Darlington Township Historical Landmark
Greersburg Academy was an institution
established by Reverend Thomas Hughes in
Darlington, Pennsylvania, United States in 1802.
The academy was created as a "prep" school for
college. Classes included languages, philosophy,
and astronomy. The stone structure was built
around 1806 making it one of the oldest buildings
still standing in Beaver County. Though it wasn't
originally intended to be used for anything else
but school, the structure did function as a railway
station for a time. It served several railroads
between 1883 and 1972. There were railroad
stations built in other countries solely for trains,
and some of these stations date back to the 1830's like the Liverpool Road railway station in Manchester, England. However, the academy building was built in 1806, which possibly makes it the oldest structure in the world to have ever been used as a station. The Little Beaver Historical Society currently maintains the structure.
John Brown - Famous abolitionist
Walter Forward - 15th Secretary of the Treasury 1841-1843
John White Geary - An American Civil War general who served in theUnion Army and first mayor of San Francisco
Daniel Leasure - Union Army Colonel during the American Civil War and later trustee of the academy
William Holmes McGuffey - American professor and creator of Mcguffey Readers
For such a small community, Darlington Borough has a fantastic historical legacy. But just how did the name "Darlington" get applied to a town once known famously as "Greersburg"?
The first settlers to arrive near Darlington were farmers, such as Robert McMinn and his wife, who crossed the Ohio River at Beaver in 1794 and headed north. Over the next few years, more settlers arrived and began to build cabins. Some of those families were the Martins, Sproats, Dilworths and Boyds. The small village they formed was decidedly Scotch-Irish, and quickly the need arose for a church. This need was filled in 1798, when the Rev. Thomas Hughes came to the village and founded Mount Pleasant Presbyterian Church.
In 1804, the town was laid out by Gen. Abner Lacock, one of the most important figures in all of Beaver County history. The land for the new town was owned by Thomas Sproat, William Martin and George Greer. These three men determined the name of the town through the tried-and-true method of drawing straws. Greer won, and henceforth — or at least for a few decades — the town was to be known as Greersburg.
Because of the poor penmanship of that era, Greersburg often looked like Greensburg on paper. Mail for Greensburg and Greersburg constantly ended up in the wrong town, causing problems for businesses and residents alike.
In 1830, local shop owner David Gilliland encountered a problem because of this mix-up. Doing business with a Pittsburgh merchant named Samuel Darlington, Gilliland accused Darlington of not mailing invoices for his purchases. Once they finally sorted out the reason for the error, Darlington suggested the town change its name. In fact, he not only suggested the change, but also graciously offered his own surname. The people of Greersburg seemed to like the new moniker, and, just like that, Greersburg became Darlington.
Had Thomas Sprout or William Martin drawn the short straw in 1804, the name mix-up would have never happened. Beaver County may have had a Sproutville or Martinsburg to this day. Instead, we have a Darlington Township and a Darlington Borough, both of which can thank the confusion of the early U.S. Postal Service for the names that they carry. (Jeffrey Snedden, Historian & Writer)
GRAHAM BROTHERS Ford tractor dealership.. Building later became Darlington Fire department.
Graham Brothers wagon store Darlington PA
Darlington brick 1920's gas fired kilns.
Darlington Fire department.
Hartshorn school Cannelton 1903
Greersburg Station 1920 the men are Bob Cook William Benson and Doctor W.S. Cook This view is the back of Greersburg Academy the bump out to the left of the picture was the ticket office. When the historical society took over the Academy from the railroad they tore that bump out off and restored it to what it looked like when the building was built.
Oakdale School Cannelton
Downtown Darlington 1921 check out that pot hole.
Beaver County miners Darlington Brick and Clay company
1950 blizzard corner of Old Darlington Road and Wallace Run Road, where Jack's Independent Service is now located.
This is a local road in Darlington in the 1920's
C.W. PEFFER in front of his store Darlington
Watts mill and bridge, hopefully the bridge will be put back before the end of the year 2020
Darlington Joint school building.
Downtown Darlington 4th of July 1920's
Darlington Hotel Darlington PA this hotel sat at the corner lot where Classic Express gas station and car wash are currently located
Darlington Hotel, sat at the corner of 2nd and Market streets in Darlington
Front porch of the Darlington Hotel 1903. The Darlington hotel was a very fancy establishment for its time . It had a small movie theater , a garage for 20 cars, a 5000 gallon water tank that supplied running water to the rooms, Ice house, bar,restaurant , and laundry all on site . It sat at 702 Market Street where the current Classic express gas station sits. It burnt down in 1925.
"Downtown" Darlington, around 1900.
Milestones Vol 11 No 3--Summer 1986
When a fire swept the Hotel Darlington, October7, 1925, and razed the well known hostelry to the ground, it was the third time in over one hundred years the historic stopping place had burned. Each time it was rebuilt.
The earliest recollection is of the time when people from far and near knew the place as the Egler Place. Witchcraft was practiced at this time and interesting stories of superstition center about some of the familiar characters of the Inn. Darlington was at that time one of the foremost settlements in Western Pennsylvania, and its stores and trading places were the best to be found for miles around. The Egler Place was therefore made a stopping point of the stage coach on its journey from Ohio eastward. It was, before the fire, a mighty contrast between the original house and its early coach patrons, and those patrons that visited the Darlington Hotel in motor buses of the present day.
After the death of Mr. Egler, Jake Marks, his son-in-law, conducted the Inn for some years and then sold it to Freed Arling. It was under the ownership of Mr. Arling that the corner was burned for the second time, and nothing was left of the building. The lot was then sold to Jack Stroick, who, in 1894 erected the front or the frame part of the hotel and about 5 years later a Mr. Boyd from McKeesport took over the building and erected the rear brick portion. A sad feature is that neither Mr. Stroick or Mr. Boyd lived to see the completion of the work they had planned. Mrs. Boyd conducted the hotel for several years, and then sold it to Mr. Merkle of New Castle. Soon after this, the management again changed hands and a Mr. E.W. Cole from Negley, Ohio, formerly of Carnegie became the owner and proprietor. It was at this time that the hotel gained its widest reputation. Throughout nearby states and among travelers from practically all states of the Union, the Cole House enjoyed the reputation of being the best stopping place to be found in Western Pennsylvania. Private parties from Ohio and Pennsylvania points were numerous and frequent. During World War 1, the Red Cross had their headquarters here and huge truck trains made the Cole House their stopping place and were fed by the Red Cross.
After about 19 years of ever-increasing popularity and patronage this historic place again experienced a change of ownership. In 1918 Mr. Cole died and Mrs. Cole found the stress of business too heavy and sold to Joseph Cashbaugh about 1922. Mr. Cashbaugh ran the hotel catering to both transient and permanent guests until the fire of 1925. The Hotel was not rebuilt but a lot of memories remain of that corner in Darlington, that served the people over 100 years.
Researched by Vivian McLaughlin, director.
Research Center, Carnegie Free Library, Beaver Falls, Pa.
A 1914 postcard view of Darlington.
The Civil War memorial in Darlington stands to this day. If the photographer had turned around and took another photo, he would have caught the Greersburg Academy building. Circa 1910.
A look at the town of Darlington just before the turn of the century.
Very early photo showing the square in Darlington showing the old Shot Tower building the Civil War memorial and Greersburg Academy being used as a RR Station with box cars in front of it. This photo is from the Ira Mansfield photo collection.
Vintage photo of the Home movie theater in Darlington . Theater sat in the lot across the street from the current post office . Showed silent movies. We have the original piano played during those movies in Greersburg academy. Come see it and many other artifacts on your visit during Darlington Days.
W.G. Dillan well drilling Darlington. 1920's
Darlington 4th of July 1914
Americans have always loved to travel. Back before super highways, rest stops, and the Holiday Inn Express, these little roadside cottages could be found just about anywhere. Travelers found simple amenities here...a comfortable, dry place to lay their head before heading back out on the road in the morning.
This is a Vintage Aerial Photograph (circa 1967) of a little cluster of cottages on an old section of Route 51/ Constitution Blvd. in Darlington Twp., located presently between Harry's Place and Grim's Trailer Sales. This lonely little cottage in the second photo is the only one left to tell the story of simpler times, when life went at a slower pace.
Darlington Lake Park
This isn't the lake that is there now, Darlington Lake was originally a dammed section of the Little Beaver. The current lake was built in the early 1960's.
Some photos of Darlington Lake Park shared with LBHS by Jane Estermyer Hybarger her great grandparents developed Darlington Lake park.
Another early postcard Darlington Lake Park
Darlington Lake when the lake was just the dammed up Little Beaver Creek
1939 Darlington Lake
A quick flash back to Darlington Lake in the 70’s that thousands went to swim, that had high and low sliding boards, high and low diving boards and a diving￼ raft that you had to swim out to! It had a sand beach or grass area and the best french fries. Music blasting from speakers, sometimes in the 70’s & 80’s they had Beach Parties with live bands in the evenings with night swimming up to the 90’s and throughout the many past years!
Darlington Lake, May 1977, From BCHRLF archives