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Briar Creek Village

Briar Creek Twp, Columbia County, PA

Beginnings [1]

Near the mouth of Briar Creek is a village bearing that name, consisting of about fifteen neat residences, a store, a gristmill and a distillery. The gristmill was built about 1820 by Jesse Bowman and burned in 1874, soon after coming into the hands of George Ruckle and Charles Ash. They rebuilt it that year and ran it until 1880, when Ruckle's interest was purchased by George W. Ash. Thereafter he and his father operated the mill until 1890. At that date it came into the hands of A. M. and W. C. Ash, sons of George W. It was a large building, fitted with modern machinery, operated by a 12-foot overshot wheel, and had a capacity of 125 barrels of flour per day.

The Briar Creek Distillery was built in 1883 by George W. and William Ash. In 1886 George W. Ash ran it alone and in 1906 sold to James Barrett, who remodeled the entire plant and carried on a wholesale business in connection. The capacity of the distillery was four barrels of rye whiskey per day.

The general store and post office at Briar Creek was conducted by W. S. Ash & Sons. Briar Creek post office was established in 1858, just after the opening of the Lackawanna & Bloomsburg railroad. John G. Jacoby was the first postmaster. Near here are the large sales stables and farm of Elmer Shaffer, who held monthly auctions which were attended by buyers from all over Columbia, Montour and surrounding counties.

  1. Historical and Biographical Annals of Columbia and Montour Counties Pennsylvania, Vol. I, J.H.Beers & Co., 1915.

Street Names
Front Street West • Route 11