Within Titusville lives the spirit of those people and businesses that have come and gone; indelibly leaving their mark on our collective soul. One of our oldest districts - what I will affectionately call the Diamond Block - took a heavy blow just last night. This is a hardy block, one of the oldest in our town. Let me tell you a little bit about the history of the various storefronts that have graced Diamond Street through time.
At the top of Chestnut Street there is a long brick building with tall gaping windows. Just standing outside and gazing at it, one can feel the life that has flowed through this building. You can almost see the hustle and bustle of young men and women at the turn of the century who worked there after school to make a couple of bucks and the seasoned artisans and laborers who devoted their lives to an essential, yet beautiful craft. This building has been home to the knife-making industry for 116 years. It is the home of the nationally renowned Queen Cutlery.
Other than the famous Ida Tarbell, can you name a single woman of importance in Oil Region history? If your answer is no, I assure you it is not because there weren't any! Today I want to highlight two remarkable women whose extraordinary lives and accomplishments in the Oil Region should be remembered and lauded.
Few lifelong residents are unable to conjure up a memory of when they first learned to swim at Burgess Park or got a summer job as a lifeguard or hung out with their friends and family poolside throughout the decades. However, it is also likely few people remember when and why the Dick Kraffert pool came about.
AKA: Episode 2 of A Thousand Ways to Die in the Oil Region. Just after the oil boom, Dr. George W. Barr moved to Titusville with his wife and children in mid-1865. Little did he know the tragedy that would befall him in his new home.