Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Berlin in Somerset County

Driving into Somerset County was an experience in itself. The county is a matrix of rolling hills and lots of farmland. There are many Amish families with deep roots in these communities and the county has history dating back to pre-revolutionary times. The abundance of covered bridges is a huge bonus. The small towns were filled with old buildings and some cool history.
Main Street

One of the towns I got to visit was Berlin located along route 219 about 9 miles southeast of Somerset. It's population is over 2,000 people. I met some interesting people here and they showed me some of the history.
Main Street
Christian Evel Log House built in 1789

In the late 1700's the site of Berlin was primarly wooded and most of the valley contained glades of natural wild grass. The first settlers chose this particular area because of the multiple springs throughout. The first settlers were mostly from Berlin, Germany and came to Baltimore after sailing from Europe. However, it is unknown when they actually arrived in the area. Most of this land was owned by farmers. The borough was settled in 1784. In 1796 twenty-five acres was purchased from Joseph Johns for an addition of Berlin, another purchase in 1888 was a section called Vietersburg and later East Liberty.
Pious Spring in the center of town

Heritage Haus Museum

The town also has ties to the Whiskey Rebellion. The Whiskey Rebellion took place during George Washington's presidency and was supposed to help fund the war debt but many of the citizens in the area did not agree with this and started a protest against the new tax. During the rebellion a riot happened at the Berlin Schoolhouse then Robert Philson, who also opposed the tax, took matters into his own hands by raising a liberty pole out front of his store. Troops came in to calm matters and the rebellion was done.
Map of Berlin
Google Earth

Today, Berlin has a celebration each fall for the Whiskey Rebellion.

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