Richmond Township, Crawford County PA

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The information is provided by Richmond Township and while we endeavor to keep the information up-to-date and correct, we make no representation or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness or accuracy of the information.
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GENERAL TOWNSHIP INFORMATION:
Land area: 36.7 sq. mi.
Water area: 0.1 sq. mi.
Population: 1,379
Households: 515
- 34.2% have children living w/ them (under 18)
- 65.6% were married couples living together
- 6% had a female household w/ no husband present
- 22.9% were non-families
Families Residing in Township: 397
Housing Units: 577
Average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 2.99.
Races in Richmond Township:
- White Non-Hispanic: 99.1%
- Black: 0.1%
- Two or more races: 0.3%
Median age of males: 38.2
Median age of females: 40.0
Median household income:
- Local: $39,583
- National : $41,994

History of Richmond Township
The first permanent white settlers came to the area now known as Crawford County in 1788 from New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania. Before that the land was a neutral zone separating several tribes, including the Seneca’s. Although no one group dominated the area it was the crossroads for a network of Indian trails. Friendly relations with the Indians were an important factor in the success of early settlements here. One of the better known Indians was Complanter, who’s Seneca’s summered here, fishing and raising corn. The extended family of Stripe Neck, a Mohawk also lived here.
The land which now composes Richmond Township was originally part of the 7th and 8th Donation Districts established for Revolutionary War veterans. Although the land had been set aside for our Pennsylvania veterans, no known state veteran settled in Richmond Township. The Township was formed in 1829 from lands originally part of Rockdale and Randolph Townships. The first permanent settlers arrived in the Richmond Township area in 1817. Ebenezer and Daniel Hunt settled southwest of what is today Lyona. An 1865 map of the Township shows their land to be near the intersection of T. 726 and T. 659. Gould Lord settled in the northern portion of the Township at approximately the same time. Other early settlers whose names still appear throughout the Township are: Robert Townley, Jasper Lyon, Joseph Miller, Jesse Wheelock and Thomas Delamater.
Possibly the most nationally famous settler of Richmond Township was John Brown known for his strong abolitionist stand on slavery. He has been popularly called “Ossawatomie Brown” and “John Brown of Harper’s Ferry”. Brown established the first tannery in the Township at New Richmond and also became the first postmaster in this area of the County.

One of the first sawmills in the Township was started by Jasper Lyons approximately one-half mile below Lyona on Woodcock Creek. The first school was held in the newly completed barn of Ebenezer Hunt in 1826. Hunt’s sister Sarah was the teacher earning one dollar a month.
Richmond Township was also the home of an early “commune”. Although records don’t show exactly when it began or ended the records do show it was in existence in 1845. It was known as the Phalanx colony and was located where the Lloyd Kirk farm stands today. The best description of the Phalanx colony is found in a book by Mary Chapin Warner White called “Annals of Lyons Hollow”.

The John Brown Heritage Association which owns and maintains the old, one-half acre, John Brown tannery site on the south side of New Richmond ---- on the John Brown Road  about 800 feet from the State Road, Route #77, ----  is open for public visitation.  There are two large interpretive displays located there and off-street parking is available.

The Association has a spring meeting on Thursday, May 11th, at 7:00 p.m. in the Community Room in the basement of the Cribbs Home, Wesbury in Meadville, at which time a topic of historical interest on mid-19th century American life is presented.

The small museum owned by Gary and Donna Coburn on the old John Brown farm across the road from the tannery site is currently closed.  However, site improvements are scheduled for the Coburn’s property this spring and summer, and the public can walk to the old Brown family cemetery at the top of the hill behind the Coburn’s residence.

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