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Facebook news page

We have started a facebook page for news and updates regarding Rock Point Park. If you are a facebook user, just log into your account and do a search for "Friends of Rock Point Park" and open the page. Click the "Like" button at the top of the page, and you will start receiving all page updates in your facebook news feed. You can also post updates and comments directly to the page’s "wall" to share your thoughts with others.

See you there!

Try this link if you are logged into facebook –


In Memorium

Merle S. Schilling, 84, of 831 Sewickley Street, Ellwood City, entered from Ellwood City Hospital, on Saturday morning, October 3, 2009, into the Kingdom of God.

He was born in Rossiter, Indiana County, on November 30, 1924, to the late George C. and Margaret Ada Setree Schilling. He was a bricklayer and carpenter, and built many houses, and also worked as foreman and later general foreman at the former Babcock and Wilcox Company (McDermott) in Koppel and Wallace Run. A decorated veteran of the US Navy in World War II, he served on a landing craft as a signalman first class, earning five battle stars for the Pacific and the Philippine Liberation campaigns. He was dedicated to his community and received the Distinguished Service Award for Ellwood City in 2006, and to his church, as a lifetime active member of First United Methodist Church in Ellwood City. He was a trustee, and served on lay leadership and pastor relations committees and received the Cross and Flame Award from the Church. He was the unofficial historian of Rock Point Park, and led tours there, which led to its preservation and a plaque from the Lawrence County Commissioners. He was active in scouting from the age of 11, received the 70 years of scouting award in 2007, the Varsity K Award in 2001, Distinguished Friend of Scouting Award from Moraine Trails Council 1999, and earned the Silver Beaver Award in 1967. He currently was Chairman of Cub Pack and Boy Scout Troop 806. He also was a member of the Veteran Honor Guard, VFW599, American Legion Post 157, where he received a plaque of appreciation in 2007, and Ellwood Historical Society.

He was preceded in death by his wife, LaVerna Ruth Welsh Schilling, who died April 15, 1996. They were married October 24,1947.

He is survived by two sons, a daughter-in-law, and one daughter, William S. and Bernadette Schilling, Milford, PA, Merle L. (Butch) Schilling, Perry Township, and Arlene Schilling, Ellwood City; eleven grandchildren and thirty-two great-grandchildren; also survived by one sister and one brother, Margaret (and Joseph) Parise, Ellwood City, and Harold (and Peggy) Schilling, Avon Park, FL.

In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by four brothers and one sister, Charles, Clarence, George and Daniel Schilling, and Eleanor Robotham.

Friends will be received from 7 to 9 p.m. today, October 5, 2009 and 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, October 6, 2009 in the TURNER FUNERAL HOME OF ELLWOOD CITY, Sixth Street at Park Avenue.

Friends may also call from 10 to 11 a.m. on Wednesday, October 7, 2009 in First United Methodist Church, Ellwood City, where a celebration of his life service will be at 11 a.m.

Burial will be in Locust Grove Cemetery.

Veteran’s Honor Guard will be observing full military rights at the cemetery.

Memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church, 416 Crescent Avenue, Ellwood City, PA 16117 or to Moraine Trails Council BSA, 830 Morton Avenue Ext., Butler PA 16001.

You may view the obituary, sign the guest book and send condolences on line to

©Ellwood City Ledger 2009

Fall is upon us, so comes the end

Hello friends!

I come to you today with a heavy heart. I’ve decided that the Rock Point Park Newsletter will be ending.

The Rock Point Park website (and newsletter) began on December 7, 2007, and I had high hopes that many folks, especially those from (or originally from) the Ellwood City region would have some interest in the former amusement park. Certainly some have shown interest, and I am very grateful for that, and for your participation in the project. But generally, interest has fallen sharply from the point of the launch, and I know when it’s time to stop making the effort to maintain it. I had hoped that this newsletter would become a place for sharing, and a focal point for discussion. But sadly, this has not been the case. I suspect that many folks don’t understand the concept of a web-based conversation tool, and others might simply not have enough interest to participate. And that’s OK. It doesn’t matter what the reasons are, it is only the outcome that helped me make my decision.

For those who did participate, even if it was just in the guestbook. I am humbly appreciative. It was a great joy to hear your stories, and to have gotten to know you through the messages you shared. I will be honored to stay in communication with anyone who is interested, via email. But, the newsletter portion of the website will be closed shortly after the December 7th anniversary.  I have already incurred the cost of renewal for the website, so it will remain available through December of 2009.

To those of you who donated toward the cost of hosting the website, I thank you deeply. Those funds have been used to pay part of the costs for next year’s hosting plan. Further donations will not be accepted unless I decide to continue the main site beyond the 12/2009 end-date.

It’s been a great experience for me to offer this website to the Internet community. It was very fulfilling to have worked through this project, and find the answers that had been haunting me for most of my life. And I very sincerely thank all those who offered their information and items for display on the site. You are what really made the site what it is, and for that, you should be proud.

Best wishes, and great love, to all!


Ellwood City Memories

Our friend Ben from Ellwood City, just launched his new website called Ellwood City Memories. I was delighted to see what a good job he did on it, and recommend everyone to visit and see for yourself. While you’re there, take a moment to sign his guestbook.

Again, kudos to Ben on a job well done!

Saturday’s Get-together

Eleven inquisitive minds gathered yesterday to enjoy a walk around the Rock Point Nature Area, exploring the terrain and looking for signs of the past. The weather was perfect, and we all had a great time! As predicted, the poison ivy was abundant, and although everyone did their best to avoid the "menace of the forest", the next few days will tell us how well we did. Still, we got into the woods a bit, and got to see the locations of many of the former amusement park’s features. 

It was great fun to get to know everyone, and spend time sharing insights about the park and it’s history. I look forward to doing it again in the fall, possibly mid-October. I’ll keep you posted!

Kathy took pictures of the day’s activities and was nice enough to post them for us to enjoy. Please click here.

Also, as a result of the outing, I was able to make several updates to the website. Check out the Website Updates section of the main page.

A Day at the Park – Aug. 30

A number of folks have been asking me about getting together at the park, so we’ve picked a date and hope to see many of you there!

On Saturday, August 30, at 10:00 AM, we will host a "meet & greet" event at the Rock Point Park property. This will be a casual time of swapping stories, meeting new friends, and just generally hanging out. It is bound to be hot, and maybe a bit rainy, so come prepared for anything! Bruce will bring a large cooler with bottled water and some light snacks (healthy, of course). If you would like to bring a picnic lunch, feel free. I plan on being there until around 2pm, but you can certainly stay longer if you like.

Summertime is probably not the best time to visit the property. The forested areas will be quite overgrown with weeds, brush, and lots of poison ivy. So, if you plan to head off the main roadway, wear heavy jeans and long sleeve shirts. If you do this, you might want to bring cooler clothes to change into in case you overheat. Be sure to bring some insect repellant, and maybe even some alcohol, or soapy water, to wipe down suspected poison ivy encounters.

We don’t have any special activities planned. It will most likely be too hot for games, but we might walk around the area a bit. Bring some folding chairs, and find some shade. It will be fun to sit around and get to know each other!

If you have any questions, please email Bruce, or call him at 724-869-3370.

If you can join us, please let a comment here on this article to let us know. Thanks!

Hope to see you there!



For anyone attending the Rock Point Park (.com) get-together on Saturday, 8/30 from 10am until 2pm, please note the following:

The Rock Point Boat Club has requested that we park our cars along the train tracks near the site of the former Matheny Inn.  We need to insure that parking is orderly, and that we park at least 20 feet from the tracks. Also, be sure not to block the turn-around area near the train bridge. Please refer to the picture for directions (click to enlarge):

I will try to be there early enough to be able to show you where to park as you come in. If I am not there when you arrive, please don’t wander too far from your car in case I need to ask you to move it.

At this point, it doesn’t look like many people will be able to make it, but in case more decide to come, we need to make sure we park in a way that does not obstruct the main road, or the Boat Club property.

Thanks much! Hope to see you there!


Rock Point Park featured in news story

Bob Bauder, feature journalist for the Beaver County Times, wrote a wonderful article that was published in today’s paper. Bob pieces the story together very nicely, and it is sure to draw widespread attention to this beautiful place! The article was so well done, it was even picked up by Yahoo News for their national audience!

Thanks, Bob. Great work!

Click here to read the story at the Beaver County Times Online.

Recreation plans

I saw this story in the Ellwood City Ledger, and thought our readers might be interested…

The Connoquenessing Creek rapids between Ellport and Rock Point are challenging even for accomplished canoe paddlers like Dave McQuaid.

But fording – the term for pulling a boat out of the water and traveling over land – is potentially worse, he said as he gestured toward the vegetation that has overgrown trees along the shoreline near Rock Point in Wayne Township.

"You can either run it or get poison ivy," he said as he cut his canoe through the calm waters beyond the Class 2 and 3 rapids.

A century ago, Rock Point was a bustling amusement park, built by local railroad magnates so Pittsburgh residents would have a reason to use the train on weekends.

Please click here to read the entire story.