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.
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.
Every other year at Lincoln Park
Performing Arts Charter School, teachers pair up with a dance major and attempt
to win a contest. This contest is called Dancing with the Teachers.
Imagine Dancing with the Stars, but funnier, significantly less serious, and
you actually know some the dancers.
Dancing with the Teachers is brought to
you by the Humanitarian Club at the school and is always for a good cause. The
winning teacher/dancer duo gets a $100 prize, and it goes to the charity of their
choice. Senior Andrea Nickel, a Literary Arts major and president of the
humanitarian club, says that “It’s important people care because their
contribution, the $5 admission to the show, all goes to charity.” She also said
that “any profit we makes goes to the Humanitarian Club. We do events like
Pennies for Patients in the first week of February. We also sponsor a child,
Anderson, who lives in Africa.”
Four years ago, Melissa Potts, an
English teacher at the school, won Dancing with the Teachers alongside dancer
John Cageo. Miss Potts told me, “It was a tough battle. We had a dance off with
Dr. Butterini and Katerina Garren that included moves like the worm,
somersaults, and some intense running man.” She decided to donate her prize
money to the Women’s Shelter of Beaver County.
A newcomer to Dancing with the Teacher,
Zac Cageao, is feeling the pressure this year. He will be dancing with Nicole
Truzzi, a senior dance major. “We are going to melt some faces with sheer
awesomeness,” Cageao said. When asked what plans they had, Cageao responded,
“If I told you that, I would have to kill you.”
Both Potts and Cageao agree
that dancing on stage in front of an audience is daunting. Miss Potts shared
that, “I got to be out of my comfort zone and experience what our students go
through every time they step on a stage in any capacity. I gained a larger
respect for what they do and how much time they put in to every performance.”
Four years later it is no surprise that Mr. Cageao is feeling the same pressure,
“It is nerve-wracking, I’m a little terrified about dancing in front of my
peers and students.” He continued, “Even though I possess natural born dancing
skills that are unsurpassed by anyone ever, I’m still nervous about strutting
my stuff upon the stage.” However, he added, “It’s for a good cause.”
February you can come see Miss Potts dancing with math teacher, Mr. Kevin
Patterson, and cheer on everyone else who is competing. Dancing with the
Teachers promises to be a fun show that anyone could enjoy, and will give the
satisfaction of helping out those in need!
Dancing with the Teachers
Wednesday, February 17, 7:30 PM
Tickets are $5 at the door BlackBox Theater
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.
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.
BLM Oregon’s Nestucca River National Back Country Byway offers the perfect #6secondsofcalm!
Interested in taking the slow road from the Willamette Valley to the Oregon Coast (or vice versa)? Consider the Nestucca River National Back Country Byway! On the coast, the mostly paved two-lane road starts at the town of Beaver in Tillamook County and ends near Carlton in Yamhill County. The Byway is about 35 miles long, passes through lush coastal range forests and waterfalls, and also offers a terrific scenic panorama of the Cascade Mountains at Sheridan Peak. Several first-come, first-serve campgrounds are available during certain seasons along the road, as well as other recreational opportunities, like off-road vehicle riding.
Swimming Pool and Limestone Bath House, Beaver, Pa.
“This spacious pool, 75 feet by 150 feet, situated in Gypsy Glen Park is adjoined by a children’s pool. The attendance average 75,000 annually. The pool which was open to the public in 1941, employs fourteen persons, and all have the Red Cross Instructor’s licenses.”