Big Bend Historical Area

6 mi. NW of Mercer on Shenango River


Looking upstream at boat launch north of Valley Rd

Photo taken by Brian Manville on September 30, 2017




The Big Bend area on the Shenango River displays a unique 90 degree turn in the riverís path as it begins to drain down towards the Shenango River Lake. Along the banks of Big Bend, you can take a step back into Erie Extension Canal history. The remnants of the riprap laid along the stream bank to prevent streambank erosion are still visible today. The Erie Extension Canal provided the isolated regions of Mercer County a vital means of transporting goods to ports at Erie and Pittsburgh. This stimulated the regional economy which for years had been limited to local trade due to the absence of convenient transportation (Bauman, J.F., 1989).

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on April 21, 1975
Reference number
Areas of significance
Industry; Transportation; Exploration/Settlement
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event
Property type
Historic function
Village site
Current function
Village site
Periods of significance
1850-1874; 1825-1849
Significant year
Number of properties
Contributing structures: 2
Contributing sites: 4

Update Log 

  • September 30, 2017: Updated by Brian Manville: Added photographs and description.