|About the Book|
PRELUDE Long Description] Beyond the endless chain of the Appalachian Mountains the initial settlement of Moon Township began in the spring of 1773. Who were these pioneers? Where did they come from and what possessed them to leave the security of their homes to settle in a dangerous wilderness? The settlement pattern in Moon Township, often complicated by a three-stage process, was composed of not only permanent settlers but also squatters who occupied land grants that were owned by land speculators. To add to the confusion, the colonies of Pennsylvania and Virginia both claimed ownership of the Ohio Valley and each colony had its own land office and their laws conflicted. During the frontier period the political overtones of the Pennsylvania / Virginia boundary dispute weighed heavily on the pioneer settler regarding the authenticity of his land title as legal jurisdiction vacillated between the colonies. This controversy was of grave concern as the frontier farm was the familys sole asset and was essential for their survival in a wilderness engulfed by poverty, hunger, disease and even death. The overwhelming demands of daily life left no time for formal education or social contact, thus most of the first-born were illiterate and loneliness prevailed on the frontier. By the post frontier period the Revolution had been concluded and the nation turned its attention toward the Articles of Confederation and its failures. After many months of debating the great theories of government and practical politics the Continental Congress drafted the American Constitution. With new structure and theoretical concepts of government never before tested the decade of the 1790s became the mostperilous in American history and many feared that the new republic might not survive. The dawn of the nineteenth century brought new hope in the form of the Industrial Revolution. As the family farm developed and prospered, large processing facilities such as the gristmill, sawmill and fulling mill were necessary in order to process the increased production. With an expanding economy the farmers realized that their children could not compete without a basic education and so, along with a new church and blacksmith shop, a subscription school was built in the tiny village of Sharon. The village became a social gathering place and a respite from the demands of daily life. By mid-century the rumblings of economic and social inequality were being felt. A decade later it erupted in Civil War. The post war period was one of transition in the township as people attempted to improve their economic circumstance utilizing new agricultural knowledge to increase production on the farm and new third generation homes to enhance their social status. The enormous growth and development of industry during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries produced a period of great affluence. The new rich now found the confines of Moon Townships conservative farm community an ideal place in which to live and raise their families. Purchasing large farms they proceeded to create numerous grand estates in an area that became known as the Heights. Unfortunately, the excesses of the 1920s gave way to the great depression and a decade of pain and hardship only to be followed by the Second World War. The post war era was dominated by social demographics as the population shifted away from the city to thesuburbs and Moon Township found itself evolving into an upscale bedroom community.