The first people to reside in what would eventually be called Cranberry Township were Native Americans. They came to hunt and fish along Brush Creek. However, as more and more settlers moved into Western Pennsylvania, conflicts with the natives began to arise. The early settlers wanted to clear the land to build homes, plant crops and graze their cattle, while the Indians wanted to keep the land as it had always been for hunting and fishing. This conflict of interest caused the natives to attack the settlers and their families. A number of battles occurred and in 1794, army troops were sent in. General Anthony Wayne defeated the natives at the Battle of Fallen Timbers. The government then purchased the land, opening the region for settlement.
The history of Cranberry Township continued with the development of roads and highways. Within one century (1790 to 1890), Cranberry Township grew from a wilderness accessible only by trails to a prospering agricultural region situated on three north-south highways. In 1989, Cranberry Township residents welcomed the opening of their newest highway, I-279, which again increased the town’s accessibility. In turn, Cranberry Township continued to attract new businesses and new residents, especially families who enjoyed country living while still desiring modern conveniences.
Cranberry Township today is still a land of rolling hills, many covered with mature trees. Some of the area’s largest oak trees are between 200 and 250 years old, meaning they were growing even before the first settlers arrived in the early 19th century. Brush Creek runs through the southwest part of the township and in places, its banks are still marshy and brush-covered.
Cranberry Township’s three major recreational areas are Community Park, North Boundary Park, and the Municipal Center and Gym. Community Park sits on 68 acres and was Cranberry Township’s first significant community park. It boasts a nature trail as well as five lighted baseball/softball fields and one lighted, multipurpose field -- each complete with scoreboard and bleachers. Community Park hosts the annual Fourth of July Community Day, with activities, games, entertainment and fireworks. It is also the site of the Cranberry Township Rotary Amphitheater, which features an annual series of free summertime concerts. Other draws to the park include United States Tennis Association-sponsored clinics and lessons, organized sand volleyball leagues, basketball courts, and the Cranberry Township Summer Day Camp. The park provides picnic facilities for both small and large groups and a “Playground Palace” for children to explore.
128-acre North Boundary Park is home to the very popular community Waterpark. This water facility offers swimming lessons and public swim hours, with additional amenities including water slides, diving areas and concessions. North Boundary Park also houses the public 18-hole Cranberry Highlands Golf Course. The park has two picnic shelters, a 1.1-mile multipurpose trail, a sledding hill, a children’s playground and plenty of green open space.
Cranberry Township is part of the award-winning Seneca Valley School District. There are many post-secondary schools nearby, including the University of Pitt and a number of community colleges.
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