Cecil Township Historical Society
Celebrating the Old, Welcoming the New
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Originally driven economically by agriculture, Cecil Township has evolved with the changing of times as industry and commerce have tapped into both its human and natural resources.  Farming communities such as Cowden and Hill's Station, for instance, took on new identities, both in name and purpose, becoming coal mining villages.  Mining gave way to gas drilling.  And, today, Southpointe, the multi-phase, mixed use development, a mere dream in the 1980s and 1990s, is now a reality.  As innovation and change remain inevitable, Cecil Township stands strong as ever in the twenty-first century.

Villages

Cecil Township is comprised of former mining villages, including Bishop, Cecil, Gilmore, Hendersonville, Montour No. 2 (village of Cowden), Lawrence (formerly Hill's Station/Montour No. 4), Muse, Reissing, Southview, Venice and National II.

Churches

Of course, faith has played an important role in Cecil Township since its inception.  With both Protestants and Catholics represented, historic properties include the Miller's Run Presbyterian Church, Fawcett Methodist Episcopal Church (present-day Fawcett United Methodist Church) and United Presbyterian Church in Venice


Historic Homes

The landscape of Cecil Township features houses from myriad architectural styles and of all sizes.  Chic contemporary mega mansions at Southpointe contrast sharply with a number of remaining vestiges such as the Simpson House (featured in Philip Simpson's accompanying YouTube video, Architecture and Construction of the Central Passage-style House).

Additionally, Nancy Marshall offers a fascinating look at Cecil Township's Tomahawk Claim, a historic log house her grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. John (Jack) Sherman Campbell, he the founder and president of Pittsburgh-based Keystone Adjustment Company, had acquired in 1928.  At that time, they restored the abandoned and deteriorating building.  In 1952, ownership of the property was transferred to Ms. Marshall's parents, Dr. and Mrs. James Covode Campbell.  Ms. Marshall, who inherited the property in the mid-1990s, recounts the day in 1964 when a vehicle with California license plates pulled into her family's driveway.  A woman emerged from the car in tears and announced that her grandfather had been born on the Tomahawk Claim.  The lady's father, Daniel Hastings, had traced his family's roots to Cecil Township and had drawn a map for his daughter and her husband and son to find the log structure that "he considered the family homestead."  The woman's father, Charles Hastings Sr., subsequently sent a letter and history of the area, including previously unknown information about the log house's history, to Dr. Campbell.  That information was critical to earning the home a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.



Company Stores

Mining villages were anchored by a company store.  Three of these structures are standing today.  The company store in Muse now houses offices.  Gilmore's former company store has been converted into a private residence.  And the company store in Hendersonville is now a retail establishment.

Cemeteries

A number of important cemeteries offer history buffs and amateur genealogists ample opportunity to explore the past, and intriguing starting points can be found at Miller's Run Presbyterian Church and the property formerly known as Morganza at Southpointe.

Other Important Structures

Since its founding, a variety of buildings have been constructed in Cecil Township, and some of these still stand today, including the original Lockup.


Upper End, Cecil, 1902
(Does anyone know where the "upper end" was in 1902?)

(Photograph provided by Mrs. Edward Sienicki, Bridgeville, Pennsylvania)

Plank Road, Cecil, 1902
(Present-day Route 50, Believed to be the corner of North DePaoli Road)

(Photograph provided by Mrs. Edward Sienicki, Bridgeville, Pennsylvania)

First National Bank of Cecil, Pennsylvania

(Photograph provided by Mrs. Edward Sienicki, Bridgeville, Pennsylvania)

Belgium Hill, Cecil
(Showing Site of Former French Club on Mawhinney Road)

(Photograph provided by Mrs. Edward Sienicki, Bridgeville, Pennsylvania)


Honor Roll, Cecil District
We had originally inquired about the location of this.  We wondered if it might be from World War I or World War II, and we were curious to know if the railroad bridge in the background is the site of the present-day Montour Trail.  According to Linda Leasure in a May 9, 2016 e-mail to www.CecilTwpHistoricalSociety.org, "The 'Honor Roll' was located at the intersection of Route 50 and Reissing Road where the Cecil Alliance sign now stands."

(Photograph provided by Mrs. Edward Sienicki, Bridgeville, Pennsylvania)
Cecil Township Historical Society, Inc.
P. O. Box 48
Cecil, Pennsylvania  15321
or Contact us here.


Officers:

Elizabeth Cowden, President                                
John Yago, Vice President                          
Debbie Augustine, Secretary - Treasurer                                                    



Copyright 2013 - 2019  Cecil Township Historical Society, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.

The Cecil Township Historical Society, Inc. is a nonprofit organization with IRS 501(c)(3) status.  Our mission is to document, collect, preserve and display the history of our municipality.  We urge you to become involved in the Society.  If you have Cecil Township-related pictures, post cards, ephemera or relics you are willing to donate or loan for duplication, please let us know.  We would love to hear from you!