Featured Bottler: C. A. Grumbling - Cherry Tree, Pennsylvania

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Posted: June 1, 2013 (Updated 07-01-13)


During the process of cataloguing over 17,600 Hutchinsons we have noted a wide and interesting variety of city and town names.  A few of the names instantly fuel the need to learn something about their source.  That is exactly what happened while cataloguing PA0428.5, the illustrated quart Hutchinson embossed C. A. GRUMBLING / CHERRY TREE / GRANT, P.O. / PA.  Say, what?  What kind of address is that?

Unfortunately, we currently lack the time to properly research Grumbling via primary resources, but perhaps someone living in that area can do some legwork for us and provide historical information about the bottler.  In addition to the illustrated quart, Grumbling also utilized pint and 20 ounce Hutchinsons (PA0427 and PA0428).  All three variants are Rare.  The illustrated quart was recently listed at an on-line auction site.  It drew 11 bids from five bidders and sold for a cool $935.00. 

Here's some brief information from Wikipedia providing a partial explanation of the borough's name:

Cherry Tree is a borough in Indiana County, Pennsylvania, United States.  The population was 364 at the 2010 census

Cherry Tree was originally known as "Canoe Place" because its location marked the spot where the West Branch of the Susquehanna River was no longer navigable and canoes would have to portage.  The latter settlement was known as "Newman's Mills" and later "Grant Post Office."  The current name was officially adopted in 1907 but had been in use informally by local residents for many years before that time.

Cherry Tree was named for a large cherry tree that stood at the confluence of Cush Cushion Creek and the West Branch of the Susquehanna River.  The tree marked the eastern boundary of the territory acquired by the Penn family from the Six Nations of the Iroquois at the Treaty of Fort Stanwix on November 5, 1769.  The boundary, called the "purchase line," extended from the cherry tree westward to the current site of Kittanning, Pennsylvania on the Allegheny River. The tree was later used as a boundary marker for Indiana, Clearfield, and Cambria counties.

Cherry Tree was a center of the lumber industry in the later 19th century.

A much more detailed history of Cherry Tree posted at (search on Cherry Tree, PA and you should find it) offers this historical overview:

In 1804 the Commonwealth created the counties of Cambria, Clearfield and Indiana, all cornering on the cherry tree at "Canoe Place."  In the spring of 1836, the old cherry tree, its roots exposed from years of living on a riverbank, was uprooted and washed away.  It rested for sometime downstream in the Susquehanna River across from where Bee Brother's mill once stood.  Another rainy season caused the tree to be washed further downstream…

In the year 1822, Richard Smith settled along Cush Cushion Creek about 5 miles from the tree.  Mr. Smith was known throughout Western Pa. as Richard Smith, Quaker Smith and Trader Smith.  He became interested in establishing post offices and post roads throughout this part of the commonwealth…

William Sebring erected a frame gristmill in 1827, and in 1828 he built a sawmill a short distance from the gristmill.  In 1833 Mr. Sebring sold his mill to Peter Newman and that same year the Post Office was moved to the Newman property in Indiana County.  The name was changed to Newman's Mills with Peter Newman as Postmaster.  Mr. James Mehaffey was the next proprietor of the mill, and he sold the property to the McKeages of Clinton County in 1847.  The Cherry Tree gristmill was erected in 1847; it was 38 X 50 ft., 3 stories high and had three runs of burrs (no doubt these were the stone grinding portions of the mill because a stone burr is the best for grinding wheat to flour).  Its motive power was an overshot wheel 10 ft. wide and 12 ft. in diameter.  The McKeage saw mill was built in 1864. 

Following the sale of the Newman property, the Post Office was moved to the Campville side of the river.  During this time postmasters were the spoils of political war.  Mr. E. B. Camp, a stalwart Republican, was in charge of the Newman's Mills office during General Grant's term as President.  He petitioned the Postmaster General to have the named changed from Newman's mills to Grant in 1867.  The next 40 years, the mail carried the following addresses "Cherry Tree, Grant Post Office, Pennsylvania" to be changed to Cherry Tree, Pa in 1907.

Note: See additional information in the 07-01-13 edition of "Hutchinson Highlights"