Wheeler & Dusenbury
The sawmill site at Endeavor began as a water-powered mill in approximately 1834, and purchased by William Wheeler in 1850. This original mill was an up-and-down 'gang saw' mill. It was an isolated and difficult location with no transportation. Wheeler and Dusenbury was organized in 1867 by William's son - Nelson P. ("N.P.") Wheeler, with the buyout of Stowe interests.
When the Pennsylvania Railroad built up the Allegheny River Valley in 1866, it was on the 'wrong' (west) side of the river. Wheeler bought property at West Hickory for a lumber yard, and only shipped from Endeavor (then known as Rialto) in the winter months when it could be taken across the river on the ice.
A new mill was built in Rialto in 1880, and a railroad was needed. Wheeler organized the West Hickory Bridge Company, and built a 640-foot wood truss across the Allegheny for rail and toll road purposes. The new band mill at Rialto could now work to full capacity when the Hickory Valley Railroad was built in 1887.
W&D had two large mills at Endeavor. The 'Upper' or 'Pine mill' was built on the site of the original water-powered mill. A 'Lower' mill, or 'Hemlock mill' was built where the existing storage yard is today between the mill and the offices. The two mills had a combined capacity of over 100,000 feet per day.
This millsite very well may be the oldest operating millsite in Pennsylvania, and possibly now the United States, as the current IT&L site is on the exact same spot. (see current views page).
Lower Mill at Endeavor
Another mill at Endeavor was the "Handle Factory".
Page last updated 06/01/2013