Idyllic Laurel Mountain Borough (Pa)

Carolyn’s Online Magazine


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“Why are you building houses there? No one will ever want to live in a rock pile!”

This was a frequent question and comment made by some people in 1926 when brothers-in-law Lawrence William (Bill) Darr and Charles B. Hegan bought ninety acres of land on a foothill of Laurel Mountain. They planned to develop the land into a cottage community, mainly for Pittsburgh residents to enjoy between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

In the 1940s, with the coming of electricity, summer residency slowly moved to full-time, and the borough evolved into a thriving mostly full-time community. People wanted to live here, and sometimes waited for their perfect house to come on the market.


However, during the past year, the community has proven to be a microcosm of the world at large.

Even so, it remains a unique community that, while healing, remains a desirable location for many. The events of the last year only prove its “humanity.”

A while ago there was a large company challenged people to describe their community’s prime feature in one word, creatively and originally. In response, I wrote the following poem:

One Word Description of Laurel Mountain Borough (PA)

Laurel Mountain Borough—not the modernist’s town

Upon the gravel roads, those people would frown

No streetlights, no stores, no asphalt to boot

So quiet at night, you can hear owl hoots.

               Filled with the pinks of Mountain Laurel

               And skittering critters, the squirrels

               With residents appearing to be saints

               The atmosphere is really quite quaint.

Tucked into the Laurel Ridge foothills

Here once stood a needed lumber mill.

Now trees—hemlock and oak—are gigantic

They hold many secrets of the romantic,

               It’s a place on earth like no other,

               For parents, sister and brother

               It’s here my life I’ll live out

               With a laud of hurrah and a shout. IMG_4504ENow that you’ve discovered poetry is not my genre, I’ll offer you the following limerick:

 The Borough is named Laurel Mountain

It has tall trees, too many for countin’

The aura is quite quaint

But there is no complaint

Its riches flow through like a fountain.

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NOTE: This post responds to the WordPress prompt of May 5, 2015: Idyllic—What does your ideal community look like…?


About carolyncholland

In several if my nine lives I have been a medical lab technician and a human service worker specializing in child day care, adoptions and family abuse. Currently I am a photo/journalist/writer working on a novel and a short story. My general writings can be viewed at My novel site is
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1 Response to Idyllic Laurel Mountain Borough (Pa)

  1. Grace ( & Fred) Wells says:

    The improvements electricity can make ! Once it came to the southern USA and with air conditioning made the summer months more bearable, the population grew.


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