Dating in susquehanna depot pennsylvania

Coppock The Early Years, The land on which the Borough of Susquehanna is situated was originally part of the Drinker Tract, purchased by Henry Drinker in No large settlements were established in the region during the first half of the nineteenth century. The area was the site of several large farms. The line was finally opened in May of The line became the Erie Railway after reorganization in It followed the Susquehanna River through the northern part of Susquehanna County for approximately twenty-five miles, and had two stations, Susquehanna and Great Bend, within the county Blackman About the farms that included what is now Susquehanna Borough were purchased by the Erie Railway Company.

A town of regular lots was laid out. The topography of the area and the location of the railroad tracks along the south bank of the Susquehanna River constricted the plan of the town. The plan of the town was determined by these hills, the river on the north, and by Drinker Creek which runs through the middle of town. Susquehanna, then called Susquehanna Depot, was incorporated as a borough in ; the name was changed to Susquehanna in Blackman The earliest extant tax assessment record for the town dates to and provided a glimpse into the town during that year.

Other types of buildings listed in the assessment for include six taverns, two saloons including one with a bowling alley , 13 storerooms, 11 shops, two barns and a slaughter house Susquehanna A map showing how the borough looked in is shown on next page. Many of the taxables assessed in worked for the railroad, including engineers, brakemen, a telegraph clerk, foremen, molders, boilermakers, a railroad agent and yard watchmen.

Many others were involved in commerce of service occupations, including shoemakers, grocers, merchants, innkeepers, bakers, physicians, attorneys, tailors, and barbers.

Only 19 of the taxables were immigrants; six men were listed as English, 13 as Irish Susquehanna The chief mechanical headquarters for the Erie Railway were at Susquehanna and at times employed as many as 3, people. The rail year was constructed in on the banks of the Susquehanna River. Among the first structures in the yard was a boarding house to accommodate the workmen. The original, small frame buildings erected in and used as shops in the building and repairing of rail cars were replaced in by a more extensive rail yard.

This structure contained the erecting, machinery, tool, rod, turning, planning, wheel, tin and copper, and stock departments. Adjoining the main building to the north were six brick annexes housing the boiler shop, blacksmith shop, engine room, bathhouse, paint shop, pattern storeroom, and carpentry shop.

Additional structures in the rail yard included the foundry a portion of which still stands , hammer shop, a 33 stall round house, gas works, oil works, and an office building. The yard could accommodate approximately locomotives at time Hopkins ; Beers ; Blackman West of the yards stood a large brick freight house, an ice house, and an enormous passenger station named the Starucca House. The Starucca House, constructed between and , has been restored and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places Beers ; Stockeer Privately built hotels, general stores, bakeries, and blacksmith shops all appeared on the south side of Main and Front Streets.

Contemporary with the burgeoning commercial construction, new residences were erected throughout the town. On Willow Avenue, Washington Street, Jackson Street, and Church Street frame, single-family, two-and-a-half story vernacular houses were built Throughout the second half of the nineteenth century, the Erie Railway was the chief industry in the Susquehanna and Oakland area. Unusual for its time, the Erie Railroad Company established a library and lecture-hall in one of the new buildings as a service for its employees.

At the time, it was the only such library and lecture-hall facility connected with a rail yard in the country Blackman The early years of the Erie Railway were marked by under-capitalization and financial difficulties. However, like many northern railroads, the Erie Railway improved its financial situation by hauling munitions and soldiers during the Civil War.

Following the war, Erie hauled both freight and passengers profitably. However, in the latter part of the last century, Erie was primarily known for the financial machinations of its board of directors during the period Charles Francis Adams, Jr. The misuses of Erie resources resulted in many of the modern rules for sale and purchase of stocks and bonds.

If the management decided to close the shops or reduce hours, the workers were forced to find employment elsewhere or go without pay. Only two of the hotels still stand. The hotels along front street, directly behind the Starucca House, housed many of the temporary workforce.

The hotels of Hotel Row had seedy reputations; one local historian recalled that gambling and prostitution were tolerated on Hotel Row, but not in the rest of the town.

Although the fortune of the town was closely liked with the success and expansion of the Erie yards, it was also linked to the surrounding rural area, which prospered during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Susquehanna County was also among the top 15 Pennsylvania counties in the production of eggs during the opening years of the twentieth century Penn State The agricultural products of the county were shipped to New York via the Erie Railway, and the town of Susquehanna acted as a retail center for the surrounding farms. Until the establishment of the Erie Railway yards at Susquehanna, Oakland had few inhabitants. Most of the early residents were employed at the grist, saw, and planing mills built along the creeks on the north side of the river.

During the second half of the nineteenth century, the population of Oakland increased as railroad workers and their families settled there. The village of Oakland was incorporated as a borough in Stocker The first bridge connecting Susquehanna and Oakland was constructed in and was destroyed by a flood. A new toll bridge was then built from the area of the rail yards in Susquehanna to River Street in Oakland. Between and , a third bridge was constructed to connect the two boroughs. This bridge was erected on the site of the existing bridge.

The Later Years, By the turn of the century, the roundhouse facilities, constructed a half-century before, had become too small for the larger, heavier locomotives. A new roundhouse complex was constructed between , on the floodplain of the river, north of the thirteen sets of railroad tracks. In addition to the new roundhouse, the company built between and another machine shop, a register station, a pumphouse, and offices for the roundhouse and the blower.

By , at the peak of its development, the Erie Railway Yards at Susquehanna consisted of three major functionally distinct complexes. The oldest of these complexes was centered on the original roundhouse. Termed the Old Roundhouse Complex, this part of the Yards contained the old roundhouse, turntable, and an office. The larger New Roundhouse Complex, built between , consisted of the new roundhouse and turntable, and office, and ten additional buildings of various functions.

The third complex in the Yards was the Shop Complex. This Complex consisted of thirteen buildings, including an office, a machine shop, a forge, a foundry, and various other shops for fabricating and repairing locomotive and rail car parts. In all, the Erie Railway Yards contained 29 individual buildings in Throughout the first half of the twentieth century, the workforce at the Yards fluctuated between and persons.

Susquehanna and Oakland consisted of primarily residences and apartments for the workers at the railroad shop and roundhouse complex. Two older residents recalled that the service facilities of the two towns were not adequate for the population; most of the people traveled elsewhere to shop.

Because most of the inhabitants were railroad employees or were members of railroad employee families, they could travel on the railroad for reduced rates, and later, for free. As a result, many people regularly shopped in Binghamton, New York, less that a half-hour away by train. Some made the three-hour trip to New York to shop, even for groceries. The reduced and free fares also operated in the reverse direction; many workers at the Susquehanna shop and roundhouse complex lived in Binghamton or Windsor, and came to work on the train.

During the last half of the nineteenth and first three decades of the twentieth centuries, the Erie Railway yards at Susquehanna bustled with activity. Locomotives and locomotive parts were forged and machined in the shops. Cars were constructed and painted there. Freight from both east and west was sorted on the sidings in front of the shops. Rolling repairs were minor repairs that could be performed within six to eight hours, without dismantling portions of the locomotives or tenders.

If more extensive repairs were required, the locomotive or tender was dismantled and repaired in the shop area. Locomotives merely standing idle were occasionally stabled in the roundhouse, but would generally be pared on a siding. Erie remained barely profitable in the early twentieth century. In , new management took over in the personae of the Van Sweringen brothers and their manager, John J.

Bernet reorganized Erie, recognizing its potentially profitable route, which was the most direct, efficient and fastest between New York City and the Great Lakes above Niagara Falls. Bernet ordered larger, heavier locomotives steam-powered called Berkshires, to move the freight and passengers along the variety of grades of the Erie route Young Rather than rebuilding the great stone shops of Susquehanna to handle the new, heavier machinery, Bernet ordered new shops built at Hornell, New York.

The shops at Susquehanna were converted for the construction of railroad cars. The old roundhouse was razed in The new roundhouse and portions of the shop area continued to be used for the maintenance and repair of smaller locomotives until In , the Erie Railway closed the Susquehanna roundhouse, and constructed a new facility near the town of Great Bend, several miles down river. The turntable of the Susquehanna roundhouse was removed, but the rest of the structure remained.

The closing of the Susquehanna roundhouse coincided with the last year that steam locomotives were used on the main lines by the Erie Railway. The facilities of the Susquehanna roundhouse had been built to service steam locomotives; the new facilities were built for diesel locomotives. In , Erie further consolidated its maintenance facilities. The steam locomotives of the earlier era required frequent service.

However, diesel locomotives needed to be serviced less often, and maintenance shops did not need to be as close together. The Susquehanna shops were closed; much of the machinery and many of the employees were moved to Meadville, Pennsylvania, where new shops were constructed. Many of the houses in Susquehanna and Oakland became vacant. The workforce had declined from about in to about in Following the closing of the Susquehanna shops, the workforce consisted only of ten electricians.

Following the relocation of all Erie shops to Meadville , the buildings of the Susquehanna shops passed from the ownership of Erie.


At the turn of the twentieth century, Susquehanna County was the seventh largest producer of milk in Pennsylvania and by the `s, the county was the fourth-largest producer. Susquehanna County was also among the top 15 Pennsylvania counties in the production of eggs during the opening years of the twentieth century (Penn State ). Welcome Borough of Susquehanna Depot, Northeast Pennsylvania The Borough of Susquehanna Depot, commonly referred to as just Susquehanna, is a quaint rural town in northeastern Pennsylvania. The borough is nestled in a forested mountainside along the Susquehanna River.

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