Was taken from Sugarloaf August 8, 1848, and gets its name from the creek that runs through it, which enters on the east south line, flows west to Gowen and then turns north and falls into Nescopeck creek, near the north line of the township at a point where is a hotel and Shellhammer's residence. Across the range near the south line is Tomhicken creek that passes into Schuylkill county southeast of Gowen. The Nescopeck runs across the northeast corner of the township. As stated this was all of a part of Sugarloaf township down to 1848. By examining the list of early setters of Sugarloaf will be found the names of all the early settlers of Black creek.

East and West Buck mountains are divided by Black creek that cuts its way from the south to the north. The Buck mountains are rich, in coal bearing. These lands are a part of the Tench Coxe purchase in 1795. The Danville, Hazleton & Wilkes-Barre, railroad taps the collieries of Black creek and the Coxe road, the Delaware, Schuylkill & Susquehanna, also is now running regular trains, to this place.

Barney Huntsinger came here as a surveyor in 1806, and for his services took land that in time became the Christian Benninger place. D. And J. Huntsinger lands are west of Old Falls run, now Rock Glen station. The Benninger farm is a short distance east of Mountain grove.

The Huntsingers, Rittenhouses, Shellhammers, Shorts and Smoyers were of the pioneer settlers. Martin Rittenhouse and William Rittenhouse came in 1810, built the first saw and gristmill. It is near the center of the township, where the east and west wagon road crosses Black creek. A small hamlet grew up here, and a store and near it a tannery. Another sawmill was a short distance north of Rittenhouse. When the township was formed nearly all the settlers lived

along the east and west wagon road. The three schoolhouses were on this road. The only other one being the Shellhammer schoolhouse in the northeastern portion of the township. The first schoolhouse was Rittenhouse's old log cabin residence; he had built a frame soon after the sawmill was started; the first teacher was a man named Tripp. David Shellhammer and Stephen Turnbach both built brick houses in 1850. The first postoffice was kept by Rittenhouse in 1856--mails once a week arrived from Conyngham, and Joseph Rittenhouse was the first mail carrier.

The postoffice was removed to Rock Glen station in 1872. This place was called Falls Run city until a postoffice was established, when it was changed to Rock Glen.

Huntsinger in 1820 built a distillery on the Benninger farm. It was run successfully, but, like country carding mills, had its time and fell into "innocuous desuetude." John Barnes was an important early settler--because he was a blacksmith. His place and shop were east of the Rittenhouse mill, on the wagon road. The place became J. I. Pegg's. Daniel Stiles opened the first store. This was quite a little settlement, on the road some two miles east of the Rittenhouse mill. Another store was north of the Nescopeck, near D. Shellhammer's place. Here also was a church and schoolhouse, and southeast of this was a sawmill.

There was but a slow growth to the township during these early years; the farmers were clearing up their places, and the sawmills and lumbermen were busy cutting the forests of pine and hemlock. At the Rittenhouse hamlet was the first tavern, by George Klinger. The place became the property of the heirs of Michael Smith. The first death in the township occurred in 1818—Mrs John Kittner, daughter of Huntsinger.

Mountain Grove (formerly Wolfton) is an important station just on the west line of the township. Here are the noted campmeeting grounds, a railroad station, postoffice, a few dwellings and the permanent "camps" of the people who flock there in the hot summer. It is a notable religious resort, and is under the German Reformed church.

Fern Glen is a railroad station. Here the Coxes have their elegant summer-resort residence. This is known as Deringer, which is a station on the railroad. The principal population of the township are at the mining places.

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This Town History was donated by Marge Gray.

© 1997-2011 by Mary Ann Lubinsky for the PAGenWeb Project, and by Individual Contributors

 Mary Ann Lubinsky
County Coordinator

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