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Cambridge Springs and Edinboro

Cambridge Springs and Edinboro

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Cambridge Springs and Edinboro

4/5 (1 valutazione)
173 pagine
50 minuti
Jun 14, 2006


The penny postcard became popular during the years that mineral water therapy changed the quiet, rural town of Cambridge Springs into a popular resort town. Hotels and spas fi lled the area, and several daily trains brought guests to this world-class resort town. Hotels such as the Riverside, Rider, and Bartlett brought wonder and hope to people seeking cures for illnesses. Edinboro, known for its university and lake, has been another popular vacation spot for more than 200 years. The town developed an academy that became a normal school, a college, and finally a university. Through historic postcards, Cambridge Springs and Edinboro invites readers to witness the past wonders of this beautiful area.
Jun 14, 2006

Informazioni sull'autore

Terry Perich, vice president of the Jeannette Area Historical Society, is a retired social studies teacher, historian, and alumnus of Edinboro State College. Kathleen Perich, a retired teacher, is a member of the executive board of the Jeannette Area Historical Society. Terry coauthored Jeannette in the Images of America series, and he and Kathleen coauthored Jeannette in the Postcard History Series. A portion of the proceeds for this book are being donated to the Cambridge Springs Heritage Society.

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Cambridge Springs and Edinboro - Terry Perich



In 1801, Job Van Court and his son, Benjamin, made a deal with the Holland Land Company for 100 acres of land. They were the first white settlers and built the first log cabin at the present site of Cambridge Springs. Unfortunately, Job and Benjamin Van Court were not prosperous because they lost their land. Job died and was originally buried close to Venango Avenue; as today’s visitors come down the borough side of Docter’s Hill next to the south limit of the borough, they would have found his grave on the right. Thanks to the efforts of the Cambridge Springs Heritage Society, the grave was moved to a more fitting location, the Cambridge Springs Lower Cemetery, with a rededication ceremony held on Memorial Day, May 30, 2005. The fate of Benjamin, the son, is unknown; the site of their log cabin grew into a settlement and then into a town and, for a time, was one of the most noted spas in the United States and the world.

Some outstanding events in the chronological history of Cambridge Springs are as follows: John St. Clair, in 1815, built the first bridge over French Creek at the present site of Cambridge Springs; in 1820, the Marquis de Lafayette held a reception for the early settlers at the present site of the Bartlett Hotel; and in 1830, the first school was built without windows so the outside would not distract the students. The first church, the Methodist Episcopal, was established in 1832. The First Baptist Church followed it in 1835. In 1847, the population consisted of about 15 families, and in that same year, the first sawmill was built. The Sherwood and Agnew Saw Mill, Grist Mill, and Handle Factory was founded in 1853 with 40 men as employees.

While probing for oil in 1860, Dr. John H. Gray found a free-flowing spring of iron water, which he cased but left unchanged until 1884. The Atlantic and Great Western Railroad was the first railroad built through Cambridge in 1861. On February 16, 1866, the borough of Cambridge became incorporated. In 1867, the first cheese factory in Crawford County was established in the borough of Cambridge. This was a very important event that started a large countywide industry. The U.S. government appointed the first postmaster for Cambridge Borough in 1868. The Index, the first newspaper, was founded in 1869, and by 1870, the population of Cambridge Borough grew to 452. In 1877, the Cambridge News was established, and in that same year, Kelly Brothers founded the first bank. The population by 1880 grew to 674. In April 1884, Dr. Gray found his springwater to be similar to the Blue Spring at Hot Springs, Arkansas, and began commercializing it. The Hotel Riverside was organized in 1886.

The population of Cambridge Borough grew to 912 by 1890. On April 8, 1892, the United States Post Office shortened the borough’s name to Cambridgeboro. William Baird bought the Riverside Hotel in February 1895. Baird paid Dr. Gray $60,000 for the mineral spring and built a boardwalk from the Riverside Hotel to the spring. William Douglas Rider had been associated with the Riverside management. On the Fourth of July 1895, Rider broke ground for the Hotel Rider. In various parts of the town, additional springs were developed, including magnesia and lithia waters. The population of Cambridgeboro was now 1,700.

Tragedy struck Cambridgeboro on April 1, 1897, and almost the entire business district burned in an all-day fire. Cambridgeboro became Cambridge Springs on February 18, 1897, after the citizens successfully petitioned the U. S. government to change the name. In 1900, a stern-wheeler named the Claremont was the first pleasure steamboat built and operated on French Creek at Cambridge Springs. Dr. J. A. Logan opened the first hospital on September 12, 1905, and a Pittsburgher named Knolle built the Arcade Block. The first moving picture show opened in the Arcade Block in 1906. The building and lands of the Hotel Rider became Alliance College at Cambridge Springs in 1912. Pres. William Howard Taft came to Cambridge Springs to deliver the dedication address. B. F. Bartlett, a Klondiker, developed the Hotel Bartlett that same year. Bartlett was also elected burgess and gave Cambridge Springs its first municipal water, sewers, and paving.

Some 100 years ago, just the name Cambridge Springs made people think of miracle cures, hotels, and spas that were luxurious and grand beyond all imagination. But Cambridge Springs was more than that; it was a place of hope. Millions of people visited Cambridge Springs with the belief that whatever their ailments were, they would be cured. Cambridge Springs had something for everyone: excellent golf courses, state-of-the-art medical facilities, healing waters, gourmet dining, boating, tennis, entertainment, world-class hotels, and an environment that provided a calm and relaxing atmosphere. We have tried to assemble a pictorial representation of the town of Cambridge Springs in its halcyon days, accompanied by explanatory text. We hope the postcards included in this book will give the reader a small glimpse of Cambridge Springs in its heyday.

Edinboro, a neighboring town, never reached the worldwide recognition Cambridge

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