Norwich Township After 1900.
by Mary Willson (?)
About 1900, there still existed the remains of the house of the earliest settlers of Norwich Township.  It was a log cabin built by Nathaniel C. Gallup in 1815 who came with his family from Voluntown, Conn. It had a huge stone fireplace.  He soon built a sawmill and bristmill and added onto the original log cabin with the sawed lumber.  The stone foundation and fireplace of this dwelling exists today in 1973.  There are several houses built by Nathaniel's descendents, occupied at present by families not related to the Gallups, who have bought them at various times.

Orlando Gallup lived in the house, built in 1828, now owned and occupied by Clifford Hoover.  The building now used by Hoovers as a garage was once a Gallup dwelling, built in 1817, and about 1900 was a store and postoffice., called Norwich Corners.

The large white house at Norwich Corners was occupied by parents of Merton Gallup, (Orson Gallup), and occupied by him until his death.

The house at the corner of Lasher Brook Road, now being remodeled by Steve Hoover, was an early Gallup homestead, occupied in 1900 by Orlando Gallup.

The house now owned by Harry Brittan is the Daniel Gallup homestead, one of the very early homesteads.  It was known to have an especially good apple orchard.

The house now owned by Bernard Fay was the Edward Gallup homestead, his father was Nathaniel, 2nd.

The house now owned by the Chioffi family was originally owned by H.H. Gallup.

Where Harriet Minnier and family now live was the old Charles Dickinson homestead, subsewuently bought by George Rowley about 1900.  William Dennison owned a farm next to the Dickenson place but at present nothing remains of the farm buildings.  Merle Dickenson's mother's maiden name was Dennison.

The present day Prosser farm was the T.M. Madison homestead.

The last house on the "West Branch" of Potato Creek was the home of John B. Oviatt and the valley of West Branch was once known as Oviatt Hollow, more recently known as Rowley Hollow.  The Oviatt and Rowley families were united by marriage, - the sons of John B. Oviatt were Milo and Frank, his daughter Jessie married George Rowley.  Their daughter was Harriet Minnier.

There was a one-room schoolhouse on the West Branch near the present structure (which was abandoned as a schoolhouse in the 1940's) and when the school population dwindled below seven pupils, they had to go to the school at Norwich Corners.  This latter building still exists, owned by Robert Jordan who uses it as a machine shop.  It is on the farm owned in 1900 by Burdett Gallup, whose house is still standing but unoccupied, fallen into disrepair.

Where James Miller now lives was the home of Aldus Griff.

The place where the Robert Anderson family now live on the west side of Potato Creek was origiaally owned by George Burdick, next to him was Gordon Burdick.

Where Gilbert Herzog now lives was the Wallace Brewer homestead.  The James Murray family lived in the house later owned by the Halby family.  The Perry family lived nearby.  Ruth Perry was the mother of Dweze Green.

The house at the corner of the crossroad leading to the Red mill Brook road was built by William Heinemann, who moved down from the Teutonia colony is 1848.  He also built a tannery in the northeast angle of the main road and the creek and just south of it a shoe shop, on the crossroad corner.  When the rest of his family came from Germany in 1851, he built a log house just south of his own for his mother and three sisters.  Nothing remains of this building or the tannery, the shoe shop was torn down not so long ago by Bert Herzog who said he burned dozens of wooden shoe lasts.  William's brother Christopher worked with him in the shoe business.  The one story addition to his own house was built on in 1872 when his daughter Lena married Christian Herzog.  The house was occupied sometime before 1900 by Confer Herzog, then by his son Bert and later owned by Ralph Herzog of Smethport, William's grandon.  Confer Herzog's children were Charles, Audry, Cecil, Herry, Fern and Donna as well as Bert.

David D. Comes owned land and a sawmill on Red Mill Brook.

Nathaniel Gallup, father of Edward and Emma, bought this property from the Comes family.

The farmhouse now occupied by Margaret was in 1900 the Evans homestead.

The house where Guy Burdick lives was built on the site of the old Orville Gallup homestead.  Jay McGee married a daughter of Orville Gallup, their daughter Julia married Fred Rifle.
Ira Burdick was the original owner of the Burdett Gallup farm.

The Ransom Burdick homestead is now unoccupied and fallen into disrepair, the last occupant was Minnie Burdick Van Mort and family.  This is the old house across the road from the present residence of Rodney Burdick.

Daniel Rifle was a pioneer settler and the family owned a good deal of valuable timber land.  Andrus Rifle had eleven children, among them Frank, Floyd, Fred, Flint and Bessie.

Where Link Kennedy now lives (wife was Helen Oviatt) was once known as the William Kimbel Hotel, about 1900.  The Kimbels are related to the Orville Gallup family.

Bush Andrew once lived on what was later Frank Oviatt's farm.

William Rifle and Wallace Brewer were Civil War Veterans.

The Bullis family owned timber land and floated logs down o Bullis Mills where they had their sawmill.

The house now occupied by Audry (Herzog) Dodge- widow of Wm. Dodge- was built about 1906 by Robert Willson, brother of William Willson who operated the farm across the road until about 1911.  Robert Willson sold his farm to Wm. Dodge about 1908 or 1909 and returned to teaching in New York State.  Wm. Willson left his farm to return to the ministry.  (1910)

What is now the Maples Inn was in 1900 the stately residence of N.W. Heinemann and has been occupied occasionally by relatives.  Te house next to it on the south now occupied by the Nicholas Scanlan family was the home to which N.W. Heinemann brought his bride in 1874.  The house now called "Wildlife Lodge" was built by N.W. Heinemann for his daughter Bessie on her marriage to Lawrence Scanlan.

Charles Anderson had a thriving business at Colegrove.  He sold everything needed at the time, - groceries, feed for animals, clothing shoes hardware, dishes, plumbing fixtures etc. -  He and his family lived in an apartment over the store until they moved across the road to the old Jonathon Colegrove residence after the Colegroves moved to Smethport.

In 1908 the towns of Norwich and Betula were thriving communities due to the sudden expansion of the lumber industry, mainly the Goodyear Lumber Co. Joseph Hull's department store was said to be the largest in northeast Pennsylvania.  It had three large entrance doors and at the side was an enclosed loading platform large enought to accomadate three railroad box cars.  At first the railroad came from Keating Summit.  Later the Pennsylvania Railroad was extended from Colegrove, or Hamlin as the settlement was called at the corner of West Bank Road to Red Mill Creek.  The Hull store furnished employment for the children of Joseph Hull,-Charles, Harry, John, Norman and Lorn.  May Gallup also worked as a clerk, she married Charles Hull after her divorce from Herman Adler.  Bertha Jackson was also a clerk.  The store carried all kinds of merchandise, dry goods, hardware, feed etc, and kept two tailors busy making clothes to order.  It was equipped with overhead cash carriers, as in large city department stores.  Charles Hull was the manager, he kept two Cadillac limousines with chaufurs to transport his lady customers.  They were picked up at their homes, taken to the store for shopping and then returned to thier homes with their purchases.  It was said that the Hull store drove everyone in Norwich Township out of business except Charles Anderson.  When the store opened its dorrs in 1908, the Smethport band played all day, flowers and gifts were given to women customers.

At the height of activity at Norwich there were two motion picture houses open daily (Betula 1)  (Norwich 2), three pool rooms, three ice cream parlors, five restaurants and three grocery stores owned by Frank Oviatt, Roland Pierson and Grisell Bros.  These grocery stores went bankrupt after the opening of the Hull store.  Fred Petruzzi operated one of the pool halls.

The towns of Betula, Norwich and Keystone had a population of about 5000.  There was a good water system, everyone had in-door plumbing and there was a good sewer system.  A high school was built in 1913, the building is now used as a camp.  There was a barber shop and drug store next to the cigar store,- he made the cigars himself, sitting in the window or his store.

The sawmill at Norwich was built about 1911.  At Betula was a stave mill, The Pennsylvania Stave Co., which operated until about 1924.

The chemical factory at Keystone (Norwich Corners) was built in 1911-12 and operated until 1932 or 33.  This was built by the Quinn family and was called Keystone Products.  The smokestack was 125Ft. high and stood until 1960 when it was demollished by dynamite.  Nothing remains of the factory except the foundation, overgrown with weeds and brush.

At Betula was a chair round factory  (editor's note:  factory manufactured barrel staves or wooden barrel sides- ed.) which operated until about 1926.

George and Sydney Sager, from Buffalo, N.Y., built a factory to manufacture Sager jars.  They sold stock in their company to many residentts of Norwich Township and everyone lost whatever they invested.  It was called the Sager Jar Co., and the canning jars were good ones but so expensive compared to Mason jars that few were sold.  They were made so as to make it possible to create a vacuum and they kept fruits and vegitables looking fresh for months.

There were wooden sidewalks from Betula to Norwich and electricity was supplied by a generator operated by Andy Bush at the stave mill.  The remains of the stave mill and the foundation and brink walls of the Jar Co. still may be seen in the fields behind the house now occupied by Barney Cooper, on West Branch Road.

The streets had names, in rows off the main road.  One group was called Silvertown, another Frog Camp.

Colegrove to Crosby Area.

There were passenger trains on the Penn. R.R. as well as freight,. so the people could ride from Colegrove and Crosby to Smethport and Olean in the morning and return in the late afternoon.  It was the most used means of transportation in the first 25 or 30 years of the century before the advent of paved roads.

The oil pump station at Colegrove employed over 30 men and the countryside was dotted with huge oil tanks.  In spite of earth embankments to protect from spillage, sometimes these tanks caught fire and the smoke and flames could be seen for miles around.

The Penna. R.R. had stations at both ends Crosby and Colegrove, they operated until World War II, soon after that the stations were torn down and the rails removed.

About 1906 or 1907, telephones were in operation throughout the Township but the lines were locally owned.  It was not until 1938 that they were all connected with the Bell Telephone Co. of Pennsylvania.

Bert Chandler was an early resident, Charles Benson was an employee of the Heinemann Estate.

The Crosby Chemical Co., the principal stockholder being N.W. Heinemann, provided employment for male residents of Crosby.  Many were immigrants from Sweden, - Bensons, Hendricksons, Andersons.  Also many came from Central Europe, the Faes Family, Pettaneti and Cappilletti families.

Christian Hollow:  This was a good farming area.

Fred Smith farmed the last place at the foot of the hill on the road leading to Comes Creek.  His father was John Smith, his only child married Fred Larson, the Larson family still lives on the farm.

Next to the west was the John Kelly farm, the family name died out, the farm now owned by R.R. King.

Next was the Timothy Dunbar Family who sold to Jack Mulvihill in 1912.  The place is still occupied by Mulvihills but has not been operated as a farm since about 1930.

Next was the Allen family, all members now dead, buildings torn down and the land owned by the Mulvihills.

Next was the Fred Granteer farm.  His only cuild married John Razman who worked for the Penn R.R. for many years.  They had a large family and kept the farm prosperous until about 19060.  John Razman still lives on the farm and keeps the buildings in good repair leases the land for pasture.  Two of his sons live nearby in houses they built when they were married.

Next is the Elmer Wilcox farm which was a prosperous dairy and sheep farm until about 1940.  It is stilll owned by the family but occupied only for vacations, many members of the family deceased.

Next is what was the Stephan Marsh homestead.  He was the brother of William Marsh who lived in the stone house on the main road just north of Crosby.  Stephen and William were the two sons of Robert Marsh and Louisa Heinemann, the sister of Christopher Heinemann.  The Stephen Marsh home is now owned by Joseph Rossi, the stoune house is owned and occupied by William's granddaughter, Connie Alcox Corbett, deceased 1980.

Next is the Gallup residence built in the early part of the century by N.W. Heinemann for his daughter Theresa after her marriage to Will Henry Gallup.

The large white house now occupied by Herbert Pettenati was built for N.W. Heinemann by his nephew John Swort as a home for the latter's mother and sisters.  They never lived in it, however, as Mrs. Swort died, Esther Swort married Alfred Stratton and Theresa Swort made her home with her cousin Theresa Gallup and John married Edna Anderson of Colegrove.  This house was first occupied by Wm. Cleveland where their son was born after which they moved to Smethport, about 1916.

The Pettenati family lived next to Cleveland's in a house which was later torn down and on the site was built to present home of Norma Pettenati.

In 1908, Mildred Dunbar was Postmistress, she had the office in her residence - the house later owned by John and Blanche Berge - on the lot behind the present site of the Crosby Methodist Church.  The name of the P.O. was changed from Newerf to Crosby during her tenure, December 4, 1909.  The location of the office was changed frequently according to who was the postmaster was established as Newerf on December 8, 1888.  Since then then
Date of Appointment
Eugene S. Bevier
December 8, 1888
Michael Erhart
July 18, 1889
Eber C. Dennison
April 3, 1907
Mildred G. Dunbaar
January 11, 1908  (name changed to Crosby in 1909)
James H. Bloomster
April 7, 1911
Agnes M. Whitelaw
January 24, 1914
Earl F. Manwaring
May 12, 1915
Leonard E. Benson
March 30, 1922
Anna Benson
September 29, 1933
Norma Pettenati
October 19, 1944
Warren Chandler lived on the corner.

Earl Manwaring had a grocery store in the building which is now the home of James Houck and family.

On the present site of the Crosby Garage was Red Men Hall, about 1912.  This was used by fraternal organizations for recreational purposes.  The Garnge used it as a meeting place.  A wooden building on the same site had been used for dances and meetings for a good many years before the tile building was constructed.

Patrick Manwaring, brother to Earl, lived in the house now.

Charles Bloomster and his brother James were residents of Crosby in the early part of the century, living along the main road.

Del Gifford lived next to James Bloomster, near a livery stable and a blacksmith shop.

Mike McDade lived in the house now occupied by Avery Nelson, Jr. and Whitelaws lived in the house now occupied by Avery Nelson, Sr.  The land surrounding these houses was part of the McDade farm.

Timmermans lived in a house in the flat behind McDades, which has since been torn down.

Wm. Razey, Sr. lived in a house which was on the site of the present Legion Hall.

Lee Allen lived in the house now occupied by Irene Hendrickson.

Henry Lathrop, father of a large family, lived in a house next to Wm. Razey.

Sam Hendrickson lived in a house built by John Swort which is now owned by Wayne Corbett.

The Brougham family lived in teh next house to the south.  This is now the home of the Walter Nelson family.

White Hollow:  There were farms on top of what is called Swede Hill.  One was owned by the George Newcomb family, the house has burned.  Ellwin Marsh married Eva Newcomb, their farmland is still used for pasture though the old house has also burned.  Camps have been built on the farm site in recent years.  Charles Bailey, father of "Pete" Bauiley also lived on this hill.

Near the bridge over the south branch of Wollcot Creek lived the Albert Hulett family.

The first large farm up White Hollow was owned by Norman Marsh, son of Stephen Marsh.  It is now the residence of Segulin family.

The last house on the White Hollow Road is the Anderson homestead, now used as a vacation home to Wm. Anderson, son of Gus Anderson, Nels Berg and Ennis Grover were neighbors along this road, their houses have been torn down, no heirs.

There was once a cheese factory in Crosby, in the small building now used as a dwelling by Mrs. Chas. Bloomster.

About 1908, one of the most prosperous farms in the township was operated by Atwood Putnam.  He has the first milking machine in MeKean County, run by a gasoline motor.  He grew corn which was higher than a man standing on horse back.  This cornfield was on land now used as a baseball diamond, now owned by the Norwich Township Baseball Club.  The rest of the farm on the east side of the main road is still owned by decendants of Ivy A. Putnam who had acquired it after the Civil War.  Atwood Putnam was also known for the beautiful horses he kept. (his father wsa Ivy Atwood Putnam)

In 1900, the last home was on Sackett Hollow Road (before the woods) was that of Lewis Sackett, the last of the original family for whom the Hollow was named.  This house burned about 1945.  Next to the Sackett home was that of Adam Rishey.  This house has been restored and is now in good condition, used as a recreation home.  These two family names have died out and there are no heirs at present.

There was once an extensive system of narrow guage railroad tracks covering the hills and woodlands, owned by the Heinemann Estate, used to transport wood to the chemical factory at Crosby.  Oxen and horses were used to bring the wood to the railroad flat cars.  There were many small cabins built in the woods to house the wood outters, some were fairly large "wood camps" as they were known.  They were moved from place to place as needed.

There was a bakery in Crosby known as Mealoss & Costoff.  Also a barber shop operated by a Mr. Carter.  "Skip" Barber operated a blacksmith shop, Morris Bresson a meat market and later a pool room, about 1920.  This was later taken over by Mr. Fixley.  There was a small grocery store in the building across from the Methodist Chruch but it was only for families of men who worked in the chemical factory.

The present Methodist Church was built in 1920, much of the cost being donated by Mrs. N.W. Heinemann.  Before that, she had been the main support of services and a Sunday School held in a poorly built church across the road from the present structure.  The church at Colegrove, across the road from the cemetary, is the oldest one in the Township and was known as a Community Church but it was used mostly by Methodists.

The chemical factory at Crosby burned in 1950, the smoke stack.  The land surrounding it has been bulldozed flat and is used as a pasture.

The Pennsylvania Railroad station in Crosby was removed intact on a flat R.R. car in 1944 and used elsewhere.  A small freight station existed for a few years but was torn down after the factory burned and the tracks were removed.

The oldest house in Norwich Township, predating the Civil War are:
    1.  Rishey house on Sackett Hollow road.
    2.  The Gallup house on West Branch road, now owned by Harry Brittan.
    3.  The Lasher house on Lasher Brook road now owned and used as a camp by Judge Willson.  There was a log cabin nearby, the remains still there until about 1900.  The original Lasher famioly had no male heirs, the property was inherited by a daughter who married Clyde Havens.
    4.  The red house, now owned and used byNicholas Scanlan family, inherited from grandparent, N.W. Heinemann, whose father Cristopher had purchased it form the Rifle family when he came from Germany in the early 1850's.  It was originally one of the Gallup homestead.
    5.  The William Heinemann house on the west side of Potato Creek at the corner leading to the Red Mill Brook road.  Built by him in 1848, now owned by his descendants, the Ralph Herzog family of Smethport.
    6.  The Stone House just north of Crosby, owned by descendants of Robert Marsh, Jr. who built it in 1853.  William Marsh was born in the house the day his parents moved into it, he lived there all his life and his daughter Alberta Marsh Allcox and her daughter Connie now occupy the house.