Transportation Video Presentation

Find the Transportation Video here.


Video Text


Image: Bicyclists at Intersection of Pennsylvania Ave. W. & Market St., Warren

Text:                Transportation is what moves us.  Transportation is what takes us from place to place.  Bicycles, boats, automobiles, and airplanes are just a few of the forms of transportation people use every day.


Horses & Wagon, Warren

Good transportation allows friends and families to see each other, and people to do business together.  In this video, we are going to look at how people in the past traveled from one place to another.


Board Raft, Allegheny River, Warren County

200 years ago, there were very few roads in Warren County.  The easiest way to travel in and out of the county was by boat.  Rivers and streams were natural highways on which people and materials could move


Central Pennsylvania Lumber Mill Pond, Sheffield, circa 1913

People moving into Warren County at this time found that much of the county was covered with trees.  Cutting and selling these trees became Warren’s most important industry for much of the nineteenth century.


Last squared timber raft made up of pieces, Conewango Creek, circa 1900

People made rafts from the wood they cut and floated them downriver to sell.  People from Warren sold their rafts in cities like Pittsburgh, Louisville, and New Orleans.


Squared timber raft, possibly Grunderville, circa 1895

The average sized raft on the Allegheny River was 365 feet long and 50 feet wide.  It might carry 12 oarsmen, a cook, a pilot, and a captain.


            Pine timber raft, Warren

The crew would sleep and eat in one or two small cabin-like buildings on the raft, called shanties.  Most of the time, however, raftsmen were outside in all weather.


            Painting, At the Wharf, Warren, PA April 2, 1852 by Elton Davis, 1943

Other boats went up and down the river and streams in Warren County, each with its own special purpose


Barge Building, Grunderville, early 1900s. A barge would have been 8’ high, 20’ wide, and 126’ long.

Today, trucks and moving vans carry people and supplies all over the country.  In the nineteenth century, keelboats, barges, and flatboats did the same thing.  They moved people and supplies up and down the river.


            Brown’s Store Boat, Sugar Creek, Kentucky, 1880

Some boats, like this one, were floating stores.  When it was tied up, people could come down to the waterfront and purchase items from Brown’s Store Boat.


            Flatboat and Keelboats, drawing from Keelboat Age on Western Waters by Baldwin

While the current carried people downriver easily, going upriver was very difficult.  Usually, rafts and flatboats only went downriver.  Keelboats could go upriver but they had to be poled or pulled all the way--a difficult task.


            Steamboat, Tidioute, built by Captain Amasa Dingley

Beginning in the 1830s, however, steamboats began to travel the Allegheny River with passengers and cargo.  Steamboats had engines which allowed them to move easily both down and up the river.


            Horse and sled in front of Siggins Livery Barn, Youngsville

Although rivers and streams were very important in Warren County, people also traveled over land.  Walking was the easiest form of transportation, but also the slowest.  Throughout the nineteenth century, horses were an important form of transportation.


            George Folkman wagon in front of the Exchange Hotel, Warren, 1890s

People rode horses or hitched them to vehicles.  Buggies, stagecoaches, sleds, carts, and wagons (like the one in this photograph) are just some of the things that horses pulled.


            Warren County Dairy Milk wagon, Warren, 1938

In cities and towns, horses and wagons delivered many things to people, like milk…


            Phillips Ice Company of North Warren, Warren, circa 1910

                        …and ice.


            Stagecoach with mail, Sugar Grove

If you were travelling a long distance, you might purchase a ticket and take a stagecoach from one town to another


            Johnson Brothers blacksmith shop, Russell, 1880s

Today, we have car dealers, gas stations, repair shops, and garages in order to buy, care for, and house our automobiles.  In the nineteenth century, people had wagon shops and liveries to do the same thing for their animals and vehicles.


            John Day’s “Dinkey” train, Sugar Grove

Early in the nineteenth century, a new form of transportation was developed, one which would eventually connect Warren County to the east coast and west coast and thousands of points in-between.  It was the railroad.


            Log train, Sheffield

Main lines moved people and freight into and out of the county.  There were also over 80 privately owned railroad lines in the county.  Most were built to move lumber that was cut in our forests.


            Locomotive with oil cars, Tidioute, 1867

Trains could carry more weight and they could move much faster than the horses and boats.  The first trains were powered by steam engines.  Steam engines burned wood or coal.


            Streetcar on Glade Avenue Bridge, circa 1915

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, many communities had electrically operated streetcars.  Like today’s buses, streetcars picked up and dropped people off in town, and sometimes travelled from one town to another.  This streetcar, which ran from Warren to Sheffield, is crossing the old Glade Avenue Bridge.


            Automobile on a country road, circa 1912

                        Today, automobiles have largely replaced horses, trains, boats, and streetcars.


            1903 Packard, Warren County

Automobiles first became common in Warren in the early twentieth century.  Ultimately, automobiles allowed people to go faster and further than ever before.


            Road, Crescent Park, above Hickory St. Bridge, Warren

At first, automobiles were unreliable.  Roads were usually unpaved and could be muddy, dusty, or deeply rutted.


            Early automobile and motorists, Warren, early 1900s

To go for a ride, people dressed in special clothing, which could include coats, hats and even goggles to keep mud, cold, and dust out.


            Biplane with advertisement for Baird Tire Shop, 1930s

Soon after the automobile, the airplane arrived.  In 1930, Warren County opened its first airport.


            Airmail pilot, first airmail pick up in Warren County, 1938

Warren pilots carried passengers, mail, and freight.  Pilots who received their training in Warren flew many missions during World War II.


            Indian Motorcycle, Warren

There have been many forms of transportation used in Warren County over the last 200 years.


            Warren Street Railway Company Car, early 1900s

Although you may not be able to find a steamboat or a streetcar here today, take time to look around…


            Railroad bridge under construction, Kinzua

                        …perhaps you can see an old railroad bridge…


           DAV & PRR Depot, Warren, before 1910

…or a train depot.  You might see an early gas station or blacksmith shop, which is being used for something else.  Take the time to try to discover what moves you, and what used to move others.


Courtesy of the Warren County Historical Society