"In 1831 the solitude of the wilderness in the northeastern portion of the township was broken by James Black, who came from Sugar Creek, Armstrong county, and settled on the homestead near North Pine Grove. The country abounded in game of all sorts, deer, bears, wolves[,] panthers, wild cats, wild turkeys, and pigeons, besides the smaller species. The streams were alive with trout. Within a year or two came his brothers, John and Patrick Black; Thomas Meagher, Charles and Dennis Boyle, David McDonald, Thomas Walley, Robert and Archibald Haggerty, David Griffin, Henry McNairney; soon after these, William Wilkinson and Arthur McCloskey; the latter, with his family, came from Philadelphia in 1835. These settlers were all Catholics, the majority of them from Butler and lower Armstrong counties" (See Reference 1)
The Caldwell's Illustrated Combination Atlas of Clarion County, Pennsylvania was produced in 1877 from actual surveys by and under the direction of Henry Cring. The Atlas identifies both the towns, main roads and landowners at the time. Today the information is helpful to understand the relationships between founding families and to assist the researcher when attempting to locate the original family homesteads.
Vowinckel is in the upper right hand corner. Vowinckel over a century later has many similarities to the map below. Wild game including bears and mountain lions have been witnessed by those who reside in this area today. The upper portion of the original map is shown below - key sites have been colored in red.
|Farmington Township - 1883|
|Farmington Township - 3323|
- McDonald farmland is highlighted
- The McAvoy land is noted. Peter McDonald's first wife was Mary Ann McAvoy. Peter was the son of David McDonald and Bridget Lynam my 3rd great grand uncle.
- The McAvoy school house is noted and the red brick building still stands today. Many of the McDonald and Haggerty children would have attended the school house in their youth
- At the four corners of Blood Road (today State Route 66 and McDonald Drive) is the homestead of two McDonald's. The Vowinckel Hotel originally operated by Michael McDonald and Anne Haggerty still stands at this intersection.
- The James Haggerty farm is shown - the land originally settled by Robert Haggerty and Rebecca Easly (my 4th great grand parents). The land is still farmed today although it was sold over time the boundaries of the farm match the original land parcel.
- The local Catholic Church - St. Mary's Crown is shown on the map. This was once the main route between Tylersburg and North Pine Grove.
- The land of Thomas Haggerty, son of Robert Haggerty and Rebecca Easly (my 4th great grand parents), is noted. Thomas is the brother of James Haggerty and Anne Haggerty. Thomas married Bridget McDonald, daughter of David McDonald and Bridget Lynam (my 4th great grand parents). Bridget is the sister of Michael McDonald. Michael McDonald married Anne Haggerty (my 3rd great grandparents) - thus a McDonald brother and sister married a Haggerty brother and sister.
- The McCloskey land is shown. David McDonald and Bridget Lynam's (my 4th great grand parents) son David married Hannah E. McCloskey, daughter of Bernard McCloskey.
- A. J. Davis, History of Clarion County, Pennsylvania with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers (Clarion County Historical Society, 1887), Clarion County Historical Society, Chapter 35 History of Farmington Township.
- Joseph A. Caldwell, Caldwell's Illustrated historical combination atlas of Clarion County, Pennsylvania / from actual surveys by & under the directions of Henry Cring ; assisted by C.T. Arms ... [et al.]. (Condit, Ohio, J.A. Caldwell, 1877), Library of Congress Geography and Map Division, Washington, D.C. 20540-4650 USA,