Who Killed Local History?

The Legion Ville Story

Preservation Movement

The Push for a National Historical Site

Publication cover: Beaver County Historical Research & Landmarks Foundation Facebook page.
Looking northwest across fields at the southern end of the site of Legionville, the first active training site for the United States Army under Anthony Wayne. Located along Duss Avenue in Harmony Township, Beaver County, Pennsylvania, United States, the site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (Photo: Nyttend, Wikipedia)


Through the efforts of interested groups as the Anthony Wayne Historical Society, Legionville has been designated a State Historic Site and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Unfortunately, without designation as a National Historic Site, this landmark; zoned for industrialization, will be lost for future generations of Americans to enjoy.

For this reason, I am introducing legislation which directs the Secretary of the Interior to acquire the 22 acres in Harmony Township, Beaver County, Pa. The National Park Service would then administer the land as a national historic site and would be able to reconstruct a model of the encampment.

It is my hope that, in this Bicentennial Year, a vital part of our heritage will be
commemorated through the establishment of the Legionville National Historic

~Senator John H. Heinz, September 16, 1976

Source: p. 86, Hearing Before the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, 95th Congress, 1977.
Unfortunately efforts at the state level have not been sufficient to protect and preserve this historic location. As of now, this land where Presidents and Gen erals walked is zoned for industrial use, and its owner has placed it on the market. Unless designated as a national historic site and taken over by the National Park Service, Legionville may well be lost to future generations of Americans.
John H. Heinz
Senator (Pa), 1979

Legislative History of S. 1104:
Legionville National Historic Site

The following outlines the legislative history of S.1104 – A bill to direct the Secretary of the Interior to establish the Legionville National Historic Site in the State of Pennsylvania. This legislation was introduced in the 95th Congress (1977-1978) by Senator John H. Heinz (R-Pa).

11/02/1978 Pocket veto by President.
10/23/1978 Measure presented to President.
10/14/1978 Measure enrolled in Senate.
10/14/1978 Measure enrolled in House.
10/14/1978 Measure passed House.
10/14/1978 Measure considered in House.
10/14/1978 Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs discharged in House.
10/31/1977 Referred to House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs.
10/28/1977 Measure passed Senate, amended.
10/28/1977 Measure considered in Senate.
10/28/1977 Call of calendar in Senate.
10/21/1977 Reported to Senate from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources with amendment, S. Rept. 95-526.
03/23/1977 Referred to Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

The Last Grand Vision for Legion Ville

Despite its well documented national, state, and local historical significance placing it on the National Registry of Historic Places, despite the six archaeological digs on the site, despite more than $850,000 contributed from public and private interests toward preserving the site . . . all we have left of Legionville is an abandoned weed field marked by a few roadside plaques erected by the Daughters of the American Revolution (1916), the Pennsylvania Historical Commission and Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania (1918), the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (1946), and the Beaver County Historical Research and Landmarks Foundation (sometime before 2015).
It appears that the last serious effort to formally recognize and preserve Legion Ville as something more deserving than just a “history on a stick” roadside tourist attraction was back in the late 1990s.
View of the panel displaying the proposed "Logstown / Legionville Historic Park & Center." Photo: Dale K. Benington, July 14, 2011.