In 1788, David Mead and nine companions established the first settlement, Cussewago, on the present site of Meadville. The town grew slowly at first, but business was stimulated by the arrival of the canal and the railroad. The young town did not want for culture as two colleges, a theater, a library, and an art association were established.
By 1910, downtown business buildings crowded out residential holdouts, streets were paved and lighted by electricity, and streetcars brought people to work from the tree-lined boulevards blocks away. Within the next decade, larger industries arrived, blunting the effects of the Great Depression. After World War II, residents moved farther into the suburbs and the city center went through urban renewal, but vestiges of efforts by the early settlers remain visible among today’s newer landmarks.
Highlights of Meadville:
• Businesses and factories
• Institutions, churches and colleges
• Parks, streetscapes and events
William B. Moore and Elizabeth H. Rekas are both longtime residents of Meadville and have strong roots in the community. Both are active in the Crawford County Historical Society, which has graciously provided postcards from its extensive archives for this publication.
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