Lawrence County, Pa Places
The land occupied by this settlement was originally a part of the Peter Book farm. William Hough at different times bought several acres of land from Mr. Book, and laid it out into town lots some time between 1827 and 1833, about which latter date the canal was opened. Hough built the first house in the place-a log structure-and kept a store. He also opened a tavern, and afterwards sold it to John Wallace, who carried it on for awhile in connection with a store. James Miller had the last store conducted in the place, and closed out about 1874. Samuel Wilkinson and John Honk worked at the blacksmithing business in the place for some time.
A strong dam was built for slack water purposes during the time of the canal, but has been destroyed long since. The bed of the Beaver River here was partly quick sand, and, to keep the dam from being washed away, it was made of strong cribs sunk in the sand and filled with stone. Considerable business was done at the place during the time the canal was in operation, but there are now left but a few dwellings on the town site to mark what once was an active business point.
The town was named by Hough, when he laid it out, after a man named Stayles, who was a prominent worker in the canal enterprise. A swift rapid or "ripple" is in the river opposite the town, and as the canal men had a "hard scrabble" to get their boats safely over it the place received the nickname of "Hardscrabble," by which it is now more familiarly known than by Staylesville. Some distance below, at Wampum, there is another rapid called "Irish Ripple," and from it the original post-office at Wampum, and now at Newport, took its name.
Source: Twentieth Century History of New Castle and Lawrence County, 1908, page 360
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