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Fort Ashby in the Youghiogheny Glades page 6


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mer, particularly, wood-buffalo (also known as the Ohio Valley buffalo) would migrate from the lower western valleys and browse in the green glade grass like sheep. There was always plenty of fresh meat and fish.

However, there was always danger, and for twenty years the man with the hoe and axe, and the woman of the hearth and loom, kept within easy reach the other necessity of survival—the very necessary gun.

Following the victory of General Anthony Wayne in 1794, the settlers fortunately had no further fear of Indian depredations. Some of them left forever their cherished hunting grounds along the Youghiogheny; others remained to live in peace.

Ashby built a grist mill with an undershot wheel on Cherry Creek, where his neighbors brought their grain. In 1934 the last remains of the fort were removed, except for two tower-stone foundations. Some time after that all traces of the mill disappeared, except for some hand-hewn planks and hand-hewn stones found in the bed of the stream.

The original pattern of society created west of the mountains was symbolized in the settler's fort—a place of corporate self defense. Whatever be the symbol that unites people "society is the operative co-existence of individuals in an inexhaustible process," said an eminent sociologist. If we could experience the same intensity, the same urgency to be united for a common cause, as did our ancestors in the fort, we would be a much stronger people in this hour of world crisis.

In the year the fort was built, two tracts of land were surveyed. Both bore the name "Ashby"—Ashby's Discovery, site of Gortner, of one thousand acres (surveyed by Hugh Scott) and Ashby's Cove, (site of Corinth, West Virginia and Crellin, Md.) surveyed for Samuel Chase, one of the Marylanders who two years later signed the Declaration of Independence. It is said that John Swann, through unfair litigation, deprived the family of "Ashby's Discovery" on which the fort stood.

One of the most distinguished residents of the last century to occupy this tract was General Benjamin F. Kelly, a retired Union officer of the Civil War. His place was called "Swan Meadows." Daniel S. Lichty and family later lived in the house of General Kelly. Nearby, also a part of the original tract, is a large brick residence built by Asa Coddington in 1908 for Lewis Swartzentruber. The brick was made on the farm, at the fort site. It is now occupied (1963) by Atlee J. Hershbsrger.

"Ashby's Cove" was situated on the west side of the Youghiogheny River and extended north from the mouth of Cherry Creek. On the edge of this virgin pine swamp, and extending south along the open bottom land (also on the west side of the river), the Ashbys built a "Dug-Out" into a bank by a spring brook. Its location was between the house now occupied by John Matthews (known as the Luther Nine place) and the




ID:
gctg026

Page #:
155

Creator:
Rev. J. C. Breuninger

Date:
Summer 1963

Collection Location:
Ruth Enlow Library, Oakland

Original Size:
22 x 15 cms

Contributor:
Editor: Felix G. Robinson

Subject:
Maryland, History

Coverage:
Western Maryland, 1750-1963

 
 
Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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