The township of Gaines was formed in the year 1838, taken from the western portion of the township of Shippen. It is the third township south of the New York State line, and second on the north from the Lycoming County line, and is bounded on the north by the township of Clymer, on the east by the township of Shippen, and south by the township of Elk. The streams in the townships are Pine Creek, Painter’s Run, Rexford Run, Long Run, Lick Run, Elk Run, Phenix Run and Mill Run. All of these Runs are tributaries to Pine Creek, a stream navigable for the floating of logs, lumber and shingles during the freshets. The lands along the valleys of Pine Creek are very productive, as well as those in the valley of Elk Run and Long Run. The mountains north and south of Pine Creek reach an elevation at some points of over 2,000 feet above the level of the sea. Pine Creek passes nearly through the center of the township from west to east. In the mountains above referred to are deposits of coal and iron. The coal in the mountains north of Pine creek has been developed and mining of the same carried on quite extensively by the Gaines Coal and Coke company, to which we shall hereafter refer. Josiah Furman was the first settler within the present boundaries of Gaines, having located upon two hundred and sixty-five acres of land two and one-half miles east of the present village of Gaines in the year 1804. Between the years 1804 and 1818, he purchased at Northumberland two hundred and twenty apple trees, put them in dug-outs or canoes and poled them up the West Branch of the Susquehanna to the mouth of Pine Creek, thence up Pine Creek to Gaines, a distance from Northumberland of over one hundred miles, and set out two orchards. Many of the trees are yet standing and bearing fruit. Josiah Furman was a native of Shamokin, Northumberland county, Pa.
Great freshet on Pine Creek in 1832.
Stephen Babcock was the first merchant.
John Persing settled in Gaines in the year 1824.
Benjamin Barse erected a hotel in 1848.
John L. Phenix built a saw mill in 1836.
John Benn erected a saw mill in 1835 for Silas Billings.
First school house in the township, erected in the year 1813.
August, 1882, commenced the construction of the A. & N. P. R. R.
In 1828 Silas billings purchased land in Gaines (then Shippen)township.
Horace C. Vermilyea came to Gaines in 1855, and rented the Barse hotel.
Tyadaghton Lodge No. 981, I.O.O.F., instituted November 18, 1881.
The first saw mill on Long Run was built by Wheaton Hewett in 1845.
August 26, 1882, "Barrens" purchased by the Gaines Coal and Coke Co.
Silas X. Billings came to Gaines in 1855. D. A. Paddock came to Gaines in 1855.
H. C. Vermilyea died, June, 1878, aged 63 years. He was post master twenty-two successive years.
James Carsaw was the first assessor in Gaines township and John L. Phenix was the first collector.
In the year 1812 the Indians left Pine Creek, as it was supposed, to join the British in the Canadian frontier.
February, 1882, John L. Sexton, Jr., of Blossburg, makes a preliminary exploration for coal upon the "Barrens."
In 1860 Silas X. Billings erected the "Izaak Walton House" and Horace C. Vermilyea purchased it and kept it for eight years.
David Rexford, Esq. Son-in-law of Josiah Furman, owns and occupies the pioneer farm upon which Josiah Furman settled in 1804.
First train of cars over the Addison and Northern Pennsylvania Railroad, arrived at Gaines, January 1st, 1883. Henry Maxson, engineer, Frank Wedge, fireman.
Marshfield, named in honor of D. K. Marsh, is situated at the junction of Maynard and Wetmore branches of Elk Run. It contains two churches, a store and post office, a saw mill and several dwellings.
March 1882, John L. Sexton, Jr., employed by Col. James E. Jones, Col. Henry Baldwin, H. C. McKay and John Hinman, to make further investigation in relation to coal upon the "Barrens." Makes a favorable report, and the 10th of June, 1882, again makes further investigations, assisted by a number of workmen.
Gurnee is a coal mining village in the township of Gaines, situated upon the "Barrens" about four and one-half miles northeast of the village of Gaines. There are about 350 inhabitants. The mines are operated by the Gaines Coal and Coke Co. The coal is shipped by the Addison and N. P. Railroad. Its elevation is about 2,300 feet above the ocean.
Gaines is a village situated on Pine Creek, near the mouth of Elk Run, contains one church, (erected by Silas X. Billings), a school house, several stores, one hotel, drug store, depot of Addison and Northern Pennsylvania Railroad, several industrial establishments, and contains about five hundred inhabitants. It is named in honor of Gen. Gaines, the hero of the Creek Indian removal.
The taxable inhabitants of Gaines township when it was organized were Harry Allen, Roland Blackmar, Horace Broughton, Oliver Babcock, Riley Burdick, Stephen Babcock, Stephen B. Barnes, Simeon Babcock, Conrad Benaur, William Babcock, Silas Billings, Isaac Beech, John Blue, Jr., John B. Benn, William J. Benn, David Crandall, W. Champney, James Carsaw, Sylvester Davie, Henry Erway, Jacob Erway, Benjamin Furman, D. H. Furman, William B. Furman, Aaron Furman, Josiah Furman, William Griffin, George Harvey, Zackariah Herringer, Dudley DeWitt, George Huyler, Wheaton Hewett, Joshua T. Jackson, William Larrison, William I. McNiel, Asa McIntyre, Calvin Newton, Nathaniel Owen, John L. Phenix, N. Prouty, Moses Pierce, John Robbins, Scoville & Babcock, William Steele, Henry Steele, John Schoonover, William W. Tate, S. N. Shelley, Aaron Stiles, Henry Scleick.