McKean Community Recreational Park Trail
Trail Name: McKean Community Recreational Park Trail
McKean Township was one of Erie County’s original 16 townships. It was named for Pennsylvania Governor Thomas McKean. In 1861, the hamlet of Middleboro was founded. It was located along the Edinboro Plank Road at the mid-point between Erie and Edinboro. Today, Middleboro is known as McKean Borough.
While in the McKean Borough area be sure to visit:
Old State Line, PHMC Historical Marker (Route 99): After the American Revolution (1775–1783), Pennsylvania looked forward to expanding settlement of its western lands. Settlement of the Erie Triangle was delayed, however, because the states of New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut all claimed this western land. In 1792, the state of Pennsylvania purchased the Erie Triangle from the federal government for 75¢ per acre…the total came to $151,640.25. Before the Erie Triangle was purchased, the northern border of Pennsylvania cut through present-day McKean.
Hearthside Rest Pet Cemetery (6351 Rick Road; T: 814.833.2267): This peaceful cemetery is located along Elk Creek and is the final resting place of a very famous chimpanzee. Bonzo, Ronald Reagan’s co-star in “Bedtime For Bonzo” (1951) is interred here. In his later years, the chimpanzee travelled with a circus. When Bonzo died in 1969, the circus entrusted Hearthside with his final arrangements.
St. Francis Xavier Church (T: 814.476.7657): St. Frances Xavier Parish in McKean began with a chance meeting between a bishop and a small group of Catholic immigrants. Bishop Francis Kendrick came upon a settlement of 30 Irish and German families near Elk Creek in 1834. In 1838 the first church was built and the first recorded Mass was celebrated by Bishop Kendrick four years later. Today, the original site of the church and cemetery is marked with a commemorative stone and plaque, along with a few gravestones. It is located on Buman Road, east of the termination of Milfair Road.