Morrisons Cove Herald - Putting cows on the front page since 1885.

Are you a Covite?


September 26, 2019

Facebook is one of the biggest time-wasters ever invented. I have spent hours on this Mark Zuckerberg creation with groups like "Streetcat Bob," "I Just Love to Decorate," "Show Me Your Plants," and all sorts of groups with political views.

But my absolute favorite came along on a very hot day in August when the steamy outdoors made it almost impossible to want to be there. It is called, "Only In The Cove."

It now has nearly 10,000 participants. There are some volunteer monitors who keep negativity at a minimum. The Cove, of course, extends from the Loysburg Gap to Williamsburg with many towns, villages, boroughs and townships in between.

No sooner had the group started inviting folks to join than a few started to complain. They did not like the idea that Morrisons Cove included Loysburg, New Enterprise, Woodbury, Waterside and Williamsburg. To them, the Cove was only Roaring Spring and Martinsburg and perhaps only Martinsburg. Having grown up between New Enterprise and Loysburg, I was a bit amused.

Sitting back and watching the comments was fun. There were a few who sided with the "central Cove only" participants. But, one man was quick to pull up the Wikipedia definition of the quaint place where I grew up.

He was able to cite: "Morrisons Cove (also called Morrison Cove) is an eroded anticlinal valley in Blair and Bedford counties of central Pennsylvania, United States, extending from Evitts Mountain near New Enterprise, north to the Frankstown Branch Juniata River at Williamsburg, The width of the valley varies from 10 to 15 miles between Tussey Mountain on the east to the chain of Dunning Loop and Lock Mountains on the west. Almost entirely enclosed by these mountains, the only openings in the cove are at Loysburg Gap in the south, McKee Gap in the west, and Williamsburg to the north. The floor of the valley is mostly level with many large fertile farm fields. The southern end of the valley drains to the Raystown Branch Juniata River via Yellow Creek through Loysburg Gap, and the northern end drains to the Frankstown Branch via Clover Creek.

"There are four boroughs including Roaring Spring, Martinsburg, Williamsburg and Woodbury. There are seven townships which are South Woodbury, Woodbury, and Bloomfield, all in Bedford County. Taylor, North Woodbury, Huston, and Woodbury in Blair County.

"Although on the other side of Dunnings Mountain, Claysburg could be included, it is not. However, they have a shared culture and customs."

Well, that should have settled that, but there were still a few who simply did not believe it. One lady said she had taught at Northern Bedford without realizing it was a part of Morrisons Cove.

An old friend from school days and I decided that a lot of the misunderstanding comes from the various names which are enough to confuse anyone.

There is a Central High School, located in Spring Cove. Then there is the Northern Bedford School District that is located in Southern Cove. Both Central and Northern have students from in and out of Morrisons Cove as does Williamsburg.

But, by darn, one knows if he or she is a born-and-bred Covite and I happen to be one of them.

I have lived in Bedford Valley most of my life and love it but only because the surrounding mountains make me think of Morrisons Cove.

It is so refreshing to be able to discuss both the past and the present with others who have the same love for the Cove as me.

I realize that the first 19 years of my life were so intertwined with all the towns and villages of the Cove.

New Enterprise was where I went to school for 11 years. It was also where we went to the doctor and the post office. There was even a clothing store and Orlo Boyds grocery where we sometimes picked up groceries. I had many friends in New Enterprise.

Loysburg was about the same distance in the other direction. We did most of our grocery shopping there at the IGA. We went to the hardware store for boots or door springs. It was where we went to church and numerous activities at the Grange Hall, now the Lions building. My grandfather lived in Loysburg.

Grandma and Grandpap Clapper lived in Waterside and while there, I would walk to Stotler's Grocery. We also kept meat in the locker plant until we got a freezer.

My dad often took me to Martinsburg to pick up supplies for the farm. On Sunday evenings we sometimes went to the airport to watch planes come and go and eat ice cream from Ritchey's Dairy.

Roaring Spring had the hospital where I was born and had my tonsils out. We visited sick friends there on occasion and a special treat was watching the fountain change colors at the dam.

Woodbury was that place in-between. It had a hat shop, the M&M Restaurant, a pay phone – very handy at times – and the cemetery where most of my deceased family is buried.

As for Williamsburg, that is a far piece from New Enterprise but we did play them in football. In the present, my husband and I love to bicycle on their delightful trail.

Looking at the various posts is such a treat and one that will endeavor me to get through those cold winter months I so detest. It will be a time to go digging for pictures to add to the many already posted from schools, historic buildings, and scenic sights. I have had friends emerge from so long ago I had almost forgotten who they were.

One of my greatest joys is seeing a post from someone who moved to the area from a big city. They are overwhelmed with the never-ending views and the quaintness.

There was an argument started when someone posed the question as to the whether the Cove should remain dry. Many younger people thought it was time to serve wine, beer or spirits in at least one restaurant. Others were vehemently against it. I have no strong feelings one way or the other. I don't drink and would never go to a restaurant just because they serve alcohol. I can't stand drunks and feel so sorry for those who allow themselves to become addicted. I guess only time will settle that question.

There are corny Pennsylvania Dutch phrases, funny beliefs, great recipes, and much historic information. If you are on Facebook and have not yet joined, do so.


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