Tyson's Hill

Route 75
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TYSON'S HILL is in the foreground while Port Royal is in the background. The Presbyterian church and its bell tower can be seen on the right of the photo. (Photo courtesy of Wayne E. Taylor)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 8/11/19 - Image Year: 2000

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by Craig Book

Let me take this opportunity to clarify our family's connection to Tyson's Hill. The connection is not from my mother's mother, Anna Seiber Bashore, but from my grandfather, Samuel Gallagher Bashore, not to be confused with his first cousin, Samuel R. Bashore who started the S R Bashore and Son hardware store.

I'll try to make this as simple and brief as possible but I can't promise it will be brief! My great-grandfather, on my mother's side, was Michael Bashore (whose brother was Daniel Bashore, S.R. Bashore's father). He and his wife (my great-grandmother) isabella (nee Gallagher) Bashore (she was born in 1846 and raised in the stone house on Route 22 where Bob Corvi and Robert Sabbato now live [2007]) lived and farmed and owned the house and farm now owned by Sam Kint [2007], on the other side of the river bridge (a.k.a. the Book farm; no relation). They had four children, the eldest, my grandfather Samuel G. Bashore (his middle name was taken from his mother's maiden name); next Mary, who married Foster McClure, Paul McClure's father, so my mother and Paul McClure were first cousins, I was only six when Paul died suddenly in 1965, my mother thought the world of Paul, who was a true Christian gentleman; third was Annie (who was Jay and Lois Auker's grandmother); and fourth, Nevin who died as a young man of typhoid fever, in Philadelphia as a street car operator, before he ever married.

In 1884 my great-grandfather, Michael Bashore, died two months after a sleigh accident on the river road between Port Royal and Mexico. My grandfather, Samuel G. Bashore, became the man of the house at the age of twelve as he was the eldest of the four children, thus starting his awesome responsibility as being the bread winner for his mother and three younger siblings. It is probably safe to say he had at very best a sixth grade education. But by all accounts was as intelligent as any a man on earth. Later in life he came to be a very prosperous farmer, owned five or so rental properties in Port Royal and Mexico, and was known to give many farmers, less fortunate farmers than himself, a free cow from his herd, with the stipulation he was to receive the cow's first calf (as told to me by my mother).

At the top of the hill, lived an older widower, Mr. ?? Tyson. He lived where Pat Renninger lives now [1977], and owned all the land on both sides of Route 75 bordering my great-grandmother's farm at the top of the hill on the right side all the way down to where Route 75 makes the left curve toward Route 22. On the left side of Route 75 he owned from the top of the hill (where John Bashore's red brick house is today - no relation) to where the fence row is between Butch and Carol Renninger's house and the electrical supply is today. It is hard to imagine today but there were only the two dwellings between the river bridge and oId Route 22.

Prior to Mr. Tyson courting my great-grandmother Bashore (Belle as she was known), she and her family suffered heavy damages and losses in the flood of 1889. A lot of their cows floated away my grandfather recounted to my mother. Sometime afterward, Mr. Tyson courted and married my great-grandmother, Belle
Gallagher Bashore (now Tyson). I guess it didn't take much persuading for Mr. Tyson to convince my great grandmother, Belle, and her family to move up to his farm on the hill. Supposedly my great-grandmother preferred her farm and house to Mr. Tyson's but she never wanted to go through another flood, so she sold her farm and she and her four children moved in with Mr. Tyson. Mr Tyson was somewhat older than Belle, so he became a gentleman farmer and my grandfather Sam took over the farming responsibilities.

When Mr. Tyson died, (I am guessing around 1900), Belle inherited the Tyson farm, then at sometime shortly after that, Belle passed everything over to my grandfather Sam, with the understanding he would always provide a home for her. The other three children would later move off the farm to start their own lives and it was abound 1906 when my grandfather Sam married my mother's mother, Anna Seiber from Cuba Mills Road beyond Brookline Manor. I know where the farm is today. Aunt Pauline was born April 12, 1912 and my mother was born December 27, 1916. My mother is named after her grandmother, Isabella, but the correct spelling for my mother's name is Isabel. My mother and Aunt Pauline always called their grandmother ''Grandma Tyson.'' The five of them moved to Port Royal in 1931 to 414 Main Street. My grandfather paid the hefty sum of $4,700.00 for their new house which was previously owned by Dr. Headings and his wife. The new house had many modern conveniences their former home didn't have - mainly central heating system, indoor plumbing, indoor toilet, even though the deluxe two seat outside toilet still remains there today.

My great-grandmother Belle passed away in 1938. Her son Sam, my grandfather, died in 1940, just two weeks after my sister Judy was born. My grandfather was very ill in the Lewistown Hospital when my mother was also in the same hospital giving birth to her first child and my grandfather's first grandchild. Mother told me two nurses took infant Judy up to see her grandfather. (Sorry I must pause here to regain my composure.) It's almost as if God intervened to prolong Grandpa's life long enough to see his first grandchild.

As a side note, my grandfather Bashore was supposed to be the last person to cross the former Port Royal covered river bridge in the flood of 1936 before it was partially swept away by the high waters. He was on his way back from the farm which he still owned at that time even though he lived in Port Royal. (I think this is accounted in the old publication about the History of Port Royal's River Bridge in the late 1930's printed (1937?). I think it has a green colored cover (softbound)).

My grandmother (Anna Bashore) died in 1963. The farm was sold sometime in the early 1940's.

Hope this straightens everything out. Mr. Tyson would have been my step-great-grandfather, as he and Belle never had any children of their own. We have no blood relation to Mr. Tyson but we are connected as I have tried to explain. Thanks

(This letter appeared as part of ?The View From the Lane? column by Carlen McClure in the January 24, 2007 edition of the Port Royal Times. The letter was written by Craig Book.)

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Contributed by rkohler3 on 8/10/19 - Image Year: 1990
Route 75 as a traveler makes the turn at the top of Tyson's Hill enroute to the Juniata River Bridge into Port Royal. (Photo courtesy of Wayne E. Taylor.)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 8/15/19 - Image Year: 1920
TYSON FARM - The Tyson Farm House and Barn at the top of Tyson's Hill along Route 75, looking toward Port Royal. (Note that the road hasn't been paved.) (Photo courtesy of Wayne E. Taylor)

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