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Mill Creek Borough

The Mill Creek Borough Office is located on Valley Street, Mill Creek PA 17060; phone: 814-643-1926.

Beginnings [1]

The area of the confluence of Mill Creek with the Juniata in present Brady Township first attracted settlers in the 1760s as an outlier of nearby Huntingdon. Agriculture was an early occupation, and later industries included flour mills, gristmills, bark mills, and sawmills, all powered by the stream named Mill Creek or its tributaries. The community developed on the northeastern side of the Juniata along either side of Mill Creek. During the 1830s and 1840s Mill Creek served as a shipping point on the Main Line Canal, which traversed the north side of the river and had an aqueduct, a basin, a wharf, and storage facilities at the town. The Pennsylvania Railroad supplanted the canal as a fixture of the local economy in the 1850s.

In the 1870s Mill Creek became an important railroad loading hub for lumber, flour, and grain produced there, and by the mid 1880s several of the mills had converted to steam power. Early in the 1900s a stocking factory was erected in the village and brickyards were later established, all joining with the mills and quarries to sustain local employment. Mill Creek suffered during the Great Depression, and in 1936 a major flood hit the town. Today agriculture remains an important business, although many residents commute to jobs in nearby Huntingdon.

Site of Mill Creek Iron Furnace. Between 1838 and 1869 the Mill Creek iron furnace stood 1/4 mile up the creek, employing as many as 120 people at the height of its operation. There is ongoing discussion about installing a septic system in the community.

U.S. Silica Plant. This plant processed the local sand used for the Mt. Palomar mirror.

Quarry Site. Sandstone quarrying also promoted the local economy by the middle of the 1800s. A major quarry site, at Stone Mountain, is east of the town.

Prehistoric Indian Sites. Near Mill Creek on the south side of the Juniata are two prehistoric Indian sites. The first lies approximately 2 miles west of Mill Creek and consists of a rock-shelter at the floodplain level along with a burial site of the Eastern Woodland Period. The second lies 1/2 mile farther west and consists of an unexcavated village site.

Canal Remains. About 11/2 miles west of Mill Creek are the remains of a stone feeder dam.

  1. Reconnaissance Survey: Juniata River Corridor, America's Industrial Heritage Project, 1991, U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Washington, D.C.
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