Historic Volant

Route 208 between Route 168 and Pearson Steet

Former mill town now functioning as a tourist/shopping destination.

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Photo taken by Brian Manville on December 22, 2017

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Description 

The land on which the borough of Volant currently sits on was bought from the Native Americans in 1784. In 1868, J.P. Locke purchased the mill and 100 acres 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.

By the turn of the 20th century the village was a bustling commercial community. 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 ventures, 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.

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 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.

Update Log 

  • December 22, 2017: Added by Brian Manville

Sources