Our Neighbor, Coraopolis Historical Society

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On Tuesday, December 8, 2015,  Earl and Mary Ellen Edwards and Mim Bizic visited the Coraopolis History Center, located in the ground floor of the Coraopolis Library.   We were so pleased to see such a lovely little museum existed, and to meet the dedicated caretakers, Joe DiVito and Donna Bachman.  They make up quite a great team!

 

Donna  showed us many photos of the Consolidated Glass factory of Coraopolis, and we were fortunate to see several of the real pieces of Consolidated glass on display.

 

Consolidated Glass factory pieces on display.

Consolidated Glass factory pieces on display.

 

Joe showed us lots of history from the Coraopolis Bicentennial book that holds a wealth of information!  Joe and Donna are there every Tuesday and Thursday, from   1-3:00 PM.  Go visit!  You never know what you will find!

 

Vance's Fort

Vance’s Fort

 

A Fort in nearby Coraopolis?

 

Yes indeed!

 

VANCE’S FORT!

 

There is so much history all around us, we thought it useful to include some of our neighboring Coraopolis history too!

Gia Tatone spoke to the Moon Township Historical Society on Monday, October 5, 2015 at the Moon Township Library. Lots of history!

 

Coraopolis History

 

Here’s some basic information from Wikipedia:

 

“On April 3, 1769, Andrew Montour, an Indian interpreter who had provided service to English settlers during the French and Indian War, was granted a land patent for approximately 350 acres (1.4 km2) of what would later become the borough of Coraopolis and Neville Island. It is a matter of uncertainty whether he ever lived upon this tract, and highly probable that his residence was not long.

 

Read more about Andrew Montour here:

 

“Andrew Montour (c. 1720–1772), also known as  Sattelihu, Eghnisara[2]  and Henry[note 1] was an important Métisinterpreter and negotiator in the Virginia and Pennsylvania backcountry in the latter half of the 18th century. He was of Oneida and Algonkin ancestry, with a French grandfather. Historian James Merrell estimated his birth year as 1720.[3]Likely born in his mother’s village of Otstonwakin (near current Montoursville, Pennsylvania), he later led the village in the 18th century before settling further west.

 

“Montour was commissioned as a captain in 1754 by Pennsylvania officials during the French and Indian War. He also commanded raiding parties in Ohio in 1764 during Pontiac’s Rebellion (1763-1766) at the behest of Sir William Johnson, British superintendent of Indian Affairs. His son John Montour later became recognized as an interpreter and negotiator, serving with rebel forces during the American Revolutionary War.”

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Montour

Captain Robert Vance

Captain Robert Vance

 

“The first permanent white settler in Coraopolis was Capt. Robert Vance, who settled in the vicinity of Montour’s tract around 1773, just prior to the beginning of the American Revolution. Vance, a Virginian, had been a member of the regiment commanded by George Washington at the Braddock expedition during the French and Indian War. For the protection of himself and his neighbors, of whom several arrived within a few years, Vance had a log stockade built with a stone blockhouse to protect the area against Indian raids. This was known as Vance Fort (or Fort Vance). The site of the fort was around present-day Broadway and Chestnut streets, near Second Avenue.

 

“Over time the community grew and developed, and it became known as Middletown in the 1800s, because it was situated midway between Pittsburgh and Beaver, Pennsylvania.”

 

Read more here:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coraopolis,_Penn

 

 

Jockers, Robert A. “Speculators and Squatters, the Frontier Beginnings of Moon Township,” in Western Pennsylvania History, p. 25-27, Vol. 87 No. 2, summer 2004 (available free on-line at:

 

https://journals.psu.edu/szph/article/viewFile/5196/4979

 

 

 

Wintermantel, Michael E., photograph of historical plaque of Fort Vance in Coraopolis taken 2012and found at

 

http://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?MarkerID=60831.

 

 

 

Vance, William, Lt.Col USAFR. Capt. Robert Vance and Vance’s Fort: (2014)

 

http://historyarchives.org/misc/Cpt-Robert-Vance-VFA-vol-30-No-1-Feb-2014.pdf

 

 

 

FIND A GRAVE: Capt Robert Vance

 

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=25943627

 

This is exciting:

 

“According research from the City of Coraopolis, Vance is reputed to have been the first permanent white settler in the area that is now Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. He took up settlement near Montour’s tract about 1773. For the protection of his small group of neighbors and his own family against attacks from hostile tribes, Vance built a stockade which became known as Vance’s Fort or Fort Vance. He served in the French and Indian Wars at the Braddock expedition under the command of George Washington. He is also reputed to have been charged with the secret burial of General Braddock after Braddock’s defeat. ”

 

 

 

More on Coraopolis:  Official Website:

 

http://coraopolispa.com/1.html 

 

 

 

Coraopolis Library:

 

http://coraopolislibrary.org/

 

 

 

NEW!  Thanks to Stacey Christie, a research website for Coraopolis:

 

www.coraopolishistory.com

 

Stacey writes:  “I wanted to thank  you for your excellent page  on the history of Moon Township.  It has been an invaluable tool in my own research on Coraopolis since I moved here.  I’ve recently set up at reserach website (see above).    I welcome any chance to collaborate, as our areas share much history in common.”

 

Indeed they do!  Thanks, Stacey!

 

 

 

Coraopolis Genealogy in Allegheny County:

 

http://pennsylvania-genealogy.net/Coraopolis-Genealogy.cfm

 

 

 

U.S. Congressman, Mike Doyle:

 

http://doyle.house.gov/office/coraopolis-office