Mier’s Spring/Steel Springhouse
Jacob Mier was the first to step foot onto the land that would soon be Hanna’s Town. He surveyed the land that would in 1768 become available due to the New Purchase. Because of the opening up of land due to the New Purchase, Robert Hanna was the first colonist to choose Mier’s Spring, as it was called during the time. There were three separate springs. These springs had a very important role in Robert Hanna’s choice of this land that he could build upon. The Miers spring is the only one of three springs that is still active from this time, and it’s still very lively today. The milk house beside the spring belonged to the Steel family, and was not present during the time of Hanna’s Town. This small building would be cool, and would be used almost like a refrigerator for goods on the Steel Farm.
Backstory and Context
Jacob Mier was granted a warrant to visit the land that was later chosen by Robert Hanna for his settlement. Jacob states that the land held three natural springs. After extensive archaeological research and digs we are now aware that settlements near these springs even predate history itself. Native Americans found this land valuable to life, there was plenty of natural flowing water, which was a great fine back then. Of course they didn’t have plumbing and pipes, so they would have to fetch the water themselves in order to use it for anything. With an easily accessible water source, the settlement would have had a much easier time growing and populating, making it overall successful in it’s day. Other colonists around this time found fresh and natural running water to be a big deciding factor in the quality of life of the people and overall growth.
The Steel family thought of a more advanced way to utilize the spring while living on the land. They decided to build a spring house, which was used as a place to keep the spring unharmed and also to store perishables and used as a ‘refrigerator’ of sorts. The family would also gather water for cooking and washing clothes. This out-building could also be used as a milk house on the Steel family homestead.
Westmoreland County Historical Society. 2019. “Hanna’s Town Tour Manual”. Westmoreland County Historical Society.