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Reynoldsville was the site of a Native American village and a hemlock swamp. The Indian path provided a natural location for a later turnpike, whose builders settled along the pike and built the first bridge over Sandy Lick Creek in 1822. The settlement was called Prospect Hill until 1850, when it was renamed Reynoldsville for the preponderance of Reynolds family members here. When the Allegheny Valley Railroad came through town in 1873, David and Albert Reynolds plotted town lots.

Timber rafting from the 1840s to the 1860s, then coal mining in the 1890s brought prosperity. But Reynoldsville is more than a coal patch, as it was the transportation hub for several surrounding mines as well as for lumber camps and farms. One industry that served all these constituents was the former Herpel Brothers Machine Shop and Foundry built c. 1905 at 45 W. Main Street. In 2000–2001, William Snyder rehabilitated it into a senior center, called the Foundry, for the Jefferson County Area Agency on Aging.

The buildings lining the commercial district are turn-of-the-twentieth century, two- and three-stories in various brick shades from brown to maroon; many have residences on their upper stories with recessed balconies. The Hummelstown brownstone First United Methodist Church (1905–1906; 506 Jackson Street) has a square corner tower with battlements. A large red brick municipal building with a two-story portico (c. 1950; 460 Main Street) contains the library as well. A small steeply roofed gas station c. 1930 has been reused as a store (502 Main Street).

Writing Credits

Lu Donnelly et al.

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