Discover the hidden obelisk that honors the nine pioneers who settled Harford Township

Difficulty: ūü§†ūü§†
Distance: Less than one mile.
What to bring: Appropriate footwear and four-wheel-drive vehicle (optional but you will have to park at the entrance and walk the half-mile to the monument on foot).

Where To Go

To visit the Nine Partners Monument, head to the aptly headed 9 Partners Road near the small town of Kingsley, Pennsylvania. Click here for the GPS location as there is no actual address. From 9 Partners Road, there’s a bearly driveable half-mile dead end “road” (perhaps extra-wide path describes it better) to the monument. If you have an SUV or truck, you can probably make it. However, keep in mind the road’s condition is strongly influenced by season and weather. If you decide to go on foot, it’s an easy, mostly flat walk.

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The “road” to the Nine Partners Monument.

History

In April 1790, a group of nine settlers (now known as the Nine Partners) left Attleborough, Massachusetts, in search of a new home with “ampler room and cheaper soil.” These intrepid explorers included¬†Ezekiel Titus, Robert Follett, Hosea Tiffany, Samuel Thather, Moses Thatcher, John Carpenter, Josiah Carpenter, Daniel Carpenter, and Caleb Richardson.¬†They desired to settle in Cherry Valley, New York; however, after visiting William Cooper at the outlet of Otsego Lake, they were persuaded to travel down the Susquehanna River to land, which Cooper had agency.

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The general route traveled by the “nine settlers.”

Disembarking at Great Bend, Pennsylvania, they proceeded through the remote Endless Mountains region in a southerly direction. The next few days were filled with a close examination of the land. The men were intrigued by the dense forests of beech, maple, chestnut, hickory, and hemlock. Finding a good spring of water, they decided to settle an area called Beaver Meadow in what would eventually become part of Harford Township.

A plan was made to layout a plot of land one mile wide and four miles long, the longer boundary lines running from northeast to southwest. An agreement was drawn up, signed, and witnessed on a hemlock stump, thus creating the “Nine Partners Settlement.” These brave explorers were the first white men to live in an area that until then had been Lenape hunting grounds.

Nine Partner 1790 land purchase

The men divided the 2,560 acres into sixteen plots and set to work building a community. The first known school was started in the home of Deacon Tyler in 1794 and had 14 students. A church was built in 1800 and a library in 1807. Harford Township was incorporated in 1808. Eventually came the Harford Fair (1857) and the Soldiers Orphan School (1865) for orphans of Civil War soldiers.

Nine Partners Monument

The Nine Partners Monument was placed in 1890 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the nine pioneers who had first settled the area. The obelisk-shaped monument was dedicated on May 22, 1890, and is located on the same spot where the contract was signed.

The location looks much as it did more than 200 years ago, surrounded by huge hemlocks and a thick forest. Just beyond the monolith are Beaver Meadow and the spring that attracted these early settlers.

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