Beaver-County

Handcuffed driver

  A Pennsylvania woman has been ordered to stand trial on charges she stole a police cruiser (also she stole earrings from a Kohl’s store) and led officers on a chase of at least 80 mph — while her hands were cuffed behind her. Everyday I see women drivers that can’t drive with two hands but that girl is unique.

Hidden deep within the heart of Beaver County, Pennsylvania remain a few questionable mysteries, along with a couple of ghosts in what was once known as Mudlick Hollow, located just outside of the once thriving town of Vanport, Pennsylvania. The town and hollow still remain, but its days of bustling are long gone. The river bank was once home to many Indian tribes who camped while nourishing themselves from the hearty fish filled waters while watching for any enemies from the lookout point at Bear Hill.

Artifacts and relics are all that remains of the Indian burial grounds, located in Beaver County, that and strange noises that can be heard on foggy nights from passerby’s out on a leisurely walk. The eeriness is hard to pinpoint though as many tragedies have stricken Vanport throughout time, even from the very beginning of its construction.

Due to the many creeks filled by the larger Ohio River that flow through the area, Vanport became a prime location for small boats, and eventually a ferry. Thomas B. Boggs began planning the town of Vanport in 1835 on the north bank of the Ohio River, to which unbeknownst to him was laden with lime rather then the coke he was hoping for.

The many rough hills were the only thing that stood in the way of a bridge, railroad, and eventually homesteads that would complete Vanport, making it a thriving community. Unfortunately a multitude of accidents and deaths happened during the construction of the town, as heavy equipment was not readily available, leaving overworked men to depend on less sophisticated tools.

A church, post office, mercantile, and a few other businesses were quickly built as the town thrived from the four potteries kept busy with the newly discovered lime. The need for a ferry was obvious and work on the piers began where the Two Mile Creek empties into the Ohio River. Two major lime kilns were located west of the ferry. Other potteries were owned by prominent resident John Weaver of Mudlick Hollow, located a stone’s throw from Vanport down an isolated dirt road.

Another prominent resident known by the town’s people as kind and gentle was J.J. Noss. He quickly made plans for a grand estate to be erected and located just up the road from Patrick Mulvanen’s grand mansion in Mudlick Hollow, located less than a mile from the busier town of Vanport. He felt that this was a prime location for a second mansion as the area was leveled off and surrounded by a bounty of large trees. Both estates were built for the men’s fiancés, and by 1846 the mansion’s stood completed.

Patrick designed a stately mansion for his fiancé Anna Mines. The plans included large white pillars, which gave it the name of the “white house” by residents of Vanport. Each room was immense and embellished with beautifully carved fire-places, and a huge ornate stairway led to the third floor which offered two large bedrooms. The entire east end of the house was one large ball room, designed with Anna in mind as she loved to throw extravagant parties.

The marriage was to never be as Anna fell to her death while walking down the ornate stairway, breaking her neck and leaving Patrick in a state that was less then desirable to onlookers. Cries can be heard from the wooded area of Mudlick Hollow on foggy nights, and many have wondered if it was Patrick himself crying out in disbelief as he stared death in the eye on the fateful night that he witnessed his true love taking her last breath. Other tragedies would follow, but perhaps none was more devastating then that of the newly wed couple that met with death on a dark and foggy night in Mudlick Hollow.

After taking a wrong turn on one of the many dirt roads that runs throughout Mudlick Hollow, a bride and groom riding in their horse drawn buggy on their way home from their wedding steered off of course and attempted to regain the correct trail to their new home. The horses quickly became spooked by noises coming from the woods causing the buggy to roll off the road and into the creek.

The bride died immediately from a broken neck while the groom became pinned under the carriage, later dying from his injuries sustained in the crash. The residents of Vanport claim that on dark nights of the new moon as fog creeps up onto the dirt lane you can hear a horse drawn buggy approaching from absolutely nowhere, and before it comes into contact with the one who hears it, you will hear a crash, followed by a scream, then the dark night becomes eerily silent once again.

The haunted woods of Mudlick Hollow are located just two minutes from Vanport, Pennsylvania, just off of highway 68 west. Make a sharp right just after the bridge onto Division Lane, and then an immediate left onto Mudlick Hollow Road. The mansions have become the property of the Beaver Valley Expressway as plans for highway 60 took precedence over historical monuments.

Fact

According to officials at the Warren County Commissioner’s office in New Jersey, nineteenth century farmers sweetened and fertilized their lands with lime burned in their own kilns. These rare kilns could be found on nearly every farmstead, however today most lime kilns are forever gone. They have either been dismantled or they have merely disintegrated into piles of rock that are unrecognizeable. Lime kilns were built especially in Warren and Sussex counties, as well as Pennsylvania due to the geology predominance of limestone in the ground.

AMBRIDGE — Beaver County schools had their lives “flipped, turned upside down” Thursday morning when a phone greeting involving the theme song from the 1990s sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” was taken as a threat. 

Apparently, someone misheard “shooting some b-ball outside of the school” as “shooting some people outside of the school” and freaked out.

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Beaver Elementary School- Beaver, IA

After the spring warmth comes and melts away the snow, but before the weeds can plant their roots and the shrubs fill their twigs with foliage, this three story school house bares all. 

What was once a bustling school in rural Boone county, now stands only as a dilapidated reminder of its former life. Classrooms now lie in a pile of rubble in the basement; shards of blackboards litter the lowest floor.