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Tidioute has an important group of buildings located at a point where the Allegheny River runs east–west. The small village along the Warren-Franklin turnpike (U.S. 62) grew from a population of 400 to 10,000 when the oil started to flow in the 1860s (its population is now less than 1,000). The Allegheny River Transportation Line of 1862 opened the village to commerce by transporting barrels of oil north to the Philadelphia and Erie Railroad at Irvine. Thirty years later, the village's population shrank to 800, but not before the residents built mansions and an opera house (now demolished) in the 1870s. The remaining brick and frame buildings represent nearly every architectural style popular between 1870 and 1900. The oldest building is an 1824 frame house at 194 Main Street facing the old turnpike; it has been considerably altered. The later Italianate house at 157 Main Street is sheathed in wood that is cut to emulate stone. The handsome Shingle Style house at 1 Elm Street may be architect-designed. The house at 193 Main Street of 1868 follows the design for “A Plain and Ornamented Villa” published in Samuel Sloan's The Model Architectin 1852. A trio of churches line Main Street: the board-and-batten former Unitarian church, now a Baptist church (1868; 218 Main Street); the brick Gothic Revival United Methodist church (1873; 206 Main Street); and the Queen Anne First Presbyterian Church (1893; 196 Main Street). Several one- to three-story brick commercial buildings of the 1870s remain to complete the ensemble, including the VFW Post 8803 at 93 Main Street. None of the structures is startling in its styling, but the high quality and integrity set this small river village, which has endured floods and fires over the years, apart from its neighbors.

Writing Credits

Lu Donnelly et al.

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