• celebrations,  social

    Spartansburg Fair

    Spartansburg folks enjoy celebrating.  Parades, carnivals, dances, dinners, picnics and gatherings of all sorts have been reported since the late 1800s in the busy borough.  Carnivals and parades were often held to mark the opening of a new business, for example the opening of the Edwards Woolen Mill in 1898, and the opening of the Grange National Bank. So, it is no wonder that 158 years after the establishment of Spartansburg as a town, we are still celebrating.  The Spartansburg Fair is Born The main celebration time for us is the Spartansburg Community Fair- in 2014, the 93rd Fair.  While several fair-like events had been held, sometimes more than once…

  • Disasters

    1905 Fire Takes the South Side of Main Street

    Only seven years after the destructive fire of 1898 which burned the north side of Main Street, the quiet of a January night was broken by the call of fire. The millinery store of Mrs. Eastman was the site of the fire’s start. In addition to the millinery store, Dr. Maitland had his offices and the King family had their home in this building.  Dr. Maitland was able to save some of his equipment but lost several valuable medical books.  The others lost all in the flames, the King family narrowly escaping with their lives. The fire spread quickly even with the efforts of the fire hoses and bucket brigade.…

  • Disasters,  Timeline

    1898 Fire on the Northeast End of Main Street

    Twenty years after the 1878 fire that destroyed both sides of Main Street, the alarm of “Fire!” was sounded at 2 AM on June 13, 1898.  I am sure that there were folks whose memories returned to that earlier cry with a sense of dread. The fire began in a storage building connected to Reno Drug Store at the Northeast end of Main Street. Reno Drug Advertisement Items When discovered, the townspeople quickly began to organize to contain the fire.  Some went to the Town Hall to retrieve the only piece of fire equipment in town, a hand-operated pump, and found that there was lumber piled in the way that…

  • PublicWorks,  Sentinel

    Spartansburg’s Newspaper the Sentinel

      The first copy of the “Spartansburgh” Sentinel was 2 pages and issued on February 28, 1885.  The Editor was listed as RA Maxwell who published the paper from his home. ***NOTE*** Through the generous contribution from the Firth family, photo images of the Sentinel from 1902-1908 will be posted.  These will not be searchable. COPIES OF SENTINEL TO READ Shortly after, the paper was sold to Allen Tryon who moved the paper into a Main Street building later used as the post office.  Tryon owned the paper for a short time working with A E Walling.  John Wright was employed as a type-setter and after about a year, purchased…

  • 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…

  • Disasters

    The 1878 Fire Burns Main Street Businesses

    Spartansburg has suffered three major fires in the town business district.  The first fire occurred in 1878 and destroyed homes and businesses on both side of Main Street. The downtown of Spartansburg had been growing and many businesses and residences above stores had been built.  Among those businesses was Jacobs and Goldman Dry Goods store.  Grocers, hardware dealers, shoe stores, a hotel, drug stores, milliners and doctors lost buildings in the fire.  The fire was suspicious to folks in town from the beginning and it later proved that their instincts were correct. The sound of “Fire!” was heard and the alarm given just after midnight on March 7, 1878.  Fire…

  • 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…

  • Directories

    1874 Directory for Spartansburg and Sparta Township

    The 1874 version of the Crawford County Directory provided a list of residents of Sparta Township and Spartansburg Borough.  The listing included the occupation of the resident.  Those who lived in the township are designated with an r and a number after their names. 1874 Gazeteer and Business Directory for Crawford County 1874 Description of Spartansburg and 2 business ads

  • 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…

  • 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.

  • Disasters,  Notable

    Patrick Run-Early Settlers and Murder

    PLEASE NOTE: This post is a brief overview of the lives of Patrick and Hugh Fitzpatrick.  For a more detailed study of their lives and deaths, check out the book Patrick’s Run  by James McQuiston. The Fitzpatrick’s came from Ireland to settle on a tract of land acquired from the Holland and North America Land Company (Between Tract 286 and 398)  Their stories are tales of hardship and demonstration of how unfair life can seem. Patrick was the father and he had been a seaman on Lake Erie before locating in Sparta Township.  When the War of 1812 found its way to Erie and Commodore Perry, Patrick was sought out…

  • Uncategorized

    About this site

    Spartansburg History is work in progress. I welcome any photos, stories, articles or other historical items. I will care for them, digitize them and get them back to you. The information you will find here is based on stories, resources, pictures, news articles and some historic writings. Many of these resources have been shared, at my request, by folks whose families have lived here for multiple generations. The writings are as factual as possible. In many ways Spartansburg is a typical small rural village. But, after 34 years of life in this typical village, I have come to realize that the community spirit, sense of dedication and sincere concern for…