The year is 1985. It's a summer evening in Titusville, Pennsylvania and you are dancing the night away under the light flares of the disco ball while the DJ plays "Raspberry Beret", "We Built this City", and other chart-toppers that please the crowd. The building you are in houses a great deal of history tracing all the way back to the oil boom era and in a mere thirteen years will no longer exist. Where are you? Welcome to the Colonel Drake Hotel.
When the City of Titusville bought the home at 732 East Main Street in June 2018, the controversy was immediate. Regardless of one's feelings about the purchase of the property or the plans for its future, few likely know the full extent of the home's history, its previous residents, and its place in Titusville's past.
While most people flocked to Titusville due to oil, there was also a little known gusher of another valuable kind just east of Titusville up the hill. In 1906, Dr. S.N. Burchfield capitalized on this other valuable substance that was springing out of the earth. What was it, you ask? Water!
May is Jewish American History Month! Did you know that Titusville was home to many Jewish people who either immigrated to America or moved from other towns to try their luck during the oil boom? This month, we've decided to highlight Titusville's interesting Jewish history through the B'nai Zion and B'nai Gemiluth Chesed Congregations.
One of Pennsylvania's signature spring events involves spending time out in the creek, river, or on the lake trying one's luck at catching a trophy trout. With the opening day of trout season tomorrow, we wanted to give you a peek into the origins of trout season and how this slippery fellow came to be one of Pennsylvania's most prized native fish.
It's a brisk Thursday night in September. The year is 1939. Town is abuzz with activity and Spring Street is alive with activity. Where is everyone going this fine night, you might wonder? The line stretches down the block for the main event: the opening of the brand new Penn Theatre.
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.
Seventy-three years ago on this very day, the people of Titusville and the surrounding areas were talking about the same thing we have all been talking about in hushed whispers today, hoping it will pass us by: SNOW.