Troutville Borough, which lies along the current state Route Route 410, was once situated on the First Nation People’s Great Shamokin Path to present-day Punxsutawney.
Once known as “Fishtown,” it was later named for Jacob Trautwein, an early German settler. Ironically, a good number of the Amish faith and cultural community have migrated to the vicinity within the past 30 years.
By the 1890’s, when the photo shown was taken, the small business of Troutville serviced the local farming and laboring families. The population never exceeded more than a few hundred souls.
The photo shows a dirt (i.e. muddy) main street rutted with impressions of wagon and buggy wheels. Mud was a curse to small towns with unpaved streets. It was often mixed with horse droppings.
Men traipsed through it and soiled their shoes and pant legs. It was nearly impossible for women to keep the bottom hems of their skirts and dresses from being dirty and frayed.
When the mud dried in the summer, dirt and dust seemed to be everywhere – indoors and out. The two women shown on the right side of the photo were better off staying on their porch.
Not everything was primitive for this c. 1900 photo. Troutville’s main street was lined with phone wires and poles. The town, today, is a quiet and clean place to live.