Tidioute: One of a kind

Times Observer photo by Dave Ferry The view of the borough of Tidioute as seen from the overlook trail in the Allegheny National Forest.

Tidioute is one of five boroughs in Warren County.

It lies along the Allegheny River where Deerfield and Triumph townships meet.

According to Ernest C. Miller’s Place Names in Warren County, it was initially called Deerfield and remained so until oil was discovered in 1860 and 1861.

“An incorporated town was deemed necessary to handle the town affairs… with the influx of people following the discovery of oil,” Miller said.

Papers were drawn up.

“Just before the papers for incorporation were filed, it was found there was another Deerfield village in the state,” Miller wrote.

There is currently a Deerfield Township in Tioga County, as well as the one in Warren County.

Faced with the need for an alternate name, town leaders selected Tidioute.

That, according to Miller, is a Seneca word meaning “log trap place.”

“The Indians often trapped deer at the mouth of the various streams flowing into the Allegheny River near Tidioute,” Miller said.

VisitPA.com has a different meaning — “protrusion of land.”

Whatever the meaning, the founders picked a name that has remained unique. There are no other places named Tidioute that come up in a search.

The name became formal when the borough was incorporated on June 7, 1862.

“Following incorporation, a town jail was built in three days and fully filled in half-a-day,” Miller said.