Hydetown, Pennsylvania is located in the southeast corner of Crawford County in Northwestern Pennsylvania. Founded in 1793 and incorporated in 1868, Hydetown was first settled by Peter Titus. He and his brother, Dan Titus Sr., selected eight hundred acres just outside of Titusville, the birthplace of the oil industry, on which to make a life.
In 1846, Elijah Hyde and his sons came to the area and bought Titus Mills and began the town’s first store. While the name of the area was first Oil Creek Borough, it was later changed to Hydetown.
One of Hydetown’s most well-known residents was Sam Ridgway, the son of Charles and
Frances Titus Ridgway. His mother, Frances, was the daughter of founder Peter Titus. Sam Ridgway started the Ridgway Sanitarium in 1882, located on the south side of Route 408. The large building was a place for curing ailments and many wealthy guests visited the sanitarium. After Sam’s death, the sanitarium burned down in 1903.
In the early 1900s, Hydetown boasted train and trolley service to Titusville, Pleasantville, and Tryonville. It also featured three churches, two of which still hold services today.
In the present, Hydetown is home to just over five hundred residents and the population has remained steady since her founding. Hydetown features both vibrant residents and natural beauty – a small, serene community in Pennsylvania’s Oil Region.
(All the above information and more is available in Titusville: An Illustrated History by Mabel Clark)
Above images by Jessica Hilburn & Heather Hilburn