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Fishing Creek Township

Fishing Creek Township Building is located at 3188 State Route 487, Orangeville PA 17859; phone: 570-683-5900.

Beginnings [1]

Being divided almost in half by the waters of Fishing Creek, this division of Columbia County, formed in 1789, was given the same name. It was once of much larger size, but the erection of Briarcreek, Greenwood, Sugarloaf, Benton and parts of Mount Pleasant and Orange Townships at various periods greatly curtailed the area.

The settlers of this portion of the Columbia County were mainly of English, Irish and Scotch descent, but a number of Germans also settled here. There was sufficient of different nationalities to cause much dissension regarding the names of creeks and villages, the post office of Fishing Creek being named by one faction and Huntington Creek, upon which it was situated, being named by people who settled along that stream in Luzerne County. This name came from one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and was given by the settlers who came from Connecticut.

The first settler of this region was Daniel McHenry, who came here in the summer of 1783 and located above the site of the present village of Stillwater (now Stillwater Borough). He was of pure Irish descent and had been a resident of New Jersey. In 1784 he brought his family here, and in 1785 his son, John McHenry, the first white child born north of Knob Mountain, saw the light of earth.

Abram Dodder, from Muncy, came here in 1786 and settled at the mouth of Pine Creek. Ludwig Smith came in 1800 and settled on Huntington Creek near the county line. Sebastian Kisner located near Smith in 1808, and the same year John Buckalew, father of John M. Buckalew, established the farm later owned by his descendants. After 1810 the arrivals were Samuel Creveling, Samuel Cutter, Richard Brown, Benjamin Jones and John Paden. Thereafter the immigration was rapid until Fishing Creek Township became one of the most thickly populated portions Columbia County.

Many sawmills were built in this township in the first years of settlement, one of the first being that of John M. Buckalew on Pine Creek, in 1808; that of Benjamin Jones was erected in 1809, at the site of Jonestown; and that of John Paden, at Forks, in 1810. A small fulling mill was also established in 1820 on Little Pine Creek by a man named Kennedy, but did not run long.

  1. Historical and Biographical Annals of Columbia and Montour Counties Pennsylvania, Vol. 1, J. H. Beers & Co., 1915.
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