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Rostraver Township

Rostraver Township municipal offices are located at 201 Port Royal Rd, Belle Vernon, PA 15012; phone: 724-929-8877.

The township is home to Cedar Creek Park, located along the Youghiogheny River.

Description of the Region [1]

Rostraver Township was first occupied by the white man during the French and Indian War (1754-1763). The region was originally a great wooded area covered with the finest of our native forest trees, such-as giant oaks, beeches, walnuts, maples, and elms, with enough evergreens to give beauty to the landscape in winter. To the early settlers the forests were a liability, and vast quantities of the finest hardwood trees were cut down, rolled into heaps, and burned to make way for cleared fields. One pioneer described the process of clearing the land by stating that during the winter season the men and boys cut all the trees of a fair sized area, felling them into a jumbled heap. They were let lie to be dried in the sun and wind until conditions were right, and then fires were started all around the tract. The resulting fire would burn for many days, and the red glow of it could be seen for miles at night.

More often, however, the first method of clearing the land was to girdle the trees, thus killing them where they stood. Corn, pumpkins, beans, etc., were planted among the dead trees and yielded abundantly in the rich forest soil. As time permitted the dead trees were cut and burned. This region is rolling, and as each settler's tract was cleared in part, but retained also a great deal of forest, it must have been a most picturesque pioneer district which grew into the beautiful and prosperous agricultural community of some seventy-five years ago with its beautiful streams, large farms, and substantial stone, brick, and frame houses or remodeled log ones, some of which are still in existence today.

With the loss of the forests – by far too many of them – and the industrial development of the region a good deal of the natural beauty has been sacrificed. Fortunately today pride in their homes and community has caused the people of the township to compensate somewhat for the loss of such natural beauties by helping nature to make their surroundings attractive with well kept farms, homes, and gardens. The network of improved roads, too, has been attracting new settlers to the township from the surrounding towns who also take pride in their homes and gardens. New visitors to the township are most agreeably surprised, so soon after turning away from the Monongahela River with the noisy mills which line its banks, to find themselves in a quiet, serene country district with dairy or beef cattle grazing on the hills, colorful strip farming, well kept orchards, and from its higher spots most beautiful views to delight their eyes.

Beginnings [2]

When Westmoreland County was organized on April 5, 1773, Rostraver became one of its original Townships. The size of the township was decreased to its present 36 square miles when Fayette and Allegheny counties were formed. Many of the early settlers have descendants still living in or around Rostraver. Among these are the descendants of Matthew Beazell, who laid out the plans for Webster in 1833, and Benjamin Fell, for whom Fellsburg was named. It was Joseph Budd Sr. who donated the land for the Salem Baptist Church and, along with Nathaniel Hayden, David Davis and others, assisted in organizing the church in 1792.

  1. Piersoll, Mary E.; Winchell, Bess Dailey; Carter, Ernest Frank, Early Days in Rostraver: An Informal History of Rostraver Township, Westmoreland County, PA, 1949, Old Concord Restoration Committee, TImes-Sun, West Newton
  2. Township of Rostraver, Westmoreland County,, accessed October 2006
**Information is curated from a variety of sources and, while deemed reliable, is not guaranteed.
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