North Country Brewing Company
141 S Main Street
Slippery Rock, PA 16057
Once a family business, but always a thriving one, North Country Brewing Company has always brought a lifeblood to the small town of Slippery Rock. Currently, this successful and popular brewery produces their own beer and bring customers back by means of great food and new beers. In its’ infancy, the building housed a plethora of different business ventures. The structure changed faced with each transition but structurally, and architecturally, remained steady. Today, visitors can step back through time and get a feel for what the original building was like through the 1800’s. The current brewery boasts original wooden structure and even a beam that was razed from the barn which once sat in that very location. Many employees and visitors claim that the property doesn’t just come with an old fashion feel, but rather there seems to be something, or someone, that has stuck around from the past to enjoy the spirits of the bar and the guests of their old business. Some visitors come for the great food, drinks, and atmosphere; others come to experience something a little out of this world.
The first building that stood on the land that North Country Brewing currently was built in 1805 by Peter Uber who constructed a fairly simple house and barn in Slippery Rock, PA. This combination originally served as Peter’s family home but quickly transitioned into an inn and bar to increase the homestead’s income. By 1835, Peter’s son, William Henry Harrison Uber served as the main bartender and began to have more input and ownership in the inn itself.
Around this same time, the father-son duo deconstructed the barn and salvaged the material to add to the storefront of the inn. With this addition, they began constructing cabinets and furniture to add to their income and diversify their business. As the Civil War spun out of control during the 1860’s, the cabinet and furniture shop quickly, and easily, transitioned into a coffin making shop.
As the only next natural progression, in the Ubers’ minds, the pair continued to expand their business and soon opened “Uber & Sons – Undertakers and Furniture Dealers.” Especially with the destruction of the Civil War, their various businesses all thrived.
Peter passed away not soon after the Civil War ended but William brought his own son, Carrol, into the family business. The building continued to grow with their success and by the 1920’s Carrol took full control of the diverse business. At this point, the building was finally complete and expanded to its’ current size and design.
To continue the family business, Carrol passed down the prosperous business to his son Elton North Uber. Elton finally closed up the funeral parlor portion of the building and business in 1974 but continued on as a full-fledged furniture maker. The building and business closed in 1994 as Elton retired ending a long line of interesting and unique family businesses.
Bob and Jodi McCafferty were exploring local options to begin their brewery business. Around 1998, they came across the dilapidated storefront and purchased the building on the spot. The pair renovated the entire building utilizing only local materials. They also used any and all salvageable materials from the original building and leftover on site. Seven years later, in 2005, the McCafferty’s opened up North Country Brewing Company.
The brewing and locale flourished with the support received from the community and nearby areas. Since first opening their doors, the brewery has brewed over 100 different types of beers, and the number is still growing to this day.
While North Country Brewing Company is still growing in both popularity and recognition, the owners have stayed true to their local roots and have not expanded or outgrown the original Uber & Sons storefront and building. The original wooden beams from the barn are still in place and can be seen when visiting, and every square foot of the building is a true historic display of the past which comes to life and really makes visitors feel as though they are stepping back in time to the 1800’s.
North Country Brewing has seen its’ fair share of change and diversity in its’ lifetime. With each change there seemed to be a sort of footprint left behind. Whether the grisly deaths of the Civil War played more of a role or the simple fact that the location was essentially a family business for a shade less than 200 years, the structure that currently houses the popular brewery seems to have a significant amount of left over energy from the past.
There have been footsteps and orb activity reported and recorded on the second floor. The office and hallway are the two predominant locations for these other worldly phenomena. There is actual video evidence of orbs appearing in the office and slowly moving down the hallway disappearing around the corner. This occurrence has been reported by employees typically after hours as they are closing up for the night. The footsteps have been more difficult to put a ear to but they sound as though they trace the same path as the orbs, moving from the office and traipsing down the hallway. The most common explanation is the presence of Peter or William Uber looking over the building from their grave. The identity is unknown, and no name has been recorded.
On the main floor, doors have been said to creak open slowly only to slam shut suddenly. This seems to be an attention-grabbing technique as the bartenders and waiters have tried to ignore it. The more they ignore the entity, the more frequent the activity becomes. Upon investigations, there never seems to be a scientific reason for these phantom movements; no wind, no air conditioner, no employees or customers close by, nothing. Legend says that these entities are those of the dead Civil War soldiers whose lives were lost, and the location of their caskets were built. Some say that the Ubers’ took advantage of the deaths and made their family fortune preying on the heartbroken and fragile families of their lost soldiers.
The basement has been rumored to be the location of some dark presence. The reasoning is truly unknown, but some locals of Slippery Rock, including a medium who was brought in to help cleanse the space, have their own opinions. Visitors claim to feel sick immediately upon entering the basement but are released from the feeling once they leave the area. There have been reports of phantom pushes and scrapes leaving three deep red scratches on some peoples’ backs and legs. The medium was unable to stay in the basement for more than thirty minutes before she needed to vacate the premises completely. The reasoning for these supposed demonic actions is rumored to occur during the four-year abandonment from 1994-1998, vandals were thought to break in through the basement just to cause mischief. These so-called vandals were actually rumored to be a group of traveling Satanists who would follow through with dark rituals either opening up portals to another dimension or attempt to unleash other worldly beings into our plane of existence. This group was said to perform over twenty ritualistic ceremonies in the basement before the McCaffery’s purchased the property in 1998. Whatever they brought through or opened up, seems to be left there to this day.