You can’t travel far in Collier Township without hearing the name Walker. Ever wonder why?
In 1772 Gabriel and Isaac Walker bought land and relocated to this area. Isaac Walker built his cabin in theWalker’s Mill area while Gabriel built his in what is now known as Rennerdale. There, Gabriel made a life for himself and his family.
At that time, the area was still heavily populated with Indians; and the British paid $8.00 for the scalp of a white man. This payment offer led to an attack on Gabriel’s cabin in 1782. Twenty-five Indians attacked the cabin and captured five of his children. Gabriel and his servant escaped without harm as well as his wife and two of their other children. The Indians killed the two youngest boys and held capture the other three children. The three children were forced to travel with the Indians toDetroitand eventuallyCanada. Two years later they were released in exchange for British prisoners. During the time his children were away, Gabriel rebuilt his cabin and it remains there today, in Rennerdale, Collier Township. In Gabriel’s time, the 1800’s, Rennderdale was a quiet faming down. His offspring owned and kept most of the land.
In the late 1800’s a man named John B. Renner, most likely the town’s namesake, wanted to make vast changes to the area. Mr. Renner was the Comptroller for the Pennsylvania Railroad and wanted to make Rennerdale a railroad town. He envisioned his workers living in Rennerdale with their families and making a life for themselves there. Mr. Renner’s original plan was to have a railroad run through the middle of town. The townspeople feared that it would be too noisy and might endanger the lives of their children, so the idea was nixed. Nevertheless, the community continued to grow. In 1911, the famous William T. Kerr moved into town with his family. Mr. Kerr is known for being the founding father of the Flag Day National holiday. He also wrote the first required educational text book laws for the state. Only after he end of World War II did the town of Rennerdale see development.
Today, Rennerdale is still known in Collier as one of our most quiet, peaceful neighborhoods. Do you think Mr. Gabriel Walker and his offspring would be pleased?