I want to share with you a paper that was written by an old friend of mine who passed away some time ago. He was born in Hydetown and lived his whole life here.

He loved Hydetown and was proud of this little town. He calls it “Our Town.”

“My name is Rex Reynolds. My roots are long and deep. I was born in Hydetown — Our Town. In my 11 1/2 years as mayor I noticed an increase in civic pride in our town due in part to the Hydetown Civic Association. I hope the future shows continuous progress. Hydetown citizens are proud of the fire department, the post office and playground.

Going back 75 years, it will refresh memories of the old, by recalling stories heard by the middle aged and the young will find it hard to believe.

The night scene was of oil and gas lights, mud streets, party telephones, outhouses, Saturday night baths, barn dances, few cars and lots of horses.

Across the street from the park was the loading platform for the Titusville Trolley Company. Going south you could go to Titusville, Pleasantville, Rouseville or Oil City. Going north you could walk across the railroad tracks and take another trolley to Mystic Park and Canadotha for 5 cents and stop at Sam Hawthorne’s Ice Cream Parlor.

The Pennsylvania Railroad ran about ten passenger trains each day and 15-20 local and through freight trains.

Many Hydetown residents were employed by the Traction Company and the Pennsylvania Railroad. At one time the Hydetown “Key Club” controlled most of the signal communications between Oil City and Mayville, New York on the Buffalo division.

These Hydetown residents were; Harry Ridgway, Lloyd Ridgway, Frank Morse, Lee Morse, Charlie Myer, Will Reynolds and Frank McCurdy.

Street lights were trimmed, if oil, and mantles checked, if gas. They did this every day with a small step ladder. The old lamplighter of long ago would light them at sunset and snuff them out at daybreak. The lamp lighter was Grandpa Minkley, great-grandfather of Howard Bennett, Hydetown resident.

Soon after World War I, the early days of radio brought crystal sets, neutrodyne and heterodyne kits. Early amateur pioneers, builders in Hydetown were Dayton Kress, Elmo Lingley and Red Bennett.

On Saturday night, with good weather, we could hear KDKA, WBZ and Schenectady G.E. We could listen to prize fights, election returns, Barndance music, and The Grand Old Opry!”

I am going to stop here and finish this next week. This was written by Hydetown’s Mayor, Rex Reynolds back in 1989.

Come on out. Pull up a bridge. We’ll sit a spell and swap some stories!


HAPPY BIRTHDAY TODAY  TO ... MARY BELL, co-owner of Hydetown Beverage! And many more!

Church schedules

— Hydetown Baptist Church: Pastor Jeff Sterling. Sunday: 9:30 a.m., Sunday school; 11 Worship service. Wednesday, 6:15 p.m., Prayer Focus Group; 7. Bible study and prayer. All are welcome.

Sunday Sermon: “In Christ” Ephesians 1:1-4 Hydetown area residents can tune their radios to 90.3 FM on Sunday to hear the entire Worship service at 11. Folks are also invited to come to Hydetown, park their cars and hear the service live on their car radios. The service can be heard for up to three miles in every direction from the church.

— Hydetown United Methodist Church: Pastor Richard Foland. Sunday: 9:45 a.m., Worship service. Wednesday 3-5 p.m., Bible study.

A final word

 “The wind told the grasses, and the grasses told the trees. The trees told the bushes, and the bushes told the bees. The bees told the robin, and the robin sang out clear; Wake up! Wake up! Spring is here!”  Have a great weekend and don’t forget to welcome Spring in by attending church together as a family tomorrow!

Contact us

Jeff and Robin may be reached at (814) 775-0107 for anyone wanting to make positive contributions to this column. People submitting news and activities are asked to limit the news and activities to those of the Hydetown area.

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