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There have been so many changes that have taken
place in our country over the past century. One of the most notable
with the increase in our population has been the transition from
a rural to an urban and suburban society.
As one who has lived all of these years except the first seventeen 1, as others, have witnessed many of these changes that have touched our lives.
Brady's Run Valley was a rural area and boasted only dirt roads. I recall only one habitable home in the area extending from Fallston borough to the present Route 60 bridge. There was no road in the valley connecting the current Route 51, known as Constitution Boulevard, west from the traffic light at the main entrance to the park at the Ice Arena to Chippewa Township where it intersects Route 60.
One access to Brady's Run in those days was by way of Beegle Hill which extended from Fifth Street on Patterson Heights across old Darlington Road and behind the former Beegle estate known as "Heath Manor" (currently the site of Franciscan Manor, assisted living facility) to the valley below at the main entrance of the current park. This road also extended along the base of the hill at the rear of the current trailer park to the bottom of Fallston Hill on old Route 51, providing another access from that area,
The flat area to the south of the current main entrance was reported to be a training ground for soldiers during World War I although no evidence of that remained in the years to follow.
The Brady's Run area generally extended from Coal Pit Hollow Road (or First Hollow), now designated as Wildwood Drive near the south end of the valley to the Box Canyon site of the current rifle range at the northwest end which was named Third Hollow. In the area near the current rifle range was the location of Jack Lee's cabin inhabited by a person who obviously enjoyed the basic life style.
Second Hollow was our designation for the developed area extending from the main entrance of the park to the area of the current Route 60 bridge.
Bridges over Brady's Run were designated as the First Iron Bridge at the main entrance, The Second Iron Bridge to the current Horse Arena and to the hill, leading to Dutch Ridge Road (now closed) . The Third Iron Bridge was located at the western end of the park at the upper end of the lake, near the large Number 1 picnic shelter.
We had several swimming holes that we frequented with names, such as The Forks where the two branches of the Run met, just south of the Ice Arena; Four Foot about 100 yards south of The Forks; another we called "Where the Fishes wear Glasses", when one of the group lost his glasses and they were never recovered. The most noted spot of all, however, was Henny Heeson's, named for a local man who developed it. This swimming hole was located about the center of what is now Brady's Run Lake and due to the now existing dam and water level was accessed several feet below the current road. A diving board was a feature which added to our pleasure.
One of the unique memories was the abandoned two-story log house, located between the main road and the run just south of the bridge to the Horse Arena and the current recycling center. (It may have been that portion of the home shown on page 151 of Beaver County Album #1 by Arnold McMahon and Denver Walton.) We referred to it as the Haunted House. There was also an abandoned deteriorated two-story frame house located at the bottom of the previously mentioned Beegle Hill.
Many hours of pleasure were experienced by the youth and families of this undeveloped pristine area in that period of our lives prior to the construction of Route 51(Constitution Boulevard) through Brady's Run and the development of the park after WWII for the enjoyment of many today.