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October 03, 2023


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History - Pioneers

Washington Beale Homestead
Harrison Township

"Washington Beale came across the mountains of Pennsylvania before the 1810 census count, with his wife, Nancy Jane Givens, and children Margaret and Priscilla.

He was a farmer, a 'squatter', settling first at Jack's Island near the fording place, then moving to a farm near Bull Creek, and finally establishing his home in Harrison Township on the Andrew Ledlie tract of Original Surveys. His sixth child, Washington, Jr., was born on this farm in 1821."

--from "The Burtner Homestead Reviewing History" by Vera Burtner Ferree, available from the Burtner House Restoration Society.

The house pictured above was not the original dwelling on this site. Fixtures from the house appear to indicate its construction in the early 1850's, a few years before Washington Beale's death. While the house has been remodeled for modern living, it retains the dignity of a mid-nineteenth century homestead. The main support beam visible in the basement still shows the marks of the adze that shaped it almost 150 years ago.

Portion of a map from the Atlas of Allegheny County, 1876, showing the Washington Beale homestead in Harrison Township. The island at bottom right is Jack's Island, where the Beale family had once lived.

This tombstone was discovered on the old Washington Beale farm in Harrison Township. It reads:

consort of
who departed this life
Oct 6th 1836
In the 52nd Year
of Her Age

Apparently, the body of Jane Beale was moved to Freeport Cemetery to rest beside that of her husband. The stones read as follows:
In memory of
Born May 10, 1784
Died Oct. 6, 1836
In memory of
Born June 19, 1781
Died Dec. 17, 1857

Copyright 1999-2014 by Darren McPhilimy, All Rights Reserved.