A Walking Tour of Clarion, Pennsylvania (Look Up, America!)

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Jerome Powell House South Street. Jerome Powell was born in the borough and county of Warren in , the son of a blacksmith. In he moved to Ridgway, where he established the Elk County Advocate , continuing its publication until He then embarked in mercantile pursuits for decades with Robert V. Kime, and later also in the manufacture of lumber, both of which created his fortune. He built this striking Italian villa in , updating it steadily through the s.

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Inside, soaring first floor ceilings are crowned with oak and cherry beams finished with egg and dart moldings and the grand staircase is flanked by imposing oak Ionic columns. Edgar Powell House South Street. Park, who made his home in Ridgway from the early s until his death nearly thirty years later and was responsible for many buildings in the district.

He moved to Ridgway in , and became the resident architect for the Hyde-Murphy Company, the prolific millwork producer and builder which had been established in the community ten years earlier. As their architect, Park was at the center of a frenzy of activity throughout this part of Pennsylvania, while his own practice flourished and his reputation spread. Edgar served as Mayor of Ridgway for three years before leaving with his brother Robert for California where they lost much of the family fortune. Ridgway Free Library Center Street.

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Mercer House Center Street This original core of this house was built in for meat market owner B. Now a funeral home, this was the residence of Perry R. It was finished in They hired its architect and builder, J. It is bikeable on a mountain bike but wouldn't advise on a street bike.

This Colonial Revival building with a two-side Ionic portico was constructed in as a residence for Madison S. It has the home to the library for more than 75 years. Thayer Center Street.

The carriage house was part of the first homestead built in by Justus C. Chapin, one of the first District Attorneys in Elk County. Fulton, of Uniontown designed this Gothic-style church of rough-faced stone and terra cotta. Cartwright was born in in Buffalo, New York where he first engaged in the lumber business. In that year he and W. Mattison formed a partnership in the lumber business, which organization resolved itself, in , into the Ridgway Lumber Company.

Oyster, Alfred Short and W.

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In short order he owned the largest lumber operation in Pennsylvania and his empire included coal, brick and railroad operations. It all ended when the Panic of left him bankrupt and eventually Cartwright returned to Buffalo where he rebuilt some of his fortune in gold mines. Before he left he built this three-story eclectic house in the center of town that featured some of the finest cherry, maple and oak woodwork seen in these parts.

The third floor featured the largest ballroom in Ridgway and retains its original gas chandelier. Ely House Center Street. Byron Ely was one of the first arrivals in Ridgway, arriving in at the age of 16 with his father, Lafayette. He went into lumbering and became involved in several successful ventures, the last being on Elk Creek.

Smith Residence Center Street. Now a funeral home, this was the residence of Perry R.

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Smith made his way to Ridgway from Liberty, New York a quarter-century earlier and went to work as a tanner, eventually becoming vice-president at Elk Tanning Company. It would become one of the largest retail chains in Western Pennsylvania, lasting until Mercer House Center Street. This original core of this house was built in for meat market owner B. The second owner, Madison J.

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Beach, President of the Elk Tanning Company, one of the largest corporations in Pennsylvania, added the fashionable cut stone porch and updated the interior. Elder Campbell House Center Street. This Queen Anne from was first built as a clapboard home with a barn on the site of a planing mill in the s. Campbell was the owner of the Eagle Valley Store and also owned a sawmill.

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Paddle the Clarion River, stroll the campus of Clarion University, attend the annual Walking tours offer visitors a look at the varied architectural styles of the . Learn more There is no better way to see American towns than on foot. what you are looking at than with a self-guided walking tour available in the LOOK UP, AMERICA series of guidebooks. Look Up, Pennsylvania Dutch Country!.

Smith of the Smith Brothers Department Store chain moved here. George Dixon House Center Street. This American style originated in cottages along the trendy, wealthy Northeastern coastal towns of Cape Cod, Long Island, and Newport in the late 19th century. Architectural publishers publicized it, but the style was never as popular around the country as the Queen Anne. Shingle homes borrow wide porches, shingles, and asymmetrical forms from the Queen Anne.

This one features a sleeping porch atop the turret.

George Dixon, a businessman and educator, had this home built in He was also admitted to the Bar in and served four terms as a Pennsylvania Assemblyman. The home retains its original carriage stone where horse-drawn buggies would pull up to the front stoop. Norton House Center Street. Homer Norton was an engineer most noted for designing the H. Norton Dam as the main water supply for the town that helped squelch an outbreak of typhoid fever. Norton applied his engineering talents to his home, which was constructed in around an older structure.

On the third floor the entire weight of the roof is cantilevered to the exterior walls making one large room with no visible supporting structures. Bogert House Main Street. When Hugh McGeehin constructed his new hotel in he incorporated a section of the original county courthouse into his brick structure. It noted that the trail to the west of here is private property, but from here east was open for bike riders.

I then rode my bike over the two-tracks of packed old cinders and dirt. It was relatively smooth with some old railroad gravel rocks. Than, about 5 miles east the trail starts getting worse and worse. Finally, when entering State Game Lands 63, the trail becomes knee-high grass and weeds.

Clarion Highlands

The old railroad bed is still there but the biking becomes not doable at this point Davis Lane. It is good for hiking, but not bike riding. I then took Station Road to get back on the trail and head west again to my car at Kline Road. It is a little challenging and not for bike riders who want smooth surfaces with no debris, etc. But good nature and scenery and I look forward to when it is done. Small grassy parking area at sharp bend on Station Road, about 2 miles from Black Road just west of Shippenville.

You will see steep banks where the former trestle was. Going west at the top is the unimproved former rail bed. Large rocks, ties, and rails are gone now leaving a crushed coal and gravel surface. No tar-and-chip or paved paths. Two wide tracks are good for walking, jogging, or biking with a hybrid or mountain bike not good for road bikes. Little to no road noise, secluded, bordered mostly by trees and some fields, very flat except at former trestle.

The western entrance of the Clarion Highlands trail has no markings. The entrance is about yards up the hill and across the road from the marked western entrance to the Sandyceek trail. My hope was to ride both trails out and back starting at the eastern entrance of the Sandycreek trail. The two trails could not be more different. The Sandycreek trail is paved with beautiful bridges over the creek. The Clarion river trail is no more than a fire road with two "ruts" I assume from maintenance vehicles.

The trail is very remote no signs or mile markers. There were multiple times where the trail meets a road that it was necessary to leave the trail then find the entrance on the other side. Near the western end there seemed to be some trail development going on but the surface was obviously not complete and was very soft especially since that day there was significant rain.

This trail is more a mountain bike ride than a trail ride at this point.


Not suitable for any tire less than 1 inch. The Sandy Creek Trail carves its way through some of the most remote and spectacular countryside in northwestern Pennsylvania. With a wide, paved pathway and adjacent equestrian trail running through lush woodland and riverside terrain, the Allegheny River Trail ART has Note that much of the route is on-road. The Titusville and Petroleum Center Railroad had one major purpose when it was built in Oil was discovered in Oil Creek Valley Mile 0 for the trail is at its west end, where the The route is primitive and unimproved.

The trail crosses several streams that are not bridged. The trail follows the scenic Tionesta Creek with lots In western Pennsylvania, the Armstrong Trail offers 30 miles of improved trail with several short on-road sections between Rosston and East Brady in Goddard State Park, which spans more than 2, acres in northwestern TrailLink is a free service provided by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy a non-profit and we need your support! Trail is nice and flat. The Clarion Highlands Trail is one of the highest rail-trails in the Commonwealth.

Its highest point, at Phipps Cemetery near Elmo, is 1, feet above sea level. The trail corridor itself varies from 40 to feet wide. All non-motorized uses are permitted on the eastern five miles of trail, while horseback riding is prohibited on the western mile of trail.