Sheakleyville, Mercer County, Pennsylvania has had a number of names since it
was founded. The first name that it was called. was Georgetown in honor of George
Sheakley. In June 1830 it was called. The Culbertson Post Office, and in
January 1850 it was re-named Exchangeville Post Office. In March 1851, an act
was put through the Pennsylvania legislature as follows An act-To incorporate
in the township of Sandy Creek, Mercer County a borough to be called the borough
of Sheakleyville, and to erect it into a separate election and relative to a
school district in Armstrong County. Be it enacted by the Senate, etc. of
The site of the town was owned by William
Byers, the first sheriff who sold it to John
Sheakley in 1805. July 4th, 1822 is taken as the formal establishment of
the town. Once about 1860, Sheakleyville boasted five hotels, woolen mills,
cooper shop, tannery, many merchantile stores, a carriage and a blacksmith shop,
many saw-mills, grist-mills, stills and a planing-mill, in and about the
borough. Tradition says that the name Exchangeville was given to it
because it was there that the coach horses were changed, as Sheakleyville was a
regular coach stop in the days before the railroads. Sheakleyville was the
birthplace of Governor James Sheakley of Alaska. A
disasterous fire destroyed most of this place, and it has never recovered from
the effects of it.
However, there were a few places which escaped, among which
was the Scrivens Store. George Washington Moyer,
who belonged to the Masonic order, had a blacksmith shop and his brothers Daniel
and William had a carriage shop in the
Scrivens Store. Daniel and William made carriages in the store while George did
the blacksmith work, The carriage shop was called the Carriage Paint shop,
and was built about 1852 or earlier. Family tradition says that it is supposed that William was the
one who had the shop built. He
later went to Bloomington, Illinois, invested in land, had a grain elevator, and
other lines of merchantile business, and in fact was identified with all the
enterprises that led to the upbuilding of that town.
He sold the carriage
shop at Sheakleyville to Levi Morrison. Later a Mr.
Hulbert and also a Mr. Davis had drug stores in this building. Kit
Dean and. T. B. Marsteller had grocery
stores in it, and several others conducted merchantile business in this store.
At present it is used principally for storage, and no trace of the carriage or
blacksmith shops remain except in the arrangement of a few doors and windows.
Zonor Scrivens, Justice of the Peace for 18 years
in Sheakleyville bought this store of T. B. Marsteller
about 1912, and carried on a general store for about sixteen years. He lives
next door to it on the south.
This store is a two story, basement and attic building. The lower story was
originally the blacksmith shop. The front faces the east and is located on Route
19, the main highway passing through the borough. The front or east elevation
has a double door to the north of the center of the building with a window on
each side of the main entrance, and a larger window to the south. These windows
and the entrance are placed between pilasters of the classic influence style.
The pilasters are 12 in width and 7 4 in length with cap 9 in
length. The pilasters have no base.
The entrance is reached by a flight of two cement steps. The front or east
elevation has a wooden base 12 wide, including water table. There are double
doors with upper panels slightly more than half of the height, of glass, two
lights in each. The lower wooden panels are recessed. The entrance is 5 0 x
8 0. The window on each side of the entrance is a two sash window, each
sash of two lights, about 1 off the floor, size 4 0 x 7 0. The
south window in the front is a one sash window of six lights, size of window
5 6 x 7 0, lights of glass 20 x 40. The door lights are 19
Resting on the pilasters of the front of the store is a cornice which forms the
base of the upper story windows, of which there are three about equally spaced
with one central window. Each of these windows is a two sash window of sixteen
lights 8 x 10. A plain frieze or entablature rests on the top of the
windows acting as a head casing to the windows and forming the bottom of the
cornice, surmounted by gable and frieze mouldings [moldings]. The gable frieze and cornice
are built up of plain mouldings [moldings] consisting of crown, facia [fascia]
plancier, bed mould
and frieze. These delicate mouldings [moldings] make it an outstanding feature. The gable
is of matched boards of random widths.
The south elevation shows one door in the first floor and one window of two
sash, each of 12 lights 8 x 10. The door is ornamented with two long
narrow panels. The second story has one window of two sash, irregular, the upper
sash of twelve, the lower of eight lights, 8 x 10, one three paneled door
3 10 x 5 8, reaching from the floor line, cut slightly into the
cornice, evidently used for loading and unloading purposes. A hatchway to the
cellar has been boarded. The foundation is of square-cut sandstone. The grade is
on a slant or slope. The store is slightly elevated above but close to the
west elevation or back of the store shows an entrance on the first floor, the
door of which is missing, and one window boarded up. The second floor has a set
of double doors 6 0 x 6 0. They are plain batten doors. Strap iron
hinges which undoubtedly are hand-made are on the doors. There is one central
chimney supported on the second floor by two timbers running crosswise of the
joists. The chimney starts on the second floor, over the raised part, is very
narrow, and a little to the south of the center of the roof.
north elevation has one window on each floor near the rear or west and. Wooden
siding covers the building, except on the front. Gable roof with rolled modern
asphalt roofing. The gables are on the east and west elevations.
floor plan of the first floor is one large room except the roar where there are
two posts to the south side 6 x 6 in line with the partition, enclosing
the stairway. The ceiling height south of the 6 x 6 posts is 8 3 the
balance of the ceiling to the north is 11 2. The stairway has four risers
to a turn with three winders, eight additional risers to the second floor.
Underneath this main stairway is another stairway leading to the basement. The
second floor is one room, stair well in the southwest corner, raised floor 11
to correspond to ceiling height of the first floor. The inside window detail
finish is a moulded casing, mitred [mitered] at the corners.
This store has no exceptional history, but its lines and exterior composition
are very pleasing and interesting. Just another link in a long chain of the
influence of the Greek temple revival which marks this section of Pennsylvania.
Jan. 14, 1937.