Sunday, January 31, 2010

McConnells Mill

History
Daniel Kennedy constructed the first gristmill along Slippery Rock Creek in 1852. Several years later it was destroyed by a fire and rebuilt in 1868. In 1875 Captain Thomas McConnell purchased the mill and replaced the water wheel and grinding stones with more modern water turbines and rolling mills. According to the DCNR website, it processed corn, oats, wheat and buckwheat for local customers. Eventually it closed in 1928.

When Captain Thomas McConnell died, the mill was passed to his son James McConnell. Since James had no children at the time of his death years later, the property was given to the grandson of Captain McConnell, Thomas H. Hartman. Wishing the area to be preserved for future generations, Thomas H. Hartman transferred ownership of the mill and land to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy in either 1942 or 1946. McConnells Mill State Park was formally dedicated in October of 1957 and in May 1974 the U.S. Department of the Interior designated it a National Natural Landmark. Currently the park covers around 2546 acres and is considered one of the "Twenty Must-See Pennsylvania State Parks." The land is also designated as an Audubon Important Bird Area for its outstanding value to bird conservation.

Source and More Info:
Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Wikipedia, Great Natural Areas in Western Pennsylvania, National Registry of Natural Landmarks (PDF), Slippery Rock University - Online Rocket, Audubon Pennsylvania
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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Red Fishing Bobber

Lake Arthur I did not notice when I took the photo, but the red dot near the top right corner is a fishing bobber. I bet that frustrated someone when it happened.
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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Dog Tracks

Alpha Trail This image was taken last Sunday in McConnells Mill during a walk with my wife. We then headed over to Moraine and happened upon a woman who had spent the last five hours looking for her two lost St. Bernards. I hope she found them.
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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Fern in the Snow

Fern along Alpha Trail A fern popping out of the snow along the Alpha Trail in McConnells Mill.
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Friday, January 15, 2010

Frozen

Two trees guarding a portion of Lake Arthur in Moraine State Park.
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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Frozen Pond

Moraine State Park This was taken from a small bridge not far from Moraine's bicycle path.
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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Little Stream

Moraine State Park After the family went sled riding, my oldest daughter and I headed out to Moraine. Due to the cold, it was a short hike but an enjoyable one.

The above image is a small stream we crossed on the snowy bicycle trail. My daughter was off camera pushing snow off the bridge railing into the icy stream below.
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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Bench

Kildoo Trail - McConnells Mill This is an image of one of the many benches along Kildoo Trail in McConnells Mill.
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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year!

Alpha Falls - McConnells Mill Alpha Falls in McConnells Mill.
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