Pine Creek Township History

Source: (some information has been retracted for length)

Pine Creek is one of the twelve townships into which the county was first divided, and is so called from the creek of that name which plows along its eastern border.

It is bounded on the south by the West Branch, on the west by Dunnstable, on the north by Gallauher and Lycoming county, and on the east by Lycoming.

The township is well supplied with water. AT one time the region through which Pine Creek flows was bountifully suppled with the choicest pine timber, hence the name which was given by the first settlers. The Indian name for the stream was “Tiadaghton.” It is the largest tributary of the West Branch.

The whole township was settled upon several years previous to the Revolution. The first settlers, who returned about the year 1785, settled on their improvements, made previous to time of the “Big Runaway,” and took out their warrants.

The first laid out road through the township was a bridle path; it was laid out in 1775, beginning at the mouth of Bald Eagle and ending opposite Sunbury. In 1797, soon after Lycoming county was organized, a view from Pine Creek, to and trough the Great Island, laid out a wagon road on the same ground.

The first settlement on the north side of the river, in Pine Creek township, commenced in 1772. The first settlers were Scotch-Irish Presbyterians, and, as in all other places where they located, they at once organized schools.

The first house erected for school purposes was built of logs, and located opposite Sour’s ferry. Another was erected later on the main road, within a half mile of Pine Creek, where the brick school house now stands. This was quite a prominent educational institution. Reading, writing, arithmetic and surveying were taught. The teachers were mostly Irishmen. The pupils came from all sections of Pine Creek. One of the teachers who plied the birch, and taught the rule of three, was Rev. Kincaid, who was driven away by the Indians and never returned.

Missionaries visited Pine Creek long before there were any churches built. The first church erected in the township was a frame structure located on the west bank of Pine Creek, two miles west of Jersey Shore. John Knox was the contractor. It remained unfinished for many years, and services were held without fire for twenty years. It was then heated by two fireplaces, and afterwards wood stoves were used. The structure was burned in 1842 and never rebuilt. Rev. Isaac Grier was the first regular pastor. In 1814 Rev. John H. Grier was installed as pastor of this and the Great Island congregation. Rev. Grier served the Great Island congregation eleven years, and the Pine Creek and Jersey Shore congregations for nearly forty years. He purchased a farm in Pine Creek township, which he cultivated in connection with his pastoral duties during the later part of his life. He died in 1880, aged ninety-two years.

The Coudersport pike was completed to Coudersport in 1833, a distance of sixty-five miles. In 1860 it was abandoned as a turnpike and located as a township road. From 1820 to 1824, the mail was carried form Jersey Shore to Olean, a distance of 109 miles. John Murphy was the mail carrier. He traveled on horseback. From 1832 to 1840 a two-horse stage ran over the route. For four years of the time it ran once a week, and for the other four twice a week.

Among the prominent events that have occurred in the township was the “Pine Creek declaration of Independence.” On the Fourth of July, 1776, a number of men of the township assembled on the plains of Pine Creek and formally declared the independence of the colonies. Among the number present were Robert Lore, Thomas Nicols, John Jackson, Thomas Francis, Alexander Hamilton, John Clark, William Campbell, Adam Carson, Henry McCracken, Adam Dewitt and Alexander Donaldson. This event occurred before the citizens of Pine Creek knew the result of Richard Henry Lee’s motion in Continental Congress at Philadelphia.

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