Easy Links: 

Forest County
Historical Society


History of the Historical Society Headquarters and Museum
(originally the George W. Robinson Home)

George W. Robinson moved from Armstrong County to Tionesta in 1872 and purchased a 1/2 acre lot and buildings, believed to be the existing house on April 22, 1873, from Joseph and Nancy Dale for $2,000.  We assume that the Dales, as was the practice at the time, had built the house on speculation.  The architecture is pre-Victorian, described as Eastlake, Stick Style.

The Following three property purchases were made to increase the size of the lot currently known on County records as Lot #114.

1/2 acre to the south was purchased from John and Elizabeth Dale on May 14, 1873, for $350.

A 16 ft. by 125ft. (2,000 sq. ft.) piece between the Church and the House was purchased from the Methodist Episcopal Church on October 27, 1914, for $50.

The above purchases totaled $2,750.  The lot was then the size as we know it today with the exception of a lot 150 ft. by 146 ft. in the back fronting on Vine Street conveyed by the then owners Forest L. Cropp and Dolores B. Cropp to Louise Taylor along Vine Street on February 16, 1966.

George W. Robinson died October 22, 1916, his wife Martha Bonner Robinson, daughter of his business partner Jeremiah Bonner had died much earlier in 1895.  His will left the property to his children of whom only Margeret Bonner Kelly and George B.(Bonner) Robinson appear to have been living.  A third child Arletta is not mentioned in the transaction and is presumed to have died earlier.

On October 10, 1918, George B. and Martha Connelly and Bonner H. Robinson, (George W. Robinson's grandson) inherited the property on September 7, 1950 except for a portion in trust with the executor, Warren National Bank which was left in a life estate to George B. Robinson's sister, Martha A. Connelly which, at the death of Martha, was conveyed to Bonner H. Robinson on June 13, 1952, for $1.00.

On October 24, 1958, the property was sold by Bonner H. Robinson to Leona E. Blum and Charles R. Emerson for $11,000.

On July 1, 1959, the property was sold by Robert R. Blum, Leona E. Blum, Charles R. Emerson, and Helen T. Emerson to Forest L. and Dolores A. Cropp for $10,500.

On February 16, 1966, Forest L. Cropp and Dolores B. Cropp conveyed a 150 ft. by 146 ft. piece along Vine Street to Louise Taylor for $1,200.

On December 9, 1971, Forest L. Cropp and Dolores B. Cropp sold the property to Milford W. Smith and Janet K. Smith for $26,000.

On January 10, 1975, Milford and Janet Smith sold the property to Howard J. and Susan Mealy for $33,000.

On June 18, 1997, Howard and Susan Mealy sold the property to the Forest County Historical Society for $70,000. Taxes and closing increased the cost to about $73,000.

Some Notes:

The May 25, 1872, edition of the Independent Democrat mentions George W. Robinson living on the west side of Elm St. This was the opposite side of the street from the property and probably a temporary residence prior to purchasing the property on the East side on April 22, 1873.

The 1890 History of the Counties of McKean, Elk, and Forest by J. H. Beers and Co., mention George W. Robinson, merchant Tionesta as having been born in Manor township, Armstrong Co., PA July 24, 1839.  He was in the Civil War, enlisting in July, 1862 in Company B, One Hundred