Burnside is a small borough in the southwest part of Clearfield County. It was incorporated as a borough in 1874 and is surrounded by Burnside Township.
It began with and local economy based on small farming and large-scale logging and lumber mills. The West Branch of the Susquehanna River has its source in Cherry Tree, a few miles to the south.
It flows through Burnside and makes for a historic setting for long gone lumbering industry, which relied on the river for transporting rafts and logs.
John Patchin, known as the “Spar (lumber raft) King,” established a logging dynasty in Burnside in the years before the Civil War.
His business interests expanded to include a water wheel-powered grist mill, used to mill wheat or corn into flour or meal.
The photo shows the wooden structure but not the water wheel or the millstone inside.
The grist mill is easily recognizable on the accompanying Burnside Borough map printed in the 1878 Caldwell Atlas of Clearfield County.