Pennsylvania: Warren County

Warren County (pop. 41,815) is east of Erie and Crawford counties, on the border with New York. It’s one of 14 Warren counties.

All 14 Warren counties were named for Gen. Joseph Warren (1741-1775), who died in the Battle of Bunker Hill.

Much of the county is in the Allegheny National Forest, established in 1923 after most of the original forest (mostly Eastern hemlock and American beech)  had been logged. It’s now known for black cherry and walnut trees.

Hector Falls

The county seat of Warren County is the city of Warren (pop. 9,710). Warren’s population has been declining each decade since 1940, when the Census reported 14,891 residents.

On the Allegheny River

The Warren County Courthouse was built in 1877, in Second Empire style.

Statue of Justice on top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oil was discovered in Warren in 1875, and the oil industry dominated the city’s economy for many years.

National City Bank Building (1891)

The Struthers Library Theatre dates from 1883. It originally was a library, opera house, and Masonic hall.  Now, it hosts concerts, community theater, and a film series.

Renovated in 1983

Most of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis was fabricated at the Pittsburgh Des Moines Steel Company plant in Warren in the early 1960s. A small replica stands in front of the Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry.

Gudrun Ensslin (1940-1977), one of the founders of the West Germany’s group the Baader-Meinhof Group, spent a year in high school (1958-59) in Warren. She died in a German prison.

Kinzua Dam was built 1960-65 on the Allegheny River, east of Warren. Construction required the forced relocation of 600 Seneca Indians, who lived on the Allegany Reservation in New York.

The reservoir extends 25 miles behind the dam.

Buffy Sainte-Marie’s “Now That the Buffalo’s Gone” and the Johnny Cash recording “As Long As the Grass Shall Grow” both commemorate the Seneca who were uprooted by the dam.

The borough of Tidioute (pop. 792), southwest of Warren, is home of both the Pennsylvania State Championship Fishing Tournament and an annual reenactment of the WWII battle at the Bridge at Remagen.

Over the Allegheny River

NEXT: MCKEAN COUNTY

Minnesota: Marshall County

West of Beltrami County is Marshall County (pop. 9,439), which borders the Red River and North Dakota. The Red River Valley is a fertile area for farming of wheat, soybeans, potatoes, and sugar beets.

Marshall County had 19,000 people in 1920.

Warren (pop. 1,563), the county seat, has one of only six remaining drive-in movie theaters in Minnesota – the Sky-Vu Drive In.

Open Friday-Sunday, but not in winter

The nine-man football team at nearby Stephen-Argyle Central High School (serving the towns of Stephen and Argyle) won five straight state championships from 2003 to 2007.

The school has about 100 students.

Marshall County has towns named Viking (pop. 104) and Oslo (pop. 330), and quite a few Lutheran churches.

The other Oslo

Old Mill State Park has been called “an island of original landscape in a sea of cropland.”

Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge has moose, wolves, and about 294 species of birds on its 61,500 acres of shrubland, wetland, forestland, grassland, and cropland.

Fire tower in winter

A somewhat famous UFO event, the “Val Johnson Incident,” happened (or didn’t happen) in Marshall County in 1977.

NEXT: PENNINGTON COUNTY