industry,  Tradesmen

Tyler Tannery to Western Union Tannery

On the south side of Main Street, east of Oil Creek, John Willard Williams, then burgess of Spartansburg, built a tannery in 1869. (a tannery owned by J Ford is shown on a map from 1867)  The creek was nearby to provide water needed for the process as well as potential power. The area around Spartansburg was well forested and provided the bark necessary for the tanning process.  Men were employed to peel hemlock bark from the trees and haul it by teams of horses to be stored near the tannery.  Children often played hide and seek around the bark piles.  In the winter, children often hitched their sleds to the rear of the load to get a free ride.


In 1870, the tannery was sold to Theodore Tyler.  He, along with James Simmons, Augustus Brunstater and Edward Smith at various times, owned and operated the tannery until 1890.

Ad from the 1871/72 Crawford County Business Directory
Sparta Spice Article, 1880

In June of 1892, massive amounts of rain caused the dam on the other side of Main Street to burst.  The water from the dam damaged the tannery before continuing downstream through other dams becoming The Great Flood of 1892 that caused destruction and loss of life in Titusville and Oil City.

Mr. Goldstein (proprietor of a dry goods store) bought the tannery and later sold it to Mr. Berliner of Titusville.  The Berliner Tannery was sold for taxes in fall of 1899.

It was purchased by JO Thomas of Warren, PA for $3000, just slightly more than the mortgage held by the National Bank of Corry.

Shortly after the purchase by Thomas, SG Maxwell who owned the Queen City Tannery in Titusville, acquired the tannery and renamed it as the Western Union Tannery. Over $20,ooo was spent to remodel the plant.

These articles relate the problems and growth of the businesses over the years of 1893-1900.

The Western Union Tannery continued in business, doing quite well until about 1904.   In 1901, an electrical plant was installed at the tannery:


Then, in 1905, the Queen City Tannery in Titusville, owner of the Western Union Tannery, dismantled it and moved the machines and equipment to be repaired for use in other plants.


In October of 1906, the 2 parcels of land on which the tannery had stood were sold by Queen City Tannery to WE Rice.  He and partner AE Day used that land to construct the Brooklyn Milling Company.