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Old 12-03-2020, 08:02 PM
 
1,427 posts, read 1,207,255 times
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I understand these towns are typical of many places in the Midwest - with declining population.


Of course they look nice in photos and have some amazingly cheap old buildings.


Has anyone been or lived there? Are they similar? Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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Old 12-03-2020, 10:28 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
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They are very typical rust belt small towns that you would find in Wisconsin or Michigan.
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Old 12-04-2020, 04:16 PM
 
Location: On the Chesapeake
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rowhomecity View Post
They are very typical rust belt small towns that you would find in Wisconsin or Michigan.
Have you ever been to either one?

As a note Pennsylvania is not the Midwest.
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Old 12-05-2020, 04:06 PM
gg
 
Location: Pittsburgh
24,472 posts, read 23,250,711 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WestGuest View Post
I understand these towns are typical of many places in the Midwest - with declining population.


Of course they look nice in photos and have some amazingly cheap old buildings.


Has anyone been or lived there? Are they similar? Any thoughts would be appreciated.
I actually know these two towns.


1. Franklin is the county seat and very beautiful. Sure during COVID times it isn't great, but believe me, it is downright beautiful. It isn't as dead as people that have never been there as they may think. Heck there is even an airport that services them up on the hill in Franklin. The river is very nice up that way as well. Very clean and nice. Oil City is pretty nice. I haven't found great food in this area, other than North Country in Slippery Rock, but I tend to go there often. I am sure there are good places.

Oil City is more of a small city feel, but not very busy. Franklin isn't busy these days, but it is so pretty that it has tourism. More festive happenings. There is plenty of shopping in either one.

I like Franklin better as it is just a place you could film in a movie. Just beautiful.
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Old 12-05-2020, 05:09 PM
 
Location: 35758
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Lived in Franklin and went to Sandy Creek Elementary School; first, second, and part of third grade back in the early 70's.
I love Google Maps and its street view. Get a chance to see the old house. The park near our house is still there along with the stone water fountain. Likewise, I "remember" the downtown parks. I thought there was a statue in one of them. Also remember the Sears catalog store and going there with my mom.
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Old 12-07-2020, 05:34 AM
 
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
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Franklin, as the county seat, has a more genteel and "white-collar" vibe to it, despite being a small town, than Oil City, which feels more post-Industrial and "blue-collar". Franklin's main drag has gorgeous architecture with an Edible Arrangements, a winery, some restaurants, etc. as well as a beautiful courthouse park that often hosts plant shows and farm markets. There are also numerous beautiful historic homes in Franklin.

Oil City is split into two sides---a North Side and a South Side. Each one has its own business district. Both are in various stages of revitalization after years of steep decline. Interestingly enough each business district has its own trendy local coffeeshop. The homes tend to be cheaper here than they are in Franklin, and they often need more work.

South of Oil City and east of Franklin is a community called Cranberry Township (not to be confused with the one in Butler County north of Pittsburgh). The Venango County Cranberry Township has most of the area's chain stores and restaurants, and this area is only about a 10-minute drive from the center of either town. Here you'll find ALDI, Walmart, Home Depot, Ollie's, Dollar Tree, Bob Evans, Hoss's Restaurant, Taco Bell, Wendy's, Tractor Supply Company, Harbor Freight Tools, Sheetz, 84 Lumber, Verizon, and a few other businesses.

Venango County receives considerably more snow each winter than areas nearer to Pittsburgh, which is something to keep in mind, as it is nearer to Lake Erie.
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Old 12-07-2020, 07:02 AM
 
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Thanks all GG and Steel City both make distinctions between Franklin and Oil City.



Will they ever start growing again?


Steel City - as you're from Marshall Shadeland you might know a building I wanted . I thought we could live in the top and make offices or do something for the community with the rest. Its the old Mann School that came with a 3 acre baseball field. It sat on the books for years with an unrealistic price and suffered quite a bit of damage. A group made a proposal and then there was a fire. The top as far as I could calculate would have a super view of two rivers and downtown. Know this building?
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Old 12-08-2020, 03:18 PM
 
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
31,929 posts, read 73,612,771 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WestGuest View Post
Thanks all GG and Steel City both make distinctions between Franklin and Oil City.



Will they ever start growing again?


Steel City - as you're from Marshall Shadeland you might know a building I wanted . I thought we could live in the top and make offices or do something for the community with the rest. Its the old Mann School that came with a 3 acre baseball field. It sat on the books for years with an unrealistic price and suffered quite a bit of damage. A group made a proposal and then there was a fire. The top as far as I could calculate would have a super view of two rivers and downtown. Know this building?
I actually live in the shadow of the old PPS Horace Mann School. There was a proposal (pre-COVID-19) from a developer who wanted to put apartments in the school and to build townhouses on the ballfield behind it, but between the pandemic and the illegal fireworks-related fire I'm not sure if it's still in the works. It had the backing of the neighborhood and local elected officials.
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Old 12-08-2020, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
31,929 posts, read 73,612,771 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WestGuest View Post
Will they ever start growing again?
I don't ever foresee Franklin, Oil City (or for that matter surrounding small towns like Titusville or Corry or Mercer) growing again. I see them slowly declining in population interminably. I would be fine living in Venango County because it's cheap, safe, and somewhat convenient to Erie or Pittsburgh (as well as to I-80), but there's limited job opportunities in that general area. If you made good money and could telework I see no reason NOT to consider moving to a place like Venango County so you could live on the cheap and stretch your dollars further.

I never understood people who made good money and who could telework wanting to live in NYC or SF or NoVA or Miami or other hyper-expensive cities. Why not take your six-figure salary and root yourself down in a smaller town or city that is very cheap and use your extra cash to invest and retire young? Then you can also travel frequently to exotic destinations!
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Old 12-08-2020, 04:30 PM
 
Location: On the Chesapeake
41,005 posts, read 53,248,569 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelCityRising View Post
I don't ever foresee Franklin, Oil City (or for that matter surrounding small towns like Titusville or Corry or Mercer) growing again. I see them slowly declining in population interminably. I would be fine living in Venango County because it's cheap, safe, and somewhat convenient to Erie or Pittsburgh (as well as to I-80), but there's limited job opportunities in that general area. If you made good money and could telework I see no reason NOT to consider moving to a place like Venango County so you could live on the cheap and stretch your dollars further.

I never understood people who made good money and who could telework wanting to live in NYC or SF or NoVA or Miami or other hyper-expensive cities. Why not take your six-figure salary and root yourself down in a smaller town or city that is very cheap and use your extra cash to invest and retire young? Then you can also travel frequently to exotic destinations!
Prestige.
Nightlife (which I would think people would grow out of).
More opportunities to change employers.
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