Jump to content
GoDuBois.com
Dobby

What used to be in the Harley Davidson Building

Recommended Posts

Our school class once toured it and we watched as they would yards of rubber band-like material around a solid ball core.  At the time it was fascinating but after I experienced factory work, not so much!


"The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil but by those who watch them without doing anything"

Albert Einstein

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My wife told me that her Great Grandfather W. W. Milliron owned Milliron Construction and she thinks in the 30's Milliron Constructioned built that building and it housed their business. She is not sure when they sold the building. But Milliron Construction built Mansell Stadium in DuBois and also the set of Stairs that goes up the hill from Route 255 at the intersection of Liberty Blvd. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 1924 Sanborn Fire Insurance map shows that building as Milliron Construction Company Warehouse. See attached snippet

The 1913 map shows no building at that location. No maps are available for the years between. So, the building was erected some time after 1913 but before 1924.

No more recent Sanborn map is available, so no clue when Milliron sold the building..

Someone with time on his/her hands could visit the Clearfield County courthouse and look into the deed books which would tell when Milliron sold the land and building and to whom (unless, as sometimes happens, the purchaser neglected to have his deed recorded).

milliron.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My parents talked about "Vulcan Soot" being in that building. What they made I don't know, but Vulcan Soot is still in business today manufacturing valves and blowers for industrial applications. They also had a reason for leaving this area but never said when BF Goodrich took over.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regarding Vulcan Soot: I poked around a bit and turned up not much.

As to what Vulcan Soot did: Boilers tend to accumulate soot on the insides of the fire tubes. That insulates the tubes, impeding heat transfer from the fire into the water. Soot blowers are devices which use steam,  compressed air, or something else to dislodge the soot and let it go up the chimney.

The following is extracted from a history posted on the web site of SPX FLOW Products. The material in square brackets is interpolated from other sources, mainly archives of US patents.

1903    The Vulcan Soot Cleaner Company begins selling soot blowers for boiler cleaning. The company is located in Windber, Pennsylvania.

1904    William Eichelberger files patents for the boiler soot cleaner. The company moves its headquarters to DuBois, PA.

1905    The Vulcan Soot Cleaner Company is incorporated under the laws of New Jersey. Delos E. Hibner Sr. is both treasurer and manager.

1933    The Vulcan Soot Cleaner Company is reorganized as the Vulcan Soot Blower Company.

[Patents issued in 1934 and 1935 to De Los Hibner Jr and assigned to Vulcan Soot Blower Corp. "a Pennsylvania Corporation"]

1937    Fred Brown is named president of the Vulcan Soot Blower Company. Chief Engineer Delos “Dee” Hibner Jr. becomes a vice-president.

[Patents issued in 1940 and 1944 to Hibner and a Fred C. Arey. In 1940, Arey was said to be from Freeeport PA; in 1944, DuBois.]

1948    Continental Foundry and Machine Company acquires the Northern Equipment Company and the Vulcan Soot Blower Corporation. Each Company remains a division of Continental Foundry.

1952    Continental Foundry relocates the Copes product line and the Vulcan product line to a new location in Erie, Pennsylvania. The combined companies became known as the Copes-Vulcan division.

1955    Continental Foundry and Machine is purchased by the Blaw-Knox Company.

1968    White Consolidated Industries acquires the Blaw-Knox Company. Copes-Vulcan was incorporated as a wholly owned subsidiary.

1986    Swedish firm AB Electrolux Group acquires White Consolidated Industries. Copes-Vulcan is formally incorporated.

1994    AB Electrolux sells Copes-Vulcan to Citicorp Venture Capital Ltd.

1997    Copes-Vulcan sells its longtime soot blower operation (Vulcan). [But Copes-Vulcan continues in business making valves. I can't discover who bought the soot blower business.]

*** end quoted material

Nowhere in the available Sanborn maps can I find a reference to the Vulcan Soot Blower Company in DuBois. The only "V" entity is the Van Tassel Tannery. It appears, however, that they were active in DuBois from 1904 to 1952. Where in DuBois? Haven't a clue. Note that they arrived in DuBois 10 or more years before Milliron built what's now the Harley shop. Perhaps they rented space there once that building existed.

It could be that Vulcan had no production facilities of their own. That is, they may have farmed out actual production of soot blowers to job shops, needing only office space for sales and design activities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/18/2020 at 5:59 PM, Harvey Mungaknuts said:

Wonder what happened to the murals that were on the side of the building

I worked for Ideal the summer they installed and painted those murals. I don't remember artists name but he was from sykesville and friend of Calvin Beam (or Bean) owner at the time. Anyway, the large front doors of the building were replaced with cinder-block walls and stucco - like material. He then painted directly onto that. I doubt this could have been disassembled and saved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I spent a couple hours going through the library's collection of DuBois city directories. I don't know if there are gaps in the collection because new directories came out "once in a while" or if the library just doesn't have a complete set. Either way, the  years listed below are the only directories available for the 1923 to 1948 period.

Note that the Harley shop lists its address as 101 W. DuBois Avenue

1923 Milliron Consruction Co. Wilson W Milliron, Pres.
     222-224 DuBois National Bank Building
[It would seem that the building was erected just in time to be recorded on the 1924 Sanborn map.]

1926 Milliron Construction Co. Inc. W. W. Milliron, Pres.
     corner 1st & W. DuBois Ave
AND  Milliron Garage general repairing and storage
     corner 1st & W. DuBois Ave

1929 same as 1926
     Also, an ad indicating Milliron was the
     dealer for Peerless Automobiles

1931 no entry for Milliron Construction, however three Millirons (but not W. W.) are listed as having responsible positions in
     Independent Construction Co. at 10 E. Washington St.
     at 101 W. Dubois Ave:
     Coyle, Denny H. service station

1933 at 101 W. DuBois Ave:
     Edwards Motor Transit Co. garage
     Zetlwanger, Herbert P. auto repair

1936 101 W. DuBois Ave, Milliron Building
     Dinsmoor, Martin W. restaurant
     Auto Aligning Co.
     Doc's Garage
     Moore, Wayne W. trucking
     U.S. Works Progress Administration
     State Emergency Relief Board
     Edwards Motor Transit garage

1939 101 W. DuBois Ave, Milliron Building
     Dinsmoor, Lula Mrs. restaurant
     Auto Aligning Co.
     Doc's Garage
     Moore, Wayne W. trucking
     U.S. Works Progress Administration
     Edwards Motor Transit garage
     Miller, Arthur P. service station
     Shaw's Truck Lines

1942 101 W. DuBois Ave, Milliron Building
     Edwards Motor Transit garage
     Shaw, William trucking

1944 101 W. DuBois Ave, Milliron Building
     B. F. Goodrich rubber goods

1946 and 1948 same as 1944

In all of that, I found no connection between the Vulcan Soot Cleaner/Blower Company and the Milliron Building. But I was distracted by trying to follow the ins and outs of the Vulcan Soot enterprise in its career in Dubois, so did not look to see when Ideal took over the building. That and recounting the adventures of Vulcan Soot must wait for another time.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, rnetzlof said:

I spent a couple hours going through the library's collection of DuBois city directories. I don't know if there are gaps in the collection because new directories came out "once in a while" or if the library just doesn't have a complete set. Either way, the  years listed below are the only directories available for the 1923 to 1948 period.

Note that the Harley shop lists its address as 101 W. DuBois Avenue

1923 Milliron Consruction Co. Wilson W Milliron, Pres.
     222-224 DuBois National Bank Building
[It would seem that the building was erected just in time to be recorded on the 1924 Sanborn map.]

1926 Milliron Construction Co. Inc. W. W. Milliron, Pres.
     corner 1st & W. DuBois Ave
AND  Milliron Garage general repairing and storage
     corner 1st & W. DuBois Ave

1929 same as 1926
     Also, an ad indicating Milliron was the
     dealer for Peerless Automobiles

1931 no entry for Milliron Construction, however three Millirons (but not W. W.) are listed as having responsible positions in
     Independent Construction Co. at 10 E. Washington St.
     at 101 W. Dubois Ave:
     Coyle, Denny H. service station

1933 at 101 W. DuBois Ave:
     Edwards Motor Transit Co. garage
     Zetlwanger, Herbert P. auto repair

1936 101 W. DuBois Ave, Milliron Building
     Dinsmoor, Martin W. restaurant
     Auto Aligning Co.
     Doc's Garage
     Moore, Wayne W. trucking
     U.S. Works Progress Administration
     State Emergency Relief Board
     Edwards Motor Transit garage

1939 101 W. DuBois Ave, Milliron Building
     Dinsmoor, Lula Mrs. restaurant
     Auto Aligning Co.
     Doc's Garage
     Moore, Wayne W. trucking
     U.S. Works Progress Administration
     Edwards Motor Transit garage
     Miller, Arthur P. service station
     Shaw's Truck Lines

1942 101 W. DuBois Ave, Milliron Building
     Edwards Motor Transit garage
     Shaw, William trucking

1944 101 W. DuBois Ave, Milliron Building
     B. F. Goodrich rubber goods

1946 and 1948 same as 1944

In all of that, I found no connection between the Vulcan Soot Cleaner/Blower Company and the Milliron Building. But I was distracted by trying to follow the ins and outs of the Vulcan Soot enterprise in its career in Dubois, so did not look to see when Ideal took over the building. That and recounting the adventures of Vulcan Soot must wait for another time.

 

Thank you so much for all of the latest info on the Milliron Building. My wife has not had a lot of info on Wilson Milliron and is grateful for what you have found out. It has answered several questions she has had about the building. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A bit more regarding the Milliron Building a/k/a The Harley Shop:

As noted previously, B. F. Goodrich is listed at 101 West DuBois Ave for the first time in 1944 (they weren't there in 1942). The last year for Goodrich there is1971.

The 1972 directory lists Ideal Products at that address, as do all available directories up to and including 2001.

The 2002 and 2003 directories have no entry for that address (I think the building was vacant).

In 2004, the first entry for DuBois Harley-Davidson, who are still there, which brings us up to date.

Thinking a little about the early days of the building, recall that the 1924 Sanborn map lists it as a warehouse. Yet, the 1926 directory entry lists it as the address of Milliron Construction and Milliron Garage, hardly warehouse activities. Further, for a time, Milliron was the Peerless dealer, also at that address.

Recall also that in 1923, Milliron Construction had offices over in the central part of town. That is, the Milliron Building apparently did not exist in 1923.

I suspect that as of the time the Sanborn surveyor did the November 1924 survey, the building had just been erected and was still empty, thus appearing to be a warehouse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, pwacm said:

I wonder what rubber goods B.F. Goodrich made in 1944?  Since this was WW II. Also interested in what other local manufacturers made for the war effort. 

I believe Cameron in Reynoldsville retooled for WWII.  I've heard it was secretive what they were making at the time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/22/2020 at 7:38 AM, pwacm said:

.... Since this was WW II. Also interested in what other local manufacturers made for the war effort....

Jeffers Electronics made parts for the "Manhattan Project". My father worked there and I asked him once why they had barbed wire fence around. He said it was "required" for defense plants at that time. Jeffers was purchased by Airco Speer who closed and moved to Mexico in '70 or '71. We didn't relocate although some did.

Airco gave the building to the City in hopes they could attract a business to replace the loss. The City sold it to the Rola Jensen Corp. Who made speakers here for a short time. When Rola closed, the plant manager ended up with the deed. He later sold it to Paris for a tidy sum... so much for caring for the community. Barbed wire still there today ( in case someone tries to steal my work uniforms ).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



×
×
  • Create New...