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Pine Township

Pine Township municipal offices are located at 3209 Wintersteen School Road, Millville PA 17846; phone: 570-458-4355.

Beginnings [1]

The natural beauty of the mountain scenery of Pine Township may have attracted the tourist since good roads had been built within its limits, but the absence of the latter and the rugged appearance of the country were deterrents to the original settlers of Columbia County. Thereby the settlement of Pine Township was postponed for some years after the filling up of the other townships, and the increase of population after a few venturesome hunters entered this wilderness of forest and hills, was slow and irregular.

Pine Township was formed in 1853, and had previously been included within the confines of Derry Township, Northumberland County, and Madison Township, Columbia County. Most of the land was owned by the Asylum Land Company, and their untrustworthy methods held many a substantial settler from entering this region.

Peter Brugler, a hunter from New Jersey, was the first to come to this corner of Columbia County, and he lived for many years upon the proceeds of the chase, as the region abounded in deer, bear and other game.

Many shingle makers came to Pine Township, but none of them were permanent settlers. Jerry Lyon came in 1796 from New Jersey to Greenwood, where he remained six years, and then crossing the Muncy hills made the first permanent improvement in Pine Township, on land now occupied by his descendants and those of Jeremiah Fowler, to whom the land had been surveyed. He was soon followed by David Hamilton and Daniel Whipple, who settled some distance above Sereno. Joshua and Samuel Davis next arrived and built the first sawmill on the site of that of Edward Ritchie at Sereno, now in ruins. Later John Thomas built another sawmill on Little Fishing Creek, north of the first. This was afterwards run by Jacob Christian. For many years these two mills did all the work for that end of the county, the timber being hauled to the Susquehanna River and rafted down that river. In 1835 Richard Greenly built the sawmill on Wolfhouse run, and in June, 1836, a cloudburst destroyed the mill, dam, house and barns. It was not till 1841 that he returned here and rebuilt his devastated property. J.L. Eves was the last owner. The Benfield sawmill at Sereno was built in 1853, as also those of Zebulon Robbins and Henry Battin in other parts of the township. After this date a great number of small sawmills arose at various points, consummated their purpose and sank into ruin. The tannery at Sereno was for a time of some consequence. It was operated by Edward Ritchie in connection with his sawmill, from 1837 to 1872.

St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church was organized in 1879 by Rev. N. A. Whitman. His successor, Rev. O. D. S. Marcley, dedicated the first church building in 1880. The officers of the congregation at this time were John Bruner, P.W. Sones, Samuel Eckman and A.E. Girton. Soon after this the congregation had a disruption and disbanded. The church was then occupied by the Evangelical congregation and was regularly served by the pastor from Unityville.

The Methodist Church in the extreme northern part of Pine Township was built on land donated by Thomas Faus, and has since borne his name. It is a fine frame building and served from Millville, the congregation being under the charge of the pastors of that place.

The population of Pine Township in 1860 was 555; in 1870, 760; in 1880, 911; in 1890, 965; in 1900, 976; in 1910, 834.

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