Mansfield PA and Richmond Township in Tioga County PA
Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
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Pictorial History of the east side of South Main Street in Mansfield, Pennsylvania
The Way We Were
Looking South - The facing on the corner of the bank that is just visible on the left dates this as 1904 or later. 
See the caption for the pre 1904 photo below for information on buildings 2 and 3. 
Joyce's Search Tip - January 2008
Do You Know that you can search just the articles on the site by using the Articles button in the Partitioned search engine at the bottom of the Current What's New Page
This page is an attempt to trace, to the best of our ability, the changes in buildings and businesses on the east side of Mansfield's South Main Street. Our primary resource is the photographic trail. The entire block is now used by First Citizen's Bank. At the time that the bank was buying all the buildings on the block to raze them and build their own enlarged facility, Chester Bailey counted 21 businesses in the block. Now there is one and lots of parking space. The street holds much of the history of Mansfield, and I will attempt to relate it here as we look at the changing scenes over time. Some of the photos can only be dated approximately. The buildings were torn down in the 1970s and 1980s. We are fortunate to have a century of street scene photos and even the photos of their demolition.
The block we are looking at here is bounded on the east side of South Main Street with College Avenue, formerly Normal Avenue, on the south, Hoard Street on the east, and East Wellsboro Street on the north. I have added numbers to approximate the position of buildings on the block. I will use the same numbers in each of the photos to label the buildings. 

Each of the buildings has its own story to tell. Chester P. Bailey of Mansfield, now 96 years old and a historian all his life, has been both a source of information and inspiration to me in pulling together the history of this street. 

We all have our memories of the buildings on this street. The street may be prettier with the new building, but it seems empty to those of us who grew up when they were here. 

In putting this time grid together, we have to remember that some of these business operations changed as rapidly as they do now. Some had longevity and some existed only briefly. I will continue to work with the dating of various buildings and razings. If you have specific information on any of it, please let me know. So many of the photos are not dated that it is a puzzle to put it together accurately.
Yearbook and newspaper ads are also a source of business dates, as are the mercantile licenses. Yearbooks and license listings do not include an address so that we can place them on South Main Street. .
Year 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1871 Bank
1905 Bank Bicycle Agency News Room / 
Cigar Factory
1916 Bank W. E. Swartwood
1929 Bank Candy Stores
1950 Bank Mansfield Diner Apartments A&P Rose Chevrolet Amoco
1968 Bank Mansfield Diner Apartments Johnsons Trucking Parking Parking A&P
1971 Old Bank Mansfield Diner New Bank New Bank Parking Parking A&P
2008 Newer Bank Newer Bank Newer Bank Newer Bank Parking Parking Parking
Looking South - The lack of facing on the bank building allows us to date this as prior to 1904. Also, the presence of a corner of the Soldiers Orphans School in a part of the photo I cropped off for this presentation, confirms that date. It burned in 1904. More information on the bank on this page.

The double short building as number 2 includes a Sporting goods-Bicycle Agency, owner name not legible. The other half can not be identified but in later times both were candy stores. 

The 3rd building houses the News Room on the ground floor identified from a legible sign. The second floor may have been occupied by the Ross Cigar Factory at that time. This building had earlier stood on the corner of North Main and Elmira Streets where the library is now located. It had been a store and was converted for use as the Soldiers Orphans School until a new building was erected for that purpose on the NW corner of North Main and West Wellsboro Streets. 

Looking North - This postcard is a little later than the above two cards. The relocated former earliest Orphan's School / Cigar Factory [3] now has a false front added.
The presence of the Bailey's Lunch Wagon in front of building 5 dates it as 1916 or slightly later. W. E. Swartwood [7] operated a store on the south corner of the block. 
Looking South - This 1928 /29 postcard shows the addition of false fronts on the two candy stores [2] right of the bank. One belonged to George Porter and the other to James Pulos, who was referred to locally as the Greek. He made his own candy. 
Advertisements from the 1928 Manscript - yearbook of Mansfield High School. Vosburg's occupied the southern corner of the bank building.
When the Mansfield Diner was moved in to the slot between the bank and the later called Johnson Apartments in about 1932, the two candy stores were removed. The building that had housed George Porter's Candy Store was moved to West Wellsboro Street and became the [New] X-Trail restaurant. That is pronounced Cross Trail. It was called new, because the original X-Trail had been on the west side of South Main where the Mansfield Restaurant, Dutch Pantry, and University Club had operated in that sequence. That now vacant building on South Main has been purchased by the borough in 2008. 

The relocated candy store operated as the New X-Trail Restaurant from the mid-1930s until about 2002 when it became Frankie Flatlanders, in complete disregard to the historic nature of the X-Trail name. It is now called Black Swan Cafe. [Photo 2007 by Joyce M. Tice]

Looking South - This altered and colored postcard extract has been made more attractive by the removal of electric and phone poles and the addition of striped awnings, always a popular, but artificial, feature in painted postcards. It is dated about 1929. 
Looking South - This photo is approximately 1950.
4. Ford Garage
5. A & P Groceries
6. Rose Chevrolet
7. Amoco

In the later 1950s or early 1960s buildings 5 and 6 were torn down and the A&P moved to building 7 using the vacant space for parking. 

Looking North - Labeled 1957 centennial parade, but that is in error. the Centennial parade travelled in the opposite direction. I am estimating 1954 or so although the color film might make us consider a later date. 
1. Bank
2.Mansfield Diner
3.Johnson Apartments
4.Ford Garage
From Norma SMITH "Mattison" -  In about 1964-1965 my dad Boyd Smith, had " Mansfield Plumbing and Heating" in the front part of the Quonset hut.. The Chevy garage used the back part for office space.
From Barb BAILEY McConnell - I talked to my Dad [Chester P. Bailey] about the Quonset.  He does not remember it being a restaurant.  He enjoys your questions, however, and I usually get a nice story from it.    Barb. [This is response to a question about whether it was ever a diner.]
Looking South - Labeled Ernie and Matilda Jupenlaz in 1960 parade by Chester P. Bailey. All cars are early to mid 50s models, so this may be earlier. Hooray for parade pictures. They are a great source for our street scenes. This is not the same date as the photo above. Note differences: bunting on Quonset hut in lower, but not upper, photo. Differences in signage on Ford Garage. 
Mansfield Diner
This 1932 Carontawan Ad is the first reference I find to the Mansfield Diner and gives us the name of the first proprietor, William Fullington. By 1935 when this ad showed in the Manscript, Yearbook of Mansfield High School, the Edgertons owned the diner. They remained proprietors for many years.  Mansfield Diner Ad - 1961 Carontawan, Yearbook of Mansfield State College
Mansfield Diner - BTW - The Mansfield Diner was also built by Ward & Dickinson, and from Gordon Tindall who owns the Red Rose Diner in Towanda (an absolute beauty from 1927, I hope you've been there!) he found out that the Mansfield Diner moved to Canton.  - Mike Engle note Aug 2008
Inside the Mansfield Diner - 1954 Carontawan Ad above
1958 Carontawan Ad below
Exterior View from 1957 Carontawan Ad
Left - This 1970 Manscript ad for the Mansfield Diner  is the last I find in the high school yearbooks. Mary Lou Thompson was owner

Right - Myers Insurance Agency had its office on the first floor of the Johnson Apartments Building. 1961 Carontawan

This mid 1960s aerial view was cut out of the corner of a not very clear postcard.  In this view the buildings between Johnson's Garage [4] and the relocated A&P [7] are gone and replaced with parking. 
1. Bank
2. Diner
3. Apartments
4. Garage
5 & 6. Parking
7. A&P
Johnson's Trucking Garage [4] and the Quonset hut next to it were the first to go in the 1970s transition. Demolition photos from Jim Rieppel show the framework and the last piece. The apartment building that had been relocated many decades earlier shows at side. West side of South Main Street shows through the vacant space. 
The Johnson Apartments were next to be razed. This building started its long life on the corner of North Main and Elmira Streets where the library is now. It was originally a store. In 1868 when Professor Allen started the Soldiers Orphans School here, he housed the first children in this building until the new one was built on the corner of North Main and Wellsboro Streets. 
The building was relocated to South Main Street sometime later in the nineteenth century. Many businesses operated from it over the years, the News Room, Insurance Agencies, many others. The second floor had housed the Ross Cigar Factory, and during the demolition paper cigar rings were found in a cupboard that had been walled up. An automobile assembly factory had operated within its walls. It was converted to apartments.
Lost and gone forever. Empty space replaces the historic building. Shown here is the back of the Mansfield Diner, a view few of us ever noticed.
1970s Aerial View. The 1970 First Citizens Bank has displaced the Apartment Building and Johnson's Garage. The old bank was still standing on the corner [1]. The Mansfield Diner was still operating in position 2, and the A&P was still located at the end of the block [7]. Photos in the album of Christine CAMPBELL Cleveland, now in my Sullivan Township Museum, show the A&P building still in place as late as 1991. 

The buildings on East Wellsboro Street behind the bank had not yet been removed at the time of this photo. [Dart Family Collection]

See the companion page tracing the history of the bank buildings.

Edgerton Diner being moved. This is apparently the move out in the 1970s and not the move in. Sign indicateds that and the absence of building 3 [Johnson Apartments] adjacent.
This is the 1970 First Citizens Bank photo from the 1974 Manscript, yearbook of Mansfield Junior-Senior High School. It was demolished in 2000 as the newer complex was built. 
Looking North - The present bank complex, built in 2000,  occupies the north end of the block where once so many buildings stood. [Photos by Joyce M. Tice - October 2008]

Below - Looking South showing the southern half of the block occupied only by parking locations. 
The complex is very attractive and nicely designed, BUT couldn't we have saved some fragment of our history in the process? It is lost forever. 

Christine CAMPBELL Cleveland photographically recorded every gruesome detail of the demolition of the 1871 bank building in 1991. I'll show those on a separate page.

Joyce, I am enjoying the photos of Mansfield. I lived there in 1945 but I don't know the streets names. We lived in an apartment above Dr. Crittendon's office. Even though I was only 9 he trusted me to take money to the bank to deposit it. The building on the corner was a 3 story building and the telephone office was on one floor. I used to go there and watch the ladies work the switchboard. On Saturday nights I could hear music coming from the upper floor. Between that building and Dr. Crittendon's office was a hardware store. A friend lived above the store and we set up a tin-can telephone between her house & ours. On the other side was a service station. I remember the day when they were repaving the area at the station and a man got run over by the asphalt roller. Farther down the street was the railroad and every day the train came through at noon and I would run to the embankment above the tracks and wave at the engineer and caboose man. I remember when the foundry burned. I was in the bathtub and the lights went out and everything was orange from the glow of the fire.
Jane Wohlschlegel Webb
Fort Bragg, CA November 2008

Tri-Counties Page 16422
Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA

Published On Tri-Counties Site On 17 OCT 2008
By Joyce M. Tice
Email Joyce M .Tice
In a message dated 10/25/2008 7:06:47 PM Eastern Standard Time, writes: [Mike Speigel]

This page is awesome.   On a semi plus side, it raises some more questions!

(4) on that page, next to the garage looks like a Bixler diner
This would put the date between 1931-1935 if this was a new diner or like a General Diner if it came into town during 1940-1

I keep going back and forth on who built this building, but it really really looks like a diner!!!

I'm also attaching a postcard that I right clicked on EBAY.  It shows the interior of the New Mansfield Diner.  I would say that this is (2) on your map, and goes well with the picture showing the back side of the Mansfield diner, which does show a curved roof.

The interesting thing is that neither pictures helps with the rumor out of Canton that said that their former diner came from Mansfield.

Mike, Interesting. It did not look like that in my time. The center row of booths was not present. This just does not look right, but may be. It was not new when I was there. In fact I can't even imagine there being room for another row of booths there. My father washed dishes there when he was a kid. Thanks for sending it. Joyce
In a message dated 12/24/2009 2:56:21 PM Eastern Standard Time, writes:
Merry Christmas Joyce,
From "Chronicles of Central Pennsylvania" pub 1944

GEORGE FRANK CASE-President of F. P. Case & Sons, Incorporated, an organization with yards and offices located at Troy and Canton, Bradford County, Pennsylvania, George Frank Case, of Troy, is not only one of the largest contractors and builders in north-central Pennsylvania, as well as a major lumbering operator, but also very prominent in the local organization of the Methodist Church.
Among the buildings recently constructed by the firm are: the Bradford County Home at Burlington, replacing the structure destroyed by fire in 1938, an addition to the Troy Engine & Machine Company, new offices for the Van Dyne Oil Company in Troy, a lubritorium at Towanda,
a diner at Mansfield and additional floor space for the Belle Knitting Corporation and the F. W. Woolworth store at Sayre.
Looks like the diner in Mansfield was not a real factory built diner.
   The diner that went to Canton is still a mystery to me.  My friend said he was told it came from Mansfield, so that is all I have to go on for now.
  Looking back at
and the picture of the garage when it was an AMOCO station. The "diner" really looks like a diner there!  that company, Bixler, was known for double hung windows like you see on the diner.

All the best