Sheffield Depot Preservation Society


located at 37 Center Street, Sheffield, Pennsylvania  16347


Tanneries revolutionized the Timber Industry and made Sheffield "The Last Great Lumber Town in Pennsylvania"

Horton Crary Company had it's world headquarters in Sheffield and in 1893, it consolidated with the United States Leather Company
to form a national monopoly of The Tanning Industry.
Cattle hides from The American West were the raw product which fed The Leather Industry, however.
Tannin a chemical which was used to harden the hides, comes from the stripped bark of The Eastern Hemlock Tree.
Pioneers had bypassed thousands of acres of huge virgin hemlock trees in Pennsylvania's Allegheny Forests.
Seven Tanneries were located, at one time, in Sheffield. In 1890, The Tionesta Tannery, at Sheffield, produced 269 pounds of leather per cord of hemlock bark.


"The Great Day of The Tree"
Lasted from after the Civil War until World War II. The Real Boom being in The Nineteen Twenties.

Central Pennsylvania Lumber Company's main offices were moved to Sheffield in 1931 where it had constructed
a huge modern steam and electrically powered saw mill in 1908.
Hailed as "The Largest Saw Mill East of The Mississippi", this modern lumber plant operated twenty-four hours a day.
Previous Years saw hemlock trees felled, stripped of their bark, and simply left to decay.
This wasteful procedure ended with the harvesting of these trees to be cut into timber.
All-time high production record was established, on March 14, 1923, when the mill produced 337,074 board fee of lumber during a ten hours period.
Last log was processed at the plant on July 3, 1941.



The Tionesta VAlley Railway" operated from "The Depot"from 1879 along with "The Sheffield & Tionesta Rail System" from 1900.

Narrow, three foot, gage tracks were best suited to move logs from remote forests to the saw mills. Emanating from Sheffield were two logging railroads.
"The Tionesta VAlley Railway" this narrow gage line, at one time, extended from Stoneham, near Warren, PA, to the Clarion River. Boasting four
passenger trains daily, this little line employed one hundred men, had eight hundred pieces of rolling stock, including two dozen steam engines
and traveled over 100 miles of track. Dismantled in 1942 it was the last of it's kind in Pennsylvania.
"The Sheffield and Tionesta Rail System" was head quartered in Sheffield. This standard gage line was owned by the colorful "Teddy Collins"
a lumberman from Nebraska, PA. Serving businesses along the Tionesta Creek until it was discontinued in 1943.

 

The Sheffield Depot Preservation Society was incorporated on January 23, 2006, as a Domestic, Non-profit, Private Corporation.