In 1797, Henry and James Philips laid out Philipsburg, the largest community in Moshannon Valley. Philipsburg prospered under the leadership of their younger brother, Hardman. In addition to its associations with lumber and coal mining, Philipsburg was also home for the famous wood-screw mill, built by Hardman Philips in 1821.
In 1883 John Blair Lynn had this to say about Philipsburg:
“Lying in the mountainous region of Rush township, on the Moshannon Creek, five hundred and forty-five feet above Tyrone, and six hundred below the mountain summit, is a stirring enterprising town of about eighteen hundred inhabitants. The interests that sustain it lie chiefly in the lumbering and coal mining operations carried on in the adjacent territory.”
The Philipsburg-Osceola area covers 150 heavily forested square miles and bridges the mountains between Clearfield and Centre Counties. Approximately half of the area is dedicated to the Moshannon State Forest, State Game Lands, and Black Moshannon State Park. Consequently, the majority of the nearly 6,900 residents live in or around the Borough of Philipsburg.
Philipsburg is home to a number of historical sites, including The Rowland Theater, The Union Church (also known as the “Mud” Church), the Simler House, and Halehurst, thought to be a stop on The Underground Railroad, although no evidence to support this has been published. The Rowland Mansion, former home of U.S. Congressman Charles Hedding Rowland, suffered damage from a recent fire. It has since been repaired and reopened as a bed and breakfast and is Philipsburg’s most recent addition to the National Register of Historic places.
Philipsburg hosts annual festivals such as Heritage Days and Harvest Fest.