Brisbin Borough lies adjacent and directly north of Houtzdale. It was known as North Houtzdale until 1883 when it became a separate borough.
It was a named for George M. Brisbin of Osceola Mills. Houtzdale, Brisbin and Osceola are all interrelated due to the time of their beginnings.
And all three have streets and landmarks named for the founding and also interrelated Houtz, Brisbin, Good and McAteer families. The three communities owe their rise to connecting railroad lines and old drift coal mines.
The photo is taken from a color tinted postcard of the era. The camera was situated on the hill east of town and the view looks westward. The site was once home to the old Welsh Baptist Church and later, the Red Men meeting hall.
That same hill led to the village of Sterling in Woodward Township. When most of Brisbin was destroyed by a wind-whipped spring fire in May of 1884, much of Sterling burned with it. Quite a bit was quickly rebuilt in the nearly 30 years afterwards.
Some locals would remember the old Henry Bell and Simmendinger homes that once stood toward the forefront of the photo.
The old dirt main road, now state Route 153, led past the both recognizable Brisbin Baptist Church and the First Church of God, leading to the IOOF Cemetery.
A few others can be pointed out as standing today. The town, as was common then, looks to be full of sheds and out buildings.
Some trees provided shade for the town, but the original thick forests were long logged out by 1912. Much of the surrounding area looks bare in comparison to today’s greenery.
The two kids are taking in view of their town not far from the remnants of the old Brisbin ball diamond.