History of Granville
(in Bradford County PA)
By Ruth Kinney
Retyped by Linda Selub & Christine Keel
The Innes Tannery
About 1856 Albert and Wilson Nichols came from New York State and bought large tracts of land and erected a large steam sawmill at the Summit. It was this same Albert Nichols that erected a large tannery in the Centre in a857 but is said to have failed in this venture. At a later date the tannery was purchased by Charles G. E. Martin who successfully operated it until his death on November 14, 1862. Mr. Martin died of a heart attack in back of his residence.
In 1865 the Martin tannery was purchased by Adam Innes. Mr. Innes was born April 20, 1820 near Edinburg, Scotland. His parents were Robert and Marion Innes. He worked as an apprentice for five years learning the trade of a tanner. On October 4, 1844 he married Miss Helen McNeil of Linlithgow, Scotland. They came with their family, consisting of two other sons, Robert and Daniel to the United States in 1848. Settling at that time in Ulster County, N.Y. where he worked in large tanneries there.
Mr. Innes came to Granville Centre in 1865, purchased the tannery and established his residence in a beautiful home. The grounds around this home were immaculately kept to form a marked feature in the community. The following children were born to the Innes family after settling in the Centre, Mary C. (Mrs. James Eastgate); Olivia (Mrs. Charles Sayles); John, Colin, Helen, Judson K. and Nettie.
His son, Judson Innes had learned the tannery trade and was the manager of the Scotia (Granville) tannery in 1883. Judson was married to Jennie Catlin. They had one daughter, Laura (Mrs. Howard Baxter). Mrs. Baxter is still residing in the township.
The tannery produced what was called "Union Crop Leather." The teamsters brought the hemlock bark to the tannery from the forests nearby and distance in Bradford and Sullivan Counties. This bark was used to make a liquor infusion of tannic acid used in tanning the hides.
The leather from this tannery won first prize in its class at the Paris Exposition and also at the Philadelphia Centennial.
Mr. Innes was also a partner in one of the largest leather houses in New York City as a member of the firm of Schultz and Innes. He was a stockholder and Vice President of the Keystone Land and Improvement Company of New York.
When Mr. Innes took over the tannery it was a very small business but he increased the capacity from 7,000 sides per year to 28,000 sides per year. Yet the demand for his goods out ran the supply. In 1870 he built the big Calendonia Tannery at Grover and the Wallace Tannery at Roaring Branch to help supply the demands for his goods.
Mr. Innes died on March 10, 1886 and Mrs. Innes on February 23, 1888. They are buried in the Granville Center Cemetery.
The Grover tannery was closed about the year of 1908 and the Scotia tannery closed its doors forever in the year of 1895.
(This article was used in the Inkwell with my permission).
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Published On Tri-Counties Site On 10/30/99
By Joyce M. Tice