BROOKVILLE – On July 15, 2017, a piece of local history made its way back to Brookville, PA in the form of a large, horse-drawn wagon which was donated to the Jefferson County History Center by Matt and Mary Puskarich of Cadiz, Ohio. They wanted the wagon to be returned to its hometown and be enjoyed by people who appreciate its history.
The JCHC executive director, Ken Burkett, described the wagon as being in “fantastic condition.” It is all original including the wheels and the factory paint. The wagon was built by the Brookville Manufacturing Company (1892 – 1932), which produced wagons as their principal feature but also made hacks, sleds, and handles of all sorts.
The JCHC has more research and planning to do before its new acquisition makes it big debut. Current plans are to move the wagon into the JCHC’s Parker gallery later this fall as part of the Living on the Land Exhibit.
History of Brookville Manufacturing Company
The Brookville Manufacturing Company was organized in June, 1892 with the following directors: G.S. Garvin, H.J. Scott, RB. Vermilyes, S. Oaks, D.G. Gourley, J. B. Means and Henry Truman. It was determined to locate the building on Water Street, immediately east of the carriage shop of M.G. Murphy where three town lots were purchased. The capital stock of the company was fixed at $25,000.
By November, 1892, the factory was nearly finished. The Jeffersonian-Democrat said ”This company will turn out wagons equal in all respects to those made by Conklin and Kramer. The purpose is to make the best work possible. Only the best material is used and none but good workmen will be employed. The enterprise will be a benefit to Brookville and to Jefferson County. It will give employment to considerable labor and afford a market for quite an amount of lumber besides keeping in circulation in our community much money that otherwise would go to distant points. Now, with these advantages, if the wagons are as good as those made elsewhere, ought not our people buy them in preference to those made abroad?”
In March, 1893, the Democrat compiled a brief history of local industries including the Brookville Manufacturing Company. The Democrat stated, “The work turned out embraces various kinds of woodwork including wagons, hacks, sleds, all sorts of handles etc. Wagon-making is the principal feature, however. The superior quality of the work turned out has secured ready sale and the industry presents an appearance of busy activity.