Pennsylvania: Crawford County

Crawford County (pop. 88,765) is south of Erie County, on the border with Ohio.

Crawford County in 1895

It is one of 11 Crawford counties, which were named for three different men named Crawford. This one was named for Col. William Crawford (1722-1782).

Crawford’s death

The county seat of Crawford County is the city of Meadville (pop. 13,388), which was the first permanent settlement in northwestern Pennsylvania.

The zipper, as we know it, was invented in Meadville. Talon Zipper, founded in 1893 in Chicago, began mass-producing zippers in Meadville in the 1920s.

No longer in Meadville

The Academy Theatre in Meadville opened in 1886 as an opera house called the Academy of Music. It was later a movie theater, and now hosts a variety of performing arts.

Restored in the 1990s

Meadville is the home of Allegheny College, a private liberal arts college founded in 1815. It has about 1,900 students.

Bentley Hall (1835)

Meadville is also the home of the PennDot (Pennsylvania Department of Transportation) Road Sign Sculpture Garden.

Murals and sculptures made of road signs

The Baldwin-Reynolds House Museum in Meadville was the home of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Henry Baldwin (1780-1844). It had Meadville’s first indoor plumbing.

Built in 1843

The city of Titusville (pop. 5,601), east of Meadville, has a campus of the University of Pittsburgh, established in 1963.

Primarily a two-year campus

The Drake Well Museum, south of Titusville, covers the birth of the oil industry by Edwin Drake in 1859.

Established in 1934

The Oil Creek and Titusville Railroad, a 16-mile tourist railroad, has a Caboose Motel.

21 caboose units

In the community of Linesville (pop. 1,040), it is popular to throw bread at the carp at the Spillway adjacent to Pymatuning Lake. It’s been called “Pennsylvania’s 2nd-Most Popular Tourist Attraction.”