Carolyn’s Online Magazine
IDYLLIC LAUREL MOUNTAIN BOROUGH (PA)
“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:
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
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.