History of Danville Main Page
This page is maintained by Terri Cook as part of the USGenWeb Project.
©2001. Terri Cook. All rights reserved.

Danville Past and Present
Danville, Montour County, Pennsylvania
A Collection of
Historical And Biographical Sketches,
By: D. H. B. Brower
Harrisburg, PA.:
Lane S. Hart, Printer and Binder
1881

The Old Block House

     The spirit of improvement has rudely laid its relentless hands on
the time-honored memorials of auld lang syne.  One by one the old,
familiar objects that were wont to greet our eyes, are passing away.
Among these cherished objects, is the old block-house.  There in
days gone by, the cheerful pop of ginger beer, enlivened the scene
in the sultry summer time.  Then how imposing the edifice stood
when May became a squire and it became a temple of justice.  The
elements battered and the floods rolled into its cellar in vain.  How
the weather-beaten structure seemed to loom up among the loftier
buildings reared around it, and how proudly it wore its chimney
crown as the "Rangers" and the "Buglers" gathered beneath its
ancient shingles when "court was called and the squire showed them
that the "way of transgressors" is jailward.  There too they con-
centrated their forces in the long winter evenings to while away the
passing hours, as he of the ermine regulated the fitful motion of some
quaint or crazy, old clock; or stewed the bivalves on that curious
little stove.  And when the trying time arrived to choose town
officers, how they probed the character and weighed the chances of
each sovereign who name was presented for office.  Finally when
the ticket was agreed upon, then they passed that has around for con-
 tributions to meet the expense of printing.  On one occasion the
hat had an unfortunate hole in the crown; but the statesman was
equal to the occasion.  With solemn men he held his open hand
under the place where the hole was, and deftly caught the pennies
as they sifted through.  The next thing in order was to raise a unani-
mous boom for the candidates chosen and as a rule they were suc-
cessful.

     Venerable old building!  you came down to us from a former
generation. Where now will the Rangers congregate?  I almost
imagine I see them mournfully turning away, each with a chip as a
memorial; for lo!  the jack-screw was applied and the time of de-
parture came.  Farewell old block-house.  The judge and the court
may pass away, but a new legend shall be woven to charm a future
coterie, when you have gone to kindling wood.  In the palmy days
of its glory the village statesmen assembled there and often displayed
more solid sense than Congress or the cabinet.  But it departed.  It
does not lie in ruins like Baalbec, Palmyra, or Pompeii; but it  went
away bodily by force of jack-screws and rollers, and left not a chip be-
hind.  Even the kindly host, who once amid the cheerful voices  and
sage discussions of the aforesaid village statemen dealt out to them
the steaming oysters and the popping, foaming small beer, he to with
solemn mien took a bottle in one hand and a stew-pan in the other,
and followed the venerable structure as it slowly rolled up Mulberry
street.

This page is maintained by Terri Cook as part of the USGenWeb Project.
©2001. Terri Cook. All rights reserved.