How Ginger Hill Got Its Name

The Ginger Hill Inn

From the Historical Magazine of Monongahela’s Old Home Coming Week: Sept. 6-13, 1908

Ginger Hill, a small village on the Washington and Williamsport pike in Southwestern Nottingham, on the Carrol Line, has enjoyed a local habitation and name ever since the Whiskey Insurrection. On the night of Nov. 14th, 1794, Robert Johnson, excise collector for Washington and Allegheny Counties, seized the still of Squire David Hamilton, who lived in the site of the Ginger Hill Chapel.

The squire was a shrewd Scotchman and pretended to be in no ways excited over the action of Government Officials. It was a dark and disagreeable night and the road to Parkinsons Ferry (now Monongahela) being none the smoothest the officers were prevailed upon to remain under the hospitable roof of Hamilton. Around the glowing logs of the backwoods fire, Hamilton and his guests discussed the excise law, the conversation vein enlivened by the oft-repeated draughts from “Black Betty” which had previously been “doctored” by Hamilton with a quantity of jamaica ginger. One by one the officers dropped from their chairs in the deep sleep of intoxication. Hamilton speedily gathered his neighbors and taking the still and whiskey carried them many miles across the country to a place of safety. This action which now would be a serious matter was then regarded as a joke, and the place became known as “Ginger Hill.”