Gazzam was a small mining community adjacent to Ansonville in Jordan Township. It was named for Joseph Gazzam of Philadelphia, who was a corporate officer of the Clearfield Bituminous Coal Company.
The New York Central Railroad extended its subsidiary Beech Creek Railroad line to the village in order to haul its rich “E” vein coal resources.
Gazzam was a village that quickly came and went. It began to flourish in the 1880’s and became populated with many Scots-Irish and Swedish immigrant families.
A post office was established in 1886, but closed in March of 1917, as the village and its mines dwindled away. During its heyday, Gazzam had two hotels, a livery stable, a millinery shop, a poolroom barber shop and two general stores.
The community also had two schools, two churches and a baseball team.
An 1880’s era map shows Gazzam as a planned community with many streets, a park and a town square. The actual village, although populated and busy, fell far short of what the map proposed.
In 1913, the Carnwath Coal Company purchased the company owned houses at Gazzam. The Clearfield Republican, in its Nov. 21, 1913 issue, reported that 27 houses were dismantled in one week.
They were moved to other mining villages and rebuilt. By 1935, the town, as it was remembered, was gone, except for the Mount Tabor Lutheran Church, which soon followed. Today, perhaps a half dozen homes remain nearby as well as a small burial ground along a dirt road.
The photo shows William Caldwell Strong’s Mercantile store during the first decade of the 20th century. Strong is the gentleman wearing the white apron.