Jamison City

Sugarloaf Twp, Columbia County, PA

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Beginnings [1]

The completion of the Bloomsburg & Sullivan railroad opened up the territory in the upper end of Columbia County. The terminus of the road in Sugarloaf Township was called Jamison City, in honor of Col. B.K. Jamison, of Philadelphia, who aided largely in financing the road. While the road was in process of building, A.L. Fritz, Col. James Corcoran and Col. John Jamison purchased three farms about a mile above Central and laid them out in lots, many of which were sold and a number of buildings erected thereon. Soon quite a village grew up, and in 1889 a large sawmill was erected by the Central Pennsylvania Lumber Company. Later a large tannery was put up by Colonel Corcoran, who sold it to Thomas E. Proctor, of Boston. It was subsequently acquired by the Elk Tanning Company. These two plants employed numerous men and attracted a still larger population, composed mostly of lumbermen and tanners and their families. A large general store was opened by Stiltz & Company, and smaller stores and shops rapidly multiplied until the place seemed to justify the name of Jamison City.

The town being situated upon an elevation six hundred feet higher than Bloomsburg, the idea was conceived by a number of citizens of the latter town that the altitude, the cool nights, the many trout pools in the creeks, and the beautiful scenery of mountain and forest, rendered Jamison City an ideal spot for a modern summer resort hotel. So, in 1888, the Manor Rest Inn Company was formed, and upon the hillside above the town was erected a hotel of Swiss design, fully equipped with modern conveniences, and handsomely furnished. The first managers were Stiltz & Company, and the inn was opened in 1890 with a great flourish. For some reason, however, the public did not take sufficient interest in the project to accord it a lucrative patronage and the hopes of the promoters were never realized. Not long after the opening the company was reorganized and the name of the place changed to Proctor Inn, but this had no effect, and finally in 1905 the hotel was closed, the furniture disposed of at public auction, and the building sold to Parvin Kile, who conducted it as a hotel for a short time. He also lost money, and finally sold the building to a party who tore it down and utilized the material for building purposes elsewhere. When a distribution was finally made of the assets of the company the members received about ten cents on the dollar for their investment.

At the time when Jamison City was at the height of its prosperity there were five places where liquor selling was licensed, and but one church and one schoolhouse. In addition to the extensive lumbering operations carried on here, there were camps established at various places where the timber was cut and hauled to the central mill. There it was converted into lumber, the bark being used in the tannery. But it did not take long to work out the available timber and soon there was nothing on which to support the large population. In 1912 the mill was closed down and dismantled, the machinery being sent to other mills belonging to the company. The last carload of lumber, which had been cut some years before, was shipped over the railroad to Bloomsburg in the spring of 1914.

The population was so reduced that two stores and one licensed liquor establishment were all that the inhabitants seemed to need.

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

Nearby Neighborhoods

Street Names
3rd Street • Broad Street • Jamison City Road • Sullivan Falls Road • Water Street

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