Cambria County, Pennsylvania
Annals of Jackson Township
Mrs. Betty Burkhart
early settlers were adept at making many of the articles we now buy
already made. Many of the residents of the township can recall the time
when their flax was raised at their homes and linen from it made into
garments and towels, sheets, and pillowcases. One resident has a piece
linen in her possession which was woven by her mother. Woolen garments,
too, were home-made, coming from the wooly coats of their own sheep. The
ingenuity of these housewives in making something beautiful out of
drabness was sometimes amazing. For practical purposes the woolen was
not always left its original color but dyed with home-made dyes. The
bark of the walnut tree made a brown dye and a beautiful shade of blue
obtained by combining balls of indigo with a home-made solution, all
colors being guaranteed not to fade.
Coal was used for fuel as early as 1822, but it was not until 1860 that
general, the usual fuel being wood. Wood was also used mainly for
locomotives until that time. When the Black Lick district opened in
1892, most of the residents used coal for heating their homes.
When this country was first settled entertainment was not lacking for
the young people, although a more fitting term would be to call it fun.
there were no movies nor automobiles, nor the dozen things that the
people of today take for granted, there were other forms of
just as amusing. In the winter there were the square dances (in some
communities), the taffy pulls and sleighing parties. Then for the older
ones, the quilting parties (a form of social contact recently revived in
community), corn husking, barn raisings, apple snitzings, chopping
log rollings. These were the times when these hard working pioneers
combined work with pleasure.
Jennie Meegan of Chickaree can recall many times when, as a young girl,
participated in many of these things. Singing schools were very popular
at one time, Joseph Burkhart, a first settler in the Millwood community
being well known as a teacher. Also the spelling bee and church affairs
old Horner church (long since torn down), were gathering places for the
folk of the various communities.
When the early settler would clear the ground for land to raise his
crops his neighbor, far and wide, would come to his aid. Then men would
trees and cut the logs into lengths easily handled. Then the logs would
be piled in huge piles and at night a great bonfire would be built.
Sometimes a dance in the barn would be held at the same time.
Afterwards, long tables would be spread with good things to eat. Thus,
the home-owner would get
land cleared in a short time and have a great pleasure while doing it.
To To Be Continued Next Week