Hydetown Trolley

The trolley is pictured on the iron bridge over Little Oil Creek.

Last week we started talking about how much fun it was to live in Hydetown in the 1800’s. People were busy moving timber and barrels by barge down Little Oil Creek, Oil Creek and down the Allegheny River to Pittsburgh.

Then the main street through Hydetown was dirt until 1923.

Electricity never reached Hydetown until October of 1924.

Natural gas may have been introduced to Hydetown as early as 1910.

Running down the middle of the dirt streets were tracks for the Titusville Electric Traction Company’s trolley, which made trips to Hydetown, Mystic Park and Tryonville every hour.

The trolley tracks

You can see the trolley tracks running down the center of the dirt streets in Hydetown.

Sterling Fogle, of Pleasantville was the motorman who usually made this run.

Could you imagine how much fun it would have been to pay your nickel or dime to ride out to Mystic Park to go swimming?

Well, the trolley was actually rather short-lived.

The trolley service started around 1890 and ended on New Year’s Eve 1924, with one lonely passenger riding from Pleasantville to Hydetown and it was over.  

The trolley made it’s final trip through Hydetown and back through Titusville. Then it went out through East Titusville across the bridge, and turned right down to the Titusville Electric Traction Company’s red brick garage one last time.

It’s kinda funny that we give credit to Jonathan Titus for settling Titusville, but if the truth were to be known ...Jonathan Titus actually founded Hydetown also.

It was originally Oil Creek Township.

Charles Ridgway had a son, Peter, who served as county commissioner and was instrumental in Oil Creek Township becoming incorporated as Hydetown Borough on April 23, 1868.

Even though Jonathan Titus died in 1857, he was the one who wanted it named after this family of pioneer settlers and merchants.

Peter Ridgway was also instrumental in getting the iron bridge built over Little Oil Creek (Thompson Run) on Main Street in Hydetown.

Peter also married his stepsister, Louisa Carr Ridgway, who was instrumental in starting the Hydetown Baptist Church!

It’s no wonder we all fell in love with Hydetown!

Come on out. Pull up a bridge and we’ll swap some stories.

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: “A Tale of Two Brothers,” Genesis 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 to 5 p.m., Bible study.

A final word

As the Summer months wane, (it officially becomes fall on Sept. 23) there is still plenty of time for family summer activities. Take time to enjoy nature, attend a county fair, have a picnic, take a road trip, visit a farmer’s market, do some sidewalk chalk drawing, go fishing and don’t forget to hula hoop and water balloon battle. Most of all do not forget to attend church together as a family tomorrow.

Happy Weekend!

Contact us

Jeff and Robin may be reached at (814) 775-0107 for anyone wanting to makepositive 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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