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mcconnellstown  

 

Hbt at Tatesville tatesville hbt pic 1

 

In 1852, the Broad Top Improvement Co., which laid out the town, constructed a 57-room hotel called the Broad Top Mountain House. It attracted visitors from far away and was very popular with Philadelphians. According to a Huntingdon County history, "The hotel was much patronized as a summer resort, the mountain scenery and healthful surroundings of the place attracting many who desired to escape from the dust and heat of crowded cities."

"In 1854 the Broad Top Railroad Improvement Company purchased the farm of Miles Cook, and on it laid out a part of the village of Broad Top City. Jesse Cook, whose land joined this on the north, also laid out a portion of the village at the same time. At this time the company erected a saw-mill and commenced the erection of a hotel, which was completed in 1855. From this time the growth of the village kept even pace with the development of the coal interest, and it reached its height about the year 1861. During eight years from that time it neither increased or diminished in size, but after 1869 business became less active here as the coal interest declined. The population however, never diminished to any great extent. In 1868 the village was incorporated as a borough. he borough contains fifty-eight dwellings and four hundred inhabitants. It has two hotels, one of which has been much patronized as a summer resort, the mountain scenery and healthful surroundings of the place attracting hither many who desire to escape form the dust and heat of the crowded cities. There are also two stores, a millnery store and a confectionary establishment, a blacksmith's shop, a gunsmith's shop, a wagon shop, a cabinet shop, two churches, and a public school, in which sessions were held during six months of 1881, and seventy pupils were instructed."1
 
1History of Huntingdon and Blair Counties, Pennsylvania by J. Simpson Africa Philadelphia, PA: Louis H. Everts, 1883, pp. 228-237.
 
1873 broadtopcity1873 atlas depiction of Broad Top City. broadtopcity

 

h bt at hopewell Restored Keystone Foundry at Hopewell

 

"Carbon Colliery, also within the borough of Broad Top City, was opened in 1872, by the elder Mears, and it is still operated by his sons. The mouth of the drift is seven hundred yards from the railroad, which is reached by a tramway and a self-acting plane. This mine is nearly worked out, and will soon be abandoned."1
 
1History of Huntingdon and Blair Counties, Pennsylvania by J. Simpson Africa Philadelphia, PA: Louis H. Everts, 1883, pp. 228-237.
Entriken train  

 

"The Fisher Mine, on the railroad about one mile below Broad Top City, was opened previous to the building of the railroad. It was worked by Fisher & Miller from 1870 till 1880, when work was suspended in it during a year. In January 1881, the present lessees, Reed Brothers, came in possession. It is a drift, opening a quarter of a mile from the railroad, to which a tramway leads. The heading extends into the Barnet vein, which is here two and one-half to four feet in thickness, four hundred and fifty yards. Thirty hands are employed, and the daily output is sixty tons. W. Scott Reed is the superintendent."1
 
1History of Huntingdon and Blair Counties, Pennsylvania by J. Simpson Africa Philadelphia, PA: Louis H. Everts, 1883, pp. 228-237.
Dudley was the site of a double switchback on the Shoups Branch. Actually, Dudley was the name of the town on the southwest side of the valley and Barnettstown was the name of the town on the northeast side. Maps from the 1873 Huntingdon County Atlas.
 
"Barnettstown, so named after the former owner of the land here, is a mining village, which commenced at the time operations were begun in the old Barnet mine, near Dudley. During the prosperous times between 1860 and 1870 this village grew till it came to contain about forty houses. Of these many were vacant during the financial depression between 1870 and 1880. In addition to the dwelling-houses now here there is one store."1
 
"In 1859 what is now Dudley borough commenced as a village. At that time the land on which it stands belonged to L. T. Wattson, Orbison, Dorris & Co., and the Huntingdon and Broad Top Railroad Company. The completion of the railroad to this point gave to mining an impetus which resulted in the springing up of a village here. It was named Dudley, after a place of that name in England. It reached its greatest growth about 1864, after which time it slightly diminished in population until 1882, when an increase commenced. The borough contains thirty-five dwellings, and has two hotels, three stores, two millnery establishments, a tin shop, two blacksmith shops, and a railroad depot. It is the passenger terminus of the Huntingdon and Broad Top Railroad. Its population in 1880 was two hundred and three."1
 
The station presently located in the railroad park in Dudley is the relocated Broad Top City station.
 
1History of Huntingdon and Blair Counties, Pennsylvania by J. Simpson Africa Philadelphia, PA: Louis H. Everts, 1883, pp. 228-237.

 

1873 dudley1873 atlas depiction of Dudley. Dudley tank
hbt dudley tank 1950Dudley tank in 1950.  

 

"The Ocean Mine, about one-half mile east from Dudley, was opened in 1879, by W. H. Sweet & Co., in the Barnet vein. It is a drift, the opening of which is near the railroad, so that cars are loaded as the coal is taken from the mine. The heading extends two thousand feet. The average thickness of the vein here is thirty-two inches, Fifty-eight hands are employed, and the daily capacity is one hundred and twenty-five tons."1
 
1History of Huntingdon and Blair Counties, Pennsylvania by J. Simpson Africa Philadelphia, PA: Louis H. Everts, 1883, pp. 228-237.
"In 1842 no house stood within the present limits of the borough of Coalmont. A camp-meeting ground at that time occupied a portion of the borough. The land was owned by John Berkstresser and David E. Brode. The house was built in the summer of 1843 by Mr. Brode. It was a log house, and it now constitutes a part of the residence of Andrew H. Hickes, near Shoup's Run. No other house was built till 1854, when another log dwelling was erected by John J. Hamilton, and two frame houses by John and Thomas White. Work on the Huntingdon and Broad Top Railroad, which was then commenced, brought thither many workman and settlers, who came to labor on the railroad and in the mines which then were opened. Between 1854 and 1858 most of the houses in the village were erected. The time of greatest prosperity here was from 1862-1865. At that time a New York company was constructing a branch railroad and opening new mines here, and these operations made business very brisk. The village then had three hotels and three mercantile establishments, all of which did a thriving business. The hotels were built and kept, one by Ezekial White, one by Thomas Fagan, and one, the largest of the three, was built by William P. Schell, and first kept by Frank Reamer. The stores were first kept by Evans Brothers & Co., Ezekial White, and Berkstresser and Moore. Samuel G. Miller was the first blacksmith who carried on a shop here, and Ezekial White was the pioneer shoemaker. A saw-mill was erected in 1856 by John Hamilton. The machinery for this mill was a few years later removed to a locality in Fulton County. The people who came here were miners or those engaged in business that was subservient to the mining interest, and the borough was prosperous in proportion to the activity and extent of mining operations here. From 1864 to 1874 the place maintained its status without much change. The population during that period was about four hundred. The financial crash that followed was disastrous in its effects on this borough, and in 1876-1877 nearly one-half of the houses were without in habitants. Although the borough has to some extent recovered from this depression, it has not reached its former prosperous condition. No hotel is now kept here, and only one store and a grocery. The population in 1880 was one hundred and seventy-one."1
 
1History of Huntingdon and Blair Counties, Pennsylvania by J. Simpson Africa Philadelphia, PA: Louis H. Everts, 1883, pp. 228-237.

 

1873 coalmont1873 atlas depiction of Coalmont.  

 

"The same firm [the Reed brothers] is opening a mine on the Benedict property, about one-fourth of a mile below the borough of Dudley. The Barnet vein, which here has a thickness of four feet, has been reached through a tunnel of four hundred yards, and preparations for shipping coal are in progress. The daily capacity of this mine will be three hundred tons. This work is under W. Scott Reed's superintendence."1
 
1History of Huntingdon and Blair Counties, Pennsylvania by J. Simpson Africa Philadelphia, PA: Louis H. Everts, 1883, pp. 228-237.