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Pine Grove Mills

Ferguson Twp, Centre County, PA

Beginnings [1]

With a prodigality rarely equalled, nature has bestowed on the location known by the above name, advantages which needs only the hand of man to make them usable. The town lies at the foot of Tussey mountain, which rising in the rear, forms the background to a picture, than which a prettier is rarely seen. Situated at a gap in the mountain, a lucid stream issues therefrom, flowing lazily along at some spots, at others breaking into a crystal flood over moss grown rocks and finally forms itself into a miniature lake, which serves as a reservoir to give power to the village mill. The country about Pine Grove Mills abounds in fascinating and very picturesque scenery, and its pure air, owing to its elevation, makes it a delightful place of abode.

The mountain, at the base of which lies the town, affords one of the most exalted views in all this section of the state. It lifts its wild and wooded crest hundreds of feet above the valley beneath and the prospect includes almost every variety of scenery to be found in this locality. Far off in the glimmering distance, the Bald Eagle range rises into distinct view. To the right both Penn and Nittany valleys are prominent features of the landscape, forming by their junction, a scene not less diversified than lovely. A few miles to the left, begins what is known as Spruce Creek valley, a section rich in fertile fields, and devoted almost exclusively to farming. On the whole it is safe to say that there are few places in the state, where the transition from created art to natural wildness can be more quickly made than at Pine Grove Mills. For in an incredibly short time one can pass from a rich farming region into locations where can be felt keenly the solitude of the wild mountain passes.

Pine Grove Mills is situated in Ferguson Township, so named after one of its earliest settlers, Thos. Ferguson, who located in this section about 1790. He bought land liberally and encouraged newcomers by donation of soil. He owned nearly all the country surrounding the site of the present town. In 1800 the first mill built in this section, was erected by him, a short distance away from where the mill of to-day stands. To him is also due the credit of founding the village. Most of the land on which it stands was in his possession, and by his liberal donation of lots, he induced a good many who were in search of permanent homes to locate there. Pine Grove Mills is fortunate in that it includes in its present population many of the descendents of its first settlers, a fact which indicates their sturdy character, in thus being able to transmit to posterity, those sterling qualities so prominent in themselves.

Our space is too brief to present individually the names of the old and new settlers of this section. Prominent amongst them can be found the Meeks, McWilliams, Snyders, Mitchells, Ards, Weavers, Hess' and Baileys, all of whom at one time or another have been influential in the township. There is considerable business still done at Pine Grove, the village has two coach makers, as many blacksmiths, two general stores, one of which is kept by the Krebs Bros.; a furniture and undertaking room, and a flour mill. There are four churches in the village — Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, and Reformed — the Presbyterian church was built about 1857, the Reformed church was recently built, the Lutherans worship in the old Union church, and the Methodists built their present edifice in the seventies.


The subject of this outline was born sixty-five years ago, in Ferguson valley, Mifflin County. He remained on the farm until of age, and then made a tour of the Western states, returning in 1852, and engaged in mercantile pursuits for some years, after which he took up lumbering and followed that vocation during the early history of Clearfield County. In 1860 he purchased the farm where he now resides, the property having been in possession of the family for a generation before he obtained control. He has always been identified with the history of Ferguson Township since his residence therein, and has held many offices of trust conferred by his political party. He married in 1871, Celia, daughter of Gilbert Archey, Esq., and the result of the union was a daughter, Marion B., married to Rev. R. W. Illingworth.

  1. Illingworth, Ralph W., A Passing Glance at Penn's Valley, Milton, PA: Milton Printing Co., 1896.

Street Names
Nixon Road • Pine Grove Road • Water Street