Editor's Note: The following articleabout the town of Shickshinny was supplied to the NEWS by N. Brian
Caverly, Esquire, a member of The Historical and Preservation Society of the Greater Shickshinny Area.
What follows is a portion of a speech, given by Sarah Wood Crary to the Rotary Club of Shickshinny, it is
believed, in the 1920's. Sarah Wood Crary was a daughter of Nathan Crary, one of the founders of the town of
Shickshinny. "We hold in our possession belonging to Nathan Beach, my father's grandfather, a deed from John and Thomas Penn, Governors of Pennsylvania, dated l772. Shickshinny was formed of Union and Salem townships. Union being taken from Huntington township in 1813 and Shickshinny remained a part of the township until 1861. The borough was not chartered until November 30,1861 and the first borough officers were: Jesse P. Enke, burgess; G.W. Search, B.D. Koons, N.B. Crary, John F. Nicely and Thomas Davenport." "Shickshinny, the place where five mountains (Newport, Lee's, Rocky, Knob and River) meet, was thus indicated by the Indians." "The first permanent settler in what
became Shickshinny was Ralph Austin of Connecticut. This was the period of Connecticut jurisdiction of 1782."
" Austin's became farmers and inn keepers. In 1801, Shadrick Austin bought the Austin homestead. Austin's land, 256
acres, passed to Matthias Hollenback. His daughter, Mrs. Cish, held it until her death. The Cish Farm was sold in 1857 to Nathan Beach Crary, G. W.Search, Lot Search and Nathan Garrison, who associated to layoff a village upon it. "
"The corner was then sold to Walter Garrison and is now the site of the beautiful and modern bank structure that is a credit to this thriving community. " "George and Lot Search had a general store, one mile above the present site of
Shickshinny. Lot Search was treasurer for Luzene County in 1855 for two years. In 1865, George and Lot erected and operated a gristmill " "Nathan Garrison died in 1862. In 1861, this village was organized into a borough by the owners."
"The beginning of the town was the beginning of the hard times of 1857. This was the beginning also of a real mercantile
effort in Shickshinny. A small store was already active at the time of its plotting in 1858, at the comer of Main and Union
streets. " "The first store was built for Mrs. Cist. The second store was established when the Bloomsburg and Lackawanna Railroad was built. A brick hotel was then built near the depot and sold to Jacob Gould. N.B. Crary had a store in the upper part of Union Street at the site of Freeman Robbins , residence. Later he built a store at the corner of Union and Main, where the First National Bank is now located and continued business there until 1906."
"Eventually Crary's daughter sold this site and buildings to Mr. E. W. Garrison, President of the Shickshinny First National
Bank." "Almost a mile up Shickshinny Creek was a sawmill, which ran steadily until 1885." "The canal to Nanticoke was built through the township in 1828. This canal was established mainly through the effort of N.B. Crary's grandfather, Nathan
Beach. Jacob Cist and Nathan Beach, were sent to interview the Governor at Harrisburg and entreat him to consent to
having the North Branch Canal put through. Ground was broken at Berwick by Nathan Beach and Alexander Jamison
on July 4, 1828 and thus continues through Shickshinny to Nanticoke." "The first church was the Protestant Methodist, built in 1860, situated on its present site. At a revival in this church was the beginning of the Methodist Episcopal and Presbyterian Churches, The Methodist Episcopal was built in 1868 and the Presbyterian in 1874. Mr. and Mrs. Crary founded the first Sunday School in Shickshinny. It was organized in 1857 in a log schoolhouse back of what is now Glen
Avenue. Mr. Crary was Superintendent, Mr. A.L. Nicely, Assisting Superintendent and Mrs. Crary the one and only teacher for a time." "At the founding of our town, a little schoolhouse stood a mile below Shickshinny. Before 1857, a log
schoolhouse stood back of Glen Avenue. In 1858, Union Township erected a schoolhouse opposite the site of the present
Presbyterian Church." "In 1877, a turnpike was built along the Shickshinny Creek gap, six miles, and crossed to Huntington Mills (this is now Route 239). Promoters of the Union Turnpike were: N.B. Crary, J.W. Stackhouse, B.D. Koons, Secretary, William A. Campbell, President, F.A.B. Koons, S.F. Monroe and D.G. Larned, Treasurer." "The Shickshinny Tube Works were organized with Millard Tubbs, President, N.B. Crary, Vice President. In 1884, the Shickshinny Water Company was organized with the following officers: President, G. W. Search; Secretary, M.B. Hughes; Treasurer, Jesse Beadle. Silk mills were, at different times, an industry at Shickshinny." "The mines on the Shickshinny side (from Mocanaqua), were opened by Nathan Beach. His grandson, Dr. Darwin Crary, in 1840, invented the first inclined
chute that had been used in the coal industry, sending the coal down from the mountain by this chute. The coal was then
loaded in "Arks" on the canal, for shipment to Philadelphia and elsewhere. Nathan Beach Crary next operated these
Shickshinny or Rocky Run Mines in 1858. In 1865, Crary sold them to Stackhouse and Weir. In 1866, they were owned by Cyrus and John Stackhouse, which became under them, The Salem Coal Co. ", and finally ownership vested in E.S.
Stackhouse." " Another place of interest, historically, is the 'Fire Tower', over 900 feet above sea level. This land was sold to Nathan Beach by Robert Morris, the fiancier of the American Revolution. " "Shickshinny has had three bridges
across the Susquehanna to Mocanaqua, in 1859, the first toll bridge, followed by the second toll bridge (both the covered
wooden ones) and then the present concrete free bridge." "The first hotel was conducted by Mr. Tubbs of Bloomsburg at a very early date in the town's history, located at a point up Union Street. Through the years, other hotels: Yaples, Simpsons, Stackhouse, Hooper, and at the present time, one conducted by Arthur Norman. " "Shickshinny has always been intensely
patriotic, responding with eagerness to all appeals. In the Civil War and the Great War (WW I), Shickshinny's men, women
and children gave proof of their time, strength and means. The rally of all the people, even far back in the country, was
most beautiful to see."