About Me

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Take the Yellow Car to Indian Rocks

Images of America: Rock Springs Park, page 9, mentions the advertisement (left) featured in Roy C. Cashdollar’s The History of Chester: Gateway to the West. It proclaims that readers should “TAKE THE YELLOW CAR” for a 15-minute trip to Smith’s Ferry, PA, and the site of Native American stone carvings along the banks of the Beaver River. Smith’s Ferry lies just east of the Ohio border near the point where the three states of Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania meet.

The urgency in C.A. Smith’s advertisement was prompted by the soon-to-be completed Stratton Dam at New Cumberland, WV, which resulted in burying the ancient petroglyphs under ten feet of water.

Before Dam #8 was erected, the Ohio River was known to dry up at Smiths Ferry. During the dry summer season people traveled by horse and buggy, crossing over the river bed to view the ancient Indian relics. In the 1960s, a drought would allow visitors to view the petroglyphs once more below several inches of water.
(Julia Peck, Milestones Vol 22 No 2, Summer 1997)

The Yellow Car line is the one which served Smith’s Ferry. It started in Beaver, PA, and ran to Steubenville and was called the “Yellow Car Line” for the color painted on the eight street cars that served the route.

“Not far from the park, at the northernmost bend of the Ohio River, a great treaty was made between six powerful Indian nations. This council met at a large flat rock on the beach confirming their peace agreement by carving tribal symbols on the rock face.” Joseph A. Comm, Images of America Rock Springs Park, p. 9

Yellow Car from the Steubenville, East Liverpool & Beaver Valley Traction Co., Kuhlman Car built, 1915. (Caption data from Cliff Scholes, image from the Bill Volkmer collection.)

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