Midland, Pennsylvania, located in Beaver County, is a town steeped in history. From its early days as a booming steel town to its more recent role as a hub for natural gas drilling, Midland has been witness to many historical events. Here are seven of the most notable historical events that have taken place near Midland:
1. The Founding of Midland. Midland was founded in 1906 by the Pittsburgh Steel Company, which bought land from the Pennsylvania Railroad to build a steel mill. The town was designed as a model community for the steelworkers, and included a hospital, school, and recreation facilities.
2. The Rise and Fall of the Steel Industry. The steel industry was the lifeblood of Midland for much of the 20th century, but the town's fortunes declined after the industry began to shrink in the 1970s. The Pittsburgh Steel Company, which had bought the land to build the steel mill, closed its doors in 1984.
3. The Midland Train Wreck. On December 7, 1985, a train carrying chemicals derailed near Midland, causing an explosion that killed three people and injured 21 others. The incident prompted changes in train safety regulations and increased awareness of the dangers of hazardous materials transportation.
4. The Marcellus Shale Boom. In recent years, Midland has become a hub for natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale formation. This has brought economic benefits to the town, but also raised concerns about the environmental impact of drilling.
5. The Eve of the American Revolution. In 1777, General George Washington ordered the construction of Fort McIntosh near present-day Beaver. The fort was a strategic location during the American Revolution and helped secure the frontier against British forces and Native American allies.
6. The Underground Railroad. Beaver County was a key stop on the Underground Railroad, which helped slaves escape to freedom in the North. Nearby Quaker communities provided support and shelter to runaway slaves, and many abolitionists lived in the area.
7. The Flight 93 Memorial. Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the site of the Flight 93 Memorial, is less than an hour's drive from Midland. The memorial honors the passengers and crew of Flight 93, who fought back against the hijackers on September 11, 2001, and prevented the plane from reaching its intended target.
In conclusion, Midland, Pennsylvania, and its surrounding areas have played an important role in American history. From the birth and eventual decline of the steel industry to the rise of natural gas drilling, from the struggles of the Underground Railroad to the sacrifice of the heroes of Flight 93, Midland is a town that has seen it all. Its history is a testament to the resilience and determination of its residents, who have faced challenges and injustices head-on and made Midland the vibrant community it is today.
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