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Taking a look back at Carnegie in September 1782

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By Tom Hoag
Wednesday, March 6, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

Tom Hoag wrote the following in conjunction with the Historical Society of Carnegie, Then and Now. This week is a look back to Carnegie in September 1782.

As a band of marauding Indians passed through the valley of the Robinson Run a few miles west of the present-day Carnegie, it paid a surprise visit to the family of Gabriel Walker with disastrous results.

From their hiding places in the brush surrounding the family's garden, warriors emerged to snatch five Walker children as they picked vegetables. Once they captured the children, the Indians attacked the cabin, burning it to the ground.

Gabriel, his wife, and their two youngest children escaped into the forest.

The Indians followed Robinson Run downstream to Ewing's Fort, standing in the area now known as Ft. Pitt. There, in the darkness, they killed the two youngest children who were unable to keep up with the rest of the fleeing band.

The kidnappers then raced northeastward to the confluence of Robinson Run and Chartiers Creek. Following the path of the larger stream, they sneaked through the sleeping village known as Chartiers and proceeded eastward through the forest to the Ohio River.

In canoes that had been hidden along the banks of the river, the Indians attempted an early morning crossing. Pursuing settlers fired upon the crafts in mid-stream, killing one of the Indians and wounding another before the band reached the safety of the forested shore and headed northward.

The warriors delivered the children into the hands of the British army garrisoned at Detroit. In June, 1784, nine months after the American Revolution ended, the British returned the young hostages to their family to live once again on their homestead along the Robinson Run.

The Walker-Ewing cabin, rebuilt c. 1795, can be viewed where it stands adjacent to Noblestown Road midway between Rennerdale and Oakdale. Tours of the property are occasionally available. For further information, contact the Historical Society of Carnegie.

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