Throwback Thursday: Roland House Hotel in Westover

(Provided photo)

Westover Borough lies in southwestern Clearfield County within Chest Township.

The logging industry once dominated the town that was built on the banks of Chest Creek and deep within a basin of the surrounding hills. Chest Creek empties into the Susquehanna River near Mahaffey.

Later mining replaced logging as the main resource extraction industry. Westover was also home to a tannery.

Tanic acid, extracted from tree bark, was used to cure animal hides and manufacture leather.  Tanneries became a spin-off industry that resulted from logging.

Small industrial towns were indeed busy places during the 1920’s when the photo was taken.

Those travelling throughout the Clearfield County to do business usually had to travel by local train lines as roads were not well maintained.

Some, as the photo shows, braved the mud and ruts with automobiles.

Hotels in such towns were busy.  They offered clean rooms and bedding, a dining room and, by the 1920’s, often had hot and cold running water.

Hotels today in Clearfield County are most often located near Interstate 80.  The once vibrant economic base in small outlying towns is greatly diminished.

So has the business model for local hotels.  Business follows accessibility and convenience.

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