Wednesday, December 27, 2017

2017 Austin in Review


The Potter County Habitat for Humanity organization broke ground on March 24th for their first home to be built in the Borough of Austin.

The site of  the new home is 37 Thorn Street which is the lot previously occupied by Gus Heneckes.

The home is being built for the Scott and Amanda Crumrine Family

From left: Dr. Marilyn Kistner, Carol Jackson, Scott and Amanda Crumrine, Brian Ruane, Dick Myers, Wayne "Tink" Walker, and Ivan Lehman
Kyler and Kylie Crumrine in front.

Members of the Potter County Habitat for Humanity who attended the groundbreaking ceremony were:
  • Brian F. Ruane, President
  • Dick Myers, Director of Construction
  • Wayne Walker, Board Member, grew up in Austin
  • Dr. Marilyn Kistner, Secretary/Treasurer
  • Buck Jackson, Board Member
  • Carol Jackson, Fund Raising Committee
  • Ivan Lehman, Board Member
  • Barry Hayman, Board Member


The E. O. Austin Home Historical Society, One Town Square, Main Street, Austin, Pennsylvania,  built a roof over the handicap ramp located at the rear entrance to the museum.


After years of neglect, the E.O. Austin Home/Historical Society assumed responsibility for the repair and maintenance of the gazebo at One Town Square.

New Steps to Gazebo recently stained and first coat of white paint applied.

AmeriCorps Lends Austin A Helping Hand

Members of the AmeriCorps Baltimore, MD, Region were in the Borough of Austin in June assisting in the Main Street Beautification Project currently in progress.

Front Left to Right: Khaseem Briggs, Sabrina Perez, Kwame Akoto, Jamonica Shoals, Madison Weigl, Joshua Lannom, and Jordan Brown - Back: Lindsey Jesberg and Kandace Major
Joshua is from Marion, Illinois

Jordan is from Roanoke, Virginia

Kwame is from Oakland, California

Khaseem is from Columbus, Ohio

Madison is from Muskegon, Michigan
Kandace is from Detroit, Michigan
Sabrina is from Chicago, Illinois
Jamonica is from Foreman, Arkansas
Lindsey is from Santa Cruz, California

While here in the Austin Borough, they cleaned and added a second coat of paint to the gazebo which had been neglected for many years before the E.O. Austin Home/Historical Society assumed responsibility for it's upkeep last year. 


The Gunfighters Motorcycle Club Visit Austin, Pennsylvania

The Gunfighter Motorcycle Club is a non-profit fraternal organization of active and retired law enforcement officers who share a passion for riding motorcycles.

Every year they join together in July and  stop at the Cock-eyed Cricket during their travel through this part of the country.

Read More About the Gunfighters Motorcycle  Club by Clicking HERE.

New Pavement at the Austin Area School District, Austin, Pennsylvania


 Austin the Wealthiest Place in Potter County!
The August 1st edition of pennlive online contains an article titled: The Wealthiest Places in Each of Pa.'s 67 Counties by Candy Woodall.

Austin, representing Potter County, is ranked 63rd of the 67 counties with 186 total households and a median income of $45,833.

Study is based on 2015-16 census data on median household income as well as property tax information from the IRS.


The Austin Dam Memorial Park Hosts
The 2017 Dam Show
Friday, August 25 and Saturday August 26, 2017

Cooney's Redline Muscle Company

Physical Fitness Center Opens in Austin, Pennsylvania

Hilary and Chase Cooney opened Cooney's Redline Muscle Company Physical Fitness Center on Main Street in Austin, Pennsylvania, next to the post office.

Pictured left to right are Carson, Hilary, Carly, and Chase


Austin United Methodist Church Repairs Tower

The United Methodist Church on Turner Street in Austin, Pennsylvania:

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

107 Years of Service to the Austin Area School District

A very special shout out to Mrs. Jeffers on her 37 years of service and Mrs. Reese & Mr. Lerch on their 35 years of service with the Austin Area School District!! Thank you all for all your years of invaluable service. We appreciate you all more than you’ll ever know!

Mrs. Jeffers, 1982

Mrs. Reese 1984

Mr. Lerch 1984

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Remembering Gerald F. Duffee Sr., Educator, 1931 - 2009

Administrator, Teacher, Advisor, Counselor and Coach

Mr. Duffee was that rare person who could relate and connect with young people.

Mr. Duffee hailed from Ridgway, Pennsylvania.  He attained a B.A. degree in Economics and Business at Bethany College, B.S. degree in Education from Mansfield University, and a M.S. degree in Educational Administration, Supervision and Guidance from St. Bonaventure University.

He began his teaching career at the Austin High School, Austin, Pennsylvania, in the mid-1960s and retired in 1985 as the High School Principal.

During his career at the Austin Area School District, he would teach history and drivers education, serve as guidance counselor, athletic director, basketball coach, and National Honor Society and Student Council Advisor.

Mr. Duffee was also a civic-minded person who coached Little League and Babe Ruth Baseball, was a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Austin-Costello Sportsman's Club.

He was a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, having served in the United States Air Force, attaining the rank of Staff Sergeant. Mr. Duffee was a life-time member of VFW Post 7810 serving as the Post Commander in 1971-72 and was a member of the Potter County Honor Guard.

Below, are pictures of Mr. Duffee which appeared in the Austin Area School District, Austin, PA., yearbooks:

Mr. Duffee, Principal, 1971

1974, Student Council Advisor







The insert at the bottom of the picture above reads:

"Mr. Duffee, we want you to know That we really do not want you to go. You have been a part of our growing up years.  You've put up with our joys and our tears. We've caused you headaches, oh yes we did!! But you always forgave us, 'cause we are your kids.

We wish you good health and good luck, too.  Mr Duffee, we sure will miss you!"

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Dateline September 30, 1911: 'The Dam That Could Not Break' Broke

On or about 2:00 PM on this date in 1911, the Bayless Dam burst destroying most of the community of Austin, Pennsylvania, situated two (2) miles south in the Freeman Run Valley.

This tragedy is currently the second worst flood disaster in the history of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  The Johnstown flood being the worst.

At the time of the flood, Austin was a prosperous and growing community with a population in excess of 2,900 people. Employment opportunities were plentiful.

The  Dam Ruins located approximately two (2) miles north of the community of Austin on Route 872

Bayless Pulp and Paper Mill Ruins

Learn more about this fascinating community dubbed "The Town Too Tough to Die" by purchasing the following books, publications and media available at the E.O. Austin Home/Historical Society Museum located on Main Street in Austin.

Read about Marie Kathern Nuschke

Read more about Paul W. Heimel

Read more about Gale Largey the author of The Austin Disaster, 1911.

DVD directed by Gale Largey
Today, the population of Austin is approximately 650 people.

The Austin Area School District is the smallest public school in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, with a student population of approximately 200, including Pre-K through 12th grade.

Come spend a day with us and enjoy the beauty of the Freeman Run Valley.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Austin Dam Memorial Park Site of Potter County Democratic Party Family Picnic

The Democratic Party Is Reborn in Potter County
New Leadership at the Helm
All Are Welcome to Attend
Note: Bring Lawn Chairs

Visit The Awesome Austin Dam Memorial Association Park Website by Clicking HERE.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Potter County Habitat for Humanity Austin PA Project Photo Update No. 5


37 Thorn Street
Austin, PA 16720
Future Home of Amanda and Scott Crumrine

The First United Methodist Church of Clarion, Pennsylvania, In His Step Sunday School Class, came to Austin on August 19th and 20th, to begin siding the Habitat home on Thorn Street.

Some of the Sunday School class had been here during the month of June, while others were on their very first Habitat for Humanity Project.

See :

Potter County Habitat for Humanity Austin PA Photo Update No. 3 - The Clarion First United Methodist Church Youth Group Is Awesome

Below are some of the pictures I took:


Howard and Nathaniel

Carl, Gavin, Scott, Bill and Brandon

Josh and Keith

Nathaniel, Carl and Spencer

Spencer, Amy, and Bryce

Grace, Shelly, and Carl

Carl, Bill, and  Gaviin

Tricia, Nathaniel, Spencer and Grace

Stephanie, Howard, and Amy

Bryce, Shelly, Gavin, Amy, Keith, Howard, and Tricia

Josh, Tricia and Grace

Stephanie and Nathaniel

Howard leveling platform frame

Keith, Grace and Stephanie


Nathaniel and Tricia Parker, Husband and Wife, First Habitat for Humanity Project
Volunteers from the local Potter County Habitat for Humanity would finish the siding.

Dr. Kistner delivering siding

Tink and Barry

Scott, Ivan and Barry


Carl working on the plumming