• industry,  Tradesmen

    Shreve Chair Factory at Spartansburg

    The Shreve Chair Factory in Spartansburg was located on the site of the early saw mill (started by the Akins brothers in about 1830) that was originally a part of what is now Platt’s Mill. The saw mill property passed through the ownership of John Jude and George Eldred and John Thompson. Eldred took over the management of the saw mill until it burned in 1894. Following his death in 1899, his estate sold 5 acres where the mill had been located to the Shreve Chair Company in Union City. (That property location was where part of Clear Lake Lumber operates now.) That sale was published in the August 17,…

  • 19001950s,  Merchants,  Stores,  Uncategorized

    Piggly Wiggly

    Grocery stores in the late 1800s and early 1900s, usually had clerks who would get the groceries for customers and bring them to a counter for them. Self-service stores came along later. One of the first to operate as self-service, was Piggly Wiggly. Here is the story of the first Piggly Wiggly stores according to Smithsonian Magazine. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/bizarre-story-piggly-wiggly-first-self-service-grocery-store-180964708/ Piggly Wiggly came to Spartansburg in about 1934 on Main Street-probably replacing the Red & White Store-1 store in from the corner with Water Street. The manager was Laurence Winsor. His employees included Clair Lindsey, Mabel Schreckengost and Miss Helen Bates. The Piggly Wiggly sponsored contests- one prize was $5 and one…

  • Merchants,  Stores

    Hardware: Most’s to Bova’s

    In 1968, the hardware that had been owned and run by Fern Beale and the Bates, was purchased by Herbert Most and his wife Marlott who had come to the US from Germany in 1951.  They owned the store until 1989. The store was in the same location built by Leon Morris in 1899.  As with all the previous owners, the hardware was an important part of the community.  Collections for the March of Dimes, Red Cross and local fund-raising were made at the store.  Displays for Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and school teams were often found in the windows. In 1971, yet another fire destroyed a business on the…

  • Churches,  Structures

    Gospel Tabernacle~1940s & 1950s and Christian Missionary Alliance

    The Gospel Tabernacle church was established in the early 1940’s and held services in a building on the south side of Main Street that had been built following the 1905 fire.  The building was originally built for Augustus Schmelzer’s shoe store by Edward Allen of Titusvlle (Allen built many of the brick stores on both sides of Main Street following the 1898 and 1905 fires).  The building was also used as offices for the Tauber Woolen Mill in the 1930’s. This building, along with the building next door that housed Dr. Earnest’s office and another store were later demolished and that property is now the site of the Spartansburg Volunteer…

  • Churches,  Clergy

    Catholic Church

    The Catholic Church has had a presence in Spartansburg for many years.  Services for Catholic residents of Spartansburg and the surrounding area were provided by missionary priests in the mid 1800s.  Starting in 1906, Father Kuntz, from Corry, held Mass once a month.  He was followed by Father David Hartnett who met with parishioners once a month in the home of William Bliley The Blileys provided a portable altar and 2 benches for those who came to gather near the pot-belly coal stove.   Mrs. Bliley tended the altar linens and vestments.  When a larger congregation required more space, stores were rented for services. Upon the retirement of Father Hartnett, Father…

  • industry,  Tradesmen

    OSMO Tannery (1933-1989)

    As a part of his duties at the Tauber Woolen Mill, Walter Pfeiffer traveled and visited many businesses that were associated or enhanced the woolen trade.  On one such trip to Cleveland, Ohio in 1932, Walter met and toured the OSMO Manufacturing Company owned by Oskar Most.  His business was in the tanning and production of items made from sheep hides. Most had come to the US in late 1920s and had operated the business in Cleveland for about 2 years.  He was interested in locating in a smaller community where costs might be lower.  Pfeiffer convinced him to visit Spartansburg and move his business here.  In 1933, with Pfeiffer…

  • Schools,  Structures

    The “New” (1922) School

    As the attendance at Spartansburg school increased and the building aged, the community members realized that a new home for education was needed.  So, the School Board and community leaders began to explore making it a reality. The school names have been revised over the years, being Spartansburg Vocational School until 1953 when it became Spartansburg Consolidated School/ Sparta Merged. Advertisements for bids to erect the new structure went out in April, 1922. A separate gymnasium and home-economics building were available on the same campus as the school.  The members of the school board and local leaders continually provided for the needs of the Spartansburg students. Spartansburg School Featured Spartansburg…

  • Citizens,  Merchants,  Stores

    Dooher Hardware and Grocery

    Peter Joseph Dooher (PJ) and his wife Flora (Whaley) came to Spartansburg before 1910.  He served as a depot operator and telegrapher for the Pennsylvania Railroad from about 1910 until he retired about 1940. During part of this time, he also owned and managed, with his family, a grocery and hardware store in town.   The store was in what was known at the time as the Winans Block. (In 2017, that building houses Walton’s Cabin and The Spartansburg Pharmacy.)  The building was constructed following the 1898 fire that destroyed the north side of Main Street. This picture shows the gasoline pump that Mr. Dooher had installed in 1921 according to…

  • Merchants,  Stores

    Rexford Drug Store

    On the southwest corner of Main Street and Mechanic Street, a large brick building was erected after the 1878 fire that destroyed both sides of the Main Street business district.  Initially, this building housed the CW Kinney grocery store, later called the Diamond Grocery. About 1911, the store became a drug store and jewelry store owned by the Rexford family with partners.  One of these partners was BL (Bert) Miller who purchased a business from CH Gabriel in about 1907.  More can be found about BL Miller in an article about him. The druggists, Rexford and Allen were involved in some legal difficulties in 1914.  Morphine was sold in an…

  • bank,  PublicWorks

    Grange National Bank

    The Grange National Bank was the 2nd bank in Spartansburg.  It’s establishment came within 3 years after the failure of the Spartansburg (Tryon) Bank.  Spartansburg was a thriving community and it was the feeling of merchants and farmers in the area that a bank was needed. In this Spartansburg Sentinel article from February 15, 1907, it is explained that $25000 is required to establish a National Bank.  That money is through shares of $100 each with 50% due at organization and 10% each month after that until paid. The bank was originally to be called the First National Bank of Spartansburg, and was noted as such in the approval of…

  • Uncategorized

    The Winans House (J Albert Winans)

    This house belonged to JA (Bert) Winans.  In later years, it had apartment rooms in addition to being the family home. The home was on the North side of Main Street in the area where Clear Lake Lumber now stands just east of Blakeslee Street . The house was later demolished. One of the couples who started married life in a Winans Apartment was Margie and Bernie Skiff.  I believe the apartment was in the house, not a tree house…

  • Uncategorized

    The Thompson House

    The Thompson House was known by locals as “The Castle.  It was built for the Thompson Family in……late 1800’s- I have not found an exact date. Several families lived in the house through the years.  Like many houses of a “certain age” it is rumored to have been haunted. The house, sadly, was demolished to make room to store lumber needed for a flooring manufacturing business.

  • Medicine,  Merchants,  Stores

    BL (Bert) Miller-Druggist

    BL Miller came to Spartansburg from Williamsport in Summer, 1905 having purchased the business of CH (CA) Gabriel at auction, following the failure of the Spartansburg Bank. (Gabriel was a guarantor of the bank) . He had several years of experience as a druggist and advertisements and articles indicated his success. During this time, another drug store, owned by the Rexfords, was also operating in Spartansburg. In about 1907, Miller and Rexford became partners and Miller purchased a large storefront on the southwest corner of Main and Mechanic Streets (built following the 1878 fire by the Kinneys) that had been the SpartaBargain Store.  Rexford and Miller combined their businesses in…

  • Merchants,  Stores,  Tradesmen

    Evert Frost-Watches and Jewelry

    In the late 1890s and early 1900s, Everett (Evert) Frost and wife, Edna, lived in Spartansburg where he owned a watch and clock repair and jewelry business. His store was on Main Street.  Mr. Frost advertised in the Spartansburg Sentinel, in some creative ways. Everett was raised in Little Cooley and had a clock shop in Riceville prior to the one in Spartansburg.  He and Edna had one child, a son Ivan who died at age 11 when the family had moved to Fredonia, NY.  The three are interred at Rose Hill Cemetery.   It seems that he was divorced and re-married (Bessie Sherlock) after leaving Spartansburg. He adopted Bessie’s 2…

  • industry,  Tradesmen

    The Edwards Woolen Mill

    The Edwards Brothers (James and WIlliam), with the help of the town, constructed and operated a woolen mill.  Two acres of land at the end of Water Street were donated and “subscriptions” were sold to raise funds for construction and machinery.  The mill was in operation from 1896 until 1902.  A fire damaged the building and the Edwards’ Mill was re-located to Siverly (Oil City) in 1902. The Edwards Brothers’ family home is featured here. These news clips are from the Titusville Herald: April 10, 1896 June 5, 1896 July 7, 1896:  The Merchant’s Carnival was held in honor of the completion of the Mill Building.  A parade was held…

  • Uncategorized

    The Lindstrom House

      This house, owned by Herbert and Maude Linstrom. was across from Platt’s Mill, behind the Thompson house.  It has been demolished.

  • Churches

    New Era Temple

    The New Era Temple was established in about 1895 and built a church on the west side of  Mechanic Street, 2 doors down from what is now the PA Gast Haus.  The congregation members were “spiritualists”.  It is unknown how long there was an active congregation at the church. New Era Temple Dedicated Dedication Report from Titusville Herald (1895) Following the 1898 Fire that destroyed part of the business district on the south side of Main Street, the building was fitted to be the temporary home for 3 businesses.  It also served later as a warehouse for Lamb Woolen Mill, and in 1914 was purchased by the Sentinel for use…

  • service

    The Lamb House

    The land was first purchased by Harvey (Major) Lamb from John Emerson in 1852.  Lamb built the house circa 1870. Lamb owned the Lamb Woolen Mill at the end of Mechanic Street (later Tauber Mill) The home passed through other families, including John and Charles Tauber, Flora Patchen, HB Drought and William Foster. Following the Droughts’ ownership, in 1944 the building was sold to Paul Blakeslee who lived there until 1946.  Shortly thereafter, it became the American Legion Home. The Jay Huff Legion Post and Auxiliary began to raise funds to allow them to improve the property. They made a number of repairs and updates to the home in 1956. …

  • Merchants,  Stores,  Tradesmen

    Gustav Schmelzer Shoes and Boots

    With thanks to Gustav’s Great Grandson, Robert for sharing information and photos of Gustav and some of his tools and wooden travel chest. Gustav A. Schmelzer was a prominent and respected merchant and tradesman in Spartansburg for 37 years.  He was born in Bavaria (at that time it was separate from Germany) and had 3 brothers.  Gustav served his country and was wounded in the Franco-Prussian War, after which he came to America.  Two of his brothers, Emil and Franz also came to the US and settled in Buffalo and Erie respectively. He had just begun business, working in a building on the north side when the 1878 fire destroyed…

  • Structures

    The Tauber House

    The house at 223 Main Street was built in the late 1880’s or early 1890’s by AE Morton who was the undertaker.  It was later purchased by Charles Tauber, owner of the Tauber (previously Lamb) woolen mill. These pictures show the Tauber House as seen in 1915. The three front rooms of the house still contain the original oak trim that matches the staircase.  The large picture window on the east and the bay windows on the west side are original.  The bay window shown in the picture at the front of the house was removed in 1938 by then owner Walter Pfeiffer who was a nephew to Charles Tauber…

  • bank,  PublicWorks

    The Spartansburg Bank (1882-1905)

    In 1882, a bank was organized in Spartansburg.  The bank was a private bank with no state or federal backing.  The first President of the bank was IH Burt and the first cashier was FD Catlin.  In 1889, DW Tryon became a major stockholder and cashier for the bank.  Community members and farmers from the area made deposits and the bank continued to grow, showing $30,000 available in a bank report in 1900. The Spartansburg Sentinel ran an ad for the bank on March 3, 1905 On March 4, 1905, DW Tryon closed the bank and went to Meadville to transfer all bank and personal property to an “assignee” who…

  • Uncategorized

    The Edwards House

    William Edwards and his family came to Spartansburg from Forfar, Scotland in about 1873.  William, his wife Elisabeth (Scott) and their sons, James and William settled in a house on a double lot on Davenport Street-which he purchased from Benjamin Davenport.  Mr. Edwards had apprenticed as a stone mason in Scotland and he brought that trade with him to America.  He is listed in the 1874 and successive Business Directories for the area.  (Edwards was on the Board of Directors for the Spartansburg Woolen Mill owned by his sons) Several stories have been shared about the stone house that the Edwards family built starting in 1879 and finishing in 1881.  The…

  • hotels

    Central Hotel

    The Central Hotel, also called the New Central Hotel was probably built by Frank and Eva Hill prior to 1880.  It was located near the railroad depot on the south side of Main Street directly across from the site of the Showerman Hotel which burned to the ground in the 1878 fire that destroyed both sides of Main Street. The first mention of the hotel being open is in an article from June of 1880, praising the hotel and Mrs. Rouse, the proprietor. Additional articles in 1880 and 1885 show that the hotel continues to be an important business in town.  They provided not only housing for travelers and visiting…

  • Churches

    Methodist Episcopal Church

    The Methodist Church building remains in its original location on Main Street.  The organization of the Methodist Episcopal Congregation happened about 1827 through Rev IH Tackett.  Church services were initially held in the school building that was on land owned by Dan Akins (west of the creek on Main Street) and on alternate Sundays at the Presbyterian Church. The church building was completed in 1877 on the East side of the creek on land donated by Abraham Blakeslee.  It was 34 x 60 and cost $2600. The church is very much the same today, and some of the original windows are still in use.  An addition and some updates were…

  • Uncategorized

    The William Major House

    William Major House is located on Main Street and structurally still looks very much the same as in 1876 when this drawing of the house was published in the Crawford County Atlas.   The spire at the top of the widow’s watch is gone now, but the watch still remains.

  • Uncategorized

    The Lewis House

    John M Lewis, Esq. owned and operated a wagon and carriage shop in the borough.   He was well-respected for his workmanship and he was also a Justice of the Peace for Spartansburg.   In 1874, he built a large brick home on the northeast corner of Main and Washington Streets.  The home was briefly described in a June 10, 1874 Titusville Herald article. The home has changed little over the years and is still one of the few brick homes in the borough.

  • hotels

    Lakeview (Hewell House) Hotel

    One of the early businesses in Spartansburg was the Lakeview Hotel.  In 1862, CW Hewell opened the St Nichlas Hotel on the northwest corner of Main and Water streets.  During his proprietorship, the hotel was called by the name St. Nichlas and the Hewell House.   During Hewell’s ownership, the hotel survived the first major fire (1878) that burned both sides of Main Street. In about 1886, Jerome Hyatt and his family took ownership of the hotel, and remained there through yet another fire in 1898.  In 1899, Hyatt moved on and CE “Cap” Boyle became host to guests at the hotel. For the next several years, the hotel continued to…

  • Uncategorized

    The Bates House

    Mr. and Mrs. Fred Bates lived in this house on Mechanic Street These pictures are from about 1936. Currently,  the residence is the PA Gast Haus Bed and Breakfast.

  • 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…

  • Merchants,  Stores

    Goldsteins’ Mercantile

    With the mottos “Live and Let Live” and “A Satisfied Customer is the Best Advertisement” Goldstein’s Mercantile operated in Spartansburg from 1868 until 1915.  The business was started in 1868 by Joseph Goldstein and his wife Libbie who were Russian immigrants.  Mr. Goldstein was a well-respected merchant who also owned the Tyler Tannery from 1889 until 1891. When Joseph died in 1899, the business continued under Libbie’s name and managed by his son Abe.  Abe was 18 at the time of his father’s death and had planned to attend Medical School.  Under the name L. Goldstein, the store continued to prosper and to provide for the Dry Goods needs of…

  • Schools

    School Building Erected in 1862

    The first school in Spartansburg town limits was built on land donated by the Akins on the east side of Oil Creek (East Branch) In 1862, a modern new school was built on the corner of Water and Wood Streets.  The wood construction building was 2 stories tall with 3 rooms on each floor.   The Principal was Eli Catlin with Lizzie Akin and Eila Rorabeck as teachers.  Six men served as the Board of Directors: Dr. AP Waid, TG Tyler, G Hilliker, WW White, CW Binney and WN Reno. Other schools served the students in the Spartansburg area prior to this building, but this school reached out to townships surrounding…

  • PublicWorks,  Railroad

    Railroads Through Spartansburg

       The Oil Creek Railroad line from Titusville to Corry opened in 1862.  The Oil Creek became a part of the Western New York and PA, and later the Pennsylvania RR.  The railroad provided opportunities for merchants and tradesmen in the area to expand their businesses and promoted Spartansburg’s growth.

  • industry,  Tradesmen

    Blacksmith Shops

    At one time, Spartansburg hosted 4 blacksmith shops in the village.  Luther and George Day, Charles Thompson, John McDannel, Charles Kinney and OD Snapp were some of the early smiths who cared for the blacksmith needs from 1871-1910.  Their shops were located throughout the town. Information about Ayer’s Products:  By the early 1900’s the role of the blacksmith was changing due to the entrance of horseless carriages.  However, rural, farming areas still relied on wagons and horses to transport their families and crops.  One of the last known blacksmiths in Spartansburg was Frank Herbst.  He had a shop on Mechanic Street, 2 buildings up from the Methodist Church. Herbst sold…

  • Merchants,  Stores

    Winans / Morris / Beal / Bates Hardware

    AV Winans came to Spartansburg in about 1865 and established a butcher shop with his brother, SA Winans.  Two years later he and his father-in-law purchased hardware stores owned by Alsdorfs and by CM Hopkins.  AV Winans combined the 2 hardware stores into a building near the railroad track (northeast side of Main Street).   This building was destroyed in the 1898 fire which burned the businesses on the NE side of Main from the tracks to Water Street.  Shortly after the fire, he constructed a brick building (fire-resistant materials were required by city ordinance) on that site and continued with his business. This article from a 1908 edition of the…

  • Churches

    Baptist Church

    The Baptist Congregation was begun in  Bloomfield in 1820 and met in Concord Township.  In 1849, organizers (listed below) brought a Baptist congregation to Spartansburg.    The original church building was erected and dedicated in 1851.  The church was described in the 1955 writings of Ralph Elliott Blakeslee as a “perfect specimen of New England Meeting House.  That building was replaced by the current building on the same property in 1979. Organizers of the original congregation included: AJ Millard, A Matteson, Joseph Cook, John Carperner, Isaac Shreve and Benjamin Darrow. Spartansburg Baptist today.  The new building was built on the same location as the original church building in 1979.

  • Churches,  social

    Presbyterian Church

    The Presbyterian Church was organized in 1844.  The church was built in 1849 on the South side of Main Street.  The original pastors were George W. Hampson and Amos Chase.  Oliver N. Chapin served as supply pastor for some time. Early members included: Eli Catlin, Wolcott Bennett, Mrs. Lula Smith. Joseph Culver, Isaac Brown, Charles and John Day, Isaac Farndon and William McLay.   An active congregation was maintained until 1866. After the discontinuation of the Presbyterian congregation, the building was sold to the Congregational Church.  Elders JT Waid and William Major served at the church along with Reverend MacKellar.  Other members of the Congregationalists were:Homer Hall, WW Youngson, Peter…

  • industry,  Tradesmen

    The Tauber Woolen Mill (Previously Lamb)

    Woolen manufacturing was among the earliest and longest lasting businesses in Spartansburg.  As early as 1837, nearly 20 years before the borough was incorporated, McWilliams and Emerson developed a carding and fulling mill south of what would become the center of town.  The business was at the end of what is now Mechanic Street and approximately where a lumber company is now (2021) In 1849, McWilliams sold his portion of the business to Mr. Lamb whose family later became sole owners and he made it into a Woolen Mill.  The original mill building was maintained as a storage facility and a new 2 story factory was completed in 1862.  Lamb…

  • industry,  Merchants,  Stores,  Tradesmen

    Platt’s (Akins, Jude, Eldred and Thompson, Davis and Hyde, Platt & Steadman) Mill

    Platt’s Mill on Mill Street beside the dam is the longest operating business site in Spartansburg.  It was the original grist mill site begun by the Akins brothers in the 1830s on land purchased from Judge Barlow.  The Akins also had a saw mill on the west side of Oil Creek.  The mill was in a great location when the railroad came through town, and a siding from the main line to the mill further established its prominence. This portion of a map from 1867 shows the location of the saw and grist mills at that time. This 1876 map shows that the property for the grist mill had transferred…

  • industry,  Merchants,  Stores,  Tradesmen

    Akins Brothers Begin Business in Spartansburg

    In the 1830’s The Akins brothers, Andrew and Aaron, opened a Saw Mill and a Grist Mill on the East and West Side of Oil Creek.   The Grist mill was on the site of the current Platt’s Mill. In 1837, Andrew Akin opened a General Store in Spartansburg.  He employed Eli Catlin as a clerk.  Catlin also purchased, surveyed and laid out the plan for the village.