Friday, June 13, 2014

Enoch's Run

Yesterday's post described the land of William Davis in Washington County, Pennsylvania as adjoining Henry Vanmeter's property on Enoch's Run. The land was apparently next to a creek that was later known as Swan's Run and Pumpkin Run, which empties into the Monongahela River at Rices Landing. A map showing the location of the land is below.
In 1785, Henry Vanmeter acquired land next to Richard Swan. Richard (b. 1752, d. 1822) was married to Henry's daughter Martha Vanmeter. Richard's father was John Swan Jr. He is referenced in an 1896 report on Frontier Forts of Western Pennsylvania:

"Cumberland township was probably one of the first settled townships in Greene county. John Swan, as early as 1767, looked upon the stately forests that encumbered all the valley of Pumpkin with an eye of satisfaction, and to notice that he had chosen this location for himself proceeded to put his mark upon it by blazing the trees around a goodly circuit. In 1768-69 he returned and made a fixed habitation. He was accompanied by Thomas Hughes and Jesse Vanmeter, who united their strength for mutual protection. These early pioneers determined to provide for the safety of their families, and accordingly built a strong stockade, which has ever since been known as old Fort Swan and Vanmeter. It was situated near the border of Cumberland township [near the present town of Carmichaels], on the spot where the house of Andrew J. Young stands and was a noted rallying point in its day for the venturesome pioneers and their families." The fort was erected early, not later than 1774, and probably earlier.

"Until the massacre by Logan and his band, in 1774, there was no trouble with the Indians; though for safety it had become necessary to have a place of refuge and a fort was built on John Swan's farm, known as Swan and Vanmeter's Fort." (Citation:

The property is also described in Rices Landing, a Bicentennial Historical Sketch. This land is referenced in the History of Greene County (page 120):
There's much more information on the Swan and Vanmeter Forts, but I thought this was helpful to put the land into context.

John Swan Jr had another son, Charles Swan, who married a daughter of Henry Vanmeter. This story will also be described in a future post.

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