Curwensville History



In 1797, George Fisher Curwen from Northern England founded the town of Curwensville on a tract of land he was granted by the Penn family from Penn’s Second Purchase. William Bloom, a Revolutionary Soldier having received a warrant deed for his service in the War for Independence, arrived and established his residence in what is now known as Irvin Park. Paul Clover, another original settler, set up his residence at the mouth of Anderson Creek.

In 1818, John and William Irvin of Centre County purchased 359 acres from John Buchannon who had won the tract in a poker game. The Irvins developed a thriving timber industry and by 1830 the town had approximately 2000 residents. The Irvins also discovered that William Bloom had squatted on what was now their property. A trade was made with Mr. Bloom: he received what is now the village of Bloomington and the Irvins regained their bottom land.

The timber industry grew until the Irvin Bros. Big Mill had the capacity milling 1,000,000 board feet per day. Lumber drove this tiny town and made many of its residents, both prominent and obscure, extremely wealthy. Companions to lumbering, three large company tanneries and many family tanneries that used the bark to process hides into leather sprung up in the borough and surrounding communities. Railroads were built along with schools, banks and utilities.

Books on history

The 20th century brought European immigrants to Curwensville’s vast sandstone quarries. Coal mining, too, contributed to the town’s development. Businesses were founded and expanded. Curwensville thrived. Today this rich history can be explored at The Curwensville-Pike Township Historical Society and at The Clearfield County Historical Society. Walking tours of Curwensville are offered by TCPTHS in the spring and the fall at no charge.

Be sure to check out our books and DVDs about Curwensville and Clearfield County!