Blossburg News & Views for April 18, 2012

by Lonny Frost 16. April 2012 01:01
In cooperation with Northern Tier Solid Waste Authority, Blossburg V.I.B.E. will collect electronics in the Riverside Plaza parking lot on Sat., April 21, from 8am to 1pm.  Any hard drives are destroyed using Department of Defense standards, then the vendor disassembles everything.  It is all done in the U.S.  Please note: NO TVs or microwaves accepted!  For a full list view go to .
A friendly reminder that April 28th is the Blossburg Community Yard Sale which will occur from 8am to 2pm. 
Blossburg Borough would like to remind its local residents that the town's Spring Cleanup Week is April 23rd-27th.  All items must be out by Tues. night, April 24th.
A special birthday wish is being sent to Kathie Frost. "Happy Birthday, Mom. Love you."  Other birthdays this week are Caidence Faughnan, Jenna Hemenway and Kathy DeHaven from your family and friends.
Send your announcement to or call (570) 638-2486.  Deadline for items is 8 pm. on Saturday.   Check out for any thing you may be looking for about our town!
Blossburg Canal and Railroad History
The first coal discovery in Tioga County came in 1792. Around 1815 David Clemons made the first shipment of coal, by wagon, from Blossburg down the Tioga River valley to southern New York. The southern counties of New York beckoned as markets for coal grew. These counties were facing a growing shortage of wood for fuel. Aware of this need for fuel, entrepreneurs pushed for the construction of railroads, canals and slack-water dams to try to get Blossburg's vast bituminous coal supplies down-river to larger markets throughout Pennsylvania and New York.  
Although local industrialists knew they had plenty coal to sell to outside markets, they knew they had no means to move it and they approached the Pennsylvania Legislature to help. Soon canal fever was running throughout New York and Pennsylvania.  This in turn, caused the Pennsylvania Legislature to give a charter to the Tioga Navigation Company in 1826. 
The Pennsylvania Legislature authorized the Tioga Navigation Company to make the Tioga River navigable. The goal was to funnel coal northward to connect with the Chemung Canal at Corning, New York, and from there to buyers in Syracuse, New York.  However, the first two heavy coal barges sank in the Tioga River after traveling a very short distance, thus ending the Blossburg Canal venture.
Since the Tioga Navigation Company failed with the canal, they decided to construct a railroad.  So in 1828, the company amended its charter to allow it to build a railroad along the same route.  The amendment was valid only in Pennsylvania, so the twenty five mile line could run only from Blossburg to Lawrenceville on the New York state line. Then continue on to Corning, investors started a separate corporation under a New York charter for the Corning and Blossburg Railroad, which covered the 15.6 miles from Lawrenceville to Corning.
Opened in 1839-40, the two lines together totaled 40.6 miles.  Unlike earlier railroads, Tioga began with locomotives rather than horse or mule power. Its first steam engine was the Tioga, built in 1839 by Philadelphia's Baldwin Locomotive Works. 
In 1851, the company formally changed its name to Tioga Railroad and again revised its charter. Then in 1852-53, the company built a four-mile branch to Morris Run to tap additional coal mines there.
After Judge John H. Knapp had erected an iron ore smelting works within the borough limits. Knapp would open coal mines on Coal Run and ore mines on "Barney Hill".  By July 1840, the railroad found its way through Covington from Corning, and was opened for locomotives to Blossburg in September that same year. Blossburg and surrounding areas were given life because of the railroads.   Isolated mines were now able to be tapped and their huge supplies of coal were now easily distributed throughout Pennsylvania and New York.


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