New Wilmington, Pennsylvania is a quaint borough in Lawrence County, known for its small-town charm and welcoming community. However, what many may not know is that this area is rich in history, with numerous noteworthy events that have taken place nearby. In this article, we will delve into seven fascinating historical events that have occurred near New Wilmington.
1. The Underground Railroad
During the tumultuous period of slavery in America, the Underground Railroad played a crucial role in helping African American slaves escape to freedom. New Wilmington was a stop on this network, with many safe houses and secret routes being established throughout the borough and surrounding areas. Visitors can explore various sites that were part of the Underground Railroad, including the New Castle Quaker Meetinghouse and the nearby Harmony Society settlement.
2. Battle of Brier Creek
The Battle of Brier Creek was fought on March 3, 1779, during the American Revolutionary War. It occurred near the Brier Creek area of Wilmington, where British forces clashed with the colonial troops led by General John Ashe. Despite being outnumbered, the colonials held their ground and inflicted heavy losses on the British, ultimately forcing them to retreat.
3. The Whiskey Rebellion
In the late 1700s, American farmers in the western regions were angered by the new taxes imposed on whiskey by the federal government. This led to the Whiskey Rebellion, with many whiskey distillers refusing to pay these taxes and resorting to violent protests. New Wilmington and the surrounding areas were heavily involved in this rebellion, with farmers and distillers playing a significant role in its eventual resolution.
4. The Underground Coal Fires
Throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s, numerous coal mines were established throughout Lawrence County. However, many of these mines were prone to underground fires that would burn for years, resulting in widespread damage and even deaths. Even today, some of these underground fires are still burning, and visitors can learn about them at the Lawrence County Coal Mine Museum.
5. Boy Scouts of America National Jamboree
In 1981, the Boy Scouts of America held their National Jamboree at Fort AP Hill in Virginia. This event attracted thousands of scouts from all over the country, including a group of scouts from New Wilmington. During the event, the New Wilmington scouts participated in various activities, including rappelling, rowing, and archery.
6. The Launch of the Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicle
In 1971, NASA launched the Apollo 15 lunar mission, which marked the first use of a lunar rover vehicle. The rover was designed and built by Boeing Aerospace, with some of its components manufactured in New Wilmington. The mission was a great success, allowing astronauts to explore a larger area of the moon's surface than ever before.
7. The Erie Canal
The Erie Canal, also known as the "Mother of Cities," was a massive canal that was built in the early 1800s, connecting the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. Although the canal was built primarily in New York, it had a significant impact on Pennsylvania and the surrounding areas, including New Wilmington. Many local industries thrived due to the canal's construction, including agriculture, manufacturing, and transportation.
In conclusion, New Wilmington and the surrounding areas have a rich and fascinating history, with countless noteworthy events that have taken place. Visitors can explore these sites and learn more about the area's past, from the Underground Railroad to the Erie Canal and beyond. Whether you're a history buff or just looking to learn more about this charming region of Pennsylvania, New Wilmington is definitely worth a visit.
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