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History

The old days

The event didn’t have to be remarkable to make the cut into Zoe Hillard’s diary. A buggy ride down by the creek made it on April 2, 1905, the Limestone Fair that September and acquiring chestnuts on Oct. 8. On Feb. 8, 1906, she noted the skies were “Clear. Eclipse of the moon. Was to ...

Then & Now

Photo courtesy of the Warren County Historical Society/Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry An undated image, above, of the former site of the North Warren Elementary School. It’s evident that multiple distinct school buildings were located on the site before the most recent iteration was ...

Life in the forest

One of the challenges about researching and writing history is that the sources we have are the people that write. Going back 100 years or more, that typically means well-educated individuals, many of which came from a position of significant means. If those are the sources we have then ...

The golden years

Fred Windsor lived an incredibly active life. But he couldn’t escape the aging process that we’re all subject to, and as he moved into his 60s in the 1920s, the pace of his life slowed significantly. The Warren County Historical Society holds records that tell us about those later ...

Apparently whiskey

The process by which Columbus Township was named may be the best one of these stories. It involves a friendly disagreement. And much whiskey. Schenck’s History of Warren County details that the area was initially called Northwest Township and formed in March 1821 when it was attached to ...

The private side

We’ve spent quite a bit of time talking about Windsor’s business ventures over the last several weeks. What was unfolding in his personal life during this period? “Fred retired from the National Guard in 1906 at age 45,” according to the Warren County Historical Society. “He might ...

‘Marketing the Presidency’

The Warren County Historical Society’s Annual Meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 10, in the main courtroom of the Warren County Courthouse. The board of directors will hold a public meeting for the purpose of reporting to the organization’s membership. At 6:30p.m., following ...

That didn’t catch on

The continuation of our look into the One Hand Clock Company, certainly Windsor’s most interesting patent. From the patent application: “Outside of the double circle 3 is a circular space 4 which is divided into twelve equal sections by the lines 5. Each one of these sections are provided ...

Hutterites settle Russian Houses

It wasn’t uncommon in the 19th century for the occupants of a place to select the name of the place where they lived. In fact, some residents in the county were given that authority when E-911 went into effect when previously unnamed streets and roads suddenly needed names. But in the ...

A good idea…

It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that we researched this entire series of Fred Windsor to write THIS one story. It’s an extension of last week’s — it covers a patent that Windsor was awarded in 1923. But this one is by far the most interesting story of the series. Google has even ...

Moving survey monuments could carry some penalties

Willfully displacing or destroying a survey monument might seem like a way to (unethically) gain some property. It would be an illegal one. In Pennsylvania, meddling with a monument to “call into question a boundary line” is a misdemeanor of the second degree. Other examples of ...

Survey stones better off left undisturbed

With the knowledge that historical survey markers throughout the city carry some practical and current significance, what should be done to preserve what remains? For example, what if you find one in your yard? “These monuments are best left alone,” Joe McGraw, a local surveyor and ...

No rolling stones

So what that the survey markers spread around the City of Warren are historical artifacts in their own right? If you wind up in a property dispute, you might think otherwise. The 6”-by-6” squares visible at several intersections throughout the City of Warren mark the legal ...

An out of fashion, yet novel approach to measuring

Modern day surveyors have it easy. Global positioning, lasers, high-tech. In the 1880s, surveyors were probably using Gunter’s Chain to make their measurements. It was, literally, a metal chain — 66-feet long and comprised of 100 links. New measurements — the ‘chain’ (66 feet) ...

Rocks around the blocks

There are certainly practical - and potentially legal - arguments in favor of preserving survey monuments that are present throughout the City of Warren. But part of that argument is historical. And given the age of the monuments in the city, they certainly stand as historical artifacts ...

Historical standards of length

The measurements made by surveyors in Warren in the late 19th century are impressively precise. Until 1912, the measurement of an inch in the United States was based on the metre — one metre = 39.37 inches. So, if you needed to know how long an inch was and you had a metre-stick, all ...

Innovative inventor

Being a company commander in a National Guard unit doesn’t pay the bills. And while Windsor didn’t need to make a ton of money (he lived as a bachelor in a room above a downtown bank and in a California apartment for much of the rest of his life), it doesn’t mean he didn’t have a ...

Presidential power

In the wake of the country’s third-ever impeachment trial, the Robert H. Jackson Center’s 2020 Jackson Day program couldn’t have been more appropriately timed. The event is held annually to correspond with the birthday of the county’s most famous son, Jackson, who served as a U.S. ...

The free township of Freehold

Freehold is not an uncommon name for a place. The township in northwestern Warren County was carved out of Columbus and Sugar Grove townships in the early 1800s. It was named for its legal standing. Ernest Miller, in Place Names of Warren County, pennsylvania, said the citizens who ...

Then & Now

Times Observer photo by Josh Cotton (below) This week’s Then & Now features people, not places, with Pat Evans’ photograph of the 1988 swearing in by Judge Robert Wolfe, far right, of, from left, Evans, Tim Greenlund, and Jack Donaldson. Below is our current Warren County ...