Before Grandfather Wherry marrried and settled down to farming, he was a stone mason and built bridges, dams and canals in the days before the era of railroads. He built either a bridge or dam at Harper's Ferry and had quite an experience. In those days, they had to use horses for all their work.
Once a man came to him with a nice-looking team of horses, and Grandfather bought them. They proved to have Glanders (an incurable disease of horses) and polluted the other horses he had bought or hired; a total of twelve teams in all. He had to shoot all the horses, burn the harnesses and the barns.
He would have been broke but for a planter that loaned him his horses and slaves to finish the contract, for which he was ever grateful. In later years, he went into a barber shop in Pittsburgh and was shaved by one of of those freed slaves.
He also built the two tow paths at Tunnelton, and there he met his future wife, Sarah Nesbit. A "tow path" ran along the side of a canal for the horses to walk on to pull the boats in the canal. When we asked Grandmother if she was afraid he would forget her, as they were engaged for ten years, she answered, "Well, my patience, we had to wait until we had a house to live in."
There were several log cabins on the 300 acres he eventually bought, but he didn't marry until he had built himself an eight-room brick house. The bricks for his house, and the one he built 20 years later (where he lived), were burnt below the barn. There was suitable clay on the farm.