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Northeast of Tionesta along East Hickory Creek, this small lumber camp village was named for a group of men who met over the company store and called themselves the “Christian Endeavor.” The village was the site of an early sawmill, purchased in 1837 by Wheeler and Dusenbury Lumber Company. Initially named Stowetown, after Hamilton Stowe of Olean, New York, who came to manage the logging camp for Wheeler and Dusenbury, the name was changed by Nelson P. Wheeler, who moved to the area in 1871 and brought his bride, Rachel Ann Smith, in 1876. Wheeler's goal was to civilize the great woods around him, and he cultivated forest conservation and spirituality.

In 1897, the Wheelers donated a small Presbyterian church ( FO3) and a Greek Revival kindergarten building ( FO4) to the village. With the company office and white frame workers' housing, they form a village center for the town of perhaps a dozen structures. The office is a two-story white frame building with such Greek Revival touches as pilasters, corner boards, and cornice. Its lively facade has recessed corners on the first story and a central inset balcony on the second story that is topped with a pediment, to show off the lumber company's wares. Wheeler and Dusenbury became Endeavor Lumber Company in 1939 and in 1966, the company was purchased by Hammermill Corporation; today it is a division of Industrial Timber and Land Company.

Ultimately, the Wheeler family owned 50,000 acres of prime forest land. In 1922, Nelson Wheeler's heirs donated 20 acres of virgin pine and hemlock to the federal government and agreed to sell another 100 acres. The donation is now called Heart's Content and is a part of the 513,000-acre Allegheny National Forest.

Buildings in Endeavor ( from left to right) include the Endeavor Presbyterian Church ( FO3), the Greek Revival Endeavor Kindergarten ( FO4), and the local office of Industrial Timber and Land Company.

Writing Credits

Lu Donnelly et al.

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