The area around DuBois was a large beaver meadow until after the Civil War, when John E. DuBois began to harvest the timber from his twenty thousand acres of land. Between 1872, when three families laid out the town of Rumbarger, and 1887, when the population grew to around 6,000, the railroad and lumber town boomed. Today it is the largest town in Clearfield County with a population of more than 8,000. John DuBois cut the timber, built kilns and mills, and made boxes, iron, and lights. He also built a reservoir and, in 1876, opened a coal mine. All these industries shipped their products via the two rail lines running through DuBois: the Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburgh (BR&P) and the Allegheny Valley Railroad (AVRR). A brick passenger railroad station (1893; 1 N. Franklin Street) for the BR&P, designed by Gordon, Bragdon and Orchard of Rochester, New York, is now used as offices. The firm combined the ticket office, women's waiting room, general waiting room, and baggage and express functions in one rectangular building with second-story offices. Claude Fayette Bragdon (1866–1946), who signed the station's drawings illustrated in American Architect (September 23, 1893), worked with Green and Wicks in Buffalo and then practiced in the Rochester area from 1891 to 1923. Bragdon wrote three books on architectural theory and the foreword to Louis Sullivan's autobiography, and edited Sullivan's Kindergarten Chats.
The town has four churches clustered around the First United Presbyterian Church (43 W. Scribner Avenue) of 1892, designed by William J. East, with an addition and alterations in 1898 by Beezer Brothers. The church combines Richardsonian Romanesque on the exterior with its rough-cut stone, squat towers, and round-arched windows with Arts and Crafts details inside. In the late nineteenth century, Dubois had four branches of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), including one for children. Ironically, the city also had one of the largest and best-equipped breweries in central Pennsylvania, which was demolished in 2002. New retail developments and big box stores are being built along U.S. 219 and PA 255 north of the older commercial district; the latter consists of two-story brick buildings along Brady Street between Park and Shaffer avenues.
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