Today stands a wonderful National Memorial at the crash site as well as the Tower of Voices nearby. The names of the passengers and crew are at the bottom of this post in memory.
- July 2002, just under a year later, 9 miners became trapped in Quecreek Mine due to a flood for 77 hours. All 9 were rescued.
Our week here was fairly quiet, pretty relaxing. It's Fourth of July week as well so we anticipated it to be a jam packed week. The campground we stayed at has definitely been the best so far. It is very well maintained, clean, has all the amenities you could want from a pool to a fishing pond, a camp store to a basketball court, cement fire pits to spacious RV spots. It was huge too! The loop I ran was 2 miles. The neighbors have cows as well which you could hear and see all day.
The area around here is beautiful. Driving around, more often than not you see these gorgeous rolling hills with phenomenal farms. What better thing to do than chase sunsets with terrain like this? Well, at least on days that aren't completely cloudy, overcast or rainy. We did get a couple of those nights:
And it was Fourth of July Week! For someone who loves fireworks, it's one of my favorite holidays. We had to go find a local show. Oddly to my findings, there were no firework displays on the actual 4th. They were all on the 3rd and 6th. Wild. Oh well, On the 3rd we set off for Seven Springs Mountain Resort. This is a fantastic resort! Out in the middle of no where but amazing grounds including a ski mountain and golf course. A wonderful pyrotechnic show too! We had great views from the parking lot. It might have been the best live display we have seen together, actually.
The last really cool things about this week was our day trip to Ohiopyle, PA. Its a small town mainly known for their nature water adventures. I think every row of shops had a white water rafting business. We didn't plan accordingly to do any white water rafting. Our main mission for going there was to check out the natural water slides. A whole lot of other people did too. The town was packed! Every parking lot was filled with people waiting for others to leave. It took a bit, but we found on and then found the natural water slides. If you haven't been keeping up with the local weather, it has been storming here an awful lot lately. All that rain has turned these water slides into natural rushing rapids. It was intense. Walking over there I was all for going in with the "when in Rome" mentality but after seeing how forceful it was, maybe I'll come back and try it another time. No one needs that emergency trip to the hospital with a cracked open head. Despite that, nature is still amazing.
This town also made an old rail line into a walking path with lots of hikes spurring off from it, we took one called Great Gorge which led us to Cucumber Falls. A waterfall that leads to a natural pool. Its a pretty nifty spot too see.
Like most small American towns, Somerset is filled with tons of quirky stuff:
Like a bird hotel, a spinning globe as a company flag and Jackson, the African Elephant. Pennsylvania, you're beautiful. I can't wait to come back and explore you some more. Until then, we're off for a couple of weeks in Ohio!
The Victims of United Flight 93
Christian Adams 37, Lorraine G. Bay 58, Todd Morgan Beamer 32, Alan Beaven 48, Mark K. Bingham 31, Deora Frances Bodley 20, Sandra W. Bradshaw 38, Marion Britton 53, Thomas E. Burnett Jr. 38, William Joseph Cashman 57, Georgine Rose Corrigan 56, Patricia Cushing 69, Jason Dahl 43, Joseph Deluca 52, Patrick Joseph Driscoll 70, Edward P. Felt 41, Jane C. Folger 73, Colleen Laura Fraser 51, Andrew Garcia 62, Jeremy Glick, Lauren Grandcolas 38, Wanda Anita Green 49, Donald F. Greene 52, Linda Gronlund 46, Richard Jerry Guadagno 38, LeRoy Wilton Homer Jr. 36, Toshiya Kuge 20, CeeCee Lyles 33, Hilda Marcin 79, Waleska Martinez Rivera , Nicole Miller 21, Louis J. Nacke 42, Donald Arthur Peterson 66, Jean Hoadley Peterson 55, Mark Rothenberg 52, Christine Anne Snyder 32, John Talignani 72, Honor Elizabeth Wainio 27, Deborah Welsh 49, Olga Kristin Gould White 65