Friday, October 23, 2009

Village of Chaneysville

~~Southampton Twp.~~Bedford County~~Pennsylvania~~
The 21st century finds Chaneysville a sleeping little village full of history... It all began in the mid 1830's when Thomas Chaney Jr. built the first house in what was once known as Watertown. This house doubled as a tavern/hotel, it has seen many owners come and go. Unfortunately on a sub-zero night in January 2004, fire destroyed over half of this old hotel.

In those early days the flourishing village of took care of it's own with two stores,two grist mills, two blacksmiths, two wagon makers, a sawmill, a tannery, a shoemaker shop, a public hall,hotel it's very own post office (1855-1938), a few churches and a doctor's office. Most of these building are gone now. Even our store is closed and the mail comes from the post office in Clearville. Today you'll find three active churches and a volunteer fire company taking care of our 1010 households.


1625-Thomas Powell's Expedition arrived from Jamestown, Virginia, where they saw the first Indians near the Warrior's Path

1728-The first 13 settlers moved into this area

1737-Joseph Powell built a Trading Post on Little Sweet Root, about the same time his cousin Robert Ray opened his Trading Post near Bedford

1737-Huff discovered Saltpetre Cave in Sweet Root Gap

1764-Mason and Dixon were commissioned to survey and mark the boundary between Maryland and Pennsylvania

1758- Indians invaded Chaneysville

1758-Fort Bedford was constructed

1766-Village of Bedford was surveyed, Bedford was named for the Duke of Bedford, before that time it was known as Raystown, probably because of Robert Ray's Trading Post

1771-Bedford County was formed on March 9th of that year

1784-Two Methodist Preachers arrived in Beans Cove, Southampton Twp.

1787-Pennsylvania became the 2nd state, eventually it was divided into 67 counties

1799-Southampton Twp. was organized

1806-First log school was built

1830-Thomas Chaney Jr. built his house in Chaneysville, his family had moved here in 1786 from Washington Co. MD.

1840-Monroe Twp. seceded from Southampton Twp. and Providence Twp.

1840-William Perdew a Revolutionary War Veteran died

1862-Confederate cavalry scouts entered Black Valley from Flintstone, Md. and camped near Chaneysville

1869-New framed schools were built

1876-Mann Twp. was erected from Southampton Twp.

1879-Hewitt Covered Bridge was approved for use

1921-Forester W. Byers had the Martin Hill Fire Tower built

1930-Someone started a fire on Tussey Mt. that burned 1150 acres on 5/4

1935-CCC camps were set up in Sweet Root and Blankley Parks

1949-P.T.A. was organized

1957-Sweet Root Park opened in July

1960-Chaneysville Volunteer Fire Company received their charter in January

1981-David Bradley wrote the novel "The Chaneysville Incident" a story of 13 runaway slaves who passed through Chaneysville

1986-Sponsored by the Chaneysville Seniors, Mabel Hoffman was crowned "Ms. Senior Pa." (honoring women 60 and over) in Nov. at Hershey, Pa.

1987-April 1st in Atlantic City, Mabel Hoffman won the title of "Ms. Senior America"

1989-"In late 1980s, a BLACK panther paid visits to Chaneysville Cove School grounds, witnessed by law enforcement, 6 teachers & 30 students, who have never forgotten those events." (quoted

1998-Trica Miller complied a list of Veterans buried in Southampton Twp.

2000-Hewitt Covered Bridge restored

2001-Dec. 17th UPMC-Bedford Memorial Hospital donated $1000.00 to each of the 13 local fire companies including Chaneysville

2002-On March 16th the Martin Hill Fire Tower(built in 1921) was quietly removed. It is no longer the icon for Southampton Township that could be seen from miles around on a clear day.

2002-Chaneysville and Hewitt are included (with photos) in an article written about the Mason-Dixon Line by Anna & Lou Leopold for the June/August issue of the magazine "Westsylvania"

2004-Fire at the "hotel"

2007-Feb. 15th the Everett Area School Board voted to close Chaneysville-Cove Elementary School at the end of the school term

2007-March 14th Headlines from the Bedford Gazette read "Chaneysvlle parents file complaint; Group hires lawyer to review closing of elementary school"

2007-Friday, July 13 the Honorable Judge Howsare ruled the Everett school board's action was "an abuse of discretion" and Chaneysville-Cove Elementary will remain open

2007-The following week the school board put an automatic supersdeas on Judge Howsare's July 13th ruling, thus the school will be closed and the children will be bused over Tussey Mountain, unless...

2007- August 17th Save Small Schools won once again against the school board when the Honorable Judge Howsare ordered the automatic supersedeas would be lifted and Chaneysville-Cove Elementary would be opened August 29th

2007-August 29th the doors of Chaneysville-Cove Elementary opened as they had since 1954, the only difference is the bus routes

2008- March-DSL has finally arrived in Chaneysville

2010- Southampton Historical Society was formed... 1st project...restore Point Pleasant 2-room School.

2011-SHS Newsletter "Southampton Times" was created,  $10.00 membership dues (per calendar year) will get members a spring & fall newsletter, each newsletter includes articles with photos and "Rabbit Tales" which features a story of a plant, animal or natural formation which helped shape the history of our township.

2011- Our first newsletter ($5.00) The Early Days of our Township, 1st settlers, Powell Expedition, our timeline, Veterans buried in our township to 1998, and William Tell of Beans Cove

2012- Spring newsletter ($5.00) Post Offices of our Township, Updated vet burials, SS Robert Hartsock, Hewitt Covered Bridge and  Mt. Zion Church list

2012- Fall newsletter ($5.00) Election Houses, Olympian Natalie Dell, Penetecostal Church Bombed, Robert Hartsock Bridge, CCC Camp Halloween Party

2013-Spring newsletter ($5.00) with a lot of photos of the inside of the Beans Cove Methodist Church and the Caves of Southampton Twp.

2013-Fall newsletter ($5.00) Carl Cessna/Mid State Trail, William H. Knee, Double Murder of the Roses, and 1931 Superintendent Report of our schools.