Carolyn's Daily Posts: 2011

October 17, 2011

The Youghiogheny River: Part of a River Network


CAROLYN’S DAILY POSTS: 2011

THE YOUGHIOGHENY RIVER: 

PART OF A GRAND RIVER NETWORK

      Karen Hechler, member of the Connellsville Bicentennial Committee, wrote the introductory article in the commemorative book, Celebrating 200 Years, 1806-2006: Connellsville, Pennsylvania.

     The article, A River Runs Through Our History, celebrates the Youghiogheny River as a native American “highway” to its current use for recreation.*

     The Yough as recreation. I can relate. I spent hours sitting on a rock in the river the first August we moved to Connellsville, 1995. It was an extremely hot summer, and the river provided a way to cool down. At least, it was supposed to cool me down as I sat on a rock reading a book I’d carried with me, packed in a plastic bag to keep it dry.

     Later I took company to the river’s edge so the children (and adults) could play in the flowing water.

     And at various times my neighbor Pet and I would go down to the beachy area and she would feed the geese and ducks. I didn’t realize the importance of the site at the time—that it was named Stewart’s Crossing, after 1753 settler William Stewart.

     At the time I didn’t think about the river’s role in the French and Indian War when Gen. Braddock, assisted by a youthful George Washington, traveled from Cumberland, Maryland headed towards Fort Duquesne hoping to oust the French from the Ohio Valley. He chose to cross the Yough River at Stewart’s crossing—I’m amazed at the ability of Braddock and his men to go through the wilderness,” she said. “Braddock had mission impossible; he had to travel from Cumberland, Md., to present day Pittsburgh, with a fleet of Conestoga wagons. The sheer size of that operation is impressive.**

     The Youghiogheny River was listed on maps as an important crossing for people who were heading west.

    The same Yough River, the same spot, where I fed geese, entertained company, and cooled off in the cool flowing water.

     I pay more interest today, when I write about the original settlers of Gallipolis, Ohio. They traveled from Cumberland to Old Redstone (Brownsville), piled their belongings on flatboats, and traveled up the Monongahela River to its junction with the Allegheny River, the beginning of the Ohio River. Part way up the Mon River the Yough River flows into it, and thus, ultimately, joins its waters with the Ohio River. Gallipolis sits on the Ohio River.

     The Youghiogheny River was part of a huge river network, Hecler said. It was listed on maps even then as an important crossing for people who were heading west.

     After traveling around viewing the different rivers, especially the Ohio River, I must agree with Hechler.

SOURCES

*http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/dailycourier/news/s_478466.html : Written in history  By Judy Kroeger, Daily Courier  Saturday, November 4, 2006
**http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/s_764695.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~

ADDITIONAL READING:

THE YOUGHIOGHENY RIVER CRAWL

Youghiogheny River AKAs

RIVER (Specifically, the Youghiogheny River)

Memories of Fayette County, Pennsylvania

Seeking History in Brownsville (Redstone), Pennsylvania

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