CHURCH: This is our third and concluding column sharing the history of the Seaward Avenue area. In this portion, the history begins with Emanuel Lutheran Church.
“The property where the Emanuel Lutheran Church is located was once an apple orchard. One evening, while the neighborhood kids were using the large concrete bumper block as a gathering spot, men drove into the orchard and began cutting down the trees. Time would tell what that was all about.
At the other end of Seaward Avenue was Graham’s Greenhouse (opposite the hillside) and another gas station (Keystone brand), serving also as a neighborhood type-store operation. Across the street was a large house which was unoccupied for several years, a rather spooky place.
The Bradford Postmaster, Sam Hutton, resided in the neighboring house. At the southern end of Seaward Avenue, the roadway diverged; Clark Street (a one-way street) went directly to Jackson Avenue; Seaward Avenue went downwards and connected with Kendall Avenue.
At the northern end of Seaward Avenue, also referred to as Seaward Avenue Extension, a slag road to the New York state line was built in November/December 1918.
Along this portion of Seaward Avenue, a historical marker designates the location of the first productive oil well in the Bradford ‘field’ (across from #288); Job Moses well, November 1871, 10 barrels/day depth 1,110 feet.
Just steps away from the Job Moses well site was the ‘Lighthouse Prayer Tower,’ at #292; an actual structure resembling a lighthouse. Continuing north towards the New York state line, one will come upon the Crook Farm (#476); a landmark of the area since 1847.
In 1875, the Olmstead well struck oil on this property. Just north of the Crook Farm was the site of the first aircraft flight in the Bradford area, at the Hooker Farm termed ‘Aviation Field’ by The Bradford Era on Aug. 23, 1910.
The first aircraft landing would occur on the same real estate on July 4, 1919.
Seaward Avenue was a good place to live and grow up; a safe environment with many caring neighbors — and good mentors!”