Towanda Township History

History Of Towanda Township

Towanda was one of the original Townships, which was organized before the establishment of Bradford County.    

The American Indians were the first to engage in agriculture in Bradford County.  They cleared patches along the river and the larger creeks where they raised corn, beans, pumpkins, squash, and tobacco.  The first pioneers coming into the wilderness of  Bradford County were chiefly there to start an agricultural lifestyle. 

Rudolf Fox was the first to settle in what was to become Bradford County.  In 1770, Fox and his family had built a bark covered cabin in Towanda Township on the west flats near the mouth of Towanda Creek, just south of what was to become Towanda Borough.  In 1788, Mr. Fox and his family fled the area to Sunbury after an Indian friend warned them of an impending attack by hostile Native Americans who had just entered the area.  Upon his return from the “Big Runaway” in 1783, he rebuilt his ruined cabin.

A short time later, the original land that Rudolf Fox had purchased from the Indians was parceled off to others in connection with himself.  In the end, Rudolf Fox ended up with 400 acres, which was patented to him in 1792 as “Fox Chase”.

The northern most boundary of the current APE is situated along what would have been a portion of the south boundary of “Fox Chase”.  The portion of the APE located in Towanda Township consists of parcels of land that were patented to early settlers in and around 1785.

There is a historical site located in Towanda Township, The Markoe Site(36Br216).  Records indicate that the Markoe Site was not inhabited any earlier than 1788.  John Steinmetz, had obtained the property in 1788, from Peter Markoe for 7 shillings, 11 pence.  At some point, John Steinmetz leased a portion to Casper Singer, who cleared the land, and built a cabin.  Both the historical and archaeological documentation of this site coincide with regard to the early know settlement of the area.  The presence of both creamware and pearlware are among some of the diagnostics to be expected from any site that is associated with the early settlement of this area immediately following the Revolutionary War. 

Towanda Township would later be established on January 18, 1808.

Bradford County Airport

Airport was founded in 1937 as a emergency landing strip (Grass).
During the CC Camp days the stone for the runway was all broken by hand and paved.
The runway was extended to 3,020 ft during by Towanda Boro during 1970 period.
Airport was managed by Oliver Goodrich for numerous years

Bradford County AirportThe Bradford County Airport Authority was founded in 1986 by five municipalities that surround the airport. All the municipalities adopted Airport Zoning during a period of 1986 thru 1991 and further amendments by some Townships. The board was increased in size over the years, in 2001, the Bradford County Commissioners reformed the Authority, and the size of the board was set at five members from throughout the County. The County employees two people, Carl W. Lafy, Manager and Heather M. Van Winkle, Secretary to oversee the operation of the airport. The Bradford County Airport Authority is the owner of the airport and meets monthly at the airport office at 7PM on the 3rd Wed. of each month. The board is charged with the development of the airport. Board members are responsible for over $10,000,000.00 of improvements since its forming in 1986 thru 2005. The improvements are as follows:

  • Apron
  • Fuel Farm 100LL 10,000 Gal
  • 2 10 bay T-hangars
  • Land Acq. 11 families & two business
  • Relocate & construct new 4,300 ft. runway and Taxiway and associated signs
  • New lights including PAPIs and RIELS
  • Security Fencing
  • Main apron and Taxiway
  • Temporary maintenance hangar
  • Fuel Farm Jet A
  • Trailer 1000 gal. for Jet A
  • Equipment for snow removal and mowing
  • Maintenance/Airport Operations Building
  • Snow Removal Equipment Bld.
  • Snow removal Equipment, Blower and plow
  • Apron off Taxiway C
  • 10 bay T-Hangar Building

Where we are going as follows:

  • Weather Station for local weather & Carl and Heather to become weather observers
  • Acq. Land for more T-Hangar space
  • Relocate Access road
  • Corporate Apron and Hangar Next to where ground breaking is being accomplished
  • Extend Runway to 5000 ft with full parallel Taxiway
  • Continue to grow into a vital part of the Bradford County transportation system