Freedom Borough was settled in 1832 and incorporated in 1838. Prior to 1832, land on either side of Dutchman’s Run was forest, extending north to the home of Abner Lacock and south to the stone home of retired sea captain William Vicary. After Freedom was established, Captain Vicary surveyed a town on his land south of Dutchman’s Run. It was called Vicary, but in 1867, the village was incorporated as St. Clair, named for General Arthur St. Clair. The southernmost part of the town, called Vicary Extension, was annexed at a later date. In 1896, they merged into one borough.
Fun facts about Freedom:
-In 1832, about 150 families from Phillipsburg (Monaca) came and lived in board shanties, and the town was referred to as “Shanty Town.”
-The capital stock of Freedom National Bank was $40,000 in 1872 when it opened for business.
-Freedom was a leader in steamboat construction as 108 steamboats were built in town as well as barges and other craft.
–Valvoline Oil Company is located in town, and before this it was called Freedom Oil Company. Prior to this Excelsior Oil Works occupied the same location.
–Freedom Casket Company was founded in 1895 as Craig Manufacturing Company.
-Freedom merged with Conway and New Sewickley Township to form Freedom Area School District. A new high school was built in 1971, and it is located in New Sewickley Township.
-In the 1970’s, a lot of Third Street and the business district was razed in construct the Route 65 bypass. The Vicary Mansion was threatened in this process, but it was saved by public interest and action by the Beaver County Commissioners and state officials.
-Today, the Vicary Mansion is home to the Beaver County Historical Research and Landmarks Foundation, the official historical society of Beaver County.