Volume Six  Issue Five  July 2021
The History Center on Main Street
 59 and 61 North Main Street
Mansfield, PA
The Museum of Us
Director- Joyce M. Tice: President - Steve McCloskey: V.P - Kathy McQuaid
James Sampson of Covington 1905-1974
An Extraordinary Man
James “Jimmy” Sampson, lived and operated a business in our community for his whole life. Born in Covington in 1905, the son of Hattie Wilcox and Fred Sampson, he operated the first filling station between Elmira and Williamsport from the time he was sixteen until his death in 1974 at age 68. This was at Richard’s Bridge which is on old Route 15 and Route 660. The main building is still there a hundred years later.

In his youth he raised chickens and sold eggs. In 1918, he received a Certificate of Patriotism for growing a war garden. In 1921, his parents opened the first filling station between Elmira and Williamsport. At that time, some grocery or other stores had a gas pump, but not full auto service. The station included a small restaurant, and they cut ice from the river in the winter for their summer refrigeration. Jimmy was sixteen at the time and started right away to run the station with his parents and later with his wife, Lucille Ames, whom he married in 1937.

The Sampsons also built tourist cabins at their Locust Camp as they named it. These were a popular mode of travel accommodation at the time. By 1952, Jimmy and his wife Lucille, replaced some of the cabins with a six-unit Sampson’s Motel and added more units in 1954.

Jimmy like to play dominoes and cards. He liked to fish, including ice-fishing. He and his wife traveled all over the country. They went to Florida 14 timed and frequently to Canada for fishing. He ran for Tioga county treasurer in 1936.
 These are all normal activities for a man of his time. What is extraordinary is that Jimmy was blinded in a game of war in the schoolyard when he was thirteen. A play arrow hit him in the eye. While in the hospital, infection damaged the other eye.

Jimmy continued his life quite as he would have had this not happened. He pumped gas, counted change, and kept inventory all by the tip of his fingers.

Along the way he was the subject of many newspaper articles and write-ups in gas company newsletters, regionally and nationally, for his extraordinary ability to carry on a productive life. We are fortunate to know quite a bit about him from a scrapbook his grandson, Randy, compiled on the life of his grandfather. This includes many family photos of his progress along the way. It even includes a few of Jimmy’s playing cards notched so he could recognize them.

Our September journal, Voices From the Archives, will include a more detailed article of James Sampson’s life with many more photos. This is available to History Center members, so be sure your dues are current so you can read about Jimmy and other interesting local people. This will be available in Mid-September. You can stop in and look at Jimmy's scrapbook anytime we are open.

The July issue is ready now for mailing. If you are in town, stop in to pick yours up and save us some postage money.
James Sampson 1905-1974
This is James Sampson age five, before he was blinded.

A key fob from Sampson's Motel
Locust Camp started with Texaco gas followed by Esso and then Amoco. This is Jimmy's Amoco patch.
Locust Camp gas sign in the 1920s
Early version of the Locust Camp cabins. Later models were more elaborate. Sampson's Motel below.
Save the Date
September 25 we will hold a pork barbecue next to our museum served by Rolling Smoke Barbecue. We will also commemorate the 110th anniversary of the tragic death of exhibition pilot, Tony Castellane, at the Great Mansfield Fair in 1911.
Upcoming Events
We have two high school reunion classes gathering at our museum on September 04. The Class of 1970 will be here at 2 P.M, and the Class of 1971 will visit us at 4 P.M.

September 11 the Tioga County Historical Society will hold their annual meeting at our museum. Joyce Tice will present on Martha Dartt Maxwell, naturalist.

September 25 we will hold a pork barbecue next to our museum served by Rolling Smoke Barbecue. We will also commemorate the 110th anniversary of the tragic death of exhibition pilot, Tony Castellane, at the Great Mansfield Fair in 1911.
Things We Need - Donations Requested
 Blossburg/North Penn High School Yearbooks
·        Liberty High School and Williamson Yearbooks
·        Old Phone Books (1920s to 1990s)
·        Local House Photos past or present (High resolution digital, or bring printed originals in, and we will scan them. Identify photos by street and number address)
. High School Commencement programs
Update on Our Renovations
On the back of the museum is a small addition of four rooms that has been used as an apartment as far back as the 1870s, possibly originally intended as housing for the church's minister, but that's a guess.

We are well into moving our library and archives to the new space in the museum. We still need to complete the external work on the back of the building. Donations are still needed to help us complete the upgrades we have started.

Rebuilding With YOUR Help!!!
Your Town, Your Ancestors, Your History

Consider a gift membership. Members will receive our 40 page printed journal by mail 4 to 6 times a year with new articles that have never been researched before and outstanding photos to illustrate. Share your love of the Mansfield area with your friends and family.
Why do we ask for donations in every newsletter? Because we have to.
It's the only way we can continue offering our important services to the community.
Your help will make it possible.
Membership- Renew for 2021
Annual memberships are an important part of keeping us operating. Please consider a new or renewed membership.

Members receive four to six issues annually of our printed journal Voices From the Archives.

Membership dollars are an important part of our operating resource. Be sure to renew your membership for 2021 or become a new member. A renewal card will be included in the next journal which will be mailed this month.
Annual Membership Levels
Family $50
Individual $35
Senior (Over 65) $25
Business Level $100
Lifetime $500
MHS Class Memorial $200

Checks to
The History Center
83 N. Main Street
Mansfield PA 16933
or by the PayPal Donate Button
A History Center Member is a History Center Hero
Be A Hero
Thank You to Our Gold Level Sponsors
Ward Manufacturing, Inc.
V.F.W. Post 6757
First Citizens Community Bank
Mansfield Auxiliary Corporation
Tri-County Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc.
Lutes Foundation
Thank You to Our Silver Level Sponsors
Real Disposal Service
UGI Utilities, Inc.
Blue Ridge Cable
Matt Neal Construction
Bohart Heating & Plumbing
The History Center on Main Street
The History Center on Main Street provided no goods or services in exchange for your contribution. Your contribution is deductible to the extent provided by law. The official registration and financial information of The History Center on Main Street, may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll free, within Pennsylvania, 1-800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement