How Morrison’s Cove Got its Name

Morris Cove or Morrison’s Cove! How did it get its name?

With reference to Morrisons Cove in the above township locations, some statements as the origin of variations on the name are of interest.

J. Simpson Africa in his “History of Huntingdon and Blair Countries” states that “the name of the cove was changed from the ‘Great Cove’ to Morrisons Cove as early as 1770.” (11)

Day’s “Historical Collections of the State of Pennsylvania” avers that “Morrison Cove was settled at a very early date by a Mr. Morrisons of Washington County, Maryland. From him the valley took its proper name of Morris’ Cove.”

Another historian, U. J. Jones, in the “History of the Early Settlement of Juniata Valley,” per footnotes by Floyd G. Hoenstine, makes the statement that “This Cove was known as Morrisons Cove as early as 1765, as is mentioned in patients for land granted by the land office. Was probably named in honor of Governor Morris of Pennsylvania.”

Melvin G. Hartman in his 1957 “History of Martinsburg” offers the information that Cumberland County in 1770, sent James Morrison, a surveyor to map the region and that from his report the name was changed from Great Cove to Morrisons Cove.”

To further confuse the question, it should be noted that the name of the first post office officially on record for the entire area of this review of local history was established as Morris Cove (not Morris’s or Morrisons) in 1820. The postmaster was Christian Snider, son of the builder of the large stone house north of Loysburg, in which the post office was located until 1824. (Chapter Four)

In conclusion of this debatable issue, “Morris Cove” or “Morrisons Cove,” it was one and the same place by either name in its first hundred or more years, and the latter, exclusively, today. Also, the area must not be confused with “Big Cove” or “Great Cove” in Fulton County, as has occurred in some references to early events in this part of Pennsylvania. (12)

For a “bit of spice,” one local legend has is that the Cove took its name from Mr. Morris, a horse thief, who located and secluded his stolen horses in the southernmost corner of the Cove, in the vicinity of the mountain road leading to Snake Spring Valley.


Legal Reference to MORRIS Cove –

Deed – “for three hundred acrea of land situate in MORRIS’S COVE” — purchased by Jacob Good for seventy pounds, as recorded in Deed Book “B,” page 361, on February 28, 1787. One-half of the same tract was later sold to Jacob Brumbaugh for thirty-nine pounds and recorded in Deed Book “E,” page 12, on September 26, 1796, – ”adjoining other lands of the said Jacob Brumbaugh.”


Information and photo courtesy of the Bible, Axe, and Plow by Ben F. VAn Horn, Sr., D.ed.