Lost and Found features brief profiles of historic landmarks and structures, one lost and one saved.


The Middle Creek Hydroelectric Dam, located three miles south of Selinsgrove, in eastern Snyder County, a significant example of a timber crib dam and small electric generating station, was typical of early rural electrification efforts in the United States. It was also a major component of a plan to modernize and promote an economically depressed area. George W. Wagenseller, a resident of nearby Middleburg and owner and editor of the community’s newspaper, was a driving force behind construction of the dam. He realized the importance of electricity as a key to linking Snyder County with the more populated and prosperous Northumberland County, across the Susquehanna River, with a trolley system and bridge. The dam, built in 1906 by the Middlecreek Electric Company, first generated power on November 22 of that year. The facility transmitted 16,600 volts, which powered Selinsgrove’s streetlights and the Sunbury and Selinsgrove Electric Railway Company’s trolleys. The dam changed hands several times throughout its history and was breached in 1992 after being declared unsafe.



The former Chester Waterside Station of the Philadelphia Electric Company is situated on the west bank of the Delaware River in Chester, Delaware County. Designed in the Beaux-Arts style by Philadelphia architect John T. Windrim and Philadelphia Electric Company engineer William C. L. Eglin, the monumental building was erected in 1916 as a coal-fired electrical generation plant. Historians recognize the plant as an embodiment of the emergence of the electric power industry in the early twentieth century, representing the increasing importance of electricity as a power source and the industry’s role as a public utility. By 1924, the Chester Waterside Station generated 120,000 kilowatts of energy. The station was organized as three distinct blocks — boiler house with attached coal towers, turbine hall, and switch house — each of which represented a critical phase in the generation of electricity. Aided by federal rehabilitation tax credits for historic preservation — administered in Pennsylvania by PHMC’s Bureau for Historic Preservation — the building’s owner, Rivertown Developers, L.P., of Conshohocken, recently converted the former power station to office space, investing $54.5 million in the project.