Sunday, November 14, 2010

Visitors to Leetonia

The picture to the left is of Charles John Schwab 1887-1919 born in Leetonia, Pennsylvania. His grandson named after him contacted me through reading the blog and came to Leetonia to see where his grandfather was born and died.

Charles Schwab worked for the lumber yard and loaded the trains with logs. As he was tightening a chain on logs it broke throwing him under the wheels of the train. The train severed his left leg close to his hip and severely crushed his hip. He was being hauled to Williamsport for care but died by the time they reached Cedar Run. Charles John Schwab was latter buried in the Wellsboro cemetery. Just the day before in Leetonia, Jacob Matthews a brakeman for the railroad also had a serious accident crushing his foot. He did however survive his accident. It is a reminder of how perilous working in the logging and railroad business was and still is.

I took the grandson, John, and his wife around Leetonia showing them some of what is left and pointing out where things used to be. Leetonia is a far cry from what it looked like in the days of John's grandfather. The whistle of the train has long stopped, the sound of the lumber mill silent and the smell of tanning fluid gone. But there is something about Leetonia that still stirs the imagination of things past. Sometimes it is so real you think you can hear the whistle and feel the joy and pain of the people who scraped out a living in Leetonia. One of our last stops was at the graveyard. Flags decorating the soldiers graves and a sober reminder that life didn't always make it past childhood as you look at the long line of infant graves up the side of the mountain. It is a bit of a hike up the steep slope of the cemetery and I was asked why didn't they bury people where it was flat? My only answer is flat is a premium space around here and it was generally used for building and work. I guess eternal rest was best in another space. It was also close to the school/church building that no longer exists.

Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.


Di said...

Good post. Sure miss Leetonia.


Grizzlie said...

Hi. My name is Bob Stevenson, and I was born in York, Pa., but moved to Wellsboro when I was less than a year old. My dad, Louie Stevenson, was born in Jersey Shore, Pa. but moved to Wellsboro in 1946, where he was a Tri-County supervisor for the FHA. He was also President and then Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Pa. Outdoor Writer's Assoc. He had a local radio program called Tioga County Outdoors. Dad's grand father, and my great grand father, was "Bull Stevenson" who was foreman of the logging camp in Leetonia back in the latter part of the eighteen hundreds. Our family owned a hunting camp in Leetonia just across from the old CCC camp buildings up on the point looking down on the bridge and intersection with the Leetonia rd. This was on the opposite side of the road from the CCC camps and the stream running next to it as you came in from Colton Pt. The camp was originally the old Leetonia School House, which I'm sure has been torn down by now. In fact I believe they built a "new" camp or home up there since I was last there. We used to spend lots of time there during both turkey season and trout season. I have many fond memories of fishing Cedar Run and the Funnystock. There was an old timer that used to live a short way down the road towards Cedar Run from our camp, and my dad found him almost drowned, with his foot stuck in between two rocks there on Cedar run while he was fishing. Obviously they got the gentleman out, but for the life of me I can't remember his name. Anyway, thanks for the post, and the memories. My name is Bob Stevenson and my wife and I now own a tour company in Jackson Hole Wyoming where we offers tour of Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, and wildlife tours of the Jackson Hole Valley. I've been doing tours in Yellowstone and the surrounding region for roughly thirty years now, but I'll always remember that I got my start in the outdoors with my dad in the Leetonia area, and will take many fond remembrances of time spent there into my next life........:)