The Bloody Knox Cabin, in Kellytown, Knox Township, has been the site of the Clearfield County Historical Society’s Apple Cider Festival for nearly 15 years.
It is scheduled again, this Sunday, Oct. 13, from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. It is a family-friendly gathering with games, historical demonstrations and displays 19th century rural life. Admission is free.
That is ironic because the site gained notoriety in December of 1864 for a shootout that killed a local war deserter and a 19-year-old Union soldier.
It is hard to imagine what bitter dissention overtook much of Clearfield County during the American Civil War.
Local newspapers, politicos, business owners and workers all split over the issue of President Lincoln’s conduct of the war and the need to keep the United States together as one nation.
The chasm also caused violence in the county. Tom Adams, a deserter, held a nighttime party at the cabin, which was his rented home.
Other deserters and locals showed up, but the partying stopped when Union soldiers, sent to Clearfield County to enforce federal laws and arrest deserters, raided the place.
Adams shot and killed a young private and his comrades, in turn, shot and killed him, before arresting the other deserters.
It is also hard to imagine quiet, little Kellytown, along Route 453, was once the scene of such an awful incident that was tied to the national wartime political scene of the time.
It was sad, but it became an essential part of Clearfield County’s historical story.
The photo, taken in the 1920’s, shows elderly Kellytown resident, Dan Barnett, himself a Civil War veteran, standing in front of the then collapsing original cabin with his son, Ralph and his young son.
The cabin was later pulled down and the present-day historical replica was built in 2004. All are welcome to attend the festival.