Tidioute is roughly seven miles up the River from where East Hickory Creek runs into the Allegheny at East Hickory. In the 1850's, the place actually consisted of two villages, Upper Tidioute and Lower Tidioute. At this location on the Allegheny, the River runs from east to west before making a turn to the south. Both villages were on the north bank of the River and about a mile apart. Eight steam powered saw mills were in operation in the immediate vicinity and the milled timber was brought to the river bank for rafting downriver. A mill dam was constructed from the north bank to the middle of the three Courson Islands. The site contained a number of stores, taverns, “mechanic’s” shops, boarding houses and the like. When the water in the creeks feeding the River was high and running, several hundred men were employed in the lumbering business.
From an overlook across the River, accessible to the public, the Courson Islands in the River below and the layout of the nineteenth century lumber town can be seen. It is a spectacular view and well worth the effort to see.
The Samuel Hunter family was a prominent pioneer family in the area in the early nineteenth century. In time, the family would organize the Hunter Lumber Company which was particularly successful. Out on Main Street in what early on was called Upper Tidioute, Jahu Hunter erected a splendid Second Empire residence. We have discussed that house and pictured it in our Styles Section under the Second Empire heading. Please refer to that section.
The vertical emphasis of 1870's Victorian architecture can be seen in the 1873 Scott building, a commercial Italianate on Main Street and the Second Empire residence with a tower built by S. Tipton in the early 1870's. Oil was discovered nearby as early as 1860. The resulting oil excitement and wealth provided the financial energy to build a number of stylish Victorian structures throughout the village. Many of those structures remain today.
Samuel Grandin and his sons for a number of years were engaged in the lumbering business. With the discovery of oil, the Grandins became the prominent producers in the area. Adna Neyhart and Samuel Grandin were partners in the oil production and transportation business and major suppliers of crude to Rockefeller’s Standard Oil of Ohio in the early to mid 1870's. Adna Neyhart’s Italianate Residence on Main Street is pictured and discussed in the Style’s Section under Italianate. The Tidioute Pipeline Company, a firm owned by Neyhart and Grandin, built an elaborate Italianate commercial building in Tidioute. That building is also pictured and discussed in the Styles Section under Italianate.
Sabella’s Elm Street Inn is today a bed and breakfast. Built at the turn of the century, this memorable structure features a tower piercing the ridge of what would otherwise be considered a disciplined volume showing the influence of the Shingle Style.
W.H.H.Mabie came to Tidioute after the Civil War. He built this very comfortable Italianate residence on Main Street not far from the big Hunter house. Mabie was a business partner of Jahu Hunter.
For Information on the Tidioute Area
Warren County Vacation Bureau, 2883 Pennsylvania Avenue-West Ext., Warren, PA. 800-624-7802
North from Tionesta or south from Warren on Route 62, turn off Route 62 and cross the River at the Tidioute Bridge.
To get to the overlook, go back across the bridge from Tidioute to Route 62. Turn right and then several hundred feet down turn left on to Route 337and drive to the top of the hill. The site is well marked with parking and easy access.