Postcard History Series Jefferson County
Carole A. Briggs, Eugene E. Deible III, Shirley J. Sharp, and Fay M. Trentini
Situated among the rolling hills of north central Pennsylvania, Jefferson County was formed in 1804. Brookville became the county seat in 1830 by virtue of its location at the confluence of the North Fork Creek and Sandy Lick Creek, forming Redbank Creek, and its centrality in the more than 1,000 square miles that comprised the original county. Settlers timbered, farmed, and rafted products to market when water was high. With the completion of the Allegheny Valley low-grade railroad in 1874 and the Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh Railroad in 1882, mining dominated the area. Rail transportation made possible the development of glass, iron, silk, sheet metal, clothing, and furniture factories. Today, timbering flourishes, as do the powdered metal and glass container industries. The Allegheny National and Cook forests to the north and historic Brookville, Punxsutawney Phil, and the nationally renowned Coolspring Power Museum all attract many tourists. Historical societies located in Brockway, Brookville, Punxsutawney, and Reynoldsville were happy to share postcard images from their collections as an introduction to one of Pennsylvania’s rural gems.