Video Presentation Text

The People and Places Youtube-linked video can be found here.

This video is intended to provide students with an introduction to Warren County history and its communities.  Script narration is on the video.  Written text is provided below.


Image:                                    Suspension Bridge, Hickory St., Warren, 1871-1918
Text:   People come together to create communities.  They cut roads, build bridges, and put up buildings.  They work and play together.

Jefferson Street School, Warren, circa 1880
Although every community has its own history, all communities have some things in common.  All communities must provide places for people to work, live, and learn.  Today, we are going to talk about the history of Warren County and its many communities.

Map of Warren County
When you look at a map of Warren County, you see that it is part of Northwestern Pennsylvania.  It sits just below New York State and east of Ohio.  Warren County is made up of many different communities, both large and small.

Seneca mother & child painting
However, long before this land was ever part of Pennsylvania, people had communities here.  Different groups of Native Americans traveled, hunted, and lived in this area for thousands of years.

Seneca village, 17th century, drawing
In the 17th and 18th centuries, the Seneca Indians were the most important Indian nation in this area.  The Senecas built villages here.  The Senecas were farmers, warriors, hunters, and traders.

A False Face Mask, used by the Seneca during their religious healing ceremonies
In agreements (called treaties) following the Revolutionary War, the Seneca Indians gave up much of their land to the new United States government, including the land which would soon become Warren County.  This image shows a False Face Mask used by the Seneca during some of their religious ceremonies.  Although they lost much of their land, the Seneca kept many of their traditions.

Statue of General Joseph Warren in General Joseph Warren Park
In order to encourage people to settle in this area, the town of Warren was laid out by surveyors Andrew Ellicott and General William Irvine in 1795.  They named the town after General Joseph Warren, a Revolutionary War hero who had died at the Battle of Bunker Hill.  His statue stands in a park in Warren today.

Farmland, Buckaloons area: a former Seneca village stood on this site
In the late 1790s, people from the eastern United States began to move here.  Why did they leave their homes to come to a strange, new place?  People came here in order to have a chance to own their own land.

Lumber rafts on the Allegheny River, Warren, 1971.  In the foreground, the Hickory Street suspension bridge is being built
Settlers cleared the forests in Warren County.  They built houses and farms and took rafts of lumber down the Allegheny River to sell.  The selling of lumber was a very important industry in Warren County for over one hundred years.

Group of people at the shingle mill owned by Pete Liberty, Heart's Content Area, late 19th century
Many communities developed other industries that depended on the forests.  People put up mills to cut trees into lumber.

Furniture factory workers, Youngsville, 1912
People worked in furniture factories building chairs, tables, beds, and more.

Loading logs at Sheffield, early 20th century
People cut the bark off hemlock trees and used it to turn animal skin into leather, a process called tanning.  At one time, the town of Sheffield had one of the largest and most important tanneries in the United States.

Street Scene, Sugar Grove, circa 1900
Once the land was cleared of trees, it could be farmed and many people worked as farmers.  Some townships, such as Sugar Grove and Farmington, had good land for farming and dairying.  Local farmers would come into downtown Sugar Grove to get supplies and exchange the news of the day.

Grasshopper Oil Field, Warren, 1905
In 1859, "Colonel" Drake drilled for oil in Titusville, just outside of Warren County.  His success set off a search for oil all over western Pennsylvania. People looked for, and found, oil in Warren County.  Businesses grew up around the new industry.

Street Scene, Tidioute, early 1900s
In the 1860s, oil discoveries in the area made Tidioute a wealthy oil boom town.

Marker for 646 Oil Well, Cherry Grove Twp.  This oil well appeared in 1882
Later, oil and gas discoveries in Mead, Sheffield, and Cherry Grove Townships were important.  This sign marks Warren County's most famous oil well, the 646 Well, in Cherry Grove Township.

Clarendon Refining Co., Clarendon, circa 1920
People built refineries to turn oil into products like kerosene, and later, gasoline.

Brickyard, Youngsville, circa 1903
People worked in other industries too; from brick making...

Label for Glendora Brand foods canned by the Smith & Horton Co., Warren, circa 1920 canneries.

Clark & Sons Store at the foot of Liberty St., Russell, early 20th century
As industries developed, so did businesses.  Stores were built in communities to sell people things.  There were general stores,...

Jarecki Hardware Store, Clarendon, circa 1915
...hardware stores,...

Maitland Dunham Drug Store, Warren, early 20th century
....drug stores, and many, many others.

Warren County Court House, Warren, built in 1876
The seat of government in Warren County is in the city of Warren.  In the past, just as they do today, people from all over the county came to Warren to register their land sales and to go to court.  The Warren County Court House you see today was built in 1876.

Eba House, Main St., North Warren, early 20th century
As soon as people arrived in Warren County, they began to build houses.  There are thousands of houses in the county, and they can tell us a lot about our history.

Horton House, Sheffield, built between 1888-1889
Houses may tell us about the wealth of the people who lived there, because some houses are very fancy...

Van Orsdale House, Cable Hollow, circa 1900
...and some are very simple.

Russell School, Russell, circa 1908
When people moved to Warren County, they brought their children, and their children needed to go to school.

Warren Union School, Warren, circa 1878
The first children in the county were taught in whatever buildings were available, but soon school buildings began to be built.  This building was the Warren Union School.  Students had to pay their teachers to take classes here.

Fox Hill School, Russell, circa 1894
In the 19th century, many schools were small--sometimes only one or two rooms.  Children of all grades might be in the same room, being taught by the same teacher.

Warren High School, corner of Second & Market St., Warren, 1897-1961
Other schools were much grander.  The old Warren High School reminded many people of a castle.

Parade for Soldiers returning from the Spanish-American War, Warren, 1898
It is not only work, homes, and schools that make a community, but also the way that people come together to celebrate and have fun.

Tidioute High School Baseball Team, Tidioute, circa 1890
Sports have always been an important way for people to show off their skills and their community pride.

Warren High School Football Team, Warren, circa 1890
Warren County teams have competed in baseball, football, basketball, and more.  Schools, businesses, companies, and communities have had their own teams.

Grandin Opera House, Tidioute, built in 1868
In the 19th century, communities built opera houses for traveling lecturers, plays, and operettas.  By the early 20th century, people began to build movie theatres to bring in the latest movies.

"The Nepco Follies," New Process Co. employees, Warren, circa 1927
People also make their own entertainment.  Community theatre, school plays, concerts, and company theatricals have been, and continue to be, important ways for people in a community to come together.

Bicycle Club of Warren, crica 1905
From bicycle clubs to...

Firemen in front of Borough Building, Youngsville, early 20th century
...volunteer firemen, social clubs, and service organizations, there are other important ways that people create a community to make it more enjoyable and a better place to live.

Allegheny Springs Hotel and Cabins, Irvine, early 20th century
And when people want to get away, there have always been local spots, parks, and even resorts in Warren County, such as the Allegheny Springs Hotel near Irvine.

Cobham Castle, Cobham Park Rd., circa 1890
Other events, buildings, and people make each community unique.

Covered Bridge, Russell, 1853-1937
The covered bridge which stood in Russell,...

State Hospital Main Building, North Warren, built 1874-1880
...the North Warren State Hospital,...

Fourth of July Parade, Clarendon, 1887
...the famous 1887 fire that burned down Clarendon just hours after the Fourth of July Parade,...

Irvine-Newbold Mansion, Irvine, 1822-1973
...and the Newbold Mansion, which stood near Irvine, all contribute to Warren County's unique history.

Wagon in front of post office, Pittsfield, 1912
Our history, our businesses, our schools, and our organizations all make communities special and unique.


Courtesy of the Warren County Historical Society