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History & Geography of Bradford County by Heverly
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History & Geography of Bradford County

By Clement F. Heverly

History & Geography - Table of Contents
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Barclay Township

Submitted by Dana Richter who typed this from Heverly - History and Geography of Bradford County 1615-1924 p512-514

Chapter L Barclay Township

Barclay was so named in Honor of Robert Barclay of London, England, who in 1794 purchased 21,000 acres of land lying on what is known as the Barclay mountains. 

Geographical. Barclay, the mountainous, coal-bearing township, comprising 1-58 of the area of Bradford county, is situated between the townships of Franklin to the north, Monroe and Overton to the East, Leroy to the west and Overton on the south from which it is separated by Schradar Creek. The summit in the western part of the township has an altitude of 2041 feet. The general slope is towards the southeast, drained by Coal run and other small streams, flowing into the Schradar. This region, a section of the Towanda range, known as the Barclay mountains, generally, was heavily timbered, even on the slopes, with pine, hemlock, and hardwood. Here among the rocks was the favorite habitat of bears, wolves and wildcats, while on the heights, elk, deer, and wild turkeys abounded. The Schradar swarmed with the largest brook trout and eels in abundance. The township has an area of twenty square miles and was formed from Franklin in 1867. 
History: Discovery of Coal. Prior to 1812, Barclay was only known as a rugged region, abounding in big game. Coal, that year, was accidentally discovered by Absalom Carr while hunting. Soon After it was first used by Jared Leavenworth, a blacksmith, residing near the mouth of Towanda creek. In the beginning coal was brought down the mountain on sleds. The demand grew, different beds were found and opened, notably the Mason and Cash mine, to which roads were built, and the coal hauled away in wagons to supply blacksmiths in Northern Pennsylvania and Southern New York. Mining and Towns. Mining did not become an important industry until after the completion of the Barclay railroad in 1856, when the Barclay Coal company took men and equipment to the mountain and began working the original mine. In 1864 the Fall Creek Coal company was organized and the first shipment made from the fall creek mines in 1865. The carbon run mines operated by the Schradar Coal Company, were opened in 1874 and the Long Valley mines, operated by the Towanda Coal company, in 1880.

Barclay was at its best in 1875 when three mines, Barclay, Fall Creek and Carbon Run, were in operation, producing 380,000 tons of coal annually. There were five mining villages, Barclay, Fall Creek, Graydon, Dublin and Foot of Plane, besides Carbon Run on the line between Barclay and Leroy. Barclay and Carbon Run, numbering several hundred inhabitants each, were the most important, with stores, shops, churches and schools. Extent of Production. The Fall Creek mines were closed in 1875, those at Carbon Run in 1885 and those at Barclay in 1890. Up to the time of discontinuing operations in December 1890, there had been mined and shipped from the lands of the Barclay Coal company 4,256,924 tons of semi-bituminous coal.

A considerable village was established at Long Valley where mining operations were continued until 1909. Since then mining in the Barclay field has been conducted only in a small way as an individual enterprise at Long Valley and in the Carbon Run district. Lumber and Manufacturing. Barclay had become almost depopulated and her villages gone to ruins and decay, when in 1902, she was given new life by the establishment and operations of the Laquinn Lumber Company. Around the big mills a village grew of several hundred inhabitants. It was called Laquinn and provided with a church, schools, stores, hotel, shops and other accessories. In 1920 Barclay had a population of 841; it was greatest, 2009, in 1870.