Orenda Park is the culmination of the hard work and dedication of many, many people. It was promulgated by the Boswell Area Historical Society and was dedicated on July 8th, 2000. The dedication ceremonies were introduced by the BAHS President, Lenny Lichvar. Opening prayer said by the Reverend Martin Breski, OFM of All Saints Parish, Boswell, Pennsylvania. The park is located 3/10 miles North of Boswell on Route 601 heading towards Jerome. As a note, the park may be reserved at no cost for family events such as picnics, reunions, etc. Contact: Phyllis Ickes at: firstname.lastname@example.org , or phone (814) 629-9161. Donations would be appreciated. It is your responsibility to clean up after the event and make sure all trash is placed in the appropriate containers...
A representative from Congressman's John Murtha's office was the keynote speaker. Other speakers included State Representative Robert Bastian, State Senator Richard Kasunic, Somerset County Commissioner Pamela Tokar-Ickes, Gina Felice, the Mayor of Boswell and others. The Benediction was given by Lay Minister Larry Hoover of St Andrew's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Boswell, Pennsylvania. Entertainment was provided by the Somerset County Community Band.
The park area was leased from Larry Hemminger, who also donated many hours of his time and equipment to the cleanup and renovations efforts of the park.
Dorothy Ferre, Larry Hemminger, Phyllis Ickes and LuAnn Gore.
(Photo courtesy of Phyllis Ickes)
Many volunteers from the Greystone House , which is located on the Lincoln Highway outside of Jennerstown, also assisted in the cleanup efforts. They planted trees, carried stones from the Quemahoning creek to use in the landscaping, laid foundations for walkways, installed drainage ditches, built stone steps, ran the weed whackers, mowed and cleared brush. Whew!!
This is one of the latest additions to the park, and a very nice touch...a gazebo for picnics or just sitting in a quiet place and contemplating nature and the wonders of our town. It was also the perfect place for the Somerset Community Band for our concert.
LuAnn Gore, Dorothy Ferre, and Phyllis Ickes enjoy the newly installed bench. Members of BAHS want to thank Larry Hemminger of North Star Equipment for installing our park benches in July of 2003.
The benches were funded from a grant by the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor, Olga A. Herbert, Executive Director.
Just across Quemahoning Creek from the base of the tipple and Orenda Park, is the old Pump House. A lot of work has gone into cleaning up around the pump house. Extra money is going to be needed for the restoration, so please think about it, dig deep, and send your donations to: Treasurer, LuAnn Gore, 2915 Penn Avenue, Boswell, PA 15531.
Now...why did we call this beautiful spot, Orenda Park. We selected the name, because it was discovered the this word "Orenda" was an Iroquois word meaning 'magic power'. Due to the high quality of the steam produced by coal mined here, and and to distinguish it from it's competitors it was called Orenda coal. These factors played an important role in choosing the name. While some may doubt the magic power of our coal, it certainly is an excellent name for our park!!
The new interpretive exhibit at Orenda Park. Pictured is Ralph Miller, who recorded the interview for the sign.
(Photo provided by Phyllis Ickes)
There's trout in Quemahoning Creek!!
On April 14th, BAHS leader Lenny Lichvar coordinated the release of 3,000 legal size and trophy trout in the lower reaches of the creek. It will be the first time in over 100 years that fishing will once again take place. It all came about because of the construction of the Boswell Passive AMD treatment system, which now prevents iron and other contaminants from entering the creek. Lichvar, in addition to being President of BAHS, is also the chairman of the local Trout Unlimited chapter. Dads...get your kids down to the creek and start fishing!! See the Photo Gallery page for all the pictures associated with this story...they're great!!
This is a photo of the renovated Tipple supports in Orenda Park.
The Orenda Park tipple bases have been rebuilt, with the help of a lot of people. Pictured are LuAnn Gore, Phyllls Ann Ickes, Dorothy Ferre, and Larry Hemminger.
The newly renovated pathway down into the main part of Orenda Park
Bricks from the Jenner Brewing Company which was built in 1913. Demolished in 1998. It was located on Route 601 South of Boswell
Cons Ferre, who is now in his 80's built this bridge back in 1999...as a young man in his 70's...grin here!!
This teepee was erected to honor the Native Americans who were here before us. It will be redone by Larry Hemminger in the future. The Boswell Area Historical Society also intends to build a stone fire pit near it. (All photos courtesy of Phyllis Ann Ickes)