There has been another bloody murder at 11737 Snug Harbor Lane, the old manor house that sits along the Conocochegue Creek. “The scene is gruesome” Sheriff Palmer told reporters. He went on to say “This is not unlike other murders that have occurred in this house. The ones in 1951, 1973, 1989 and now this one in 2003. All have this in common, a stormy night followed by an entire family destroyed in what must have been a night of terror.”
The property has had a disturbing past dating back to the early 1800’s. Once operated as an Inn along the dirt road to Clear Spring. Creekside Manor was a frequent stop over for Wagons traveling west out of Williamsport. Travelers last seen headed down Kemps Mill Road would be reported as never reaching their destination. Had they been swallowed up the flooding Conocochegue creek or had they stayed at Creekside Manor?
If you trace the properties history further back, at one time it was home to the Conocochegue Indians who lived here on both sides of the creek. Their trails and artifacts still can be found along the creek. The tribe lived here peacefully for years until being destroyed by the Potomac Indians. Some historians have suggested that the Potomac Indians ate the Conocochegue Indians after food supplies ran out for both tribes during a very harsh winter.
The Manor house was built by Dr. Bowers in the late 1700’s. Dr. Bowers made his fortune traveling the North east, from Boston, to New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore selling lotions and potions for most ailments at the time. His comical side show was popular and always drew a good crowd throughout the summer months. He built the Manor house with it’s many bedrooms to house his traveling medicine show, which consisted of 2 actors 2 actresses and 3 clowns during the winter months. Dr. Bowers and his show returned one October just before a terrible storm that flooded the Conocochegue for 3 days. When the water receded enough to get down Kemps Mill Road it took days to remove the debris from the road. Among the debris found was Dr. Bowers wagons and several clown costumes. Hadn’t they made it to the manor that night?
The longest occupant of the Manor was Mable Mockenburry, who loved it there. Mable was born there, she also died there. As a young child she loved to play on the strange looking rock pile in back of the house. Mables parents died when she was 15 leaving her to run the Manor and raise her younger brother Richard. When her parents died Mable held the wake and funeral in her living room and buried them right on the property, not uncommon during the 1800s. What was uncommon was Mables parents deaths really didn’t seem to bother her. She almost seemed delighted to show them off in their open coffins, where only the heads of her parents could be seen. Mable quickly went about the business of running the Inn. Since the funeral of her parents, she became known for her BBQ dinners. Neighbors and family members who attended the funeral commented on how delicious her pork BBQ was. Mable would only comment “it’s not Pork BBQ dear, it’s just plain BBQ.”
Richard quit talking the day his parents died. He grew up walking the road along the creek selling jewelry he made out of bones, offering samples of Mables BBQ to entice passers by to eat or stay at the Inn.
Mable, a plump matronly looking woman with rosy cheeks and bright red lips lived to be well over 100 years old. Mable had 9 husbands over the years. Five of them Butchers, three of them Chefs. The last one a funeral director who transformed her sitting room into a funeral parlor and the meat locker into an embalming room. All of them gaining over 50lbs during their first year of marriage to Mable, after all she was a very good cook.
No one, not even Mables husbands were allowed in the root cellar. Shortly before she died she had the stairway to it sealed off. The root cellar still remains somewhere beneath the house.
Campers who frequent Hagerstown KOA have reported seeing a young man wearing a necklace made of bones walking the creek front offering samples of food as he passes by. The sounds of drums coming from the woods, the smell of BBQ from the house and reports of seeing men dressed in white walking from window to window are common. It has even been said that on nights in October a sweet looking little old lady can be seen peering out the kitchen window at Creekside Manor.
Creekside Manor is located at the Hagerstown KOA campground. We have restored the Manor and it is now open for tours. Some rooms at the Inn are lovely to look at, others rooms are there for you to experience
THE TERROR AT CREEKSIDE MANOR