During the deer hunting season in 1948, the Gibson Hotel was a busy place. The owners were Esther Gibson (1891–1976), standing in the center and holding the hat, and her husband, George Gibson (1886–1951), on the far right, sitting and holding a glass. Note the Wurlitzer “Bubbler” juke box at the lower left; post–war America was the “golden age” of these coin–operated, phonograph record–playing machines.

In the late 18th century, three men advanced civilization into the area of what would become the village of Jersey Mills, about three miles above Waterville.

Claudius Boatman, born in France, was the first white settler in the area, building a house at the mouth of Callahan Run along Pine Creek in 1785. Comfort Wanzer, who married Boatman’s daughter Mary, then settled about one mile below by Dry Run. The third of these early pioneers, Abraham Harris, built on the same tract of land in 1802. Presbyterian clergyman Isaac Grier conducted his first religious services in the area in 1798. In 1804, Robert Young became the settlement’s first schoolteacher. And Jeremiah Morrison built the first lumber mill in 1809.

….For more great information and photos about the Blackwell area please purchase “Pine Creek Villages” by: David Kagan

Available at area bookstores, independent retailers, and online retailers, Pine Creek Valley.com, or through Arcadia Publishing at (888)-313-2665 or www.arcadiapublishing.com.