In 1753 there was evidently an important meeting of the Indians held in Path Valley, from the fact that John O'Neil, writing from Carlisle to Governor Hamilton, under date of May 27, 1753, refers to the opportunity which presented itself to him of learning the Indian character by at-tending a great Indian talk in Path Valley, the particulars of which Le Tort would furnish the governor. Whether Le Tort, who was the Indian interpreter at Carlisle, and for whom the stream running through that town was named, ever did so or not cannot be ascertained from any of the records.
Path Valley was a popular place for Indian traders, more especially after the locating of the Tuscaroras in that section, and early maps show it to have been dotted here and there with the paths over which these traders trod on their way to the wilderness where civilization had not as yet penetrated. These paths were numerous but the principle one was that running from Shippensburg through Roxbury Gap, then across Path Valley to Aughwick and on to Kittanning. Another ran by way of Fannettsburg.
Mr. Peters, in reporting to the governor on July 2, 1750, refers to Path Valley as the place through which the road to Allegheny lies. From information gathered from the records of that period, it is clear that the thoroughfare, dignified with the title of the road, was merely one of these paths. It, as well as the others, was known as the packers' path and crossed the Kittatinny Mountain near where Strasburg is now located. It ran up the ravine between the Lawyers' road and the present main road or Three Mountain road, crossed through Horse Valley and over the mountain into Path Valley, about half a mile from and south of the present Three Mountain road. After descending the mountain into Path Valley and just before crossing the creek, it divided, the main or shorter path going up through a ravine a short distance south of where Fannettsburg is now located, the other one being to the left and crossing near the large spring about a mile south of Fannettsburg, where the old Presbyterian church stood. The two paths came together again at the foot of Tuscarora Mountain and passed over it to the left of the present mountain road to Burnt Cabins. This path can still be seen in some places, as it was worn deep by the heavily laden horses.
The opening of these paths into the Indian territory had a disastrous effect, as may be inferred from a speech of one of the chiefs at a conference held with the authorities at Carlisle, on October 12, 1753. He said: "Your traders now bring scarce anything but rum and flour. They bring little powder or lead or other valuable goods. The rum ruins us. We beg you would prevent its coming in such quantities by regulating the traders. We never understood that trade was to be for whiskey and flour. We desire it may be forbidden and none sold in the Indian country; but that if the Indians will have any they may go among the inhabitants and deal with them for it. When these traders come they bring thirty and forty kegs and set them down before us and make us drink, and get all the skins that should go to pay the debts we have contracted for goods bought of the honest traders, and by this means we not only ruin ourselves but them too. These wicked whiskey sellers, when they have once got the Indians in liquor, make them sell the very clothes from their backs. In short, if this practice be continued we must be inevitably ruined. We most earnestly beseech you therefore to remedy it."
With the exception of the road entering Path Valley at its mouth and leaving it at Cowan Gap, near Richmond, subsequently known as Brad-dock's road, which was opened in 1755, there was no wagon road into Path Valley until after the close of the Revolution.
A map of Lewis Evans, published March 25, 1749, shows a road running from a point about the present location of Newville to the North Mountain's eastern slope, and from that point a dotted line, marked Allegheny Path, crosses Path Valley.
A map published by said Evans, June 23rd, 1755, gives a road from Shipppensburg across to Pyatt's (now Dry Run) and on to Aughwick and Standing Stone, but also gives a road to Raystown, past Fort Littleton. This must be regarded as an error, or else instead of full lines denoting roads, the lines should have been dotted, showing a trader's paths, as the road was not built to Raystown at the time the map was published.
In January, 1759, Nicklas Scull published a map which shows a road from Shippensburg crossing Kittatinny and Blue Mountains, also Path Valley, south of Fannettsburg, and going to Fort Littleton. The road is almost on the line of the present Three Mountain road, but was evidently the packers' path above referred to. Great consideration, however, should be given this map, as it is accurate even at this time, and was made by the surveyor general. But an error was undoubtedly made in engraving it, making what were only paths full roads.
William Scull, on April 4th, 1770, published a map which was much smaller and does not give the detail that is given by Nicklas Scull. This map gives a road in full lines from Shippensburg to Roxbury, and then, by a dotted line, indicates a path following the same route as the present Three Mountain road, crossing Path Valley, which verifies the map of Nicklas Scull.
A map "printed for Robert Sayer and J. Bennett, No. 53 Fleet St., London, published June 10th, 1775, from actual surveys and chiefly from the late map of W. Scull, published in 1770," is much larger and gives the country in greater detail than the map of W. Scull of 1770. It gives a road in full lines from Shippensburg to McAllister's (Roxbury), and from there only a dotted line to Fort Littleton, crossing Path Valley at the same point as shown in the maps of 1759 and 1770, with the addition of a path diverging in Roxbury Gap and going to Pyatt's. It also gives a path from Pyatt's running down the valley and crossing the mountain toward Fort Littleton, but north of the Three Mountain road. As the maps of 1770, 1775 and 1749 all show paths instead of roads, and as Governor Morris, in 1755, informed Braddock that there was no road west from Carlisle towards the Ohio, but only traders' paths, it seems improbable that with the road cut from McDowell's Mill to Fort Littleton, any other road would be opened up but four years later from McAlister's to the same point, and only such a short distance north as would appear by the map of Nicklas Scull of January 1, 1759. For that reason and also as no record appears of such a road, it must be considered an error in designating a path as a road.