Mt. Davis Pennsylvania

Mt. Davis Tower and cabin 1905

Photo from the collection of Dwight Hostetler
Permission for use granted by Dan Bruner

A little history of Mt. Davis
Christening Of Mt. Davis Big Event

For Roof Garden of Pennsylvania In 1921

    It was Governor Martin G. Brumbaugh who, during one of his visits to the country (about 1914), first referred to Somerset County as the "Roof Garden of Pennsylvania."   In 1921 the U. S. Geological Survey established the fact the crest of Negro Mountain is 3,213 feet above sea level. This survey officially took away from Bedford County's Blue Knob (el. 3,136) the honor of being the highest point in Pennsylvania. Soon after the altitude of the highest point was announced, the Alpine Club of Pennsylvania decided to visit it.   Under the leadership of Col. Henry W. Shoemaker, well known historian of Pennsylvania folk lore and publisher of the Altoona Tribune, the Alpine club planned a pilgrimage to the summit to assist in naming it and dedicating it as the highest point.  Through the efforts of the Meyersdale Chamber of Commerce and the publicity given the event by THE REPUBLICAN, June 18, 1921 became a red letter day in the history of Somerset County.

Alpine Trek

     Although road conditions were terrible due to heavy rains the day before, at least a thousand people took part in the trek to the mountain top on that day. Besides the distinguished company of the Alpine club members from the eastern part of the state, the pilgrimage included many local people for whom the Chamber of Commerce arranged transportation in automobiles and trucks; the Citizens Band, the Boys Band, Camp Fire Girls and people from all parts of the county.  Many of the mountain farmers joined the procession on foot. The Boy Scouts hiked up the day before and pitched tents for the night at Burnt Cabin to be on hand early to assist with the ceremonies.

     From 8 o'clock a.m. until noon there was a continuous stream of motor vehicles chugging up the long eastern slope of Negro Mountain and another up the steep western slope. The Alpiners had notified the local Chamber of Commerce that they really wanted to do some rough hiking and they came in their mounting climbing regalia for that purpose. Their rendezvous was arranged at the Lewis A. Peck farm, altitude 2645, giving them a climb of about 500 feet through rough timber land and thick brush. The climb began from the Peck farm at 11:45. The oldest climber was Elder Jacob Peck, 76, and the youngest was Harry Bauman, seven-year-old son of D. H. Bauman.

Mount Davis

     A party of hikers from Somerset went by early train to Markleton and from there hiked it to the Peck farm to join the ascent of the Alpine Club.  For several preceding weeks there had been public discussion about an appropriate name for the highest point in Pennsylvania. The Alpine Club had suggested Mount Freedom among others, and the Alpiners were a little disappointed when they got here and found that the name Mt. Davis had been decided upon locally.

     The name of Mt. Davis was the appropriate choice of the County Commissioners, in honor of the late John N. Davis, who was a pioneer farmer in the Negro Mountain district, land surveyor and educator. He owned the tract on top, of Negro Mountain.  The Davis brothers, sons of the pioneer erected a flag pole at the high point to be used at the ceremony.


     It was a little past noon when the ceremony began, Paul P.D. Clutton, secretary of the C. of C. presented the flag which was hoisted to position by S.J. Davis, eldest son of the pioneer in whose honor the peak was named. The Boys band played the National Anthem. Dr. H. C. Mckinley 80, oldest man present, and the commander of the local G.A.R. post, bubbling over with enthusiasm started "three cheers."

     Impromptu speeches were made by Clutton, McKinley, Col. Henry W. Shoemaker, who christened the highest point, Mt. Davis, in the name of the Alpine Club; Harold Bean, the young engineer who discovered that Mt. Davis was highest point in the state; Col. Thomas W. Bloyd, news editor of the Williamsport Gazette. Rev. J. J. Brandy and others. An elderly woman, Mrs. John J. Engle of Elk Lick Township, sang a patriotic song. The Citizens Band played and Rev. Dr.
A. E. Truxal delivered the meditation. Picnic lunches were eaten before the crowd dispersed.

     In June, 1930, State Representative J. B. Schrock made the announcement that the Department of Forest and Waters was about to erect a steel tower and a sign at Mt. Davis State Park. Not long thereafter that was done.

Information from MEYERSDALE REPUBLICAN September 16, 1950 Section D-Industry - Part Two

Email me for a larger scan of this picture!

CARLE M. DAVIS grandson of JOHN NELSON DAVIS. Carle is holding a portrait of JOHN NELSON DAVIS


William Shrader was the husband of Nancy Davis, the daughter of JOHN NELSON DAVIS whom the mountain was named after. John Nelson Davis owned 26,000 acres of the mountain. John Nelson Davis was: SCHOOL TEACHER SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS FARMER SURVEYOR MINISTER 1ST SGT. OF CO. 'K', CIVIL WAR

Mt. Davis Cabin 1940

Photo provide by Michael Mckenzie

Editor's note: Photographs on this page imprinted with "Shrader" were restored by Donald N. Shrader, Esq.
Short Gap, West Virginia

Surrounding Area History
Boynton: A brief history and photographs of Boynton  Postcards of Boynton Page One
Postcards of Boynton Page Two Postcards of Boynton Page Three
Postcards of Boynton Page Four Mt. Davis:  Forest Ranger 
Old Map:  1876 Area Map  Elk Lick Township
Mt. Davis Pennsylvania: Dedication ceremony 


History of Salisbury School Salisbury BandsSports HistoryArea ChurchesSalisbury OrganizationsSalisbury VeteransSalisbury EnduresAerial and Street views of Salisbury Industry -- from logging to cars.Cornplanter IndiansSurrounding Area HistoryMessage BoardShowalter Garlitz GenealogyWelcome To Salisbury History