14 July 2011

Those Places Thursday: New Providence, PA

Providence Township was formed out of Martic Township in 1853 however the area had been settled as early as the 1720s. Several sources indicate early settlers were mostly German-Swiss descent. During its hayday, Providence was home to such industries as Martic Furnace and a Woolen Mill as well as many grist mills. It was also home to many saw mills, a natural progression since the land was full of hardwoods.

Farming was another popular profession although many farmers - like Henry Eckman who settled here in 1817 - supplemented income with other related businesses. Many farmers quite naturally doubled as butchers and blacksmiths.

Providence Township was home to many one room schoolhouses during the 1800s. Many of the old schoolhouses do not have datestones and records were poorly kept over the years. Schools included Fairview, New Providence, Harmony, Pleasant Valley, Mt. Airy, Hickory Grove, Rising Sun and Clearfield. Today elementary students attend Providence Elementary School, part of the Solanco School District. There are also many Amish schoolhouses still.

Early settlers included Shenk, Eckman, Miller, Mylin, Bair and Herr families.

There are many churches and cemeteries - too numerous to do justice in this short entry. A seperate entry focusing on the churches and cemeteries will appear next Thursday. Until then ...

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