Historical Markers
Holeman Ferry Historical Marker
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Holeman Ferry

Allegheny National Forest Region


Marker Location:
US 62, 3 miles SW of Tionesta

Dedication Date:
August 5, 1954

Behind the Marker

Eli Holeman is considered the first settler of Tionesta, arriving in 1800. Born in Chester County about 1755, he served in the Pennsylvania militia during the American Revolution. He first moved to Northumberland County, at the edge of the Pennsylvania frontier, where he stayed for approximately five years. Shortly after his arrival in Tionesta in 1800, he established a ferry to cross the Allegheny River, which quickly became know as Holeman Ferry. Early settlers traveling to western Pennsylvania often used Holeman Ferry during their travel on the State Road.

Ferries were common throughout Pennsylvania. In the 1700s and early 1800s, bridges across major streams and rivers did not exist in most places. Small streams were forded–crossed on foot at the shallowest place–but large streams and rivers could rarely be crossed without a ferry. Ferries were typically rafts or flat-bottomed boats that were steered with poles or, where the current was too quick, pulled across the river by use of a rope and pulley.

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