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Noah Briggs
Works at Briggs Brothers Detective Agency
Attended Evansburgh School
Lives in Conneaut Lake, PA
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Noah Briggs

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Noah Briggs

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More early park history photos
 
A front shot of the Bath House newly enlarged in 1905 with an observation deck and 125 changing rooms. It was torn down in 1935 to make way for the current Beach Club. "Come on in. The Water's fine."

#conneautlakepark   #amuesementparks   #pennsylvaniahistory   #meadville   #historyphotos  
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Noah Briggs

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Where I and my brothers grew up as a young boy in the 1900's...
 
The following is a short piece of fiction based on actual events in the founding of Evansburg (now the town of Conneaut Lake, PA) which shared the shores of the lake with Exposition Park. Dates, names, places, and events are real and recorded. It is not known whether Abner Evans was such a crank. Hope you enjoy 
 
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Abner Evans never intended to have a town named after him or even for a town to spring up through the plot of land along the Western Pennsylvania frontier he settled on in 1793. All the blacksmith wanted was a quiet homestead near the south shores of a lake the thieving Seneca’s called Kon-Ne-Ot, the “snow waters.”
 
Abner cared little about the lake’s name just as he would have cared little about the glaciers that formed its deep abscesses or about the woolly mammoths that died at its edge centuries before. All Abner wanted was quiet—quiet except for the rhythmic ringing of pounding hot metal with his heavy mallet. And maybe the grinding of wheat and corn against miller’s stone.
 
     However, when Abner built his grist mill in 1795, twenty more appeared nearby within a year. It didn’t help that his mill failed because the Kon-Ne-Ot Outlet lacked sufficient movement in the falls to power the mill except in late spring when the snow waters of the lake melted.
 
“Bah,” Abner said as he pounded iron into faulty horseshoes with hopes they would break the legs of his neighbors’ horses. “Bah,” he said when the townsfolk named the young town Evansburg in 1796 to appease his fowl mood and in the hopes their horses would stop going lame. “Bah,” Abner said, throwing a crooked iron shoe to the ground when the first stagecoach galloped through his town in 1820. And he said, “Bah” when the Beaver and Erie Canal furrowed through his property in 1834 to connect to Kon-Ne-Ot, thus raising the lake ten feet and flooding his lower lying fields.   
 
     About the only thing Abner Evans ever did for his town was to donate a precious piece of land for the erecting of a church. Being a man of great faith and temperance, the one thing Abner detested more than his growing number of neighbors was strong drink. He already had bushels of the former, but now the latter was just as prevalent thanks to the those living on the north side of the lake in the budding town of Harmonsburg which Abner grumbled was nothing more than a lone farm surrounded by taverns.
 
     Worse yet, not wanting to be outrivaled by “those ignorant drunkards” from across the lake, the people of Evansburg opened their own taverns. “Bah,” Abner said, every time a new tavern opened in his town. However, when Mrs. Rosanna Mushrush arrived with her with her twin daughters, Lonely and Desolate, to become what the County Clerk noted as a vendor of native liquors and a proprietor of a “primitive house of entertainment” in a log cabin near the lake. Abner “Bah’ed” louder and threw more faulty horseshoes than anyone could count.
 
     Abner knew he couldn’t stop his town from growing, but he would not allow it to become a haven for iniquity. And so in 1815 and with the help of an energetic young farmer named John McClure, Abner’s brawny arms hewed out the log walls and pulpit of the Church of the Seceders (Presbyterians) not coincidentally along the same banks of the Ko-Ne-Ot where ancient beasts had died, where Indians had scalped the first pioneers, and where Mrs. Mushrush ran her primitive house of entertainment.
 
     Abner and the small, faithful congregation of Seceders could not, however, hold back the tide of thirsty travelers who came to fish muskellunge from the cool waters of the lake and hunt game from among the rolling hills covered with oaks and chestnut and beech and maple and pine.
 
     “Bah,” Abner said passing the crude taverns in his town as he walked home from the Church of Seceders each Sunday. All was for not, for in addition to the taverns, many of the area’s resident built their own stills to manufacture liquors which the County Clerk noted to be “comparatively harmless and positively pure.”
 
Soon “bah” was the only word the townspeople heard coming from Abner’s mouth.
 
“Good crop weather we’re havin’ this season.” Willis Benedict would comment to Abner as he bought supplies in Willis’s store.
 
“Bah!”
 
“See you in church for Sunday, Brother Abner?” Annie Miller would ask passing him along Main Street.
 
“Bah!”
 
Bah to this, and bah to that. Soon the residents in Abner’s town stopped talking to the cranky blacksmith.
 
But in 1841 Abner stopped his bah-ing. Something happened. Something miraculous. The people of Evansburg started dying. A mysterious disease, malaria in fact, rose up from the rotting vegetation along the banks of the Beaver and Erie Canal. The Meadville Gazette reported that, “deplorable scenes have been presented where whole families have been stricken down at once!” The County Clerk noted that Evansburg had thinned to a near deserted village.
 
“Ah,” Abner said with a tone of vindication as he strolled down the quiet streets of his near empty town.
 
And not long after Abner Evens died.              
 
 
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The material above is copy righted and may not be used for publication; however, it is approved for sharing. Thank you.

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Noah Briggs

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An early picture of growing midway along Park Ave facing east from the vantage point of the original bowling alley. In the photo from left to right are the Exposition Fruit House?, the Exposition Graphophone Parlor, the Rocky Mountain Museum, an unidentified building, and the Boat Landing (near the lake's edge).
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You will like this curious story about Wolf Island, Phil Miller and a certain American writer. The follow excerpt comes from the Oct 1909 edition of Forest and Stream. Mark Twain's visit took place in 1879 and went by the name Mr, Turner  #marktwain  

"Wolf Island--This island by the way reduced to a peninsula by the lowering of the lake at the time the Lake Erie and Pittsburgh canal was abandoned has had quite as much of romance as of beauty connected with it since the records of white man were commenced. Years ago an eccentric genius Phil Miller lived an isolated life on its shores, his library the wonder of the inhabitants, his mode of life equally surprising.

Once a friend whom he had known in the old days on the Mississippi spent a week there and accompanied him to the evening debating society in the village of Harmonsburg and as they were short on regular debaters he joined the force greatly to the amusement of all present. It did not leak out until sometime after the strange guest had departed that he was Mark Twain who chose to remain unknown while here.

Now that it has become Pittsburgh's breathing place as well as a popular resort for many hundreds from the surrounding country Clemens would scarcely find his little ruse practicable. And the little tract which was for so many years the home of his host is now the subject of a most interesting litigation all because it was not considered worth including in the deed when a transfer of the farm to which it originally belonged was made. 

Just who owns the lake with its rich attractions is now in the bands of the Supreme Court to decide. Who owns Wolf Island is another question and while the ice company was sparring over the first question its attorney purchased the island from the heirs to the farm and found camp life there so charming that he plans to erect a summer cottage."

#amusementparks   #history   #samuelclemens   #meadville   #conneautlakepark   #PennsylvaniaHistory  
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Call me crazy but we've started a Tumblr blog page...
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My Dad is featured in this book. Very proud of him and to be his son. 
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The original bath house as it looked from the water. The caption to the 1904 booklet where this picture can be found reads, "The bathing of course is very popular. Nowhere can it be indulged in with less danger of more delight. No treacherous holes, no sharp descents, no undertow. The beach descends gradually so that ladies and children can wade to any desired depth with perfect safety. During the warm months hundreds may be seen splashing in the water or sunning themselves on the beach; while for those more venturesome the toboggans and diving platform with spring boards are for their use. New suites, new toboggans and new floats have been added. Patrons can rely on receiving prompt and courteous attention. Season tickets can be had at reasonable rates by applying to the Conneaut Lake Bathing Co., Exposition Park."

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In my younger days, Denny's was the hangout of choice after leaving a club, but I suppose a hot roast beef sandwich at R.C. Jackson's Log Cabin Restaurant probably did the trick too after a late summer's night spent filling your dance card with waltzes, two-steps, and schottisches at the Dreamland Dance Pavilion (1909).
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The dignified-looking woman in this photo is Esee J. Mushrush McCormick (1872-1961), a music composer of some note who lived near Conneaut Lake. Among her list of works were, Music on the Lake, Beneath the Starlight in June, and the 1896 waltz, Rippling Waves of Conneaut Lake. Esee was the subject of an academic paper entitled, "Toward a Study of the Life and Works of Esee J. Mushrush, Northwest Pennsylvanian Composer." As of yet I have been unable to get my hands on this paper written in 1987 by the late Dr. Bunker Clark, a highly distinguish music historian at Kansas University. Interestingly, several references to this paper also refer to Esee as "infamous," and her work as "justly-forgotten," which makes her story too intriguing to be left alone. Esse is buried with her husband John McCormick at Parkland Cemetery in Jamestown, PA.   #musicalhistory   #history   #pennsylvania   #amusementparkruins  
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Work
Occupation
Armature Mystery Detective and Cub Newspaper Reporter
Employment
  • Briggs Brothers Detective Agency
    Detective, 1902 - present
    Along with my younger brothers Harrison and Sawyer, I help solve crimes and the sometimes strange mysteries that occur at Exposition Park, a summer resort at Conneaut Lake near Evansburg, Pennsylvania. You can see the park at our Facebook page, and follow our exploits at the Briggs Brothers Blog. Watch for our to-be-released book, "The Singing Ghost of the Lake: A Briggs Brothers Mystery."
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Conneaut Lake, PA
Story
Tagline
The Briggs Brothers Detective Agency: Solving strange mysteries since 1902
Introduction
I'm an aspiring newspaper reporter and, along with my two younger brothers, an amateur detective that solves mysteries occurring at Exposition Park, a turn-of-the-century summer resort along Conneaut Lake, near Evansburg, Pennsylvania. My one brother, Harrison, has a knack for building all kinds of machines, big and small, while Sawyer, the other brother is good at... he's good at tagging along, creating problems, and he has this strange gift. Together we get into our share of trouble, much to our mother's dismay, but the adventures are worth it. You can see our home town and the park on our Facebook and Pinterest pages. Read about our exploits at the The Briggs Brothers Blog.    
Bragging rights
I is a good writer person.
Education
  • Evansburgh School
    History, 1900 - 1905
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Other names
Harrison and Sawyer are my brothers