At the beginning...
Called Allensport prior to 1800, it was named Riddlesburg in honor of its founder Samuel Riddle, the first person to ship coal from the Broad Top fields. He opened the first mines in the Broad Top, shipping some of the coal by "arks", or flat-bottomed river boats. Samuel, a lawyer, ran the business, and his brother David superintended the work.
Settlement had existed in that place before Riddle purchased the land and laid out the town, and Riddle's operations lasted only a few years, after which the town nearly ceased to exist. In 1856, the building of the Huntingdon and Broad Top Railroad caused a few houses to be built, and in 1868 the Kemble Coal and Iron Company bought the property and erected two large blast furnaces. They owned the town for a number of years. In 1869, Stephen Burns came to manage the furnaces.
Also in 1869, a store was begun by Bendford and Hedding, becoming Bendford and Ashcom in 1872 before being bought by the Kemble company.
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