The History Center on Main Street, 83 N. Main Street, Mansfield PA 16933
Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
The Tioga River through Mansfield PA
Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA
We now have a local history museum in Mansfield representing the area in and near Mansfield including Sullivan, Rutland, Covington and more
Visit the History Center on Main Street at 83 North Main Street. We also have a locaton at 61 North Main Street.
Regular hours are noon to 3 T, W Th or by appointment.
Also visit us on Facebook
Article: The Tioga River
Township: Richmond, Tioga County PA-
Mansfield Borough
Article by Chester P. Bailey
Tri-County Genealogy & History Sites Home Page
How to Use This Site
Warning & Disclaimer
More Local History Articles
Mansfield - Richmond Township Page
No Unauthorized Commercial Use
Say Hello to Joyce 
Reprinted by permission of Chester P. Bailey
Joyce's Search Tip - November 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

By Chester P. Bailey

Typed for Tri-Counties website by Pat SMITH Raymond

"What do you know about the Tioga River"? Someone asked since I had been near it for some time. "Let me think on it", I replied.

If you live in the Tioga Valley you usually say, "Down to Corning and up to Blossburg" for that is the direction of the river, it flows north.

The Indians called it Tioga spelled in several ways. To them it was the place to enter or "gate way".

History also tells us that the Williamson Road builders used the river to take the women and children by canoe from Canoe Camp to Painted Post in 1792.

In the early 1800’s according to historic record, it must have been much deeper than it is today. It supported boat building for several years and logs were floated to Corning and beyond to the Susquehanna. As late as 1843 and 1845 Arks were still being built at Mansfield to be used on the river. These were flat bottom boats, 30 feel long and 26 feet wide built of planks and pinned together with wood pins. They were used especially to transport the better-sawed lumber and shingles to Corning. Everything including the ark was sold.

Asa Mann who came to the area in 1804, soon after built a boat on the river north of Mansfield, floated it to Corning where it was sold. Also there were at least four arks built in Mansfield, filled with coal and sold in Corning (before the railroad came).

In 1845 a raft of pine lumber was put into the river at Spencer’s Mills (near Canoe Camp). As it neared Mansfield the water began falling, the pilot thought it best to stop. The raft was finally tied up near what is now the front gate of Smythe Park (The Island). As the water became too low to continue, the lumber was loaded onto railroad cars and carried to market.

When I was ten years old, Mrs. John Kelley told me of seeing Indians going up river in canoes. Later they came back with salt. No one knew where they got it.

Many of the children who lived in the Flats area of Mansfield, from First to Fourth Streets and from Clinton to Main Streets learned to swim at the old Dam on the river behind the present Bowling Alley.

Another favorite swimming place was at Oak Wood in Canoe Camp. There was a large dam there and a large mill at one time. Several people from the area had summer homes there, also a large icehouse for storing ice taken off the river above the dam.

When they started to wash coal at Morris Run, and somehow the water escaped from the holding pond, the river would be so black that no one could go swimming.

There was a place in the river at Canoe Camp where the gas escaped into the water. At times it could be set on fire.

Smythe Park was known as the Island until the 1889 flood. During the flood the river cut a new channel and filled the river around the Island full of stones. The Smythe Park Association decided to close the small stream and made a larger racetrack around the park.

One winter the river froze over. The older boys skated to Tioga. We skated near the river bridge. At one place the rapids had formed an ice bridge; by skating real fast we could cross over. The ice was real thin and after awhile Arthur Bennet broke through and got one foot wet. We had a fire on the bank so he took off his skate and sox to dry them. His sox got too close to the fire and burned a hole in the foot. We all decided to go home.

Indian artifacts have been found all along the river. Fishing must have been good before the mines were opened for sinker stones have been found; a small flat stone with a small hole drilled in it. 

Indian Artifacts from Tioga River
Hi, I am a Resident of Tioga County{Millerton,but grew up in Tioga Junction}. I have a picture that you might like to add to the "Tioga River" story. I have found several" Net weights" in the Tioga River as well as a Arrowhead or point. I found the Point in the area of the Williamson School Grounds yard{as you are coming into the big lower parking lot it would be the ground to the right. It was found while they were moving the Old Barn and the Old School House{was actually a family home at one time}. The point was found under the barn. 
Thanks, Brad Wilson

The History Center on Main Street, 83 N. Main Street, Mansfield PA 16933