Volant, Pennsylvania

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Volant is a borough in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 113 at the 2000 census.

Contents

History

The land on which the borough of Volant currently sits on was bought from the Native Americans in 1784. The first grist mill was built on the Neshannock Creek in 1806 and was located upstream from the current site. It was abandoned after a few years and a new mill was built in 1812 at its current location. In 1868, J.P. Locke purchased the mill and 100 acres (0.40 km2) of land and began laying out a settlement of 30 lots which he called Lockeville. With the help of the railroad his attempts to create a settlement were successful. Lockeville began to grow and prosper, and in June 1893 the settlement changed its name to Volant and was incorporated as a self governing unit.

The first store was built in 1877 by John and William Graham. By the turn of the 20th century the village was a bustling commercial community. Thanks to the New Castle-Franklin railroad Volant became a popular shopping district. The mill remained the nucleus of the town. Because of Volant's rural location there was a livery stable, two harness shops, a blacksmith and a veterinarian as well as some shops. In addition, there was a college which attracted students from the surrounding communities. As the town progressed toward establishing larger business venture, a stone quarry was begun around 1900, as well as a lumber mill and brick company. The growing need for petroleum spurred an oil boom north of Volant. The drilling continued until the beginning of World War I.

With the Great Depression came a gradual decline of the economy. As the economy worsened the business district diminished to almost nothing. The mill, which was primarily responsible for Volant's success, closed its doors in the early 1960s and the trains stopped running through Volant in 1975. Volant soon became forgotten and returned to its rural roots.

In 1984, a renaissance began with the old mill as its centerpiece. Opening its doors for the first time in over 20 years as a country gift and antique store, it paved the way for a business revival that still continues. Encouraged by its success, other shops were opened on Main Street. After several years of rapid growth, there are now over 50 shops and restaurants turning Volant from a sleepy little village into one of western Pennsylvania's most popular tourist attractions.

Geography

Volant is located at 41°6′52″N 80°15′34″W / 41.11444°N 80.25944°W / 41.11444; -80.25944 (41.114489, -80.259463)[1].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 0.1 square miles (0.3 km²), all of it land.

Volant is a unique village of quaint shops and restaurants located on Pennsylvania Route 208 only 10 minutes from I-79 and I-80. It has an old-fashioned main street nestled in the rolling hills of scenic western Pennsylvania Amish country.

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