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Quaker Falls Recreation Area

Quaker Falls Recreation Area contains a fifty-foot waterfall on Falling Spring Creek located just west/northwest of the village of Hillsville in Mahoning Township and is located in a high priority conservation area.  In addition to the Falls, the site includes an old settlement called Quakertown.  Quakertown was settled in 1799-80 by Septimus Cadwallader, a Quaker from Brownsville, Fayette County and later by Quakers Benjamin Sharpless and Talbat Townsend. It is believed to be the first Quakers to settle west of the Alleghenies. They settled at Quaker Falls due to the steady flow of natural energy; built linseed mills, sawmills, comb factory and other modest industries. It reached a population of 200 (originally 24 – 3 families), had a schoolhouse but traveled to Columbiana Ohio for Sunday prayer service.  The Welsh and other Europeans arrived at Quakertown in the mid-1800’s and turned the land into a farm community.

 


Dan Irwin | New Castle News

After 1900, the iron and steel industries lured away the inhabitants and it became a ghost town.  Pennsylvania Power Company (Penn Power) gave permission to Dr. John White, Anthropologist at Youngstown State University, to excavate on its 214 acres in 1979. Quakertown proper covered about 128 of the 214 acres; the rest was farmland.  His findings unearthed homes, mills, barns, schools, carriage houses, a store, powder manufacturing facilities and a railroad.   He noted that there is an opportunity to protect the historic integrity of the site and recommended interpretive signing (general store foundation) and an educational resource (laboratories on site to study objects).

In late 2016, Penn Power approached Lawrence County to see if they would be interested in accepting approximately 230 acres of property, which contains Quaker Falls. After viewing the property, the County Commissioners determined that this site presented an exciting opportunity to develop a County Park.  The County has since purchased approximately 60 additional acres from private property owners to enlarge the Park.