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The Rugh House

The Rugh House commonly known in the late 1890s as the "Philadelphia Mansion".         According to research by Phil Knox, he submits the following:

"On 13 July 1782 Michael Rugh, his wife Phoebe, his 3 children, and his mother Francina, were attending a celebration for a wedding that had taken place the day before at a location known as "Miller's Blockhouse". This was the home of the Samuel Miller family. The entire wedding party was attacked by Indians. Several were killed, possibly including Michael's mother, Francina. Mrs. Miller was scalped and managed to survive only to wear a skull cap for the rest of her life to hide her lack of hair. On that same day another element of the same group of raiders attacked and totally burned and destroyed the county town of Hannastown.

Fifteen persons at "Millers" were taken prisoner the day of the attack. Michael and his family were among the fifteen captives. They were taken to the Indian's camp near what is now "Oil City" Pennsylvania. They spent the winter as prisoners there. Michael's young son died that winter. Michael and Phoebe were taken the following spring to Canada where they were held as POWs by the British. Their daughter, Mary, remained behind with the Indians. At war's end Michael & Phoebe were released, sent to New York City, and thus were then able to make their way home.

According to a story related by Mrs. Hannah Rough Rowe (aged 88 in 1881), the daughter, Mary, was eventually discovered with some Indians who had come in to trade. Her face and arms were stained to hide her real color. The sum of ten dollars was paid for her release. Soon after his return from captivity Michael built and moved into a new house on his property in Franklin Township.

When the new government was formed after the Revolution, Michael was elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in Philadelphia to represent Westmoreland County. When his term expired he returned to his farm in Franklin Township, where he built a fine new home and where he continued to reside until his death. This house became known as "Philadelphia Mansion" and eventually "The Haymaker House" (having been inherited by Michael's son-in-law, Jacob Haymaker). It still exists today on Bulltown Road (near Bulltown on Sardis Rd) midway between Newlonsburg and Poke Run. The nearby Meadowink Golf course is located on what was once Michael's land.

Michael appeared in the nationís first census of 1790, being recorded as the head of his household and a resident of Franklin Township."

The plaque on the Meadowink Golf Course refers to the Indian captive Mary Rugh. Her parents bought her back from the Indians when she was 11 after eight years in captivity. She spoke no English and did not know her parents. Carl Patty states that the current stone house was built to withstand Indian attack because Michael Rugh swore no Indian could burn down his new stone house."