- H. John Houseabt 1710 - bef 1763
- W. Sarah BokavarAbt 1711 - Abt 1764
m. est. 1751-1753
- Levi House1754 - 1846
Facts and Events
- Israel Friend - Part 3 of 3 – His Last Years and the Early Iron Industry - By Dan Guzy.
Israel Friend’s three sons sold off their inherited tracts before moving farther into the backcountry. Jacob Friend sold the orebank property to John Ballendine, who in turn sold it to his partner John Semple in 1763. Both Ballendine and Semple had been involved with iron furnace and forge operations at Occoquan Iron Works, off the lower Potomac River.
John Semple bought other land near Friend’s in Virginia and Maryland and built the Keep Tryst (also called Keep Triste or Keep Triest) Furnace at the mouth of Elk Run, just downstream of Friend’s tracts. (“Keep Tryst” is Semple’s Scottish clan motto meaning “always faithful.”) Semple also began building a forge, grist mill and dam at the mouth of Antietam Creek. Semple’s Antietam projects were unfinished when a group headed by David Ross bought them in 1764. These eventually were named the Antietam Iron Works and initially depended on pig iron from Semple’s Keep Tryst Furnace until they built their own iron furnaces at Antietam.
Transporting iron to forges and to the market was difficult and expensive over colonial dirt roads, so John Semple and John Ballendine both developed plans for opening the upper Potomac to navigation. George Washington reviewed those plans in developing his own Potomac Company navigational system.
In 1769, John Semple built a navigational sluice at House Falls (near the Maryland tract of Sarah Friend’s second husband, John House) to enable him to boat his pig iron upstream from the Keep Tryst Furnace to the forge at Antietam. The House Falls Sluice, also known as the “Cow Ring Sluice,” was later improved by the Potomac Company. This might be the oldest river navigational work still in use in this country. Israel Friend was an important pioneer of the upper Potomac valley—coming first as an Indian fur trader, obtaining the first land deed in the area, establishing a home nearby, guiding the 1736 Potomac River survey, and participating in (or at least anticipating) the early iron industry. The Swedish lad from the Delaware River shore did historic things and saw remarkable changes during his lifetime.
Israel Friend, a three-part series by Dan Guzy in Conococheague Institute Blog - Exploring the clash and integration of cultures on the Conococheague frontier.