Lamont is a small village located near the McKean County line in north-west Jones Township. The town was also referred to a “Madge”. Here the James brothers erected the first chemical or “acid” factory in the area. They built a plant in 1882-1883 known as the Lamont Chemical Company. This company operated for nearly forty years. This plant was located about two-miles from the present location of the village along the Highland state Road.
The plant contained about 12 retorts, or stills, that were used to extract the various chemicals and acid from the wood. The remaining charcoal would need to be transported by wagon or sled to Lamont for shipment on the Pittsburgh and Western Railroad. In 1896, a railroad was constructed to provide the plant with direct rail service. The plant shipped nearly four rail cars of charcoal a week and a tank car full of wood alcohol monthly.
The Lamont Chemical Company closed it’s operation is 1921 because of the financial condition of the James brothers and their other companies.
A glass plant also existed here at one time, but very little is recorded about it.
Today, National Fuel Gas operates a transmission pumping station at Lamont. The station utilizes a 1938 Ingersoll-Rand pump that is still used today to increase pipeline pressures in natural gas distribution lines to the Bradford, Pennsylvania area. The Ingersoll-Rand pump was the first pump of it’s kind manufactured for National Fuel and it, along with eight 4-XVG units and one 8-SVG units that were installed between 1941 and 1961 are still in use today.
The Kane Experimental Forest was established near Lamont on March 23, 1932, though research had begun as early as 1927. Most of the building and roads were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corp Camp ANF-12. Its primary mission is forest and watershed management research, wildlife research is also part of the current program. Ongoing long-term studies include individual tree and under-story vegetation measurements; treatments such as thinings, regeneration cuts, uneven-age cuts, and long-term measurements of unmanaged forest. The Kane Experimental Forest is used heavily for training and tours for educational, professional, and landowner groups. National Atmospheric Deposition Program data have been collected at the forest since 1978.
WKYN-FM – Radio Station
This station first went on the air as WKYN, on April 22, 1986. The station was founded by legendary Pittsburgh radio personality Bob Stevens, who had been looking to buy or build a radio station of his own in Western Pennsylvania. That opportunity presented itself in 1985, when he successfully applied for the license to operate at 97.5 FM, originally licensed to Ridgway.
For the first three years, the studios and transmitter were located at the transmitter site in a remote, wooded area of Jones Township near Rasselas, Jones Township with business and sales offices in downtown St. Marys. Signals were radiated by a 4-bay, ERI “Rototiller” antenna atop a newly erected 535 foot tower. On several occasions, air staff were stranded at the studio/transmitter facility due to heavy snow accumulation and ice storms. In 1989, Stevens purchased a defunct drive-in theater south of St Marys, and consolidated both the studios and offices there.
As the station grew, Stevens studied demographics and population data, and determined that the station would reach a significantly larger audience if the transmitter were moved to the west. Much of the original signal coverage area fell on large, unpopulated areas of north-central Pennsylvania known as “God’s Country”. A new transmitter site south in Lamont, just south of Kane, was found and construction was started. The STL path from the Fairview studio site to the new transmitter site was not possible due to obstruction by Bootjack Mountain. Stevens renovated a vacant, former restaurant at the top of Bootjack Mountain to house the offices and studios. The old tower and transmitter plant in Jones Township were left standing, and purchased for cellular phone service.
In 2001, Cam Communications sold WKYN to Laurel Media, Inc of Ridgway, a company owned by Dennis Heindl, who changed the stations call letters to WDDH. DDH are the initials of Dennis D. Heindl. A lifelong country music lover, Heindl converted the station format to Country.
The Lamont Tower is still utilized by WDDH and is also known as “The Hound” and its logo is recognizable. The Hound carries Pittsburgh Pirate Baseball. Heindl is a part owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Hound covers 15 Counties in Northwest Pennsylvania and has a faithful listening audience, being rated #1 in Elk County by Arbitron in 2008. Despite not actually existing in the Olean, New York media market (which includes Bradford, Kane and Coudersport in Pennsylvania), it still registers in the Arbitron books there, higher than some of the local stations. The Hound carries local sports in its listening area including but not limited to Wrestling. High School Football is extremely well received in the listening area. Local news is a priority and although WDDH has a large listening area it is local to much of the listening area.
The Commonwealth of PA and Penn State’s Public Broadcasting System also continue to use the tower as well.