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Branch No. 25 of the Alliance of Transylvania Saxons, also known as the Eintracht Singing Society or the Saxon Club, was organized in New Castle in 1894. The club was a fraternal organization celebrating Saxon and German culture and was known for its skilled singing groups. In early 1921 the took over the Germania Hall at #108 Taylor Street, built by the defunct Germania Society back in 1899. The Eintracht Club also opened a summer picnic area along the Neshannock Creek just northeast of New Castle. This photo depicts club members, all employees of the Johnson Bronze Company, enjoying a “stag party.” The club is still in operation today. (Aug 1950) Full Size
Jeff Bishop #
The Eintracht Club also opened a summer picnic area along the Neshannock Creek near Volant.
This is incorrect. The picnic grounds are located along Neshannock Creek at the end of McKee Fording Road (off of Graceland Road) in Neshannock Township. It is across from the southern access to the PA Fish Commission (Neshannock Twp)on the Neshannock Creek.
Jeff Bales (EDITOR) #
(EDITOR’S NOTE) Jeff Bishop, Thanks for the information about the location of the picnic area. I will update the caption. Jeff
Lee Winter #
The Club is still going well! We are still singing under the direction of Dan Forsberg! Always looking for more singers, so if any of you men who are looking at this site, and would like to join this group, come on down on a Tuesday evening at 7:15 and see if we can entice you to join us. We are the only Mannerchor still functioning in the Western Pa Eastern Ohio area!
J Jessel #
The Google Maps satellite view of the Eintracht Picnic Grounds along Neshannock Creek (2017) shows some sites familiar to me from my trips there (about 1959-1970).
First, McKee Fording Road’s “T” intersection near the river is still apparent. A right turn leads to the Eintracht grounds; a left led to the Peluso Camp. I recall a building being on the Peluso grounds, but nothing now shows on the satellite view.
A building also seems to have disappeared from the Eintracht grounds. I don’t see the building that housed the mens and the womens changing rooms. They were necessities for modesty while getting into or out of swimsuits. Each spring, the Eintracht had a bulldozer push boulders across the Neshannock’s width, tall enough to slow the creek flow and thereby create a swimming hole. Each winter, ice would push the dam away, but the dozer driver would make the pile anew each spring.
For several years the swimming hole featured a “Tarzan rope” dangling from a tree limb on the “far” side of the river (along the Pennsylvania Railroad track running between NC and Volant). Climbing the steep embankment to grab the the rope required bravery enough, but actually swinging out from the bank separated boys from men and girls from women. I know my eyes were closed on my first swing out.
The island visible on the satellite view was there in the 60s, and walking toward it was not necessarily a pleasant experience. Mud, sand, sticks, sodden leaves and more created muck that oozed between and over the toes. But exploring the island was fun and worth the muck.
The picnic grounds offered more than swimming—a metal merry-go-round, see-saws, swingsets and horseshoe pits stick in my memory.
A dance floor occupied most of the main building (the big one in the satellite shot), and a bar/ snack bar took up the remaining space on the upstream portion. Bottles of Paul’s soda—orange, grape, cherry—more—could be had for 10 cents. A bag of corn puffs or Wise potato chips—add another dime. Two items + change back from a quarter.
One last memory: as a railroad fan, I derived one more benefit from a visit to the Neshannock. The tracks hugging far shore’s cliff would occasionally carry trains. These were the tracks that crossed East Washington Street at the old passenger station, then angled across Croton Avenue at the base of the hill. The roadbed is likely still visible as it heads toward the Eintracht.
Jeff Bishop #
We used to play along the creek as kids. Would explore the “German Club” and the “Peluso Camp” and all the area around it. A good friend of mine lived just up over the hill on the Neshannock side. There was always a lot of activity down there during the summer.
In the old days, long before my time, the road used to ford the creek and run up through the valley on the opposite side to Moffat road. The road bed is still visible today, and there is an ATV path that goes up there, but it’s now marked as private property.
The dam at the Peluso camp, the neighboring property along the creek would back the creek up for a considerable distance where the water would be smooth as glass.
The train quit running in 1972. I’ve many memories of wandering through there as a kid.
Gayle Taylor Gibson #
Oh, I remember a lot of good times at the picnic grounds. My father, Herman Taylor, use to clean the creek out with his shovel. I lived in Granville, Ohio