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Killen Road, where TRF is located, was named for a Civil War captain of the 1860s. His name was Daniel “The Captain” Killen. He was descended from Irish immigrants and lived on what was referred to as “The Plantation”. It was situated on top of a hill at the very end of what is now Killen Road. The captain built a home that was a show piece for the East Wheatfield area. The house had double gables with a bay window, and a large wraparound porch with a balcony on the upper floor. There was a slate roof underlaid with chestnut boards cut from trees on the property. There were four chimneys with heating stoves throughout the house, including the upper level, unheard of at the time. The land was fenced with chestnut posts and had an outhouse made of chestnut board. Huge sandstones made up the foundation of the house along with the original barn. The captain was so advanced in his thinking that he piped water from a spring across the backyard into the house to keep the milk from the cows cold and food in a refrigerated type of environment. He built stations for his milk cows in the original barn and had a system of eliminating the waste using a trough.

It was said that Captain Killen was tough on his workers. He would sit on the upper level of the house on the balcony with a telescope and give orders… everything had to be perfect! As time went by and moving down the line of inheritance, plus the effects of the Great Depression, the homestead suffered from lack of maintenance and upkeep. The property became subdivided among family and through sales, and now the original Killen farm is approximately 100 acres. It is still located on top of the hill overlooking The Roadster Factory. The original home was torn down in 1978, but it will long be remembered for its glory.

Killen Road originated when US Route 22 was modernized to a four-lane highway. The lane leading to the property was cut off when they built the new highway, and a right of way was secured at that time. At this point, a name needed to be created for the old road for emergency and mailing reasons. Thus, the name Killen Road was created. The story of Captain Daniel Killen of the Civil War was honored using his surname for the road.

There is a small local cemetery in the East Wheatfield Township area, called the Armagh Cemetery. In the middle, on a small knoll, is the Killen plot. The headstones are aged and many are worn, but it is quite interesting to walk through and see the history of this area.

The next time you visit or receive something mailed from The Roadster Factory showing the Killen address, you can think of Captain Dan and his pride and joy in the East Wheatfield area.


Photo of Killen Road, Conemaugh Gap and The Roadster Factory

The view from Captain Dan's farm showing the Conemaugh Gap and TRF off to the left.

Photo of Conemaugh Gap

Same view in the early spring, you can see TRF in the field to the left of the Gap