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The Central Pennsylvania Highlands 
A Tourist's Survey 



(Author of "A Week In the Blue Mountains", Etc.) 

"Come with me up into the m,ountain8 and I will shotv to you the glory 
of the world." — Henrik Ibsen. 

"Amomj the Alps I become a child again" — Henri-Frederic Amid. 


Altoona, Pennsylvania 


19 17 

Copyrighted — All Rights Reserved 


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Chapter Pages 

I. Introduction 5- 7 

II. Location 9-13 

III. Clinton County 14-40 

IV. Centre County 41-58 

V. Mifflin County • 59- G3 

VI. Union County 63-66 

VII. Lycoming County 67-77 

VIII. Cameron County 78-80 

IX. Snyder County 81-84 

X. Other Localities 85-94 

XL Indians 95-98 

XIL Game, Fish, Forests 99-109 

XIIL The Pennsylvania Alpine Club 110-115 

XIV. A Hike to Blue Knob 116-143 


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WITH Europe barred to American pleasure-seek- 
ers, especialy those of moderate means and 
the better known of our native pleasure- 
grounds Hke Niagara Falls, Watkins Glen, The Yel- 
lowstone Park and the Grand' Canyon visited by all, 
the time seems nigh when a closer survey be given 
to secluded regions near at hand, where all the charms 
of the old world and the new will be found blended 
in artistic harmony. How to a reach a pleasure-land 
lying at one's doors, so to speak, gives the opportun- 
ity for the preparation of a guide book or tourist's 
survey, showing in this instance how a vacation can 
be spent in a single Pennsylvania County, visiting nat- 
ural wonders and historic spots, as well as breathing 
as fine air and drinking as pure water as this universe 
hold's. An entire month could be spent in pedestrian 
rambles in each of the localities described in the fol- 
lowing pages, or the same ground can be covered in 
two weeks in a carriage or on horseback. But don't 
go by automobile ; travel by this deadly, soul destroy- 
ing machine is fatal to the lover of scenery or the 
naturalist. It is a pleasure to state that most of the 
roads in the wilds of Central Pennsylvania are un- 
suited for automobiles, even Fords, that the writer 
has traveled for three or four consecutive days with- 
out seeing one of these "scoot wagons," realizing that 

Eldorado and the automobile are discordant factors. 
The best way to tour any rustic, retired, picturesque 
region is on foot, well-shod, and carrying only the 
necessaries in a "Nessmuk" pack. Unfortunately too 
few of our nature lovers travel that way; this is an 
age of hurry, they must tell the number of miles 
traversed on their excursions, not what they saw. To 
fully appreciate every vista, every cloud, every bird, 
every butterfly, every lofty pine, the pedestrian 
method is supreme. But next to it comes the eques- 
trian method, but seldom used of late in the Pennsyl- 
vania wilds, although the State Forestry Department 
is building many attractive bridle paths across the 
highest and* least frequented mountains. There is an 
exhilaration to scenery viewed from the back of a 
good horse that is hard to equal, there are moments 
of repose on a grassy bank while the horses are nib- 
bling grass nearby, and the sandpipers are teetering 
in thie sedge, and the swallows are skimming over the 
pond, that must always linger among life's most pre- 
cious mental images. But if horseback riding is not 
favored, a close third comes the pleasure of touring 
in a "Joubert & White" Glens Falls buckboard surrey, 
well hung, and drawn by a pair of old fashioned long- 
tailed horses. There is room enough under the seats 
to carry changes of clothing, besides the cooking uten- 
sils with which to prepare the mid-day meal or the 
supper in the woods. There are "miles to wander," 
every step filled with fresh scenes, new delights, 
boundless possibilities, with just enough uncertainties 
and little adventure to make the quest have a zest that 

Barelown, near Snow Shoe, Centre County. 

raises it in every detail above the commonplace. "See 
America First" is a slogan we hear many times a day, 
but where to begin, and how to do it is the question. 
Let these perplexities be answered in the language of 
Pennsylvania's Governor, Dr. Martin G. Brumbaugh, 
"See Pennsylvania first ; there is no state like the 'Old 
Keystone.' " This is a pioneer work, incomplete in 
many ways. The writer would appreciate suggestions 
as to scope and' method, if it fills a want of any kind 
among nature lovers or the traveling public, a more 
ambitious edition might be attempted. 

Henry W. Shoemaker. 

A1.T00NA Tribune Office, 
June 20, 1916. 

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DR. J. T. ROTH ROCK, in "Areas of Desolation 
in Pennsylvania" — not a very charming title 
to quote from, but a remarkable little book in 
its way — states that the area of the Central Penn- 
sylvania wilderness is approximately eighty miles by 
eighty miles. But these boundaries include much ter- 
ritory that has been ruined by man's rapacity, the 
lumbermen, the forest fires, the miner, and so on. 
The area of the most beautiful part of Pennsylvania, 
the true highlands, is probably a third less than the 
territory included by Dr. Rothrock. It is large 
enough for the average busy American, a lifetime 
would not know it well. It has every foot of ground 
crowded with spots of scenic or historic moment, it 
is "niultum in parvo," though if one were to stand 
on top of the Sand Mountain above White Deer 
Creek, and look to the north, to the south, to the 
west, to the east, it would' seem to be a region bound- 
less in its immensity, a region of forests, with not a 
single inhabitant. Yet far. from that, despite its wild- 
ness, its wider valleys may contain many flourishing 
cities, many richly productive farms, many prosper- 
ous districts. The boundaries of the Central Penn- 
sylvania highlands, such as are herein described, may 
be said to begin at Lewisburg, and extend southwest- 
erly to HoUidaysburg, thence northeast to Drift- 


wood, thence east to La Porte, thence southwest 
to Lewisburg. All outside of that are either "areas 
of desolation," or combine scenery and attractions 
which may for the most part be found elsewhere. 
Within the sections treated in these pages rise 
most of the sources of the Juniata and the West 
Branch of the Susquehanna. They skirt the edge 
of the two highest mountains in the State, the 
Blue Knob (31(50 ft.) and The Bald Knob, (3050 
ft.), they include "Eldorado Found," another name 
for the Seven Mountains and the little valleys which 
run out from them ; they include the only parts of the 
Black Forest not completely denuded by the lumber- 
man and burned to a crisp by the berry-pickers and 
fishermen. They include parts of the majestic AUe- 
ghenies, the North Mountain, their easterly continua- 
tion, the "Birth of the Bald Eagles," where that noble 
range rises abruptly from the smiling plain near 
Muncy, the White Deer Mountains, the Nittany 
Mountains, the White Mountains, the Buffalo Moun- 
tains, and last but not least Jack's Mountain, which 
rising abruptly from a broken country, frowns down 
upon the ancient town of New Berlin. The Seven 
Mountains include the Path Valley Mountain, the 
Short Mountain, the Bald Mountain, the Thick Head, 
the Sand, the Shade, and the Tussey ranges. Within 
the Seven Mountains are such wild glens as the Kettle 
and Detwiler Hollow, where the cruel hand of man 
cannot drive away the panther. The Seven Moun- 
tains lie north of the Juniata, and a considerable dis- 


tance south of the West Branch of the Susquehanna. 
Their wildness and beauty appeal to all who have fol- 
lowed the Long Mountain, one of their "spurs," ly- 
ing along the horizon, while traveling on the Pennsyl- 
vania Railroad between Harrisburg and Altoona. 
Especially those who have been privileged to witness 
a sunset behind these noble heights, where seemingly 
endless lengths of mountain are banked', every tree 
outlined in bold relief, against masses of rose-pink, 
purple and golden clouds. This is only part of the 
glory of the Central Pennsylvania Mountains, 
''Eldorado Found". The best way to enter the moun- 
tain Paradise is from Lewistown (on the south), 
Lewisburg (in the east). Lock Haven (north), ana 
Altoona (west). The main line of the Pennsylvania 
Railroad between Harrisburg and Pittsburg skirts it 
on the south, the Erie Division of the same system 
runs from its southeast to its northwest borders, the 
Philadelphia and Reading runs practically parallel 
with its easterly boundaries. There it can be seen 
that nature lovers from Pittsburg or the West, from 
Washington, Philadelphia, Reading, Allentown and 
New York can find easy access to its fastnesses. If 
the start is made from Lewisburg by carriage, "Jake" 
Horam's livery had best supply the conveyances, in 
cold weather genuine bufifalo robes lend an old-time 
flavor to the equipment. Mr. Horam, who is a court- 
ly and experienced liveryman is well versed on roads, 
stopping places, etc., and can supply drivers who 
know every nook and corner for miles around. For 


a drive to the North Mountain Country, Berwick, 
Columbia County makes an ideal starting place. The 
livery connected with the Morton House, an excel- 
lent hostelry, conducted by George Morton, can sup- 
ply first class equipage and drivers. George Harvey's 
livery at Muncy is also recommended for tourists 
to the North Mountain or Lewis' Lake. To visit 
the "Highlands" from the north a start from Jersey 
Shore or Lock Haven is advised. "Pete" Leas, dean 
of the Jersey Shore liverymen, is a good person to 
deal with at the former place, while in Lock Haven, 
Paul Ely's livery is well spoken of. For a driving 
trip in the Seven Mountains from the south, the start 
can be made from Lewistown or Milroy, where there 
are several excellent liveries. Saddle horses are 
everywhere hard to obtain ; unless the tourist pro- 
vides his own mounts, well-broken saddle beasts are 
almost unobtainable at present; however a demand 
would soon create a supply of such animals. For 
walking trips, guides are unnecessary, except in cer- 
tain locations where historic sites are to be pointed 
out. These guides are easily obtained, are genial, well 
posted, and inexpensive. Pedestrians should provide 
themselves with a Rand-McNally pocket atlas of 
Pennsylvania, the map is excellent and indispensable. 
Equally good is the Railway Map of Pennsylvania, 
edition of 1911, folding copy, published by the De- 
partment of Internal Affairs, Harrisburg, that depart- 
ment so ably presided over by the charming "Uncle 
Henry" Houck. At nightfall accommodations can 



always be found at country hotels, farm houses, or 
lumber camps, — at the present time inns of individual- 
ity are lacking, — and in the "dry counties" the cook- 
ing and accommodations are abominable. This is 
written by a local option enthusiast, but the truth 
must be told. To camp on the State Lands, which 
embrace most of the attractive locations in the wilder 
parts of the "Highlands," a permit issued gratis by 
the Forestry Department at Harrisburg is required. 
The Department also leases permanent camp sites, 
thus bringing the wilderness within the reach of 
nature lovers in moderate circumstances. 


Its Mountains — Their Altitude — Driving Roads — Bridle 
Paths — Fire Roads — McElhattan Springs — Logan's 
Path — The Sulphur Springs — Zeller's Spring — Sugar 
Valley — The Black Gap — Green's Gap — Zimmerman's 
— Tunis' Gap — Hope Valley — Flat Rock — Otzinachson 
Park — Fort Horn — Declaration of Independence — 
Graves of Peter Grove and Peter Pentz — Pipsisseway's 
Mountain — Pipsisseway's Pine — The Buffalo Path — 
Falls of the McElhattan — Trout Streams — Sunrise at 
North Bend — Lumbering — Kettle Creek — Lock Haven. 

CLINTON COUNTY may justly be called "The 
Hub'' of the Central Pennsylvania Highlands. 
Radiating out from the West Branch of the 
Susquehanna which bisects it, are the numerous 
streams, the picturesque valleys and the lofty moun- 
tains which gave the charm and thrill to this enchant- 
ing region. Some of the highest mountains in the 
state are in Clinton County, some of the best bridle 
paths and footpaths, besides the State Forestry De- 
partment has constructed a series of fire-roads which 
bring every section of the wilderness within easy 
access of the tourist. Most of these fire-roads are 
equipped with neatly painted sign boards directing 
travellers to camp sites, springs and" mountain passes. 
If the traveller leaves the P. R. R. at McElhattan 
Station two routes open out before him: to the north 



the West Branch is crossed by a modern iron bridge 
a quarter of a mile from the station, where a state 
road leads to the flourishing manufacturing village of 
Woolrich, situated on the banks of Chatham's Run. 
A good road leads from there through the gorge of 
the Allegheny Mountains to Springer's, a favorite 
resort for hunters and fishermen on the summit near 
the heading of Chatham's Run. The old farmhouse, 
with the bright-berried mountain ash tree before the 
door, reminiscent of a hospice in the Alps, was un- 
fortunately destroyed by fire in 1914, but has been 
replaced with a smaller dwelling. Travellers are 
well received Ljy "Mother" Springer, a native of 
Wurttemberg, Germany, and her son, John, and his 
affable wife. The meals served by the Springers are 
proverbially good. The Springer home stands at the 
juncture of the road from Woolrich and the Jersey 
Shore-Coudersport Pike, which leads in a N. W. 
direction to Haneyville. At Haneyville a road to 
S. E. through a grove of white pines leads down Pine 
Bottom Run, a wild glen with good trout fishing, to 
the waters of Tiadaghton. At Haneyville the S. E. 
road leads to Henry Campbell's sawmill, on the 
waters of Lick Run, a fine trout stream, thence three 
miles east to the gate of Otzinachson Park. This 
game park which is of about 3,000 acres is enclosed 
by a wire fence thirteen feet high, built in 1899 by that 
splendid sportsman, George S. Good, of Lock Haven, 
who died in 1914. In this park a number cf unsuc- 
cessful experiments at game propagation have been 


tried. The club controlling the park has sixteen 
members, among them some of the wealthiest men 
in the state. Chauncey E. Logue, the present game- 
keeper is a noted bear hunter, having killed twenty 
bears in twenty years. Following the "Pike" N. W. 
from Haneyville, the Pump Station of the Standard 
Oil Pipe Line which runs from Olean, New York, to 
Bayonne, New Jersey, is sometimes visited by belated 
travellers, but no regular accommodations are pro- 
vided. The buildings standing on the bleak, treeless, 
fire swept mountain top remind one strangely of the 
Great Saint Bernard Hospice in the Alps. S. W. of 
the Pump Station a road leads down to the waters 
of Kettle Creek and Ole Bull's Castle. A road 
branches off to the north to Germania, a quaint vil- 
lage, settled by Germans sixty years ago. Continuing 
on the Pike, through a desolated region, the traveller 
eventually reaches Coudersport, said to be named 
for one Coudert, a French gentleman, and the seat 
of justice of Potter County. About Coudersport 
some grand timber still remains, especially in the Six 
Mile Hollow and on Sweden Hill. These points 
make a visit to this locality well worth while. 
South of Coudersport is the quaint town of Roulette, 
also in Potter County, famed as the home of Le Roy 
Lyman, born 1821, died 1886, slayer of 5,000 head 
of big game in the Pennsylvania forests. Edwin 
Grimes, born 1830, a veteran wolf and bear hunter, 
resides at Roulette. He has many interesting 
anecdotes tq relate of the old days in which big game 


was SO plentiful that it was considered' a nuisance. 
Le Roy Lyman's son, Milo Lyman, resides at 
Roulette, and' shows to interested persons his father's 
diary describing his exploits with the big game. He 
has a fine collection of deer horns in his library which 
are a charming reminder of his illustrious father, the 
mighty Nimrod. At the foot of the hill, after 
descending from the Pike in the direction of Ole Bull's 
castle is Cartee Camp, formerly New Bergen, the 
site selected by the great Norwegian for the "capital" 
of his colony. A few of the log houses and barns 
built by the Norwegian colonists are still standing. 
Tourists are accommodated at Charles Schreibner's 
farmhouse, at Cartee Camp. Mr. Schreibner, who 
is a Bohemian by birth, came to New Bergen during 
Ole Bull's time, and states that the Norwegians suf- 
fered greatly from the cold of the Pennsylvania 
zvinters. Back of the Schreibner homestead is the 
seemingly perpendicular face of a huge hill which was 
cleared by Mr. Schreibner individually and is kept in 
a good state of cultivation by him. Cartee Camp 
received its name from General John Cartee, one of 
the early pioneers of Potter County, but the name 
New Bergen had better been left untouched for senti- 
mental reasons. South of Ole Bull's castle a well- 
graded road leads to Cross Fork, an abandoned 
lumbering town, now used as a headquar'ters for 
we'althy sportsmen, as the grouse and woodcock 
shooting here is excellent. Leading to Renovo, a busy 
railroad town on the Erie Division of the P. R. R. 


there is a road across the mountains where some 
grand scenery is witnessed: this route comes out at 
the mouth of Drury's Run. A stop should be made 
at the famous Tamarack swamp, where several 
varieties of tree indigenous to more northerly local- 
ities are found. (See the writer's "More Pennsyl- 
vania Mountain Stories" Reading, 1912). From 
Cross Fork the main road leads down Kettle Creek, 
a denuded region, utterly barren and cheerless. The 
lumber was taken out so rapidly that the population 
was left behind without occupations, and as they can- 
not sell their farms, their condition is not a cheerful 
one. Formerly the farmers all lumbered a little in 
the winter months to help with their living expenses 
but the wealthy Buffalo lumber kings cleaned out the 
whole region in a few years, leaving the native popu- 
lation like clams at low tide. Westport, formerly a 
lively lumber town, is at the mouth of Kettle Creek, 
on the Erie Division of the P. R. R., and several miles 
west of Renovo. East of Renovo is North Bend, 
formerly Young Woman's Town, built at the mouth 
of Young Woman's Creek. This fine stream received 
its name from Mary Wolford, a beautiful pioneer 
girl who was drowned in the creek while escaping 
from Indians who were taking her as a captive to 
Chief Bald Eagle about 1779. (See the writer's 
"Black Forest Souvenirs," Reading. 1914.) The 
upper reaches and tributaries of Young Woman's 
Creek contain good trout fishing, but the lower part 
is either fished out or polluted by manufactories. Ac- 



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a Pennsylvanian Indian, Renowned as "The Seneca Bear Hunter. 


cording to O. Adolphe Shurr, a well known Clinton 
County sportsman, wild' pigeons nested at the head of 
Young Woman's Creek as late as 1892. On the 
table land about Young Woman's Town a colony of 
New Church followers was planted about 1885. It 
was flourishing when the writer first visited this lo- 
cality with Thomas G. Simcox, the noted hunter and 
prospector in 1899. It was there that the author wit- 
nessed a wonderful sunrise, the like of which he has 
never seen on the Xorth American continent. The 
mountain peaks, jutting up through the clouds re- 
sembled wooded islands in some trackless sea. Out 
in the east the red light of the new day seemed rising 
out of the fleecy ocean. The most r'^ticeable "island" 
was the pinnacle of Hyner Mountain, the highest 
peak in Clinton County; others (to the North) were 
Dyke's Peak and Savage Mountain, which are close 
rivals for the palm of being the loftiest Clinton 
County summits. If the tourist wishes to follow a 
southerly route from McEIhattan, the road lead's in 
the direction of the wild and well-wooded McEIhat- 
tan Gap, which commences 1% miles from the 
railway station. Before starting for the moun- 
tains a visit should be paid to the "Indian Monu- 
ment." a stone wigwam built to mark the locality 
of the capital of Pipsisseway, the great war 
chief of the Susquehannocks, who flourished about 
1635. The monument stands on the river bank about 
one-half mile Northeast of the Pennsylvania Railroad 
station. This ■'Indian metropolis was said to have 


contained 1,500 inhabitants. Indian arrow-heads, 
deer skinners, celts, etc., are frequently found, and 
several stone hearths used by the redmen are clearly 
discemable. The graves were situated on a small 
rise between the lowland and the line of the P. R. R. 
One-half mile east of the Indian monument is the old 
brick house, built 1808, the birthplace of Colonel 
James Williams Quiggle, LL. D., one of Clinton 
County's most distinguished sons. He was success- 
sively Deputy Attorney General, State Senator, Lieu- 
tenant Colonel on Governor Packer's staff. Consul- 
General at Antwerp and Charge d'AfTaires at Brus- 
sels in Belgium. During the Civil War he conveyed 
a message from President Lincoln to General Gari- 
baldi, the Italian patriot, inviting him to become a 
Major General of Cavalry in the Union Army. Col- 
onel Quiggle died in 1878 and a fine granite monu- 
ment to his memory stands in the old Quiggle burial 
ground one mile east of the Quiggle homestead. The 
old Quiggle farm and several others now are included 
in the (500 acre model farm, "Meadow Sweet Farms," 
owned by James L. Miller, a prosperous railroad con- 
tractor of Lock Haven. These farms, always nbted 
for their fertility, once formed a part of the dowry of 
Princess Meadow Sweet, a Lenni Lenape maiden, 
who was wooed and married by the great war chief 
of the Susquehannock's Pipsisseway. It was here 
that her ladies in waiting tilled her fields of melons, 
pumpkins, sweet potatoes and Indian com, the pro- 
duce of which belonged exclusively to the winsome 


Indian bride. Meadow Sweet died about 1680; her 
grave is said to have been visited by WilHam Penn 
during his canoe trip up the West Branch in Septem- 
ber. ITOO. Most of the domain "Meadow Sweet" was 
owned by ancestors of Mr. Miller, the present owner, 
and he has the unbroken chain of title from the date 
of Meadow Sweet's marriage to Pipsisseway in 1635 
to the present time. The modern, up-to-date farm 
buildings, labor saving machinery, and well tilled 
fields gave the ]\Jeadow Sweet estate an appearance 
not soon forgotten ; it is the garden spot of Clinton 
County, and a fitting memorial to the Indian queen 
who was so proud of these broad and fruitful acres 
of alluvial soil. Northeast of the old Quiggle burial 
ground, now opened for general interments, is a 
granite monument marking the site of F*ort Horn, 
scene of the Fort Horn Declaration of Independence, 
drawn up and signed by early settlers or Fair Play 
Men on July 4, 1776. The frontiersmen, fearing that 
the Continental Congress would fail to cut loose from 
the British Yoke, assembled at the stockade of Samuel 
Horn and' declared themselves no longer bound by the 
foreign overlords. The document, written in the back 
pages of a family Bible, is said to have been buried in 
the stockade in an iron-bound chest. (See the au- 
thor's "Susquehanna Legends," Reading, 1913.) One- 
eighth mile south of McElhattan station of main road 
to mountains is ''The Cedars," the commodious resi- 
dence of John H. Chatham (born 1847), the ''Bard 
of Central Pennsylvania." Visitors are reminded to 


make the acquaintance of this remarkable and gifted 
gentleman, whose sweet songs have won him just re- 
nown. One-half mile south from the station are the 
"X roads," with "The Crossways," the residence of 
Hon. James C. Quiggle, only son of late Colonel 
James W. Quiggle, and himself a retired U. S. Con- 
sular official. By following the "State Road" west 
three-fourths mile to Youngdale Station, on New York 
Central railroad, thence Southeast one-fourth mile, 
concrete monument erected to mark site of Wayne 
Township Camp-meeting Grounds, 1869-1889, will be 
seen. This monument, dedicated on Labor Day, 1913, 
recalls the days of this great resort, famed alike in 
the religious and social life of the West Branch 
Valley. Until destroyed by the disastrous flood of 
1889, the W^ayne Camp Grounds were visited annually 
by tens of thousands of people — some tenting in at- 
tractive cottages in the woods from June until Sep- 
tember. One-half mile west from Youngdale Station, 
on "mountain road" to Castanea, a suburb of Lock 
Haven, is seen a concrete marker at giant oak tree, 
recently erected to mark the original corner of the 
survey of what is now Wayne Township, Clinton 
County, made by James Lukens. Surveyor General, 
in 1769. One-half mile south of residence of Hon. 
James C. Quiggle, on road to mountains, is a marble 
monument marking the proximity to a black oak 
tree (blown down in 1891) which was the favorite 
resting place of James Logan, or Tah-Gah-Jute, the 
famous Mingo Chief and orator. This gifted Indian 


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was fond' of following the redskin's path, now the 
road to McElhattan Springs, and thence through the 
pass to the Sulphur Spring at Loganton, there to take 
a treatment for stomach disorders. On his way he 
often rested under the black oak above described, and 
was seen thus on several occasions by Peter Pentz, 
the noted border scout. Peter Pentz, who died in 
1813, and is said by some to be buried in Nippenose 
Valley, where the United States Government has 
erected' a marker over his grave, was one of the great- 
est Indian fighters of his day. One tradition is that 
with James Logan he was a rival for the hand of 
Jura McEvoy, a white girl adopted in infancy by 
Hyloshotkee, a peaceable old chief who lived at Mc- 
Elhattan Springs. The girl secretly married Pentz, 
to the anger of Logan, but soon after giving birth to 
a boy known as Peter Pentz, Jr., she disappeared; 
whether she ran away with or was kidnapped by 
Logan is not certain. Several years later Pentz met 
Logan at Zeller's Spring, in Sugar Valley, and de- 
manded to know the whereabouts of Jura. Logan 
gave an evasive reply, whereupon Pentz raised' his 
rifle and in the scuffle the Indian was shot through the 
hip and fell in the spring, where he nearly drowned. 
Ever afterwards Logan had to suffer the mortifica- 
tion of lameness. The mountain on east side of Mc- 
Elhattan Gap is sometimes called Mount Jura, while 
the towering height on the west side, the highest point 
between Lock Haven and Northumberland, is known 
as Mount Logan. For another version of this legend 


see the author's "Early Potters of Clinton County," 
Altoona, 1917. One of Hyloshotkee's sons, "Wil- 
liam Pine," married Vashti McElhattan, daughter of 
William McElhattan, a canny Ulster Scot who set- 
tled at the mouth of McElhattan Run in IT 71. rie 
remained there until 1778, when he left in the Great 
Runaway. He did not return and' is said to have died 
in Kentucky. The five springs at Hyloshotkee's old 
camp-ground are nicely kept, and many ]>ersons from 
Lock Haven and Jersey Shore repair there on clear 
Sundays and holidays to enjoy the waters and rest 
under the tall trees. A small zoological garden is 
maintained at the Park, also a refreshment stand 
conducted by J. Earl Phillips and a private shooting 
gallery. There are many attractive paths, resting 
benches and rustic bridges in various parts of the 
park. One mile south of the Park is the intake dam 
where the city of Lock Haven secures its water sup- 
ply. Near the intake dam is the steep path across the 
southeast slope of Mount Logan to Nittany Valley. 
It is a favorite with local Alpinists and was once a 
wolf path. At the confluence to the McElhattan nnd 
Spring Runs, one mile south of intake dam, follow 
road due south along McElhattan Run to where a 
view, to west, of High Rocks can be obtained. On 
the top of these high, rocky promontories an Indian 
chief named Hononwah is said to have been slain by 
Simeon Snyder, a young settler whose family was 
murdered by this savage. (See the writer's "Penn- 
sylvania Mountain Stories," Bradford, Pa., 1907.) 

The Cross on the Rock. 
(Photo by Rev. W. W. Sholl, Rebersburg.) 


One mile south from the "High Rocks" the traveler 
comes to the justly celebrated falls of McElhattan 
Run. Here the two branches of this fine trout stream 
break over a cliff forty feet high, falling into a basin 
of foam and rainbows. An Indian fort or stockade 
is said to have stood over these falls. ( See the au- 
thor's ''More Pennsylvania Alountain Stories," Read- 
ing, ldl2.) From the Falls of McElhattan Run a 
good road leads East to Loganton, three miles. West 
of the Falls is the celebrated fruit orchard New Flor- 
ida, laid out by a wealthy promoter, Hon. William 
Poorman, some forty years ago. /\t Loganton a 
stop is generally made at the Logan House, which 
gained its great reputation as a hostelry under the 
successive managements of the Coles, father and son, 
and Sheriff' H. G. Milnor. One-fourth mile north 
of the Logan House, on the main road to Pine Sta- 
tion is the Sulphur Spring, once the favored retreat 
of the persecuted James Logan. East of Loganton 
three miles is Booneville, a settlement made by a 
brother of Daniel Boone, who dropped out of the 
family caravan, Kentuckyward, and made a home in 
this remote Central Pennsylvania valley. At Boone- 
ville an old fashioned camp meeting is still held dur- 
ing two Sundays in August, which is attended by va<=t 
throngs of mountaineers. However, since the cutting 
of most of the timber about the camp grounds, the af- 
fair has lost much of its picturesqueness. East three 
miles further is Tylersville, home of the Schrecken- 
gast family of big game hunters, of whom Franklin 


Schreckengast, aged 77 years, is still living. Philip 
Schreckengast was the greatest hunter in the family, 
and killed 93 wolves. Further east the valley narrows 
into Little Sugar Valley, and Fishing Creek cuts 
through the gorge, in one of the most delightful re- 
gions in our Highland's. This is called Colby's Gap 
from a mountaineer family murdered there in 1888. 
In the great mountain which rises east of the scene of 
the crime are numerous ''air holes*' — an Indian traitor 
is said to be entombed alive in one of these "bottom- 
less pits," cursed wath perpetual life. (See the au- 
thor's "Pennsylvania Mountain Stories.") From 
Loganton northeast there is an excellent road to Lock 
Haven by way of Salona and Mill Hall. It is now 
traversed by a motor bus. On the way a fine view 
of the majestic Flat Rock Mountain is obtained. So 
high is this mountain that it forms a part of every 
view, even from the extreme eastern end of Clinton 
County, and from Sand Mountain in Union County. 
At Booneville a road to the south leads through Green 
Burr Gap into Brush Valley. This road is fine from 
a scenic point of view, passing by a torrent with sev- 
eral waterfalls. At Loganton a road to the south 
leads to Bull Run Gap, and" thence over the summit 
into Stover's Gap in Brush Valley. On this summit 
a road leads into Hope Valley, thence by bridle path 
and trail to the headwaters of White Deer Creek and 
through Tunis Gap to the wild and romantic Black 
Gap. Fire roads, bridle paths and trails, lead in all 
directions in this most fascinating pleasure ground. 

Profile of Shikellemus, on Blue Hill, 
near Sunbury. 


There are permanent camps erected by hunters on the 
state lands at McCall's Dam and Crab Apple, two at- 
tractive spots on White Deer Creek. East of the 
Black Gap is the high rugged' mountain kno\vn as the 
Falsbarg, where Daniel Mark, born 1835, saw the 
last wolf in Sugar Valley, a gaunt grey monster, about 
1870. From the Black Gap an excellent road leads 
through Chadwick's Gap, past a fine patch of original 
white pine trees of great height, by the forest ranger's 
new house, and into the trim village of Eastville. 
Many hunters start out from there in the Fall, Em- 
manuel Beck being a favorite guide with those going 
in quest of deer. Brungard's General Store makes a 
specialty of supplies for hunting and fishing parties, 
who desire to camp in the forests. North of East- 
ville, on the "summer side" of the valley is the resi- 
dence of Edgar Austin Schwenk, also a noted guide 
for deer hunters, and famed far and wide for the red 
bear which he slew on the Buflfalo Path on Novem- 
ber 29, 1912. East of the Schwenk residence, at the 
juncture with the highway from Eastville is the old 
Barner homestead, where lived Henry Earner, mighty 
panther hunter of the old days. A short distance 
further east the main route to White Deer Valley is 
joined by the road from Ranch's Gap and the Summit 
country. We now come to the village of Carroll, 
until lately a prosperous lumbering community, but 
now left stranded by the "cleaning up" of the country 
at the hands of the rapacious loggers. The highway 
from Carroll north to Bixel's Church is very pic- 


turesque, and' from there to Green Grove Church, 
even more so. Midway between Bixel's Church and 
Green Grove on the roadside stands a mammoth orig- 
inal white pine, "all its graceful companions gone," 
yet spared in some mysterious way by the grasping 
lumbermen. This is Pipsisseway's Pine, about which 
many a legend is woven. It is said that whoever tries 
to cut this tree is seized with sudden instability of 
mind or extreme nausea, and while the heavy bark is 
considerably nicked, the grand old tree still weathers 
the storms. May it continue to do so for many a year to 
come! (See the author's "In the Seven Mountains." 
Reading, 11)14.) Green Grove Church is a deserted 
Esherite Church, with a queer and eerie atmosphere 
about, and a sparsely tenanted graveyard behind it, 
commanding a view of a vast expanse of mountain- 
ous country. A steep hill to the north leads down to 
the old Rockey homestead with its fine pond of water, 
where the trout jump and the swallows skim most 
every fine afternoon — spotted sandpipers breed' in the 
low meadows nearby — a most attractive spot where 
travelers are occasionally entertained. East of 
Rockey's road leads into the Kalbfleish Hollow, and 
thence into Ranch Gap, a fine, wild gorge, but much 
marred by recent forest fires. West from Rockey's 
the road leads to Hopple Hollow, while another road 
branching oflf to the north joins the road from Logan- 
ton to Lock Haven (via Salona), a mile west of Rose- 
crans. On this northerly road lives Jasper Bower, an 
old time deer hunter, who has several fine sets of stag 

Scenery on Quinn's Run, Clinton County. 


horns at his home, including a set of "shovel horns" 
or palmated' antlers, of curious form. Bower acts as 
guide to hunting parties in the Fall and is a good con- 
scientious man. East from Carroll the White Deer 
Turnpike leads to Tea Springs, near the headwaters 
of Fishing Creek. Here Forest Ranger Welsnans 
makes his home in a fine house. East of the forester's 
house the road leads three miles to the north to Zim- 
merman's. This famous stopping place has dispensed 
hospitality for over half a century. Situated in an 
elbow of the mountains, about 2,200 feet above sea 
level, it is an ideal sanatorium for the care-laden or 
those in ill health. Dave Zimmerman's smile is pro- 
verbial, the ruddy lights in the window as one ap- 
proaches at nightfall are guarantees of a cheery wel- 
come. "Zimmerman's," as this highland inn is affec- 
tionately called, is a favorite resort for hunters, fish- 
ermen and' tourists ; it is the nc plus ultra of the Cen- 
tral Pennsylvania Mountains. Here many of tl*e 
great local hunters often congregate, among them the 
genial Clement Herlacher, the catamount hunter, who 
for years has been a terror to various species of the 
wild feline race in the Pennsylvania highlands ; it was 
he who robbed the panther nests in Treaster V^alley, 
Mifflin County, of their cubs in 1892 and 1893. Good 
beds, good food, excessive cleanliness, unvarying 
courtesy, characterize the Zimmerman establishment. 
The writer will never forget several nights spent re- 
cently at this rare spot. At sunset he would climb 
to the top of the ridge back of the Zimmerman home 


to watch the sunset behind the Bald Eagle Mountain, 
and the glories of the afterglow on the rugged Fourth 
Gap. Then returning, he would look down on the re- 
mote farmhouse, the rosy lights gleaming in the win- 
dows, like a beacon in the wilderness. The peepers 
and a few frogs were chorusing, with the appearance 
of the new horned moon in the pale gold sky a whip- 
poorwill burst into song. Anon, the family watch 
dog barked shrilly in the cold night air. One night 
the writer was awakened by a dog tonguing a deer on 
Tea Knob, on the opposite side of Zimmerman's Run 
from the homestead, a wierd, unearthly sound, and 
the pity of it to disturb the deer which are trying so 
hard to feel at home in our mountains. Digression 
perhaps, but every dog running deer should be shot, 
no matter whom the canine belongs to, even if he is the 
head political boss of the county! And this from 
the pen of a lover of dogs, of good, decent dogs. A 
few weeks before the writer's last visit Zimmerman 
found the leg of a deer on Pine Knob, which had 
been evidently torn off by some vicious cur. It 
is said that dogs belonging to State Forest offi- 
cials are guilty of tonguing deer. From Zim- 
merman's there is a good road northward to the 
Dutch End, thence to Ranch's Gap. Lovers of scenery 
are recommended to climb Tea Knob if they wish to 
see the true glory of the Central Penr\sylvania High- 
lands. Also to climb Pine Knob and Buck Knob, and 
the Haystack, where Martin Blue, a boy of sixteen 
years, killed four black bears in 1870. Then the 


climber can feel he is in Eldorado Found, such a 
grand free reach for eyes used to buildings and 
books ! East of Zimmerman's the road by Pine Knob 
leads into the White Deer Pike. It is an interesting 
drive to White Deer Furnace, twelve miles, though 
marred by the ruin of recent forest fires. Near White 
Deer Furnace are the famous Clam Bake Springs, 
once a popular resort for picnickers but. now reduced 
to a desert since the timber has been removed. Four 
miles northeast of Zimmerman's road the road to 
Spruce Run Valley, by way of Rattling Gap, is well 
worth traveling; after reaching Spruce Run Valley, 
with its trim farms, fine views of Buffalo Valley, 
Jack's Mountain, and New Berlin Mountains in the 
dim distance are obtained. South of Zimmerman's 
a section of Buffalo Path "where the vanished mil- 
lions trod" in their migrations between the Great 
Lakes and' Georgia is now used as a fire road and 
hunters' path. In the depths of the forest, on Buffalo 
Path Run, the traversed road runs on the opposite 
side of the creek from the Buffalo Path, and for 
about a furlong the bison's trail in its original condi- 
tion can be seen. Here after the storms of a century 
and a quarter the indentations of the giants' hoofs 
are still discernible. A hemlock tree rubbed by the 
passing bison stood until about thirty years ago, when 
it was felled by the Pardee lumbering operations. 
The path led across Buffalo Valley, through Middle 
Creek Valley, over Shade Mountain, through the 
pass below Beaver Springs, along the east side of 


Shade Mountain, through Shade Gap, and thence 
southward. "Jake" Zimmerman shows the path to 
visitors, and it is well worth a pilgrimage by any stu- 
dent of natural history. Northeast of Zimmerman's 
five miles is Green's Gap in Nittany Mountain. It 
was here that occurred in February, 1801, the last 
Indian massacre in the State of Pennsylvania. Indian 
marauders had burned buildings and stolen cattle in 
the West Branch and Juniata Valleys to such an 
extent that Captain Harry Green, formerly of Mil- 
ton, and four companions pursued the fugitives 
across the mountains to Farrandsville, above Lock 
Haven. On the way back they camped for the night 
in Green's Gap. It was there that they were ambush- 
ed by the redmen who had followed them back and 
butchered with no quarter. The howling of wolves who 
fought over the remains attracted some of the settlers to 
the spot and uncovered the tragedy, A handsome 
marker has been erected on the public road to call at- 
tention to this sad event, which somehow or other 
escaped getting into history. There are still to be 
seen the old wolf dens in Green's Gap, where the 
wolves bred up to the time of Jake Zimmerman's 
father, David Zimmerman, who was born in 1821, 
and moved to Tea Springs about 1845. Dave Zim- 
merman, who in his day killed 600 deer, died in 1899. 
Reuben McCormick, 88 years old, who married one 
of David Zimmerman's sisters, recalls the killing of 
eleven wolves one winter in White Deer gorge, near 
the Buffalo Path, including one snow white wolf. 


This white wolf was said to be a "devil" and bear a 
charmed life, but a silver bullet laid him low. (See 
the author's "Wolf Days in Pennsylvania," Altoona, 
1914.) The scenery about Lock Haven* is unusual 
and picturesque. In the river a short distance above 
the town is Indian Island, said to contain the graves 
of the great war chief of the Susquehannock's, Pip- 
sisseway and his queen, Meadow Sweet. North of 
the town fronts Mount Pipsisseway, "the mountain 
that the sun sets back of," with the West Branch cut- 
ting its way through at its feet. Beyond this great 
mountain is Farrandsville, where the fine trout stream 
Lick Run empties into the Susquehanna. There is a 
romantic trail called the "Carrier Road," an old time 
"short cut" between the river and the Coudersport 
Pike that starts a short distance up Lick Run from 
Farrandsville and is well worthy of following. On 
the west side of the river from Farrandsville are 
many summer cottages occupied by persons from Lock 
Haven. On the hill back of these cottages was a cave 
which contained ice all summer long, until destroyed 
by the construction of a new carriage road in the 
Spring of 1899. 'Scootac Run empties into the Sus- 
quehanna near here; it is a fine stream, and near its 
head the deserted town of Revelton stands. It has an 
unusual romantic history. (See the writer's "Black 
Forest Souvenirs," Reading, 1914.) East of Far- 
randsville three miles Quinn's Run, now called 
"Queen's Run," empties into the Susquehanna. The 
scenery on that stream is fine, clear to the headwaters. 


Several fishing clubs have club houses along its wood- 
ed banks. At Dunnsburg, east of Lock Haven, is the 
grave of Peter Grove, perhaps the greatest borderer 
in Central Pennsylvania, who died in 1802. He is the 
hero of many a winter's tale, most of them true, for 
he was an implacable foe of the red race. At Grove 
Run, near the border of Cameron County, he is said 
to have leaped literally from the mountain top across 
the Sinnemahoning to escape his savage pursuers, and 
escaped. (A good pen picture of this great frontiers- 
man is given in the appendix of John F. Meginness' 
great book '"History of the Otzinachson Valley," Wil- 
liamsport, 1889.) Trout streams are very abundant 
in Clinton County, forests still cover 28 per cent, ot 
its total area, game is as abundant as anywhere in the 
United States (but that is not saying much), there is 
considerable lumbering being done. Much history 
was made on Clinton County's hills and in its valleys, 
Indians lingered longer within its borders, it has a 
charm for the lover of the' wilds that no section ot 
country of its size can excel. In the gorge of Curts's 
Run, west of Fort Horn monument, is the celebrated 
Spook Hollow. Here is a spot that has all manner 
of weird tales woven about it. It is a wild, silent re- 
treat, overgrown with rhododendron and grape vines, 
and contains some fine white pine and oak timber. 
The headless ghost of lieutenant Gaston Bushong. a 
French officer in charge of a trading post which an- 
tedated Fort Horn by half a century, and who was 
murdered by Indians, is said to wander about Spook 


Hollow at midday, hunting for his missing head', 
thrown into the river by the savages. (See the writer's 
"Pennsylvania Mountain Verses," Bradford, 190T.) 
East of Fort Horn the "river road" leads by the brick 
residence of late Major W. H. Sour, on whose farm 
was located the Indian town of Tishimingo. Arrow 
heads, pipes and other curious relics are found in this 
vicinity. At Pine Station, one mile east of Fort Horn, 
the road crosses the P. R. R. tracks and proceeds 
south, passing the site of the old Pine Camp Grounds, 
now much dilapidated, and the adjoining woods badly 
cut away by lumbermen, thence goes up a steep hill 
known as the "Toboggan," and continues along the 
face of the mountain, giving fine views down into the 
gorge, several hundred feet, and of the opposite 
mountain, the Round Top. Another path runs from 
the- Camp Grounds through the bottom of the gorge, 
following the waters of Henry Run, a most excellent 
trout stream. Near the head of Henry Run, the "wolf 
rocks," dens of the wolves in the old days are shown. 
The path there joins the fire-line and after a steep 
climb connects with the mountain road above men- 
tioned. Several cleared fields are hereabouts, relics 
of the fine Hamilton farm of other years. "Billy" 
Hamilton, who resided' on this farm, was of a stu- 
dious turn of mind and a hr-ndsome sun dial stood 
in his yard. A road to the w^est passes the home of 
the Simcox brothers, noted guides and hunters, and 
connects with the road to the Falls of McElhattan 
Run. Continuing south on the main road past the 


deserted Hamilton place one-half mile a trail to the 
left is noticed. It is called the "Switches" and is an 
old lumber road but now reduced to the dimensions 
of a Bridle Path. Following it five miles southeast 
it culminates in a wild glen called Panther Hollow, 
a favorite resort for picnic parties, and has a fine 
spring of water. Following the main road southward 
one mile from the "Switches" is the home of Chris- 
tian Bixel (1834-1916), one of the pioneers of the 
neighborhood who came to this rocky mountain top 
at the time of the Civil War and cleared a fine farm. 
When asked, shortly before his death, how he ac- 
complished such wonders in one short lifetime, he re- 
plied, ''A man can do anything if he will and he 
must." Mr. Bixel was a native of Bern, Switzerland. 
One mile south of the Bixel farm is the road to Nip- 
penose Valley (to east). There is much fine scenery 
all through this section. Following the main road 
Mt. Zion church is passed, near where resided for 
many years the famous trapper and hunter, Sam 
Motter. The main road continues until joining the 
road from Lock Haven at Rosecrans, and runs from 
thence into Loganton. The distance from Pine to 
Loganton is given as eight miles. Crossing the river 
bridge at McElhattan, and following the north bank 
of the Susquehanna east one mile the village of 
Chatham's Run is reached. Here is shown the home 
of Jacob Huff (1850-1910), "the Philosopher of the 
West Branch Valley," a writer who was known to 
legions of readers under the pen names of "Faraway 


Moses," ''Jake Haiden" and "Finnicky Finucane." 
The widow occupies tlie home, which contains many 
rehcs of the gifted author and humanitarian. Huff 
was born in "Hardscrabble," a wild glen about three 
miles west of Chatham's Run. His best known 
books were "Songs from the Desert," Williamsport, 
1895, and a posthumous volume of essays, "Philos- 
Qphy of Jake Haiden," Reading, 1911. A handsome 
tabernacle devoted to outdoor services, secular and 
religious, was dedicated to his memory at McElhattan 
Springs in July, 1915. The labor for the erection 
of this edifice was given gratis by former friends of 
the great writer. One mile west of McElhattan 
Station is Lin wood cemetery, a beautiful spot which 
contains a handsome Soldiers' Monument, erected in 
1900 through the enterprise of Mrs. Anna S. Stabley, 
of McElhattan. Like the Indian monument at "Loch- 
abar" it is one of the columns of the old State Capitol 
at Harrisburg. Wayne Township, in which McElhat- 
tan is situated, has always been noted for its patriot- 
ism. Out of a population of 550 souls, it sent 55 
soldiers to the front in the Civil War. South of Ein- 
wood Cemetery, 100 yards across the P. R. R. tracks 
is Union Cemetery, which contains the graves of 
John Q. Dyce (1830-1904) and Thomas G. Simcox 
(1840-1914), noted hunters, raftsmen and recounters 
of legends of the old' days. Ferns are abundant all 
through Clinton County, many different varieties, 
some of them pronounced rare by the naturalist, S. N. 
Rhoads, being found even by the rural roadsides. 


The fresh sprouts of the bracken are much appre- 
ciated by the mountaineers in the month of May, being 
cooked and eaten much like asparagus. The shoots 
of the milkweed are also regarded a great delicacy. 
The history of lumbering in the State was exempli- 
fied in its different stages in Clinton County. At first 
the logs were taken to mills run by water power on 
sledges drawn by oxen during the winter months, then 
came the rafting to Marietta, and points further 
south — the most picturesque period of this wasteful 
industry. Then came the era of the booms at Lock 
Haven and Williamsport when the logs were cut on 
hill sides adjacent to the rivers and rolled into the 
water to be carried to the mill towns during high 
water. That was the day of the bateau, the ark, the 
log-jam, broken by releasing the key-log, and many 
other well remembered features. With the di- 
minishing of the available supply clever Xew 
Englanders constructed splash dams in the moun- 
tain streams carrying the timber from the dis- 
tant gorges to the rivers. Finally little timber re- 
mained except what was distant from streams. Then 
came the day of the narrow gauge railway which 
could worm its way to the tops of the highest and 
most arid mountains, and the last great stands of 
timber in Warren County, in the Divide of Clearfield 
County, the whole of the Black Forest, in Northern 
Lycoming County, and in the summit country in 
Eastern Sugar Valley, became available for the big 
capacity mills the forests soon vanished as a dream. 

Near Weikert, Union County. 


The lumbermen were a picturesque lot, with their 
red and blue shirts, checked trousers, hob-nailed boots 
and ''devil may care" manner. They had many 
idiosyncrasies of dress as well as manner, one of 
which was to have the tail of their brightly colored 
shirts project through a hole cut in the back of their 
trousers. In such regalia they paraded the streets of 
Williamsport and Lock Haven twenty years ago, a 
good natured, rollicking, handsome set of young men, 
but today, gone like the wild pigeons whose nests they 
frequently pillaged. The first lumbermen cut only 
the choicest white pine, and made no money at it, 
the lumbermen who flourished during the hegira of 
the narrow guage railways after the Spanish-Ameri- 
can War, cut only what was left of the hemlock, and 
made collossal fortunes. They are now the pillars 
and philanthropists of Central Pennsylvania. Only 
one critcism can be passed on them: If they had re- 
planted as they cut, valuable timber would be gro\y- 
ing upon a million acres of land that today is a fire- 
swept, barren waste ; they would have been provid- 
ing a business for their children and their grandchil- 
dren, and above all for the permanency of the lumber 
business and the future prosperity of the Keystone 
State. Instead, they took the dollar that was before 
them, '"let the devil take the hindmost." Conserva- 
tion was unknown to them, their motives were those 
of a plague of locusts sweeping over a wheat field — 
leave nothing behind. A very refreshing exception to 
this rule exists in Warren County, where the Wheeler 


family has been engaged in lumbering in the Hickory 
\'alley Country since 1837. The lands which they 
cut over fifty years ago are almost ready for a second 
cutting. They did no replanting, but kept the fires 
out. Nature has done the rest. At the present time, 
however, the Wheeler family, the head of which is 
former Congressman Nelson P. Wheeler, employ a 
forester, a graduate from Prof. Schenk's Forest 
School at Biltmore, N. C, who is working out the re- 
forestation problem very nicely. The original pines 
on Bobb's Creek, on the Wheeler property, average 
180 feet in height ; they are cut into 90 foot sticks and 
sold to the British Admiralty to be put in battleships 
later sunk by the Kaiser's submarines. In Clin- 
ton County scientific lumbering was carried on at the 
estate of the late Colonel James W. Quiggle, where a 
fine stand of a thousand acres of mixed growth timber, 
that has been thinned out for commercial purposes re- 
peatedly, attests to the utility of such procedure. No 
forest fire of any consequence has swept through this 
timberland since 1854, consequently the vicinity of 
McElhattan Springs, Logan's Pond, the Shrine, Rip- 
pleside and Creekglade are deservedly popular recrea- 
tion spots for the public. 


The Great Spring — Penn's Cave — Nittany Mountain — 
State College — The Seven Mountains — John Penn's 
Valley — The Karoondinha — The Blue Rock — Original 
Pines — Grave of Lewis Dorman — Josh Roush — The 
Panther Spring — The Tom Motz Tract — Snow Shoe — 
Indian Grave Hill — Aaron Hall — Half Moon Lick — 
Bare Meadows — Stover's — Povalley — John Decker — 
Lechethal — Beavers — Baretown. 

CENTRE COUNTY has been described as a ''do- 
main in itself" and rightly so, as it is a verit- 
able Paradise for the nature lover, the Alpinist, 
the sportsman and the camper. Beginning at Hecla 
Park, with its beautiful forest-shaded lake at Mingo- 
ville there is an unending series of wonderful pic- 
tures. The road from Mingoville across Nit- 
tany Mountain to Penn's Cave is at its best in 
mid-June, when the traveler passes between a 
dotible row of flowering laurels for a distance of 
about five miles. Penn's Cave is beautifully situated 
at the foot of the termination of the lofty Brush 
Mountain. The cave is one of the finest in the East- 
ern States, the roof is high and a boat ride of one- 
quarter of a mile adds to the picturesqueness of the 
trip. The Karoondinha, or John Penn's Creek, rises 
in this cave. Many curious legends are clustered 



about the cave, which was a favorite resort for the 
redmen in early clays. Some of these have been col- 
lected into pamphlet form, and the book is sold at the 
Penn's Cave Hotel on the Cave property ("Penn s 
Grandest Cavern," Published by the Altoona Tribune 
Pubhshing Co., 191G.) The Penn's Cave hotel is in- 
deed an inn of individuality. Well run by R. P. & 
H. C. Campbell, graduates of Pennsylvania State Col- 
lege, it has attracted high grade patronage and its 
trade is steadily growing. ( )n high ground, it is an 
ideal healthful situation. Beyond Penn's Cave the 
route to Spring Mills is through a quaint farming coun- 
try, the roads lined with giant trees. At Spring Mills, 
"Billy" Rokenbrod, a veteran hotel man, runs the old 
Spring Mills Hotel. Rokenbrod makes a specialty ot 
catering to wants of tourists, who are assured of a 
cheery and substantial welcome at his hostelry. Near 
Centre Hall, east of Spring Mills, the Old Fort Hotel, 
near the scene of an Indian massacre, is noted for its 
cooking and excellent service. Pennsylvania State 
College, at the foot of Nittany Mountain, is too well-- 
known to require description in these pages. It has 
been called a huge machine for turning farmer's sons 
into expert mechanics and engineers, to meet the needs 
of this great industrial age. In addition the course of 
military instruction is unusually fine. The buildings 
are up-to-date, with the exception of the old College 
Hall, built in 1863, which is the most attractive look- 
ing structure of the lot. X'isitors to this building 
should not fail to ascend to the tower, where a most 


expansive and inspiring view of "Pennsylvania beauti- 
ful" can be obtained. In ''College Hall" is an inter- 
esting Natural History Museum, key for which can 
be obtained from the janitor, whose office is on the 
ground floor. In it is a fairly complete collection of 
Pennsylvania fauna and avifauna, including a superb 
panther. The huge "relief map" of Pennsylvania 
showing mountains and geographical formations is 
worthy of observation. It is opposite the main door- 
way of College Hall. The agricultural department is 
well worth a visit, and a stroll through a narrow path- 
way lined with fir trees, known as the "Ghost Walk," 
is productive of serious thoughts. The road from 
State College to the Seven Mountains leads through 
the old town of Boalsburg, on the outskirts of which 
is the fine colonial residence of Captain Theodore Da- 
vis Boal, ''veteran of the border" and philanthropist. 
The gateway to the Seven Mountains through 
the gorge between Bald Top and Tussey Knob 
is both wild and picturesque. At the head of 
this pass are the famous Bare Meadows, a deep 
bog, overgrown with rhododendron, where still 
stand a few of the fine red spruce trees which once 
thickly covered its surface. Unfortunately a forest fire 
devastated the "Meadows" in May, 1916, so as a beauty 
spot it must go into retirement for several years. Many 
rare flowers grew in the Aleadows, among them the 
Pitcher Plant (Sarracenea purpurea). At the south 
side of the Bare Meadows a bridle path leads across the 
mountains into Stone Valley, Mifflin County, where ac- 


commodations can be secured at an excellent private 
boarding place at McAlevy's Fort. The road from 
Spring Mills, along the south side of Penn's 
X'alley. skirting the banks of the Karoondinha, is 
beautiful in the extreme. The remains of the old 
beaver dams at Beaver Dams Station can still be seen 
in the wide meadows. The road from Sober Station 
into the Seven Mountains is well worth following. The 
gorge is filled with the original white pine and hemlock 
timber, with rhododendron trees (Rhododendron 
maximum) forty feet high growing among the tall 
boles of the evergreens. On the summit, the road leads 
into Decker Valley, the home of Captain John Decker, 
the mighty Nimrod and slayer of the last native wild 
elk in Pennsylvania. Captain Decker entertains many 
hunters and tourists and is a veritable mine of informa- 
tion concerning the old days. From his home the road 
adjoins in about a mile the main turnpike which crosses 
the Seven Mountains from Centre Hall to Milroy. 
The road from Sober Station to Coburn (in 
Penn's Valley) is beautiful in the extreme. Much 
original timber is standing along the Karoondinha, 
which enhances the scenery considerably. About 
a mile east of Sober, a "bridge crosses the Ka- 
roondinha, on which is the unique signboard, "To Po- 
valley." In reality the sign means to "Poe Valley," and 
the wilder regions of the Seven Mountains, including 
the Lechetlial. It was to Poe Valley in 1838, that the 
noted poet, Edgar Allan Poe, came from Philadelphia 
in search of an inheritance. The remains of the house 


where he stopped is still pointed out to travellers. Deer 
abound in this valley, and the wolves made it one of 
their last retreats. Jonas J. Barnet of Weikert, Union 
County, heard them tonguing deer at night when camp- 
ing in Poe valley in the winter of 1863 and a wolf fol- 
lowed Andrew Hironimus out of the valley one night 
during the same winter. At Coburn, there is a fine 
grove of gigantic original white pine trees, along the 
east slope of the gorge where the Karoondinha cuts 
through Tussey Mountain. There is no driving road 
through the gorge, but there is an excellent bridle path. 
In the gorge, at the Blue Rock, is shown the site of the 
birthplace of Daniel Karstetter, (1824-1907) one of 
the greatest panther hunters in the Seven j\Ioun tains. 
Following the Karoondinha to Cherry Run, much fine 
mountain scenery is revealed. There is a superb rock 
formation to the mountains that is reminiscent of Alp- 
ine countries, and much original hemlock on the moun- 
tain tops. The banks of the stream are dotted with 
hunters' and campers' cabins. In Allemingle Valley 
are the remains of deer stockades built many 
years ago by Josiah Roush, "the Terrible Hunt- 
er." The road from Coburn to Woodward skirts 
the foot of the Tussey Mountains, and passes 
through many fine stretches of original timber. 
Pine Creek rises and sinks at several points along 
this road. About three miles east of Coburn on this 
road are the celebrated Caves of Coburn. These cav- 
erns are on a level with the waters of Pine Creek and 
can only be entered at low water, preferably in mid- 


summer. There are several imposing chambers in 
tlicse caves, in one of which is the huge stalagmite for- 
mation supposed to be the funeral pyre of the wicked 
Indian prince, Red Panther, miraculously turned to 
stone in a single night. (See the author's "Pennsylvania 
Mountain Stories"). Competent guides, who will pro- 
vide torches can be secured at the farmhouses adjacent 
to the caves. About half a mile west of the caves is a 
road to High \'alley. The signboard says ''To Ingle- 
by." This is the best route to take to visit picturesque 
High Valley, once noted for its big timber and big 
game, or to ascend the fine peak known as Red Top, 
one of the highest points in the Seven Mountains. At 
Ingleby station a path crosses the mountains to the head 
of P»lack Wolf or Treaster Valley in Mifflin County. A 
half mile west of Woodward is shown the home of 
Josiah Roush, "the Terrible Hunter." This unique 
character, who learned his skill in the chase from 
Shaney John, an old Indian, tracked the deer on the 
snow, until driving them into the water he captured 
them and cut their throats. He also captured 
many deer alive, which he sold to Zoological 
Gardens. Exposure shortened his life and he 
died at the age of fifty-five years. The remains 
of his *'deer pens" where he always kept a few live 
deer are still to be seen about the ancient dwelling. 
At Woodward, "Charley" Hosterman's hotel is well 
worth a visit. It is a well kept establishment, more like 
a survival of the inns of the Eighteenth Century than 
a modern caravansarv. Until about 1908, Hosterman 


kept and proudly exhibited in the inn-yard specimens 
of the now-extinct breed of Pennsylvania Colonial 
chickens, the Creeleys. As a recounter of wolf and 
panther stories, (the Dorman panther and the last pack 
of black wolves in John Penn's \'alley, in particular), 
Hosterman has few equals and no superiors. The beds 
are clean and the cooking good, the former a rarity in 
the hotels in the Central Pennsylvania highlands. From 
W'oodward. the road through the Penn's Valley nar- 
rows to Hartleton and Miffhnburg, formerly Young- 
manstown, is much traversed, and contains many fine- 
bits of wild scenery. It is now being sadly "thinned 
out" by theorists in the employ of the State For- 
estry Department. \ isitors to Woodward should not 
miss taking a "hike" into Pine Creek Hollow, which lies 
beyond towering Shreiner Mountain. The Tom Motz 
tract of original white pine trees, one of the few tracts 
of such timber remaining in the State, is a treat for the 
eyes, never to be forgotten. The giant trees, rising to 
a height of nearly two hundred feet, and straight as gun 
barrels, are always sighing in the wind, and are weird 
and sad survivors of the grand forests which once cov- 
ered the Central Pennsylvania uplands. A fine stream 
flows through the centre of the tract, giving the locality 
excellent camping facilities. This tract should be pre- 
served for future generations — to show Pennsylvanians 
-to-come the kind of timber that once grew with lavish 
prodigality in our highlands. The State ought to buy 
the tract, as it is of small size, about 100 acres, and 
therefore will not involve a huffe outlav like would be 


the case if the big Cook tract on the Allegheny river 
was purchased. A mile further east in the hollow is 
the celebrated panther spring, near where on Christmas 
Eve, 1868, Lewis Dorman, of Woodward, slew a gi- 
gantic Pennsylvania lion or panther. The road from 
Woodward to Fox's Gap, on the north side of Penn's 
Valley, passes St. Paul's church, in the graveyard of 
which is seen the tomb of Dorman, who died Novem- 
ber 27, 1905. It is a favorite resort for devotees of the 
chase in John Penn's \'^alley, who regard this Nimrod 
and his seemingly unbelievable exploits with wild 
beasts almost as their patron saint. The road through 
Fox's Gap is full of grand scenic effects, although much 
of the original timber is now being removed to feed 
the new saw-mill at the mouth of the hollow. There is 
a superb view from the summit, the sunsets being the 
chief attraction. Where the road dips down to Brush 
Valley, the gap is called Minnick's Gap. At the foot 
of the mountain is a natural mineral spring, tasting not 
unlike Carlsbad water. It was a favorite resort for 
Indians from the South who were afflicted with fever 
and ague. There is a fine lake or pond not far from 
this spring, which is much resorted to by wild fowl of 
various kinds in the Spring months. The road leads 
north into the quaint village of Wolfe's Store, noted 
for its bleak looking haunted house (See the Author's 
"The Indian Steps," Reading Pa., 1912). Following 
this road in an easterly direction, the scenery is superb, 
wild and primitive. Deer horns and bear paws adorn 
many of the bams which skirt the roadside. To feel 





the full effect of this weirdness, this grand road should 
be traversed towards sunset — the Golden Hour on- 
wards. Several miles east of Wolfe's Store is seen a 
superb original wild cherry tree in the yard of a pub- 
lic school, around which many legends linger. With its 
mate, unhappily cut down subsequent to 1911, it was 
said to have been planted, according to the Indian cus- 
tom, to commemorate the betrothal of Francis Penn, a 
young adventurer and supposed nephew of William 
Penn and the beautiful Indian princess, Marsh Mari- 
gold. Later, the girl was murdered by a former lover, 
who was captured and buried alive in the wild water- 
fall of Elk creek, "The Devil's Plunge," high up in 
Stover's Gap. (See "The Indian Steps"). Some 
claim that the Penn in question was none other than 
William Penn's romantic and impressionable grand- 
son, John Penn (1729-1795) for whom Penn's Valley 
and John Penn's Creek are named. (See a sketch 
of his career in Keith"s "Provincial Councillors.") Be- 
yond "Francis Penn's Betrothal Tree" several miles is 
Stover's. (Livonia P. O.) This stopping place for hunt- 
ters and travellers has always been one of the favorite 
resorts in our highlands. Kept by several generations 
of Stovers, it has always been noted for its cordial wel- 
comes and good cooking. G. B. Stover proudly exhib- 
its the horns of the "Centennial Stag," killed by his 
father, Reuben Stover (1837-1910) in 1876, which has 
eighteen points and is of great beam and spread. Until 
1915, the entrance to the Brush Valley Narrows was 
through a dense forest of white pines. Now all the 


timber has been cut, giving the road a dismal aspect. 
The Forest House, built by Tom Tunis, an Irish pros- 
pector, before the Civil War and now^ occupied by the 
state forester of the district, is a picturesque structure 
some half dozen miles down the Narrows. Further on 
the road leads into Buffalo X'alley, where the enormous 
bam, 68x100, built by Tunis in Hope Valley, and later 
moved and rebuilt at Cowan, is pointed out to 
strangers. The road through Stover's Gap is wild and 
picturesque. As previously stated, a branch of Elk 
Creek heads in this gorge, forming the waterfall where 
Francis Penn's foul enemy is entombed. There is a 
fine view from the summit over seemingly endless 
ranges of mountains. To the east, the state owns a 
fine tract of original yellow pine timber, a sight well 
worth seeing. On the summit, a road to the east runs 
down into Hope Valley, where the famous Shreader 
Spring is located and where the foundations of the 
original Tunis barn can be seen. This is among the 
wildest and most romantic regions in all our highlands ; 
game is abundant. At Shraeder spring, where the 
Bellwood Hunting Club of Altoona have their camp, 
i> the head of that fine trout stream, White Deer 
creek. It is well worthy of a visit, legends clus- 
ter about the quaint spot. Where the road dips 
down to Sugar Valley, the glen is called Bull Run 
Gap. It was until a few years ago heavily timber- 
ed with the original hemlock, and quite a little 
of this is still standing. Twenty years ago, along 
the "winter side" of Brush Valley there were dozens 




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of quaint, old-fashioned log cabins, but these have been 
gradually "weather-boarded" until at present few re- 
main. In those days there was still much original tim- 
ber on the "winter side" which added greatly to the 
drive from Elk Creek Narows to Kreamersville, now 
called Smullton. From Bellefonte there are many in- 
teresting excursions. ]\Iany persons visit the new pris- 
on at Rock \^iew, ably presided over by the expert 
criminologist and orator, John Francies, late of Pitts- 
burg. Others prefer a visit to the Pine Barrens 
about State College, or an excursion to Buffalo 
Run to pay their respects to the veteran panther 
hunter, George G. Hastings. A fine drive is up 
Moose Run, and around Indian Grave Hill, past 
the "silent city" where over 1,000 giant ant hills 
are located, and on to Snow Shoe. Snow Shoe 
is a desolate looking place, denuded of timber but .•?till 
cherishing many old tales of the Snow Shoe Com.pany 
and the big game fields. John Uzzle's hotel built in 
1864 and a notable structure on the mountain in its day. 
is well-kept, and harbors many distinguished lodgers, 
among them Robert Askey, grandson of the famous 
panther and wolf hunter, Samuel Askey, who died in 
1857. A mile north of Snow Shoe is the home of John 
Gunsaulus, born 1837, another veteran hunter, a genial 
and companionable man. In his boyhood, wolves were 
so abundant that his mother used to pound on the 
house with a stick of wood to make them cease howl- 
ing in the mornings. Excellent guides for Bare- 
town can be obtained in Snow Shoe. J. F. "Slim" 


Bums is about the best known of these, and makes 
an interesting companion. The trip to Baretown 
through a cheerless region is repaid by this natural 
wonder. It is like a great overthrown city of stone, 
with streets, courts and corridors. The strange 
legend connected with this most stupendous relic 
of its kind in Pennsylvania is given in the au- 
thor's "Pennsylvania Mountain Stories." Latterly, 
it has been tenanted by panthers and wild cats. 
Aaron Hall, "The Lion Hunter of the Juniata," 
killed several panthers which sought sanctuary 
there, and in recent years Sol. Roach of Johns- 
town, has taken a number of wild cats from its rocky 
fortresses. West of Snow Shoe is the mouth of Rock 
Run, the wild gorge where Hall killed most of his fifty 
panthers between 1845 and 1869. Further on, and an 
excellent view can be obtained from the New York 
Central tracks, is the "Horseshoe Curve" of Black Mo- 
shannon (Moose-Hanne or Moose Stream) where the 
creek makes a perfect horse-shoe of stupendous pro- 
portions. It is best appreciated when the livid sun is 
going down behind the distant fire-swept hills. A le- 
gend is told of this horse-shoe, giving it a Satanic orig- 
in. This will be found in the Author's "Indian Steps." 
Another horse-shoe, of a diflferent kind, is on the Ty- 
rone and Clearfield Railway south of Philipsburg, Cen- 
tre County, where Sells Brothers circus was wrecked 
in 1886. To many it is finer than the better known 
"Horse-Shoe Curve" on the P. R. R. west of Altoona. 
Aaron Hall, the great hunter, resided in a handsome 


brick mansion at the foot of the Allegheny massif, back 
of Unionville, about fifteen miles southwest of Belle- 
fonte. He died in September, 1892. Undoubtedly, he 
was the greatest big game hunter of his generation in 
Pennsylvania. His hunting camp on Rock Run was a 
marvel to young and old. When Hon. C. K. Sober of 
Lewisburg first visited this camp, Hall had the hides 
of eleven panthers hanging up, as well as the skins of 
many bears and other animals. He was a noted deer 
slayer as well, the scene of many of his activities being 
about the romantic Half Moon Lick, not far from the 
watershed of Rock Run. For a more complete account 
of Aaron Hall and Half Moon Lick see the Author's 
"Juniata Memories," Philadelphia, 1916. Some of the 
last beavers in Pennsylvania built their dams and 
flourished about the headwaters of Beech Creek up un- 
til 1870, according to John Gunsaulus. They were 
slaughtered and driven out by the opening up of lum- 
beringand log-floating enterprises on that watershed. At 
Curtin, several miles east of Bellefonte, is the substan- 
tial homestead of the Curtin family. Andrew Gregg 
Curtin (1815-1894), the immortal War Governor of 
Pennsylvania is said to have been born in a smaller 
house at the rear of the larger edifice. A charcoal iron 
furnace, owned by the Curtin family for over a cen- 
tury and one of the last in operation in the State is 
still run on this property. A visit to Centre County 
would not be complete without a few hours spent in 
Bellefonte. Chief in interest is the Big Spring filled 
with huge lazy trout. From this spring the city sup- 


ply is obtained. This spring was admired by General 
Lafayette during his second visit to the United States 
in 1824, and the town is said by some to have 
been named by him. Then there is the old Cur- 
tin residence, for some years the abode of the 
great War Governor, further up the hilly main 
street, now the clubhouse of the B. P. O. Elks, 
but shown to visitors. At the top of this street 
is the Court House, with its high classic portico, re- 
cently remodelled within, but happily not without, with 
fine bronze Statue to Governor Curtin in the front 
yard. Back of the statue are bronze panels giving 
names of every soldier from Centre County who served 
in the Civil War. In the Court House is a library con- 
taining oil paintings of all the Judges from Centre 
County who presided over its Courts, and well worth a 
visit. The famous War Governors' Conference held 
September 24, 1862, which Governor Curtin was large- 
ly instrumental in bringing about, took place at the Lo- 
gan House, Altoona. Xo marker of any kind com- 
memorates this historic and important event, and Cur- 
tin's only monument is in Bellefonte. On the topmost 
hill or citadel of Bellefonte is a fine old colonial struc- 
ture, Bellefonte Academy, an institution which has 
graduated many youths destined to play an important 
part in the affairs of their State and Nation. It is well 
known that Bellefonte has produced three Governors of 
Pennsylvania — Andrew G. Curtin, General James 
A. Beaver and General Daniel H. Hastings. In 
Bellefonte is published one of the most remarkable 








Ol ^ 










•s ? 

03 0. 



newspapers in the United States, the "Democratic 
Watchman," edited by Hon. P. Gray ]\Ieek, Well 
printed on fine paper, full of wit and wisdom, 
local and the world's news, it is as interesting 
to a resident of Calcutta, as to a person born 
and bred in Bellefonte. As a result, it has regular sub- 
scribers in every part of this country and abroad. The 
"Watchman" office is situated on the main street, near 
the bridge over Spring Creek, and nearly opposite to 
the Bush House. The Bush House is a hostelry famous 
the nation over, erected in 186T by George Bush, 
a prominent lumberman and father of George Tomb 
Bush, author of that readable book of travel "Forty 
Thousand !Miles Around the World," and a leader in 
Afasonic and fraternal circles generally. Other excel- 
lent newspapers published in Bellefonte are the "Key- 
stone Gazette," edited by Thomas H. Harter, the im- 
mortal "Boonestiel" of Pennsylvania German litera- 
ture; the "Bellefonte Republican," ably conducted by 
Charles E. Dorworth, and the "Centre Democrat," the 
mouthpiece of the local Democratic organization. The 
following article on "Centre County's Mountains" from 
the pen of Richard ]\I. Field, a United States geologist, 
appeared in a recent number of that excellent newspa- 
per, the Centre County Reporter, of Centre Hall : "Cen- 
tre county has long been famous for the beauty of its 
scenery. The Seven Mountains and the view of Penn's 
and Nittany \'alleys from the tower at State College 
have been heralded' far beyond the borders of the State. 
Perhaps it is hard for us to realize today what an im- 


passable wilderness were once the now fertile and cul- 
tivated valleys of Central Pennsylvania. For a long 
time the great system of mountains and valleys which 
stretches from Alabama to New York formed an all 
but impassable barrier to the eastern pioneer who 
sought to fight his way against mountains, forests, and 
Indians to a new home in the west. 'Up to the door- 
sills of the log huts stretched the solemn and myste- 
rious forest. There were no openings to break its con- 
tinuity; nothing but endless leagues and leagues of 
shadowy, wolf haunted woodland * * through the gray 
aisles of the forest men walked always in a kind of 
midday gloaming * * ♦ Save on the border of a lake, 
from a clifftop, or on a bald knob * * they could not 
anywhere look out for any distance. All the land was 
shrouded in one vast forest. It covered the moun- 
tains from crest to river bed, filled the plains, and 
stretched- in somber and melancholy wastes towards the 
Mississippi' — (Theodore Roosevelt, the spread of 
English-speaking Peoples, in 'The Winning of the 
West,' edition of 1905, Vol. 1, pp. 146-147). It was the 
lumberman and miner who first really conquered the 
country. The former cleared the shaly slopes and lime- 
stone caves and valleys, the latter pushed in the rail- 
roads and developed the famous coal and iron resources 
of the state, which have so ably helped to make the 
United States the foremost iron and steel producing 
country of the world. Nature not only provided the 
lumber and the coal, the banks of ore which could be 
developed and mined so easily, but she also provided 


close at hand a bountiful supply of pure limestone and 
ganister which are necessary in the metallurgical pro- 
cesses. But all this is an old story to the people of 
Pennsylvania and of Centre county in particular. I say 
Centre county, in particular, because no other county of 
the State so combines all its natural resources as does 
this geographic centre — coal, iron, wood, limestone, 
glass sand, Penn's Cave, Seven Mountains, fertile val- 
leys. State College, etc. Here the traveler finds rep- 
resented all the natural, intellectual and scenic re- 
sources of the state. If he would appreciate Pennsyl- 
vania he must certainly see Centre county. There are 
certain intellectual resources of the county which are 
perhaps not so well known to the majority of its in- 
habitants as are its economic ones ; I am referring espe- 
cially to the beautiful delineated type of mountain 
structure and the fossiliferous rocks. Appalachian 
Mountain structure is famous the world over, and it 
was due to the efforts of such men as Rogers, of the 
first Pennsylvania Survey; Bailey Willis, of the U. S. 
Geological Survey ; and W. M. Davis, of Harvard Uni- 
versity, in this region of folding and erosion without 
great faulting that America was first able to publish to 
the world the mechanics of mountain building. The 
study of the Appalachian Mountains of Central Penn- 
sylvania has proved the most noble chapter in the 
books of American geology. The fossiliferous rocks 
have yet to be studied in any great detail. Already 
much work has been spent upon them and in time they 
will probably be as fully described as the rocks of New 



York and the southeastern states. These tremendous 
thicknesses of sandstones, hmestones and shales 'and 
their induded fossils which thrived in the great inland 
sea long before powerful earth movements raised and 
folded the sediments into what are now the eroded hills 
and valleys of Pennsylvania, are of compelling interest 
to all students of the earth's history. It perhaps may 
seem strange to the economist of Centre county that 
his locality is probably more famous among foreign na- 
tions for its scientific interests tlian for its agricultural 
and mining possibilities, nevertheless this fact should 
be appreciated." 


The Seven Mountains — The Kettle — Detwiler — Milliken's 
High Top — Jack's Mountain — The Little Valley — 
Havice — Black Wolf or Treaster — New Lancaster — 
The Juniata — Alexander's Spring — Winegartner's Cove 
— Naginey Cave — Logan's Spring. 

THE MOST impressive entrance to the scenic 
grandeur of ^Mifflin County is through the 
rocky gorge of Jack's Creek, several miles 
north of Lewistown. Beyond this savage defile, there 
is a hill-girt valley, behind which loom the lofty camel- 
backs of the Seven Mountains, with Sample Knob in 
the foreground like a swart sentinel and, the entire 
scene culminating in Milliken's High Top, a height 
which seems to pierce the clouds. Beyond to the west 
lie the beautiful and fertile Kishacoquillas and Stone 
Valleys, the former named for the noted chieftain, 
Kishecokelas. These valleys contain several interest- 
ing caverns which are described at length in Sherman 
Day's grand work "Pennsylvania Historical Collec- 
tions" ; Philadelphia, 1843. There are many Mennon- 
ites and Amish farmers in this section, very prosperous 
and contented, who lend a picturesque and old-world 
flavor to the region. Running sotttheast, the level 
range of towering Jack's ^Mountain prolongs itself un- 
til lost in an infinity of mountains. Running into the 
Seven ^Mountains are a mmiber of deep, narrow val- 
leys, shut off from the outside world and civilization 



by intervening ridges. These are chiefly interesting to 
the faunal naturalist, as being the last stronghold of 
the larger carnivora in this Keystone State. The town 
of Siglerville is the outpost of civilization of this min- 
iature wilderness, where roads converge from Havice, 
Black W^olf or Treaster, the Lechethal, New Lancaster 
and other remote valleys. Along the ridges which shut 
off these remote glens from the valleys of Jack's Creek, 
Honey Creek and the Kishocoquillas are many log cab- 
ins, formerly inhabited by noted hunters. These men 
made excellent livings hunting and trapping in the gold- 
en age of the big game fields. Elks lingered in this 
region, on the divide between the head of Treaster 
Brook and the Karoondinha until about 1850, black 
wolves (canis lycaon) were numerous forty years ago, 
and one or two may linger there still. Panthers bred 
there until little more than twenty years ago, and one 
or two may still inhabit their ledges and caves in the 
adjoining mountains. There is an excellent bridle path 
and foot-path leading up Treaster Valley, and crossing 
the divide on the old panther trail, which leads ulti- 
mately to High Valley and the Red Top. A trip along 
the "panther trail" is well calculated to give an excel- 
lent idea of the grand scenery of this sequestered re- 
gion. Treaster Valley takes its name from its first 
white settler, Dan Treaster, who located there about 
1840. During his first years in the valley, the wolves 
were so bold that they marooned him in his stable all- 
night on several occasions. Each of these wild valleys 
were considered the private hunting domain of a single 

The Panther Cliffs, Treaster Brook, Mifflin County. 


old hunter. John Swartzell ruled the wilds of Havice, 
Dan Treaster was undisturbed monarch of Black Wolf, 
while Joe Knepp controlled the hunting in New Lan- 
caster. Swartzell and Treaster conserved their game 
better than Knepp who invited outsiders to hunt with 
him, consequently there is little more than small game 
today in New Lancaster Valley, while the panther oc- 
casionally roars in Havice and Black Wolf. One of the 
most beautiful spots in Honey Creek Valley is Alex- 
ander's Stream, a vast spring or fountain which rushes 
from a hillside closely resembling the famed Vale of 
Vaucluse in Provence. As the water of the Alps is 
said to pour from the Fountain of Vauduse, water 
from the torrents of the Seven Mountains flows from 
Alexander's Stream, This fountain was much admired 
by Edgar Allan Poe during his fabled visit to the 
Seven Mountains in 1838. Not far from this rare at- 
traction is the wonderful limestone cavern, Naginey 
Cave. Ranking with the endless caverns in Virginia 
and the Wyandot Cave of Indiana and surpassing all 
Pennsylvania caves except Penn's Cave, it has been 
strangely neglected of recent years. The weird legend 
connected with Naginey Cave will be found in the 
Author's "In the Seven Mountains," Reading, 1914. On 
the hill back of Naginey Cave is a vast sink known as 
Winegartner's Cove. In some of its serried recesses ice 
is said to remain all Summer. Around this sink clus- 
ters a terrible legend, which is also recounted in "In 
the Seven Mountains." The various streams heading 
in the Seven Mountains all empty into the Juniata, 


which forms one of the fairest features of Mifflin 
County. The I^ewistovvn Narrows and the Packsaddle 
are also among the great natural beauties of this coun- 
ty which are formed by the Juniata carving its way 
through the towering mountains. "This brave little 
river," says Governor Brumbaugh, "instead of winding 
its way towards the Susquehanna around the high 
mountains, breaks its way through thirteen separate 
mountain ranges between Huntingdon and Juniata 
Bridge." It is a stream worthy of its Indian name and 
the hosts of beautiful traditions and stirring historic 
events clustered about it. Unfortunately, dwellers 
along its banks have allowed it to be foully polluted by 
factories and sewers, but public opinion is slowly but 
surely being aroused to end this nuisance. In the 
"Guide to the Pennsylvania Railroad" published in 
1855, Jack's Mountain beyond Mt. Union, at the south- 
easterly end of the county is thus described : "The gap 
of Tack's Mountain presents a peculiarly wild and rug- 
ged appearance. The sides of the mountain are almost 
entirely destitute of vegetation, and covered with im- 
mense masses of gray and time-worn rocks." It is 
these rocks which the sand-rock quarrymen covet from 
the State, their present owner and which they are seek- 
ing to destroy. Quarrymen have already destroyed 
much fine rock scenery along the Juniata. Posterity 
will hold them responsible for this shameless work. 
Logan's Spring, where this great chieftain spent much 
time, near Reedsville, is a spot well worthy of a tour- 
ist's visit. 


Penn's Valley Narrows — The Old Tavern — Buffalo Valley 
— Buffalo X Roads — New Cemetery, Lewisburg — The 
Tight End — Bill Pursley — ^Jacob Weikert — Jonas 
Barnet — Shikellemus — The Miller Farm. 

TOURISTS entering the Highlands from the East 
had, as stated previously, begun their excur- 
sions from old Lewisburg, formerly Derrs- 
town, that picturesque college town on the Susquehan- 
na. Before starting for the mountains, a day can be 
profitably spent in historic "Derrstown." To the lover 
of natural scenery, the old town, culminating in the 
high, wooded hill on which Bucknell University stands, 
must always possess a peculiar charm. The stately col- 
lege buildings are shaded by splendid white oaks, but 
the "borer" has destroyed most of the original yellow 
pines which formerly graced this handsome grove. The 
natural history museum at the college library, shown 
to visitors by Prof. W. E. Martin, a courteous savan^ 
i.^ well worth a visit. Most of the specimens have been 
mounted by students at the college and are creditable 
examples of taxidermy. Part of the valuable collec- 
tion of Indian relics gotten together by the late Dr. 
W. E. H. Gernerd of Muncy are on exhibition in 
handsome oak and glass cases in this museum. 
From the "college hill," Prof. Martin points out with 



pride the site of the former home of John Brady, the 
pioneer, who was killed by Indians on Wolf Run near 
Muncy in 1779. In the distance Montour Mountain 
to the southeast. Jack's Mountain to the west and the 
Buffalo Range to the north dominate the rugged land- 
scape. While in the town a visit should be paid to W. S. 
O'Brien's taxidermist shop near the P. R. R. station, 
where splendid examples of the local fauna are con- 
stantly on hand. Derr's old mill, built in 1779, :s 
worthy of a visit, also "Jake" Horam's collection of 
American buffalo robes (next door to O'Brien's shop). 
Hon. C. K, Sober, veteran naturalist and for twenty- 
one years a member of the Pennsylvania State Board 
of Game Commissioners, has several interesting relics 
in his residence, among them a set of buck-horns grown 
through a tree, and a fine specimen of a panther (felis 
couguar) killed in Pocohontas County, West Virginia, 
in 1901. H. E. Spyker, another well-known citizen, 
possesses a good set of Pennsylvania elk horns, from 
an elk killed in the Blockhouse Country in 1830. The 
old Court-house, still happily, and unlike the ones in 
Middlebivg and Belle fonte, not remodelled, is well 
worth a visit for its classic dignity. A visit to the New 
Cemetery will well repay the time so expended. Near 
the front entrance is the grave of George Derr, 
a son of Lewis Derr, founder of Lewisburg, 
Near at hand are the graves of Mary Q. Brady, 
widow of John Brady the pioneer, and Colonel 
John Kelly the Hero of the Battle of Prince- 
ton and slayer of the last wild buffalo in Pennsylvania 


In travelling across the valley in the direction of New 
Berlin, a visit should be paid to Driesbach Church, in 
the graveyard of which is the $10,000 monument to 
Samuel ]\Iaclay, at one time United States Senator 
from Pennsylvania, who died in 1811. The State erect- 
ed this costly monument though it begrudged a simple 
marker to Colonel Conrad Weiser. North of Dreis- 
bach Church is Buffalo X Roads, famous as being the 
scene of the slaying of the last buffalo by Colonel Kel- 
ley on February 19, 1801. The skull of the monster 
hung for years on a pitch pine tree in the neighbor- 
hood, until blown down in a heavy gale in 1823. At 
Mazeppa, formerly Boyerstown, is shown the hide of 
a red bear {Ursiis arctos Schwenkii) — a rare variety 
of the Pennsylvania fauna. It was killed November 
29, 1912, and mounted by Taxidermist O'Brien of Lew- 
isburg. At the ''Tight End" or "Narrow Point" of 
Buffalo Valley, where the White Mountains and Paddy 
Mountains close in together, was a colony of big game 
hunters. They resided principally about Weikert. Jo- 
nas J. Barnet, born 1838, is perhaps the last survivor 
of this illustrious coterie. In the local churchyard is 
shown the grave of the famous wolf hunter. Bill Purs- 
ley, who died in 1893. The scenery from here to Co- 
burn, Centre County, through the gorge of Karoondin- 
ha, about ten miles, is indescribably grand. Many 
prominent Pennsylvanians have constructed handsome 
summer cottages in this gorge in the last few years. 
The magnificent mountain country embracing the wa- 
tersheds of White Deer Creek, Spruce Run, Rapid Run 



and Buffalo Creek lie mostly in Union County. These 
are famous trout streams, and are visited annually by 
thousands of ardent disciples of Isaak Walton. Un- 
fortunately the furtive dynamiter is beginning to make 
inroads on the trout, this evil being mostly caused by 
a demand created by automobile touring parties for 
country hotels to furnish "trout suppers" at all sea- 
sons. About four miles north of Lewisburg, on the 
west bank of the Susquehanna River, is situated the 
famous Miller farm, once the home of Shikellemus, 
vice-gerent of the Iroquois Confederation in Penn- 
sylvania. He settled here in 1728. Shikellemus Run 
flows through the property, which is well timbered and 
rolling. It was here that Rev. C. W. Gearhart, of 
Indiana, Pa., is said to have dug up the opal necklace 
with bronze medallion of an English king attached, 
which he exhibits in the course of his interesting lec- 
ture on the Redmen. 


The Tiadaghton — The Black Forest That Was — Widaagh's 
Spring — Old Nichols and Shawana — The Coudersport 
Pike — J. F. Knepley — Ole Bull — Essick Heights — 
Lewis Lake — Hardwoods — Wild Pigeons — Potash Run 
— Sunfish Pond — Dr. Kalbfus — Lochabar. 

LYCOMING COUNTY lying north of the West 
Branch of the Susquehanna is situated for the 
most part in a different faunal zone fiom the 
greater part of our Eldorado. The Canada Lynx, the 
Northern hare, the pine marten, the fisher, the glutton 
and the black squirrel were once abundant, but unlike 
the fauna of the more southerly part of the Central 
Pennsylvania Highlands have for the most part disap- 
peared. Several fine streams flow through "Old Ly- 
coming," among them Tiadaghton, Little Pine Creek, 
Lycoming Creek, Larry's Creek and Muncy Creek are 
considerable bodies of water, and in their day most of 
them floated many logs to mill. It has been stated that 
Tiadaghton, now called Pine Creek, carried a dozen 
billion feet of white pine lumber to the saw-mills of 
Williamsport and points further east. Jersey Shore so 
named because settlers from New Jersey resided on the 
side of the river where the town grew up, lies near 
the confluence of Tiadaghton with the Susquehanna. 
Several miles southeast of Jersey Shore, at the foot of 



the Bald Eagle Mountain is Widaagh's Spring, said to 
have been the favorite camping ground of King 
Widaagh, the Indian Chief, who helped to negotiate 
the disastrous treaty with William Penn in 1700, 
virtually giving the West Branch \'alley to the whites. 
West of this spring. Antes Creek empties into the 
Susquehanna. The gorge of Antes Creek contains 
some fine scenery. Near the old stone woolen mill is 
the spot where the wolf which figured in the adventures 
of Caroline Stein, "The Little Red Riding Hood of 
the West Branch," was slain by angry farmers the 
year of the great flood, 1847. At the head of the gorge 
a view of Nippenose Valley, with its seven identical 
sentinel hills on the South, is secured. Antes Creek 
rises from a fine spring on the estate cf the late George 
L. Sanderson, "Lochabar." The name of this place sig- 
nifies "Lake of the Horns,'' being the name of a small 
lake in the Scottish Highlands where the deer were in 
the habit of shedding their antlers. Near the spring 
stands one of the pillars of the old State Capitol at 
Harrisburg, a structure destroyed by fire in 1896, 
which Mr. Sanderson had erected on his estate in 1900 
on the 200th anniversary of William Penn's treaty 
with Widaagh. Penn himself was said to have been 
present when the treaty was signed, the final events 
happening near the great Spring. Further South in 
Nippenose X'^ alley is the Oriole Cave which suddenly 
appeared in a farmer's field one fine morning in 1896, 
and has been there ever since. A subterranean stream 
i? said to lead from it into the Susquehanna three miles 


away. At the extreme eastern end of Nippenose Val- 
ley, named for the Indian chief Nippenuce, is a settle- 
ment of German Catholics at Bastress. Their church 
high on the hillside is a familiar landmark from all 
parts of this beautiful and fruitful valley. Oval and 
Collomsville are two picturesque villages in the valley, 
southeast of "Lochabar" on the road across the moun- 
tains to White Deer Hole Valley. This is a fine scenic 
route, and a hotel at Elimsport accommodates travel- 
lers very satisfactorily. From "Lochabar," the build- 
ings, fish ponds, and fine old trees, all of which are well 
deserving of a visit, the road southeast runs in the di- 
rection of Rauchtown, and out south through Ranch's 
Gap, along Ranch's Creek. There is no finer or wilder 
rocky gorge in the eastern states except perhaps Craw- 
ford Notch and the Old Man of the Mountain in the 
White Mountains of New England. Castellated crags, 
lofty precipices, dim caverns, winding defiles, dizzy 
peaks, all combine to make the trip one long to linger 
in the most materialistic memories. About two miles 
up the gorge, the route of an old lumber road leads up 
Gottshall Run, through another wild and picturesque 
region. This trail if followed brings the traveller out 
at Mount Zion on the main road leading from McEl- 
hattan to Sugar Valley. Following the main roiti from 
Rauchtown until the divide is reached, the road to the 
east leads into the romantic "Dutch End," Zimmer- 
man's, and White Deer Hole Valley, while the south- 
erly road runs on to Carroll, in Clinton County. The 
"Dutch End," so called from having been settled by 


Germans about 1865, is a wild glen well-timbered and 
containing much game. Leaving Jersey Shore and 
proceeding in a northwesterly direction until Tiadagh- 
ton is reached, a stop should be made at the home of 
John F. Knepley, erstwhile pupil of Ole Bull and great 
authority on Indian lore. This grand old man who was 
bom the same year as J. Pierpont Morgan, 1837, will 
be glad to escort tourists to the spot on Nichol's Run, 
nearby, where is buried Shawana, the last Indian girl 
of the West Branch Valley, who died in 1850. Sha- 
wana was one of the two daughters of Old' Nichols, a 
one-eyed Seneca Indian who came to the West Branch 
Valley every autumn -and remained there until Spring, 
supporting his family by basket making and doing 
chores for the farmers. He spent the summers on the 
Allegheny Reservation in New York. He was a na- 
tive of the West Branch Valley, taking his name from 
Major James Nichols, one of the signers of the famous 
Fort Horn Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776, 
whose body servant he had been. The aged Indian 
was known as "Old Nicholas" to many, but his proper 
name was Nichols. After the death of his daughter, 
who was carried off by a sudden attack of pneumonia, 
he left the West Branch with his surviving daughter, 
lona, i*ver to return, John Knepley's father, Conrad 
Knepley, was the first mail carrier over the Pike con- 
structed between Jersey Shore and Coudersport in 
1830, a distance of about one hundred miles. It was a 
wild region in those days, through a primeval forest, 
and often the wolves trotted ahead of his horse, for he 


carried the mail on horseback, and it was a frequent 
sight to see elks lying along the road chewing their cuds 
like domestic cattle. Sometimes he took his son John 
with him, leaving him occasionally with the Andries- 
sen family at Oleona. John Andriessen was the private 
secretary of Ole Bull, the famed Norwegian violinist 
who started an ill-starred colonization scheme not far 
from the Pike. On Summer evenings young Knepley 
would sit on the hillside on tlie opposite bank of Ole 
Bull Run listening to the inspired music of the mas- 
ter, as he walked up and down the lofty ramparts of 
his "castle" playing his violin. Andriessen told the 
great violinist of the lad's fondness for his music, with 
the result that he invited him to the mansion, and gave 
him a number of lessons. When Ole Bull colony col- 
lapsed owing to the 50,000 acre tract having been sold 
to the unsuspecting Norseman on faulty titles, one of 
the great violinist's last requests before leaving the 
covmtry was that his secretary present one of his vio- 
lins to young Knepley. This was done, and the Stradi- 
varius is today one of the old gentleman's choicest pos- 
sessions. On the west bank of Tiadaghton, near the 
Knepley mansion, which stands on the site of Major 
Nichols' homestead, the foundations of the great 
Phelps-Dodge fortunes were laid. Here they had their 
huge saw-mills, using only the choicest white pine logs, 
which Tiadaghton's waters could float. The road to 
Shawana's grave leaves the Jersey Shore-Avis turnpike 
at Glen post office, running northward. On the east 
bank of this stream is an Indian spring, a favorite 


camping ground for the red men and their famihes. 
Near Glen post office is the Buffalo Hill, so called from 
the fact that a tame buffalo from Kansas was kept 
there for several years by a farmer named Abe Shees- 
ley. Following the road past the Indian spring, and 
Shawana's grave (one mile north of Glen post office on 
the west side of road; marked with brown head-stone) 
the road leads in the shadow of the mighty Pewter- 
baugh Mountain, to Salladasburg, a quaint old settle- 
ment, and once a great tannery town to English Cen- 
tre, where a vast tannery was operated for fifty years. 
On Little Pine Creek, the scenery is magnificent, high 
mountains are seen on every side, marred perhaps by 
the ruin wrought by forest fires. Following Little Pine 
Creek towards its headwaters, the village of Button- 
wood is passed. Xauvoo, a very picturesque village, 
lies at the headwaters. At Buttonwood there is a fine 
mountain trail leading across the Divide into the waters 
of Gray's Run, a tributary of Lycoming Creek. This 
is an ideal trip for "hikers," leading through a wild and 
woody country. At Gray's Run, the trail can be con- 
tinued to Ralston, and thence to Potash Run where a 
large tract of original white pine timber was standing 
until recently. On the divide above Potash is Sunfish 
pond, a pretty little lake in the heart of the forest, 
among the Towanda Mountains. (In Bradford coun- 
ty). A trail leads from Sunfish pond south to Laquin, 
a flourishing lumber town on Shroeder Creek. South 
of Laquin fifteen miles is Lewis's Lake, now called 
Eaglesmere. (in Sullivan county) a supposedly bottom- 


less body of water situated 2,200 feet above sea level, 
and a famous summer resort. There are a number of 
excellent hotels and boarding houses where tourists can 
find accommodations. The Crestmont Inn is the most 
elaborate, while the homelike Eaglesmere Hotel is open 
all the year 'round. An attractive walk (east) is 
across the hills to the lake country at Laporte, the 
county seat of Sullivan County, picturesquely situated 
near Lake ]Mokoma, and the smallest seat of justice in 
point of population in Pennsylvania. This was a great 
country for hardwood timber, beech, birch and maple, 
and was a favored roosting and nesting place for the 
now-extinct wild pigeons, {ecto pistes migratorious) 
which continued visiting this region to feed on the 
mast until about 1881. When Dr. Kalbfus was at Ral- 
ston in 1859, wild pigeons were very abundant, also 
wolves, which often chased stray sheep into the camp 
where he was staying. The timber in northeastern Ly- 
coming County was not removed until recent years, 
consequently it was enjoyed by more nature-lovers than 
most sections of the Highlands. Many fine trout 
streams still exist in Lycoming County, most of v/hich 
empty into Tiadaghton. Among these are Trout Run. 
Salmon Run, Slate Run, Cedar Run. Upper and Low- 
er Pine Bottom Runs, Little Pine Creek and Tomb's 
Run. Ralston was once a great headquarters for dis- 
ciples of Isaak Walton. A very attractive little book, 
one that is highly prized by collectors, called "Bodine's 
or Camping on the Lycoming" from the pen of Dr. T. 
S. UpdeGraflf and published in Philadelphia in 1879 de- 

74 ELjDORADO found. 

scribes several outings spent in this region, including a 
driving trip to the site of Ole Bull's Castle. It gives a 
very good idea of the condition of game and fish and 
the timber at the time the book was written. It has 
much to say concerning the scenic beauties of Pleasant 
Stream, Miner's Run and Red Run, the last named 
stream culminating in the exquisite colored Ruby Falls, 
so called from the water being red tinted from the 
stream rising in a Tamarack Swamp. It also praises 
the wild beauty of Dutchman's Falls on Miner's Run. 
Otters were always fond of Gray's Run, having many 
slides along it until hunted unmercifully during the 
lumbering operations on the run some fifteen years ago. 
In 1900, Oscar Huff saw a female otter and her two 
young disporting themselves in a mill pond on this 
stream, and was able to capture one of the youngste > 
alive with his hands. Taken as a whole, there are more 
black bears in northern Lycoming County than any 
other section of the State. Pewterbaugh being a favor- 
ite hibernating ground for Ursus Amcricanus. The 
scenery along Tiadaghton from its mouth to its head- 
waters is grand, but forest fires have burned away 
much of the fine timber standing on inaccessible cliffs 
which might otherwise have remained. There are 
many camps and bungalows along this stream, and 
numerous mountains worthy of the expert Alpinist. A 
fine tramp is up State Run to its forks thence across 
the divide to the sequestered little lumber town of Lee- 
tonia. (In Tioga County). There is a fine body of orig- 
inal timber at the headwaters on State Run, on the 


divide between it and the waters of Kettle Creek. 
A good trail leads across this divide, which is 
known as Warpath, as it was used by marauding 
Indians in the olden days. A good description of 
the lumbering days of a quarter of a century ago 
in Lycoming County is given by Walter Wyckoff 
in his book "The Workers," published in 1898. It was 
a picturesque period but the destruction of timber was 
unw^arranted, and in the end enriched very few per- 
sons. The Coudersport Pike marked the southerly 
boundary of the Black Forest, a vast region of white 
pine, hemlock and hardwood timber, which covered ap- 
proximately an area of forty miles by forty miles. As 
late as 1881, this land could be bought from private 
owners for one dollar per acre, grand old trees and all, 
so far from market was it at that time. Much of it 
was still in the possession of the State, and could be 
taken up by homesteaders. But with the advent of 
stem-winder railways, about twenty-five years ago, the 
timber became accessible, its value increased, and in 
twenty years all but a few scattering tracts were cut 
off. No one thought of replanting, like in the Black 
Forest of Germany, and today the view northward 
through the Black Forest that zuas is disheartening in 
the extreme. Most of this denuded area has now pass- 
ed into the hands of the State, and if the next session 
of the Legislature grants a sufficient appropriation, a 
cent an acre will be enough, a strong efifort will be made 
to check the forest fire horror and let the country 
grow up again. But when apparently some men say 


openly that the huckleberry crop is worth more than 
the young trees, local co-operation will be withheld 
from restoring the forest cover, so valuable alike to the 
healthful and commercial welfare of the Pennsylvania 
Highlands. Nearer to Williamsport than Lewis' Lake, 
Highland Lake or Essick Heights is a most attractive 
resort. It can easily be reached by driving road up 
Loyalsock Creek or else by footpath up the sheer face 
of towering mountains. The scenery from Essick 
Heights Hotel is beyond description, it is so varied and 
beautiful. Many other fine views are obtained from 
the regions adjacent to the Loyalsock Creek, which is 
a picturesque, winding stream and a stream noted for 
the vast amount of logs it floated to market in its day. 
Another fine view is secured from the road leading 
into White Deer Valley across the Bald Eagle Moun- 
tain. There is a ruined tavern stand on the way, 
about which cling many old traditions that add to the 
weird loneliness of this route. Sylvan Dell is an at- 
tractive resort several miles below Williamsport on 
the banks of the Susquehanna and at the foot of the 
Bald Eagle Mountain. It is reached by steamboat 
from Williamsport, as is Nippeno Park, west of the 
city, an almost similarly attractive resort between 
Williamsport and Jersey Shore. In the beautiful 
Muncy Valley, on the driving road from Williamsport 
to Lewis' Lake is situated Picture Rocks, a series of 
shale-like cHflFs, on which an illuminated pictorial ac- 
count of a great battle in Indian days was recorded. 
Most of this has now unfortunately been obliterated 



through land-slides and gradual disintegration of the 
rocks. The legends connected with these rocks are 
given in the author's "More Pennsylvania Mountain 
Stories," Reading, 1912. J. Wesley Little, famed as 
an artist in water colors, has his studio and home 
at Picture Rocks. A picturesque trip from Salladas- 
burg leads north to Brookside, White Pine, and 
through the deep defile known as Steam Valley into 
the waters of Blockhouse Run. This scenery has 
been compared favorably to that of the Cevennes 
Mountains in southern France. 


The Knobs — The Sinnemahoning — Its Pollution — Up Jerry 
Run — The First Fork — Joe Berfield — Arch Logue — 
Henry Mason — John Jordan — James Wylie Miller — 
Altar Rock— Seth I. Nelson — The Divide. 

IN CAMERON COUNTY the scenery reaches the 
climax of wildness and grandeur. The peaks 
have an Alpine sublimity that defy description. 
Among them, the three distant Knobs of Clearfield 
County rise above the sky line like titans in a race of 
giants. Though most of the timber is gone, it was 
taken off gradually and the bareness and cheerlessness 
so characteristic of the denuded Black Forest is lack- 
ing in most parts of Cameron County. The scenery of 
the First Fork of the Sinnemahoning is grand all the 
\^y to Wharton, Potter County, which is on the line 
of the famous Buffalo Path, and where is still shown 
an old-time buffalo wallow of extensive proportions. 
The Sinnemahoning, naturally a beautiful stream, has 
been marred, it is said, by the paper mill at Austin 
(on the First Fork) dumping its refuse into it until 
the water today has the color and consistency of black 
ink. It is about the worst polluted stream in the 
State. Once a fine fishing stream, even the "river 
alligators" or salamanders are now dead. All along 
the Sinnemahoning rise the most majestic moun- 
tains. Wykoff's Run, which empties into the Sinne- 



mahoning, is a gateway to still wilder regions, and 
what was once a great panther and big game country. 
In 1858, James Wylie Miller saw the tracks of nine 
panthers together in the snow on Up Jerry Run, near 
the road to Karthaus. Miller, who was born in 1838, 
and is still living, was a famous wolf hunter in his day. 
In 1857, with several companions, he was surrounded 
by a pack of wolves at a camp on Hunt's Run, near 
Cameron Station. Of an older generation were Arch 
Logue, who killed the last elk on the First Fork in 
1854, Joe Berfield, John Jordan and Henry Ma- 
son, all famous as slayers of big game. C. W. 
Dickinson, born in 1842, relates how he heard 
a panther roar on the Driftwood Branch of the 
Sinnemahoning in the fall of 1873, while camp- 
ing out with his father, the late C. H. Dickinson. 
Just across the Cameron County line in Clinton Coun- 
ty, at Round Island, is the great natural wonder — -Altar 
Rock. It is a spiral of rocks seventy feet high, stand- 
ing on, the side of a mountain on the .north bank of 
the Sinnemahoning in full view of the Pennsylvania 
Railroad tracks, where it is "marvelled at daily by 
countless' travellers on the Buffalo express trains on 
"America's Greatest Railway." On top of this rock is 
a lone white pine tree, there used to be two, which grew 
in the form of a tall Indian. The legend of these pines 
has been recorded by the author of these pages under 
the title of ''The Story of Altar Rock" (Pennsylvania 
Mountain Stories, Bradford, Pa., 1907). Almost at 
the base of Altar Rock, resided Seth Iredell Nelson 


(180I)-1905) one of the greatest hunters of the Penn- 
sylvania highlands. In his day he killed 2,000 deer, 
500 elks, besides a hundred wolves and panthers. He 
killed the last glutton or wolverine in Pennsylvania in 
18()3. His home was a favorite stopping place for 
hunters and naturalists for many years. In 18!) 7 and 
1898 the noted scientist, S. N. Rhoads, of Philadelphia, 
author of "Mammals of Pennsylvania and New Jer- 
sey" (Philadelphia, 1903) was entertained there, and 
collected much valuable data relating to the flora and 
fauna of that region. Seth Iredell Nelson's son, Seth 
Nelson, Jr., resides in the old homestead, and acts as 
the guide to hunting parties in the fall. South of Drift- 
wood, on the Bennett's Branch of the Sinnemahoning, 
the scenery is grand and varied. At Medix Run in 
1853, eleven mature panthers were killed by the local 
hunters. Elks and beavers made their last stand at the 
"Divide" near the present town of Penfield, across the 
Clearfield County line. 


Swinefordstown, now Middleburg — The Mahanoy — Selin's 
Grove — Stump's Run — Fort Hendricks — Beaver Springs 
— The White Mountains — The Sinli — The Indian Mound 
— New Berlin — LeRoy Spring — Penn's Creek Massacre. 

NO MENTION of "Eldorado Found" could be 
made without including Snyder County. This 
County, which was set off from Union C'"un- 
ty in 1855, is named for Simon Snyder, at one time Gov- 
ernor of Pennsylvania. It is the home of romance, of 
legend, a veritable storehouse of records of the long 
ago. The road from Selin's Grove to Middleburg, for- 
merly Swinefordstown, runs through a picturesque re- 
gion, the Middle Creek Valley, and is replete with his- 
toric spots. To the north is the massive outline of 
Jack's Mountain, to the south the Shade Mountain 
range, to the east the majestic dome of Mahanoy ]\Ioun- 
tain rules the landscape. At Selin's Grove is the sim- 
ple monument to Simon Snyder, ''The Bull Driver," for 
three terms Governor of Pennsylvania, who died in 
1819, aged 70 years, while a member of the Senate of 
Pennsylvania ; the great statesman's quaint old resi- 
dence, and the handsome, and for the most part mod- 
ern buildings of Susquehanna University. Near 
Sehn's Grove resided one of the last buffalo hunters, 
Daniel Ott, born May 27, 1820, and a man of un- 



usually retentive memory and charm of manner. For 
years he carried on expeditions into the buffalo coun- 
tries of the west. Selin's Grove is named for Capt. 
Anthony Selin, a Swiss, who was an officer in the 
Revolutionary War and a member of the Society 
of the Cincinnati. Along the road to Middle- 
burg still stands the old blockhouse, called Fort 
Hendricks, a relic of colonial border warfare, also 
the scenes of several Indian massacres are point- 
ed out. At Stump's Run, about half a mile east of 
Middleburg, was the scene of the murder of ten In- 
dians by a Dutchman named Frederick Stump, and his 
servant, John Ironcutter, in 1768. The slayers were 
arrested but later a mob rescued them from the jail in 
Carlisle. Stump died many years afterwards at Miller- 
stadt, now Woodstock, \'a.. while Ironcutter passed 
away at Hollidaysburg, Blair County, in 1830. On the 
road from Middleburg across Jack's Mountain, to Mif- 
fiinburg, formerly Youngmanstown, is the celebrated 
"Indian Mound," a sort of redskin Tower of Babel 
erected by a proud chieftain of ancient days, wiiich 
brought only confusion to the Indian ruler and his peo- 
ple. It is a circular hillock, nearly a hundred feet high 
in the centre of a vast field, and is well worth a visit. 
See the writer's "More Pennsylvania Mountain 
Stories," Reading, 1913. Northeast of Middleburg 
is the picturesque old distillery, and the "Buffalo 
fields," nearby, were once a favorite haunt for 
the bison. The pass back to the bright-looking village 
of Troxelville leads to the famous "Sink" in the White 

li- ? 

S £ 

4) O 


Mountains where the last herd of wild bison in Penn- 
sylvania, some 300 in number, were wiped out by set- 
tlers, who found them "crusted"' in the snow in Jan- 
uary, 1Z99. See the author's "A Pennsylvania Bison 
Hunt," Middleburg, 1915. The Washington Inn at 
Middleburg is a quaint old-fashioned structure, and 
likewise was the courthouse until remodelled sev- 
eral years ago. The town also boasts of rival 
"Soldiers' ^Monuments.'' Further southwest is the 
town of McClure, formerly Stuckton, in the midst 
of wild and impressive mountain scenery. Beaver 
Springs, another nearby village, has a fine spring, 
and was once the scene of extensive operations 
of the beavers. Near Wagner, there are several 
large and partially unexplored caves on Shade 
Mountain. It is said no one has visited them in half a 
century. There is a pass, with much grand scenery, 
across the Shade Mountain from Beaver Springs, and 
another less frequently travelled at Wagner. New 
Berlin, once the seat of justice of Union County, is 
just over the border from the County of Snyder. It is 
a picturesque, yes beautiful, old town, one of the most 
charming spots in the Highlands. In the centre of the 
principal street runs a double row of gigantic maple 
trees. The old Kleckner House, headquarters of 
raftsmen returning to the highlands from Marietta, 
was burned down several years back, leaving an ugly 
scar on the village street, but the grand ol.d courthouse 
is now a school, and the once popular Academy in its 
fine grove of ancient trees is worthy of a lengthy visit. 


Another unique feature of New Berlin is that through 
every street can be obtained a view of the magnificent 
Jack's Mountain, frowning down on the historic town 
and its departed glories. The road from New Berlin 
to the LeRoy Spring and to the scene of the Penn's 
Creek massacre by Indians of 1755, along the shaded 
Karoondinha, is easily one of the most beautiful roads 
in the State, In October, 1915, the 160th anniversary 
of the massacre of Penn's Creek was fittingly com- 
memorated by three days of exercises, which included 
an historical pageant depicting the massacre, held 
along the banks of the creek. A handsome marble and 
bronze monument to perpetuate the memory of the 
massacre erected by the Historical Commission of 
Pennsylvania was dedicated at this time. Snyder 
county possesses an active Historical Society which 
has done much to perpetuate the historic sites and 
memories on this beautful region. An extensive his- 
torical library is in process of formation, under the 
energetic management of W. M. Schnure. 


The North Mountain — Fishing Creek Valley — Nordmont- 
Washingtonville — Orangeville — » Shade Molintain - 
Tuckahoe — Sinking Creek Valley — Fort Roberdeau- 
Fort Roller — The Lead Mines — The Great Terrace- 
The Lion's Back — Greenwood Furnace. 

THE NORTH MOUNTAIN Country has been so 
well explored and written about that it passes 
beyond the scope of these pages, but it has 
many points of interest to the nature lover and sports- 
man that a few words may be jotted down without 
danger of repetition. The drive up Fishing Creek Val- 
ley from Orangeville to Jamison City, Ganoga Lake, 
Nordmont and to Ricketts has been likened to one of 
the valleys in the French Alps or Switzerland. On the 
top of the mountains Col, R. Bruce Ricketts erected 
a picturesque retreat, and his tame bears were justly 
famous for some years. A sort of miniature Bern! 
The path from the lake down Kitchen's Creek, w^here 
there are five waterfalls in as many miles and through 
a growth of primeval hemlocks is declared to be as 
beautiful as any similar route in the Black Forest of 
Germany. In the heavy original hemlocks, Oscar 
HufT, a naturalist of Lewisburg, saw several pine 
martens in 1895 and 1896. These animals are 
now considered extinct in Pennsylvania. The North 



Mountain Country differs from most sections of 
our Highlands inasmuch as there are many lakes, 
all situated on mountain tops of considerable alti- 
tude. Of these, Ganoga Lake, at an altitude of 2,500 
feet is admitted to be the most beautiful. Berwick, 
Columbia County, at the starting point of a tour of 
Fishing Creek Valley, is justly celebrated as the site of 
one of the principal plants of the American Car and 
Foundry Company, and the home of the founder of 
the vast corporation, Clemuel R. Woodin, whose 
palatial home "The Heights" adorns one of the high- 
est mountain tops. Elaborate automobile roads lead up 
the mountain from the town to this ideal residence. All 
the water, milk, vegetables, etc., are supplied on the 
mountain, so that it is justly said that the "Heights" 
could stand a seige from the Germans (not Pennsylva- 
nia Germans) for six months. The stone mansion of 
unusual design, built in 1891, commands an unparallel- 
led view in every direction, even the Council Kup, near 
Wilkes-Barre, being plainly discerned on fine days. At 
Washingtonville, in Columbia County, is located the 
deer park and model farm of former Congressman 
Alex. Billmeyer. It is a famoiis resort for visitors 
from all sections of the State. In the village is an inn 
of individuality, formerly Fanny Hedden's Hotel, 
which is well worth an extended visit. At Orangeville 
is the ruins of a log fort built by "Copperheads," who 
resented being drafted into the Union Army during the 
Civil War. The valley from Orangeville to Watson- 
town on the Susquehanna is beautiful and fertile, re- 

Roadside near "Lochabar," Lycoming County. 


minding one of English Country landscape. On the 
southern border of our Highlands, Sinking Creek Val- 
ley in Blair County, is particularly attractive. Shut in 
by high mountains, it is like the Valais region in Switz- 
erland. Elk Creek rises in this valley, flov^ing into the 
Juniata near Tyrone. The Indian Cave, with its sub- 
terranean stream, is one of the great natural wonders 
of the state, as is the Arch Spring, where a stream of 
pure water flows through a natural archway. At the 
west end of the valley on the William Myton farm, 
can be seen the ruins of the fort and magazine of Fort 
Roberdeau, well known in Revolutionary days. Across 
the Canoe Mountains stood Fort Roller, also of his- 
tc>ric import. The Beaver Dam country in Catharine 
Township, is a wild region where some of the largest 
bodies of original timber in the State are still standing. 
Along the Bald Eagle Mountains (called locally Brush 
Mountains) on the north side of Sinking Valley, are 
the old lead mines used during the Revolutionary War. 
I'he Bald Eagle Mountains come to an end abruptly 
near Hollidaysburg, where a scene of unrivalled gran- 
deur is presented. Near Hollidaysburg, the famous 
Pulpit Rocks of white limestone rising from the green 
foliage of the mountain tops present a unique appear- 
ance. W^est of Hollidaysburg in the direction of ro- 
mantic McKee's Gap, the scenery culminates in the 
most magnificent mountain views in the State. From 
Newry churchyard can be obtained a panoramic view 
which impressed the early Swiss settlers to the extent 
of naming the region "The Schwytz" after their na- 

88 iEUjDORADO found. 

tive Canton in the Helvetian Republic. To the south 
rises the Blue Knob, the highest mountain in the State, 
towering above all its fellows, while west and north run 
the high, broad outlines of the main massif of the Al- 
leghenies. It is a scene never to be forgotten, and in- 
vites travellers to closer acquaintance with these mag- 
nificent heights. The game has been pretty well hunt- 
ed out of these high mountains, but the botanist and 
lever of trees can indulge his hobbies to the utmost. 
The Blue Knob is easiest climbed from Poplar Run, 
and the view from the summit well repays the effort. 
True nature lovers climb this summit the night before 
in order to enjoy the sunrise. The colors are 
said to equal those seen from the summit of the 
Rigi in Switzerland, to which thousands of Amer- 
icans made pilgrimages annually before the outbreak 
of the Great War. The State of Pennsylvania should 
acquire and protect the Blue Knob, making it a park for 
the enjoyment of all the people all the time. The view 
from Bald Knob, a mountain almost as high as the 
Blue Knob, and a few miles further south is pro- 
nounced almost equally fine. West from Newry, the 
Portage Road, built before the construction of the 
Pennsylvania Railroad for transporting canal boats 
across the mountains, and the engineering masterpiece 
of Beverly Robinson, the noted Baltimore engineer, is, 
despite its dilapidated condition well worth a visit. The 
Prince Gallitzin Spring, in this locality, where a per- 
gola and memorial fountain have recently been dedi- 
cated by the Young Men's Institute of Altoona, is vis- 


ited by thousand's of tourists and true sons of the 
Keystone State. At GalHtzin Admiral Peary, discov- 
erer of the North Pole, is said to have been 
born, though Cresson also claims the honor. Bur- 
goon's Gap and Burgoon's Run, the scene of much 
history making in- Colonial days is worthy of vis- 
iting. It was in this vicinty that the Bedford Scouts 
were murdered by Tories led by the notorious Hare, and 
where Captain Logan, Blair County's Indian chief, 
turned the tables on the cowardly foes. At Altoona, 
the Logan House, a magnificent hotel built by the 
Pennsylvania Railroad in 1852 is worthy of a visit. Of 
it a well known English traveller said : ''It is better 
than any hotel in Europe and equal to any in America." 
The Logan House was the scene of the historic "War 
Governor's Conference" held on September 24, 1862, 
which historians declare to be the pivotal point of the 
great Civil War. Some day it is hoped a bronze tab- 
let erected by the newly-formed Historical Society of 
Blair County will mark this important structure. 
East of Altoona is Tuckahoe Valley, which ex- 
tends to Tyrone. In this valley near Martin Bell's old 
stack, Captain Logan lived for several years. His spring 
on the Shawver farm is worthy of a visit. However, 
Captain Logan's main place of abode, at the mouth of 
the Logan Valley, was at the Logan Spring in the heart 
of the present city of Tyrone. He must not be con- 
fused with his brother James Logan, he of the big 
spring near Reedsville. In Spruce Creek Valley, 
the clubhouses of the Spruce Creek Country Club 


and Fairbrook Country Club, the latter the former 
home of John Lyon, an early ironmaster, are among 
the most picturesque spots in the highlands. Hunting- 
don County, birthplace of Governor Brumbaugh, con- 
tains many points of scenic and historic interest. 
Trough Creek \'alley, where the Governor spent his 
boyhood, is a veritable panorama of magnificent views 
and vistas. The scenery from the county seat, Hunt- 
ingdon, formerly Standing Stone Town, is particular- 
ly fine. From the hills tjack of Juniata College a superb 
view of the Great Terrace to the southeast, a moun- 
tain of commanding proportions is obtained. Jack's 
Mountain range, along the skyline to the west and 
southwest, and the Gap of Mount Union are clearly 
discernible in the distance. From all the streets lead- 
ing up to the hill on which the college is located, is a 
good view of the "Lion's Back," a mountain which 
is partially cleared, the upper portion still wooded, re- 
sembling the hoary shoulders and head of the King of 
Beasts. A sympathetic picture of Juniata College, 
Huntingdon, and the surrounding country is given in 
Prof. David Emmert's book "History of Juniata Col- 
lege," published in 190L Northeast of Huntingdon 
eighteen miles, reached by driving roads and bridle 
paths is Greenwood Furnace, a fine old manorial es- 
tate, now a part of the Pennsylvania Forest Reserve, 
but once the site of a famous charcoal forge. A de- 
scription of these old furnaces and the almost feudal 
life of their owners and managers is given in Hon. R. 
A. Zentmyer's excellent book "Early Iron Furnaces of 

Original White Pines on the Wheeler Tract. 
(Courtesy Pennsylvania Dept. of Forestry.) 


the Juniata Valley," published in Altoona, 1916, a book 
which by the way should be read by every lover of 
early Pennsylvania days. The natural scenery of Hunt- 
ingdon County, especially along the Pennsylvania Rail- 
road, is being seriously marred by the sand rock men, 
who are tearing down in a few years for a few dollars 
mountains that nature took millions of years to per- 
fect. In Clearfield County, even within view of the 
mighty Knobs, is the curious little village of French- 
ville. It was settled nearly a century ago by stalwart 
colonists from Picardy, men and women who have left 
an impression on the community in which they lived. 
True to their ancient faith, St. JNIary's-on-the-Mouh- 
tain stands like a bulwark of Roman Catholicism on the 
backbone of the Pennsylvania Highlands. The French 
language is spoken by all the residents of Frenchville, 
old and young, but they are such true Americans that 
when the writer drove into the town on July 14, 1912, 
with a French flag in the whip-socket of his buggy, not 
a soul could name the holiday which called forth this 
display of the tri-color or tell the nationality of 
the flag. Besides giving the names to Frenchville 
and Le Conte's Mills, Loup Run was also named 
by the French pioneers, but alas modern map 
makers call it "Loop" Run, and wonder how it got its 
name. Near Frenchville, at the mouth of the Moshan- 
non, the Rolling Stone, a huge boulder left from the 
Glacial period, is well worth a visit. The annual 
Frenchville picnics held near Kylertown, attended by 
thousands of persons are extremely picturesque events. 


Karthaus, an old town near the mouth of Mosquito 
Creek, once noted for its mining and lumbering inter- 
ests, is well worth a visit. It is stated that 360,000,000 
feet of white pine timber was floated down Mosquito 
Creek, but all that glory is departed. When the first 
lumbermen entered the gorge, they encountered an 
aged hermit called ''The Old Man of the Storm," who 
kept close to his cave in good weather, but sallied forth 
in bad weather in search of food. William Murdock, a 
prominent attorney of Milton, has commemorated the 
life of this strange character in a poem which was pub- 
lished in the Altoona Tribune in June, 1916. Near 
Karthaus, until the railway to Clearfield was built in 
1901, could be seen "The Cross on the Rock," a great 
natural wonder, a perfect cross of heroic proportions, 
carved on a rock along the river. Fortunately an ex- 
cellent photograph of the remarkable natural curiosity 
is in existence. Bilger's Rocks, a titanic natural 
formation near Curwensville, Clearfield County, is 
well worth the dignity of a side trip. Near Westover, 
in Clearfield County, in 1876, two boys, aged 10 and 
12 years, respectively — Joe and Oliver Lenhart — 
armed Avith a rusty old shot gun killed an eleven foot 
panther. Such are the vicissitudes of the chase ! The 
Altoona Tribune Publishing Company in 1914 is- 
sued John H. Chatham's great epic poem "The In- 
dian Steps," the versified account of the great bat- 
tle of 1635, between the Susquehannocks and Lenni- 
Lenape in which the Susquehannocks under the great 
war chief Pipsisseway were overwhelmingly victorious. 

JACOB K. HUFF, (1850-1910) 

The Philosopher of the Central Pennsylvanie 



''The Indian Steps" proper, a series of stone steps 
across the Tussey Mountains, can be reached on the 
Isaac Cooper farm near Rock Spring in Spruce Creek 
Valley, not far from Pennsylvania Furnace. Anti-^ 
quarians are advised to secure copies of Mr. Chatham's 
book before visiting the scene of this mighty struggle 
of early days. Mr. Chatham feels the thrill of the 
Central Pennsylvania Highlands; he can transcribe it 
as no one else except Jacob Huff, or "Jake Haiden" 
was able to do in his human interest stories published 
in the Reading Times some years ago — the scenes be- 
ing taken from real life in the valley of the West 
Branch. Visitors to Central Pennsylvania should by all 
means take a "side trip" to the Cornplanter Reserva- 
tion, eleven miles north of Warren, Warren County, on 
the Oh-eu, or "The Beautiful River," as the Indians 
called the Allegheny river. They never applied the 
name Allegheny to the river, only to the moun- 
tains, the name meaning "here many streams head." 
On this reservation of fifteen hundred acres which 
was given to Chief Ga-ni-o-de-uh, or Cornplanter 
and descendants in perpetuity in 1790 for his ser- 
vices at the Treaty of Fort Stanwix, reside about 
200 Indians, mostly Senecas and mostly descend- 
ants of Cornplanter. The grave of Cornplanter, erect- 
ed by the State of Pennsylvania in 1868, is a handsome 
marble shaft in the centre of the old Indian burial 
ground. Cornplanter, who was born in 1737 and died 
in 1835 was one of a coterie of immortal Indian war- 
riors and orators which included Blacksnake, who died 



in 1858, and Red Jacket, who died in 1831. One of 
the most interesting Indians on the reservation, Jesse 
Logan, the grandson of Captain John Logan, "Blair 
County's Indian Chief," died on F'ebruary 17, 1916, in 
the 108th year of his age. Many of the old Indian 
manners and customs are preserved at the reservation. 
The Reservation is attractively situated at the foot of 
high hills on the west bank of the "Oh-eu" and can be 
reached by old-fashioned rope-ferry boats from 
Gawango and Carydon stations on the P. R. R. South 
of Warren, on the "Beautiful River," is the before- 
mentioned Wheeler tract of original white pine timber, 
which shQuld be visited soon by every "Pennsylvania 
Pilgrim" before its "glory has departed." 

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Original or "Mast" Pines, on Wheeler Tract. 
(Courtesy Pennsylvania Dept. of Forestry.) 


LIKE the Highlands of Scotland, the Central Penn- 
sylvania Highlands have been from time im- 
memorial a battleground between strong peo- 
ples. At the Standing Stone which stood on the site 
of Stone Town, now Huntingdon, there were as many 
battles fought with as alternating results as at Czern- 
owitz. The Battle of the Indian Steps, in Spruce 
Creek Valley, on the borders of Centre and Huntingdon 
Counties, fought in 1635, equalled many of the great 
conflicts of the Civil War, both in fierceness and the 
number of men employed. It might be called an Abo- 
riginal Gettysburg. Every one of our hills has been 
the theatre of a skirmish at some time and is the sep- 
ulcre of some Indian brave, every plain has witnessed 
the rise and fall of conquest, every spring has slaked 
the thrist of battle- worn or wounded braves, every 
cieek has been crossed by invading forces, every river 
has been the bosom on which floated the warrior's ca- 
noes, watchfires have glowed from every mountain 
peak, every glade has served for ambush and surprise — 
all this in "Indian Days" so called, before the white 
men, hardy Ulster Scots and sturdy Dutch and Ger- 
mans, penetrated into Eldorado Found. With the com- 
ing of the white men the red races, exhausted by inter- 
nal struggles, soon found that instead of rest they must 
fight to repel a new foe. While most of the names of 



the warriors bold who led the Susquehannocks, the 
Lenni-Lenape, the Onddas and the Tuscaroras in days 
gone by are lost to us, even most of the localities where 
tliey fought and bled, the struggle with the white inter- 
lopers brought forward a new race of Indian heroes, 
whose names are literally "on the waters and cannot 
be blotted out." Though many of the early battle- 
grounds are fading into oblivion, and Indian camp sites 
are forgotten, the forts from where the white men sal- 
lied are being speedily marked through the efforts of 
the State Historical Commission and private enter- 
prise. But the names of most of the great Indian war- 
riors are known, and will never be forgotten while civ- 
ilization lasts and marble endures. And there are also 
the chiefs friendly to the white newcomers, and those 
who fought with the whites against the French or Brit- 
ish. Of relentless foes of the white race may be said 
to belong the most patriotic and noble of the redmen of 
the Central Pennsylvania Highlands. Chief of these is 
James Logan, or Tah-Gah-Jute, "The Beetling 
Browed," who mourned for the loss of his home and 
family by many a silent pool or rocky marge. Though 
his grave is unknown, his favorite springs and resting 
places are well known, his name is perpetuated in .i 
spring, a mountain, a township and several post offices. 
His brother, Captain John Logan, equally valiant as a 
friend of the better element of the white settlers, "lives 
on" through two springs, four runs, a township, several 
post offices and a huge hotel named in his honor. 
But lost is his grave somewhere up at Cold Spring in 

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the Allegheny Indian Reservation in New York. 
Teedyuscung, the last King of the Lenni Lenape, was 
murdered at Nescopeck by Mingoes, his body was 
brought down the Susquehanna to the Mahantango 
Mountain, opposite Liverpool, where Nature in an 
awful catacylsm the night of his interment cut his 
bold profile indelibly on the mountainside. He was 
an implacable foe of the white invasion, and died 
stripped of everything possessable. Lappowinzo, who 
lived at the foot of Mount Nittany, in Centre County, 
was another Lenni-Lenape ruler whom the whites de- 
frauded of his all through the nefarious "Walking 
Purchase" in 1737. It is said that his tall spirit 
stalks o'er the campus of State College on windy 
nights, inspecting lands rightfully his, being especially 
fond of the "ghost walk." And Galasko, who loved 
Regina Hartman, and slew her white admirer, Anders 
Boone, at Fort Freeland ; Hiakatoo, who figured at 
the same massacre, though later the husband of Mary 
Jemison, "The White Woman of the Genessee," and 
last but not least, the sombre spirit of Waupalanne, 
or Bald Eagle, for whom a mountain range is named, 
but whom the fair Mary Wolford spurned, and died 
in Young Woman's Creek, escaping from him. Their 
restless lives were true to their barbaric instincts, to the 
glory of the wild mountains, and their spirits find no 
rest in death. Immortality is not for everyone, it is 
achievable, the narrow selfish life has no soul's es- 
sence to perpetuate, the grand free lover of moun- 
tain and waterfall is as imperishable spiritually, as 



are the rocks in physical nature. And it will only be 
through a love of all that is beautiful and historically 
venerable in the Central Pennsylvania Highlands that 
its people can evolve into the plane of the immortals. 
Just now it is a rich field for the spread of Vachel 
Lindsay's '^Gospel of Beauty." To live amid such 
beauty, to see it not, to have no other impulse toward 
it but to destroy it for unnecessary riches, where 
comes the need of Paradise any more than for the 
caterpillar plodding up a tree. See this fair world, 
love it, protect its natural wonders, be of such mate- 
rial as the Gods. A person who would wreck thi 
scenic beauties along the Juniata, for instance, for pelf, 
would want to tear up the Golden Streets — if ever such 
a creature could get to Glory. Oh, for a Billy Sunday 
to sret after these terrible stone men ! 

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REGARDING game, fish and' forests, suffice to 
say that a majority of these essentials to a wild 
country still remaining in Pennsylvania are to 
be found in the Central Pennsylvania Highlands. 
The noblest of our game birds, the wild turkey, tne 
range of which never extends north of the West 
Branch of the Susquehanna, is most plentiful in the 
"Seven Brothers" as the Seven Mountains are 
frequently called. From 1885 to 1905 the "kinij 
of game birds" suffered a serious decrease in 
numbers, some writers classing it as extinct in 
Pennsylvania, but during the past ten years it has 
become numerous again, and in the face of fre- 
quent forest fires, indiscriminate hunting and the 
steady decrease of its natural cover. The wild 
pigeons whose flights formerly darkened the sun 
have gone never to return ; they nested on Mt. Logan, 
in Wayne Township, Clinton County, until about 
1865, and at the head' of Young Woman's Creek, in 
the same county, until 1892. The ruffed grouse are 
becoming scarcer every year ; they cannot stand the 
forest fires and loss of cover; they are deteriorating 
with the destruction of the fox and wild cat which 
preyed on weakly and sickly specimens ; perhaps the 
only way to save them would be to abolish the bird 



dog for several years. Quail are almost a thing of 
the past, rats and other pests destroy their nests now 
that minks and weasels have been wiped out for the 
pernicious bounty money. Woodcocks are almost un- 
known to the rising generation of hunters. The paro- 
quet is gone, and the heath-cock which was known on 
some of the high mountains adjacent to White Deer 
Creek is seen no more. Eagles are occasionally noted 
and all varieties of hawks and owls have about ceased 
to exist, the bounty law of 1913, repealed too late, 
having been responsible for the annihilation of 
the farmers' best friends. The picturesque rat- 
tle of the Kingfisher or Halcyon is becoming 
rare on our streams, and the shrill lonesome 
cry of of the Blue Jay is less frequently heard. Two 
severe losses economically and spiritually to our ferae 
naturae. Ravens nest on a few of the higher moun- 
tains, crows are numerous, the latter more numerous 
than in Colonial days according to the naturalist John 
H. Chatham. Rabbits are nowhere plentiful, porcu- 
pines are rarely met with, consequently the pine 
beetle's ravages are unchecked, opossums have in- 
creased since 1905, their greater numbers being coin- 
cident with the renaissance of the wild turkey, prob- 
ably a southern migration. Raccoons are scarce, 
ground hogs or "wood chucks" about stationary in 
numbers, grey and red foxes much fewer than a year 
ago, wild cats decreasing fast, squirrels are every- 
where decreasing rapidly. The red and grey squirrels 
are most often met with, while the black squirrel is 

Scene in Bare Meadows, Centre County. 


rarely seen in his old haunts along the main chain 
of the Allegheny Mountains or the "Canadian life 
zone." The fox squirrel of the Seven Mountains 
is even rarer. The last native elk in the Seven Moun- 
tains was killed at the head of Treaster Valley in 
1847, a stray elk was killed in Decker Valley in 1877. 
None have been seen since then. The larger va- 
riety of deer (Odoicoleus Borcalis Miller) are ex- 
tinct. Sharon Schwenk killed one in Chadwick's 
Gap, the last one seen in Sugar Valley in 1905. 
The true type of the smaller or southern va- 
riety is probably no more, but Kalbfus deer, i. e. cross- 
breeds between the small native type and Kansas, 
Michigan and Texas deer, imjx)rted into Pennsylvania 
by Dr. J. H. Kalbfus, State Game Commissioner, are 
on the increase, especially in Centre and Clinton 
Counties. The red bear is probably nearly extinct, 
the black bear lingers on, a noble game animal but 
hunted too hard to last more than ten years more. 
The grey timber wolf is extinct, but the wily black 
wolf turns up every few years to confute his mourn- 
ers ; specimens have been seen in Penn's Valley as 
late as 19G8 ; the old hunters aver that panthers still 
travel through Treaster Valley on their regular 
paths. Clem Herlacher robbed their nests in 1892 
and 1893 ; Dr. J. T. Rothrock heard their roaring in 
Treaster Valley during 1893. As to forests, patches 
of original timber are still met with, some of it luckily 
on the State lands where it has a chance of protec- 
tion. The white pine attained its maximum of de- 


velopment in Sugar Valley, Brush Valley, Penn's 
Valley and in the adjacent mountains as the mam- 
moth stump fences still in use after sixty years will 
testify. White pine was so plentiful in Sugar Valley 
in 1865 when first visited' by the Poet-Naturalist John 
H. Chatham that fields filled with barkless girdled 
trees loomed on every side. Daniel Mark, of Logan- 
ton, born in 1835, says that the biggest white pine in 
Sugar Valley stood near the mouth of Schwenk's Gap 
and was 270 feet in height. A hemlock in Kleckner's 
woods, on the outskirts of Loganton, felled in 1898, 
was nearly as tall. It was a red hemlock, and much 
larger than any of the white hemlocks in the same 
grove which grew thick on the hillside sloping down 
to Fishing Creek. There are several fine bodies of 
hemlock still standing in Sugar Valley and Penn's 
Valley, a few small plots of white pine still linger 
along the central drift or ridge in Penn's Valley. 
Some fine groves of white oak still remain in Sugar 
Valley. Here and there at springs all over the High- 
lands splendid specimens of tupelo are standing. The 
prop timber men with their narrow gauge railways 
cleaned off the last great body of original yellow pine 
— the Pardee holdings of 23.000 acres — v»inding up 
about ten years ago. The paper mill men and the 
forest fires are fast getting the rest. Song birds, such 
as the wood robin, the fairest singer of our wood- 
lands, and the rarer warblers are most frequently 
heard in the original timber, it is their natural habitat. 
Sugar Valley, up to ten years ago, was .superbly tim- 


bered, but a narrow gauge railway from White Deer 
carried away in a few years what would have given 
the farmers' sons winter work for the next fifty win- 
ters. Result: Many boys forced to leave the farm, 
many farms abandoned because they would not pay 
without lumbering. A cheap prosperity, easy money, 
easy spent, automobiles and regrets. Penn's Valley 
is being lumbered off gradually, a much more sensible 
way. Rafting and log floating carried away most of 
the timber in the valleys of the Sinnemahoning, the 
West Branch and the Tiadaghton ; in the tributary 
streams "splash dams" were built, mostly by New 
Englanders, which carried the logs into the rivers 
and thence to the booms at Lock Haven and Wil- 
liamsport. The last log went down the West Branch 
in 1910, the next year the Williamsport boom was 
taken out, the lumber business on a large scale 
ceased to exist as no one thought to replant or save 
the young growth from the forest fires. A few 
rafts, mostly of prop timber, come down the West 
Branch every spring. According to "Baldy" Fos- 
not, the brilliant editor erf Watsontown, '"last rafts" 
are getting to be as big a chestnut as Sara 
Bernhardt's "farewell tours." The trout streams 
of Central Pennsylvania were sadly battered by 
running logs, the natural pools, sogs and stones 
were smoothed away by the timber; the native suck- 
ers became extinct in White Deer Creek, though the 
trout seemed to be fairly abundant. Weikert Run, 
rising in the wild region known as "Wolfland," is 


about the best trout stream in Eldorado Found. 
White~Deer Creek, especially the South Branch, has 
many excellent pools, as has Chatham's Run, Lick 
Run, Rattlesnake Run, Fish Dam Run, Baker Run, 
McElhattan Run, Antes Run and Henry Run. For 
open bank fishing Fishing Creek is "hard to beat,'' 
also Spring Creek and' Elk Creek. The Sinnemahon- 
ing, the West Branch, the Bald Eagle Creek and 
Tiadaghton are polluted from paper mills, tanneries, 
acid works, dynamite factories and sewers ; fishing in 
them is negligible. For suckers, chubs, bass, etc., the 
Karoondinha presents many attractions. White Deer 
Creek can be best reached from White Deer on the 
P. & R. Railway, or its headwaters from Loganton and 
those of Fishing Creek, via motor stage from Lock 
Haven. Weikert Run is near Weikert Station on the 
Lewisburg and Tyrone Railway, which connects with 
the P. R. R. at Lewisburg. Cherry Run, another ex- 
cellent stream, is reached by the L. & T., as are all 
the points on the Karoondinha. Chatham's Run, Mc- 
Elhattan Run and Henry Run are all reached from 
McElhattan, near Lock HaVen, on the P. R. R. Lick 
Run empties into the West Branch at Farrandsville, a 
station near Lock Haven ; Quinn's Run lies between 
Lick Run and Lock Haven. Rattlesnake Run, Kettle 
Creek, Fishdam, Baker, etc., are near Whetham, 
Westport and Cook's Run on the P. R. R above Lock 
Haven, respectively. In addition to these every gap 
or hollow has its stream, most of them with a fair num- 
ber of fish. The old fashioned Pennsylvania Mountain 


trout is fast becoming rare ; in its place a lighter color- 
ed trout, turned out by the State or private hatcheries 
is in evidence. Brown trout are met with more often 
every year. They do well in streams where the water 
becomes low in midsummer. Everywhere in our 
'"Highlands" trout fishing would be good but for the 
*'fish hogs" who dynamite the streams ; but they are no 
worse than the corporations who kill fish wholesale in 
the rivers with their foul poisons. The great glory of 
the Pennsylvania forests is enhanced by the blossoms, 
flowering shrubs and wild flowers which follow one an- 
other by seasons in marvellous profusion. From the 
first appearance of the June Berry blossoms on the 
brown mountain sides, looking like patches of snow- 
ski flF, until the appearance of chestnut blossoms in July, 
there is a constant pageant of beauty. The wild cher- 
ry, the dogwood, the acacia, all are wonderfully beau- 
tiful, and the odor of the white acacia brings back 
memories of Paris before the Great War. Of flower- 
ing shrubs, the spice bushes glow with gold, along the 
streams in early spring. There is the wax like wild 
white hyderangia, the wild honeysuckle in white and 
pink and red which remains all too briefly, making way 
for laurel, similarly graded in colors, then for a brief 
time in July the dark original forests and creek-glades 
dazzle with the snowy whiteness of the rhododendron ; 
ti'cn comes the sumac tinging red, a faint intimation of 
a change in season, warming the wind-swept upland 
pastures in contrast to the neutral tints of the wild cot- 
ton and mullein. Of wild flowers barely before the 


snow has vanished comes the wood anenome or wind- 
flower, then comes the bloodroot, the Liverwort, Blue 
and Dog Toothed (yellow) violets, and the Pyxie, all 
full blown before the end of April, followed closely by 
the Pink Lady's slipper, the flowers of which, detached 
from their stems, resemble ducks and will float like 
them in a basin of water. Then there is the wild ger- 
anium or cranesbill, the Canada mayflower, the May 
apple, the Wistaria-like clusters of the blue Lupine, 
the scarlet and yellow stripes of the wild columbine, 
and the Painted Trillium, all well flowered by the end 
ot May. \\'ith June comes the Blue Weed, a desert 
flower, the pink firewood, a rainbow after disaster, the 
Partridge vine, the evening, primrose, the baneberry 
and the sweet pepper bush. July brings to the High- 
lands the Black Snake root, with its long stalk and 
white tuft, the New Jersey tea (Canothus Americanus) 
which once started an industry that bid fair to rival 
Japan in the Bald Eagle ^lountains, near McElhattan 
(Clinton County), swamp milkweed, wild sunflower 
and butterfly weed. The white and pink delicate shades 
of early spring have now given way to the deep reds, 
purples and yellows of the declining summer, for with 
August comes the Cardinal flower by the lazy streams, 
the Blazing Star, the Joe Pye Weed, the Golden Rod, the 
Turk's Cap Lily, the Tansy, Touch-me-not, Ironweed, 
with the chaste whiteness of the Great Burnet, the 
Yarrow and the Boneset. With September and chilly 
nights come the hawkweed. New England asters, blue 
wood asters, white heath asters and swamp sunflowers, 

A Pure Stand of Original White Pine. 
(Courtesy Penn. Dept. of Forestry.) 


sombre tints and shades, the asters Hngering through 
many a cold night after the black crickets have ceased. 
The yellow and pink tints of the spring foliage of the 
trees give way to the deep green of June and July, aft- 
er which comes the occasionally greying of the leaf 
t3ps, then a gradually assuming of the orknge and buff, 
and scarlet and purple of the autumn, when these 
bright colored trees stand out among the blackness of 
the pines and hemlocks. The words of Amiel are re- 
called : "The leaves are thinning and changing color ; 1 
v;atch them turning red on the pear trees, gray on the 
plum, yellow on the walnut trees, and tinging the thick- 
ly-strewn turf with shades of reddish-brown." While 
all seasons in the Pennsylvania wilderness are a de- 
light, the writer likes best Spring and Fall, as incident 
to change, for is not all life change, with the hope of 
the morrow the germ of our progress. The era of the 
peepers (Hylodes Pickeringii) from the middle of 
March until Memorial Day symbolizes the period of 
growth ; on Memorial Day often the first black crick- 
ets, "fall crickets" are heard, meaning that the summit 
has been reached, Summer is here, this is fulfillment 
they seem to sing, the peepers have dwindled to an oc- 
casional solo; with the oats harvest the katydids are 
in full chorus on the pale moonlight nights with the 
frost hanging just behind the hill, Fall is coming, the 
summit has been passed they call ; and yet the black 
cricket which sang first on the crest of Nature's devel- 
opment is the last to be heard, in the cold dry grass of 
October he sings of Fall and death. Then he hides 


himself away among the last grey leaves. These 
little creatures are the real accents of existence, all else 
are only overtones. In retrospect we can see the year's 
progress, like in the period of the Indian Summer all 
the rarest days of the year pass in review, blended into 
a beautiful and bewitching entity which is the wraith 
of all our hopes, which alas are done. We cannot re- 
gain the lost days of May, or August consequently 
cannot re-create past opportunities, yet we see the 
glorious possibility of what might have been in Indian 
Summer by far the loveliest season of the year. Perhaps 
by this living over again of past beauties and ungrasped 
opportunities we are but preparing ourselves for a sea- 
son of perpetual sunshine — somewhere beyond the 
mountains. For a legend of "Indian Summer" in Cen- 
tral Pennsylvania, see the author's "Tales of the Bald 
Eagle ATountains," Reading, 1912. The writer has 
been asked for a census of the wild animals, or rather 
the "big game" now living in the Central Pennsylvania 
Highlands. After careful investigation the following 
figures have been prepapred : 

DEER, mostly mixed varieties or "Kalbfus" deer 1,200 

ELK, western elks released during the past dec- 
ade by Dr. J. H. Kalbfus 12 

BLACK BEARS, more killed annually than are 

born 100 

RED BEARS, on the verge of extinction, the 
survivors should be taken alive and placed 

"The Bard of Central Pennsylvania. 


in Philadelphia or Reading Zoological Gar- 
dens 2 

BLACK WOLVES, in wilds of Seven Mountains 3 

PANTHERS, visitors from West Virginia to 
Treaster \"alley, Mifflin County and Rock 
Run, Centre County 1 

WILD CATS, unmercifully hunted, more killed 

annually than born 100 

BEAVERS, wanderers, driven from post to pil- 
lar, with no real protection 2 

GREY FOXES, unmercifully hunted, more kill- 
ed than born. They deserve protection as 
foes of rats which eat the eggs and young of 
ruffed grouse and quails 1,200 

RED FOXES, unmercifully hunted, more killed 

than born 800 

BLACK FOXES, seen occasionally 2 

PORCUPINES, valuable animals, deserving rigid 
protection as foes of the destructive pine 
beetle 100 

OTTERS, wanderers, mostly found on the Ka- 

roondinha and W'hite Deer Creek 6 


ONE AFTERXOOX in the early Spring of 1915, 
George \V. Wagenseller, editor of the "Mid- 
dleburg Post," J. Herbert Walker, associate 
editor of the "Lewisburg Journal," and the writer 
(publisher of the "Altoona Tribune") were driving 
down Middle Creek Valley from Middleburg, former- 
ly Swinefordstown to SeHn's Grove, to pay a visit to 
Daniel Ott, the famous buffalo hunter, whose death at 
the good old age of 96 years occurred in July, 1916. 
In the foreground, beyond the Susquehanna loomed the 
giant form of Mahanoy Mountain dominating the 
landscape, seemingly omnipresent from every point of 
view. While admiring and marvelling at this titan of 
mountains, it was suggested that it would be a good 
idea to start an Alpine Club, a Pennsylvania Alpine 
Club, for the purpose of climbing and exploring the 
best known of the peaks in the Central Pennsylvania 
Highlands, for all the party confessed that none of 
them had ever scaled the Mahanoy, and many other 
nearby peaks were terra incognita to them. Besides 
the inspiring joy of climbing these lofty mountains the 
purposes of the club would be to study the history and 


,.Va " TV u 


legends, the fauna, avifauna and flora of the mountains 
and strive to protect and preserve them for future gen- 
erations of loyal Pennsylvanians. For instance in 
most accessible localities the Arbutus or Mayflower 
is all but extinct. The erection of shelter-huts and 
observatories on the topmost summits would be en- 
couraged. The ultimate aim of the club would be to 
induce the State to purchase all the leading mountain 
peaks and to dedicate them to the public as parks for- 
ever. About a month later, the subject was brought up 
in the presence of Frank Hastings (whom State Treas- 
urer Young calls "The Most Popular Man in Al- 
toona"), John D. Meyer and former Senator Enos M. 
Jones, leading citizens of Altoona, who were enthusias- 
tic over the idea and immediately planned an excur- 
sion to climb the Blue Knob — literally at Altoona's 
back door, and the highest mountain in the Keystone 
State. It was suggested that chapters of the Pennsyl- 
vania Alpine Club be formed all over the Common- 
wealth, but especially in towns adjacent to the high 
peaks. The members of the club would constitute 
themselves into un-official guards for the great moun- 
tains, ever looking after their welfare and protection, 
spreading abroad their fame, enlisting new friends in 
their behalf. As yet, the Pennsylvania Alpine Club is 
not a reality — except in the minds of its enthusiastic 
projectors, but surely it will fill a needed place, a sort 
of advanced Boy Scout organization where statesmen, 
bankers and publishers can find surcease of business 
cares amid the sylvan slopes of the monarchs of our 


Highlands. Annual "hikes" to the top of the local 
mountain or mountains could be made, with monthly 
excursions perhaps to peaks located further from home. 
There is a powerful "Society for the Protection of the 
Adirondacks" in Xew York ; the Pennsylvania Alpine 
Club could accomplish much the same purpose in our 
Commonwealth. Among the mountains to be climbed 
and studied would be such titans as Savage Mountain, 
Dyke's Peak, Mount Pipsisseway, Mount Logan, Flat 
Rock Point and Hyner Mountain in Clinton County, 
Shreiner Mountain, the Red Top, Tussey Knob, Bald 
Top, Mount Xittany and Beech Creek Knob, in 
Centre County ; Mount WyckofT, Mount Logue, Mount 
Berfield, Mount Mason and Mount Barclay in Cameron 
County, the three Knobs of Clearfield County ; Jack's 
Mountain, Big Buffalo Mountain and Paddy Mountain 
in Union County ; Tea Knob, Pewterbaugh Mountain 
and North Mountain Point in Lycoming County ; Mon- 
tour Dome and Mahanoy Mountain in Northumber- 
land County ; White Mountain Pinnacle in Snyder 
County; McAllister's High Point in Juniata County; 
^lilliken's High Top, Treaster Knob and Havice Sum- 
mit in Mifflin County; Mount Union and the Great 
Terrace in Huntingdon County; the Blue Knob, the 
Big Bald Mountain in Bedford County and Wop- 
sononock in Blair County. What Pennsylvanians 
apart from surveyors like William P. Mitchell 
and Flavins J. David, or naturalists like Dr. J. T. 
Rothrock have climbed all of these eminences 
and ''seen the glory of the world"; they must 

Summit of Paddy Mountain. 


have emulators in the rising generation to send for- 
ward the love and fascination of the Pennsylvania 
Highlands. Apart from the noble mountain peaks, 
there are springs, picturesque or medicinal or steeped 
in historic or legendary lore. These the Pennsylvania 
Alpine Clubs would popularize and preserve from con- 
tamination for future generations. There is the famed 
Arch Spring in Sinking Valley, Capt. Logan's Spring in 
Tyrone City, and the same grand old Chief's Sprin^^ 
near Bell's Furnace, Blair County, Chief James Logan'i 
Spring near Reedsville in Mifflin County, Rock 
Spring in Centre County, where the bodies of the de- 
feated warriors of the Lenni Lenape were hurled after 
the Battle of the Indian Steps in 1635, Tea Springs, 
which marks the border of four counties, Union, Ly- 
coming, Clinton and Centre, McElhattan Springs, five 
springs beloved by the Susquehannock Chieftain Hylo- 
shotkee in the olden days, the Sulphur Spring at Lo- 
ganton, where Chief James Logan recovered from 
many a prostrating illness, Zeller's Spring in Sugar Val- 
ley where Peter Pentz crippled James Logan, the Sand 
Spring on the Coudersport Pike, Where German pio- 
neers saw fairies bathing, all in Clinton County; the 
Big Sulphur Spring in Union County, where Dorman 
skinned his giant panther, and hosts of others, some 
with their properties yet to be discovered, others buried 
beneath leaves and debris to be dug out, others with 
their history still unrecorded. Then there are the 
caves to be explored, the huge, mysterious boulders 
to be "geologized." There is much that this Pandean 


organization can accomplish to raise the spirituality 
of dwellers in Central Pennsylvania above this fat- 
faced clean-shaven age of smug commercialism that 
makes people look no higher than their desks. They must 
be carried up into the mountains beloved by the Gods. 
Then shall come a greater Pennsylvania, far richer 
than the one we know now, richer in citizenship, high- 
er ideals, loftier patriotism, more steadfast in faith, all 
attributes learned from the mountains, which will be- 
come shrines, and no longer be defaced by the lumber- 
man and defiled by the forest fire. And then the Mil- 
lenium will be at hand, attained centuries sooner than 
the half-hearted wishers for such a condition ever 
dreamed it could come. The glory of Pennsylvania is 
in her mountains, they are the treasure houses where- 
in are shut the pearls without price, the human soul, 
that must be opened before we can call ourselves really 
great. Pennsylvania's grandest men have been born or 
lived in the mountains. Unconsciously they absorbed 
part of the mighty heart of the hills. Ponder how 
much greater mankind collectively will be when all 
strive to receive from the mountains its endless heri- 
tage of human betterment. Already there are signs of 
the times. It is reported that Governor Brumbaugh 
has held up the contract made by certain members of 
the State Forestry Commission to sell the face of 
Jack's Mountain near Mapleton Tunnel for sand rock 
— a rich Commonwealth for a few dollars of passing 
gain bargaining away one of Nature's masterpieces. 
(See description of Jack's Mountain Gap in Chapter 



V of this book). In Berks County the impressively 
attended State Conservation convention held in Read- 
ing in June of last year started a movement to stop 
the quarriers from further destroying slopes of Mount 
Penn and Neversink Mountain, two superb heights 
which lie directly facing the city. These mountains 
once "a beauty and a joy forever" in their rich, green 
verdure now look like the cliffs of Dover or the nose- 
less Sphinx of the Egyptian plains, and all for a few 
dollars ! It is related by Hon. John D. Mishler, "Read- 
ing's First Citizen," a man who ought to be elected 
Mayor for life, that when several distinguished 
Japanese were in the Berks County metropolis some 
years ago they marvelled at the demolition going on 
upon the nearby mountains. One of them remarked, 
perhaps ironically: "What a wonderful people you 
Americans are, those mountains are evidently in the 
way of your view and you set out to remove them as 
if they were ant hills." 


First Published Description of an Ascent to the Summit of 

Blue Knob, the Highest Mountain in Pennsylvania, by 


(The Observer) 

Reprinted from the Altoona Tribune, issues of November 

23 to December 1, 1916. 

Who said "13" was unlucky? 

The Observer and twelve other Altoonans smash- 
ed that old superstition to smithereens on Sunday, the 
13th, for we rode on trains, scaled mountains and ate 
all sorts of indigestible things — and came through un- 

Incidentally, we achieved another of our steen 
million ambitions — for we scaled the heights of Blue 
Knob and stood on the highest point of land in Penn- 

For several years we had heard that Blue Knob 
was the highest altitude in the state and had a strong 
desire to mount to its summit. 

On our previous hike with Messrs. Kinch and 
McGraw, along the Old Portage road, they promised 
to guide us some day in the Fall to the top of Blue 
Knob and we patiently waited for the day to come. 

It came on Sunday and the burden of this article 
and what may follow will have to do with a nineteen - 
mile hike, which left The Observer elated and happy, 
but footsore and weary. 


BLUE KNOB (Height 3,160 Feet) The Highest IVIountain in Pennsylvania. 
(From Photo by Donaid iVIcGraw, Altoona.) 


'J'o Henry VV. Shoemaker, 

1110 Twelfth Street, 
Altoona, Pa. 

'J'he undersigned being in sympathy with the pur- 
]X3ses of the Pennsylvania Alpine Club would like to 
receive further information on the subject as soon as 
the ]M-oject takes definite form. 



No Financial Obligation. 


(1820-1916) Veteran Buffalo Hunter of Selinsgrove, Snyder 



On Saturday afternoon, Friend Kinch's voice was 
heard on the 'phone: "We're going to Blue Knob to- 
morrow. Be at the station at 6 :20 to take the train to 
Ben's Creek." 

It was somewhat of a test of our desire to see 
Blue Knob to leave the pillow so early on Sunday 
morning — the only day when we can loaf among the 
feathers — but we at last promised to be there. 

We were awake at 4 o'clock and slept the remain- 
der of the time with one eye open, but at 5 :30 we were 
up and stirring. Friend Wife saw that we were plen- 
tifully fortified in the inner man for the day's long 
journey and clad in a nondescript outfit, with a stout 
walking cane, we were at the station ten minutes be- 
fore train time. 

One by one the hikers rolled into the station — all 
in great glee — like school boys, and the roll call show- 
ed the following distinguished gentlemen present: H. 
B. Kinch, Blair county's premier nature authority and 
veteran hiker, who lopes along with a 32-inch stride 
all day and never gets tired; H. A. McGraw, vice 
president of the Blair County Game and Forestry As- 
sociation, who is pushing Brother Kinch for honors 
as an expert in woodcraft; Donald McGraw, son of 
H. A., who promises to outrival his father one of these 
days, and incidentally, one of the Tribune's best car- 
riers; J. C. Brallier, superintendent of mails at the 
post ofifice, who is devoted to the outdoors; James V. 
Westfall, of the Westfall Co., a patient and steady- 
going plodder, who always gets there without hurry or 


excitement ; Prof. W. M. Roberts, of the High School 
faculty, premier athlete and authority on sports ; Prof. 
Charles Grimminger, of the High School faculty, in- 
structor in French, German and Spanish, who' has 
hiked all over the Old World, and who was the most 
versatile man in the party, and incidentally the life of 
it ; Charles Mann, grocer and former art student, like- 
wise some tenor, who enacted the role of chief sur- 
geon of the commissariat, and gave an exhibition of 
Rooseveltian energy and pep; Walter Werner, chief 
decorator of the Westfall Co., whose windows won 
the first prize in the recent style show, and whose ar- 
tistic leanings manifested themselves in front of every 
beautiful fern that grew in the forest or on some of 
the moss-covered boulders; Leopold Bendheim, of the 
Bendheim shoe store, who always led the procession 
and walked up the side of Blue Knob without a pause 
as if it were some goose-step function, who also as- 
sisted Grimmy in the comedy features enroute; W. R. 
and A. A. Knauer, both Pennsy employes and dev- 
otees of the woods.. 

This was the personnel of the party. Except The 
Observer, every one was an experienced woodsman 
and hiker. We were the only tenderfoot in the party 
and we must confess that the term "tenderfoot" was 
peculiarly appropriate to us before the long hike was 
ended, but we'll come to that later. 

It was a cosmopolitan gathering, including Jew, 
Irish, German, Welsh and American, but the various 
races blended beautifully and there was no sign of a 

Grave of "Bill" Pursley, Wolf Hunter, Welkert, Union County. 


• 1 

scrap all day. Every now and then the voices blend- 
ed, too, but how beautifully, we must leave to the 
denizens of the forest. 

As the train rounded the Horseshoe Curve, it was 
very apparent why the water authorities advise econ- 
omy in the use of our water supply. There was scarce- 
ly any water in the reservoir — the middle body of wa- 
ter in the Altoona system — and it was very evident on 
the banks of Lake Altoona that the supply had been 
lowered considerably. All the mountain streams pass- 
ed during the day were very low and unless there is a 
heavy rain or snow before winter sets in, the situa- 
tion will be serious. 

It was too early and the morning mist too heavy 
to catch a glimpse of nature's wonders as the train 
climbed the Alleghenies. However, the tree-covered 
hills of the mountains were in wonderful contrast to 
the scenes from Gallitzin to Ben's Creek, where the 
hand of man has denuded the surrounding country of 
all vegetation and instead there is nothing but barren, 
dull-looking hills, seamed and fissured and scarred, so 
that the sight is dreary and depressing. At 7 :15 a. 
ni., the train stopped at Cassandra, or Ben's Creek, as 
it is better known, and after adjusting pedometers, the 
thirteen hikers crossed under the tracks of the main 
line and struck directly south toward Blue Knob. 

Ben's Creek is a typical mining settlement. Houses 
are strung along the road for almost a mile, all of the . 
same type, some painted red and others without paint. 
The yards and gardens lack all semblance of order 


and neatness. The stream known as Ben's Creek, 
from which the town gets its name, runs through a 
ravine, the waters being of a reddish hue, from the 
mine drainage. There is a branch of the railroad on 
each side of the ravine and here and there along the 
mountainside, may be seen an abandoned mine open- 
ing. The present operations are at the furthest ex- 
tremity of the village and while passing, we noted the 
small mine cars being hauled to the mines, indicating 
that operations were being conducted on Sunday. A 
number of workmen got oft" the train and proceeded 
up the tracks toward the mine. We saw scarcely any 
people along the way. Probably it was too early and 
they were taking their Sunday morning siesta. Any- 
how, we were glad when Ben's Creek was passed and 
we found ourselves on a mountain road, headed for 
the village of Blue Knob, the first habitation we were 
to encounter after leaving Ben's Creek. 

Just a short distance from Ben's Creek, the moun- 
tain is wild in appearance. There is very little timber 
standing, but the land abounds in brush, brambles and 
young saplings of various kinds. The road is typical 
of mountain highways — two deep ruts and huge stone> 
in the centre — with enough mud holes to keep one 
agile in jumping from place to place. Three or four 
miles from Ben's Creek, the road passes a grove of 
rhododendron and ferns, and the effect of the bright 
green hidden deep in the woods along the waters of 
Ben's Creek, is beautiful when contrasted with the 
drab of the autumn-tinted foliage. 

09 (0 

? 2 


Guide Kinch and The Observer were trotting 
ahead of the party near this point, when Mr. Kinch 
was called back. The party had gathered about a tall 
sapling, on which were sharp thorns and which had .1 
peculiar cluster of prickly flowers or seeds at the top. 
There was a dispute as to the name of the tree. After 
careful scrutiny and an examination of the core of the 
tree, Air. Kinch decided it was what is known as Her- 
cules club. If ever there was a misnomer, that is 
one, for the core of the little sapling was pithy like 
milkweed and one good blow would shatter it to 
pieces. Old Hercules surely used a stouter club than 
that — we would imagine an oak or hickory sapling 
would have been better suited to his brawny arms — 
but somebody had named the tree in days gone by and 
although it is a rank misfit, it is Hercules club. 

There is an abundance of ground pine in that 
vicinity and from the experts we learned there are 
three varieties of ground pine — all of which were 
found on the hike. There is the common variety 
which grows like a miniature evergreen tree and is 
beautiful in its symmetry. Then there is what is 
known as the Elkhorn variety, which sends up stems 
from the centre, and lastly, what is known as crow's 
foot, which grows along the ground like a creeper. We 
placed a bit of ground pine in our buttonhole and took 
it home as the only souvenir of our visit to the heart 
of the Alleghenies. Ferns also grow in abundance and 
in great variety and these, coupled with the appear- 
ance of hemlocks, were delightfully contrasted with 


the brown feathery appearance of the fast-disappear- 
ing foHage on the mountains. While passing this se- 
cluded spot with its wealth of ferns and rhododen- 
drons, we passed the source of Ben's creek and came 
to the divide, on the other side of which is the source 
of Bob's creek, which flows in the opposite direction 
and in which Altoonans now have a direct interest 
since the city acquired a site for a reservoir on the 
creek in the vicinity of Blue Knob — several miles from 
its source. 

Just before reaching the headwaters of Bob's 
Creek, one of the party found an iron wheel and there 
was much speculation as to how it got there — in such 
a remote and lonely place. A few feet farther on, a 
pile of sawdust solved the enigma and it was evident 
that in days gone by a sawmill had been erected there 
and then abandoned. 

Soon after crossing the crest of the divide, we 
came to a tiny little stream which Guide Kinch an- 
nounced was Bob's Creek. "Lew Fields" Bendheim 
had a topographical map with him, showing in detail 
the country through which we were to travel, and Mr. 
Kinch was found to be correct in his statement. At 
that point, the stream was not two feet wide — just a 
little rivulet — with water clear as crystal. All felt that 
if the water was as pure at the Conrad farm, which 
the city of Altoona has bought, which is several miles 
from the source, Bob's Creek will be a desirable ac- 
quisition to our water supply, although there was much 
speculation among the members of the party as to how 

Colonel John Kelly Homestead, Union County. 


the city will divert. the water over the mountain to 

On all sides there were evidences of the activity 
of woodsmen. Piles of timber were seen here and 
there and freshly-made roads testified that the hand of 
man was again despoiling the headwaters of the stream 
of much of its cover. Just as the hikers were quaff- 
ing their thirst from the crystal waters of the creek, 
a church bell was heard to the south. It was exactly 
9 o'clock and the sound of the bell in that lonely wil- 
derness had a decidedly appealing effect upon the imag-- 
ination. It was the bell of Mt. Moriah United Breth- 
ren church more than three miles away, yet its tone 
was as loud and distinct as if but 100 yards away. It 
was very mellow and had a musical ring and all were 
reminded for the instant that it was the time when 
men, women and children all over the east were pre- 
paring themselves for worship, while thousands upon 
thousands were already in the sanctuary paying their 
tribute of praise. Another evidence of the stillness of 
the mountains and the distance sound will travel was 
given when almost near Blue Knob. The trains on 
the main line — eight miles away — could be heard 
whistling distinctly. The topographical map showed 
that at the point where the hikers stood, they were 
2600 feet above sea level. 

After traveling about two miles from the source 
of Bob's Creek, the hikers were surprised in coming 
around a bend in the road to see a fertile valley spread 
before them. It had the same effect as if one came 


from darkness to light. All the way from Ben'? 
Creek to that point, we had been hemmed in by woods 
and there was no sign of human habitation. Here 
spread before us, were broad fields, in an excellent 
state of cultivation, stretching far to the south. It wa'- 
a surprise that such a tremendous expanse of cleared 
land existed on top of the mountain, so remote from 
the centres of population. Although the post office 
was fully two miles away, the entire section is known 
as Blue Knob. Across the fertile lands and far in 
the distance, could be seen mountains towering in the 
air, and over in that direction somewhere lay our ob- 
jective — the mountain of Blue Knob. 

The homes in the vicinity of Blue Knob village 
are very cosy in appearance and substantially built. 
Some are quite up to date, indicating prosperity on 
the part of the owners. If anybody wishes to lead 
the simple life, we can imagine no better place than 
the Blue Knob farming country, on the crest of the 
Alleghenies. Portage is the nearest trading centre — 
nine miles to the west — and most of the marketing is 
done at Portage, because of its convenience. In con- 
versation with a farmer on horseback who was ac- 
companied by his small boy, we were pleased to learn 
that the Tribune finds its way every day to even the 
remotest recesses of the Blue Knob region, proving 
that there is scarcely a spot where the Tribune does 
not go with its daily messages from all over the world. 

We felt quite at home when we hit the vicinity 
of Blue Knob, for we knew one of the prominent 

Old Zimmerman Homestead, Union County, now replaced by 
a modern hotel property. 


citizens — Reuben Long, postmaster of the village, 
storekeeper and man of affairs. Mr. Long is one of 
the Tribune's circle of readers. We knew that from 
having met him at the office and talking with him on 
the telephone — for Blue Knob is not so remote but 
what it keeps in touch with the outside world. We 
happened to be just in time to have a brief chat with 
Mr. Long for he had just tuned up his big touring car 
and with his family was about to go to church. In J. 
Elvin Brumbaugh's younger days, he had taught school 
at Blue Knob and Altoona's assistant postmaster is 
still very kindly remembered by his Blue Knob friends. 
The school house where J. Elvin first taught the A B 
C's is still standing, but there is a newer and more 
commodious brick building some distance away. Mr. 
Long has a handsome home, painted white, and it is 
situated in the heart of the village. Across the street 
is Mt. Sinai church, built by Mr. Long's father, on 
the cornerstone of which the Geological Survey has 
placed a bench mark, showing the altitude at that point 
to be 2375 feet. The cemetery adjoining is well fill- 
ed, the names of Long, Ritchey and Diehl predomin- 
ating. It is said that Blue Knob consists almost en- 
tirely of Ritcheys~and Diehls and in the grove nearbv, 
there is a large gathering of members of the two clans 
every year. While conversing with Mr. Long, we 
were again reminded that it was Sunday when we 
heard some hymns being played on the organ by Mr. 
Long's daughter. Miss Florence. The P. O. S. of A. 
hall opposite the church furnishes a meeting place fcr 


the community. Mr. Long is well known to the po- 
litical leaders of the county, for everything is Repub- 
lican at Blue Knob. They are so saturated with Re- 
publicanism that they never know there is another 
ticket running and when some of the party asked how 
Blue Knob went for the presidency, Mr. Long smiled 
and said: ''Republican." 

Another delightful gentleman who showered tiie 
hikers with hospitality at the village of Blue Knob was 
John Ritchey, fire warden for the Juniata township 
district. Mr, Ritchey and Mr. McGraw are warm 
friends and in a few moments, the host had a big pan 
of apples before his guests — Spitzenbergs and pip- 
pins. In the apple-eating contest, Brother Westfall 
managed to capture the honors. James showed a 
strong liking for the Spitz variety — and we don't 
blame him. 

After leaving Blue Knob, we followed an excel- 
lent road all the way to the mountain of Blue Knob — 
about three miles away. By the way, we were sur- 
prised at the excellent state of the roads in that sec- 
tion. They were admirably kept. There is a peculiar- 
ity about Blue Knob — one cannot see it until you are 
almost onto it. even though it is the highest peak in 
Pennsylvania. It is hidden on three sides by peaks al- 
most as high. Soon after leaving the village, a kink 
manifested itself back of The Observer's knee. Bend- 
heim and "Grimmy" led the procession at a swinging 
gait and we managed to keep up, but with each step 
the kink became kinkier and ere long it seemed as if 

o O 
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D « 



we should have to borrow a crutch. The left leg 
seemed to shrink about two iriches and we couldn't 
take our usual stride. We had to walk gingerly lest 
the kink should snap. 

Did you ever have that taut feeling in your ten- 
dons—when it seemed as if a little extra exertion 
would break them off? That's just the way we man- 
aged to hobble those last three miles between Blue 
Knob village and Blue Knob mountain. We passed 
Mt. Hope church just as service was being held. 
There were about twenty farmers' rigs tied outside and 
a few automobiles, and we were sorely tempted to bor- 
row a "Henry" and finish the distance, but pride would 
not permit. We determined to see the thing through 
or bust. Fortunately, we didn't bust. We suggested 
to some of the hikers that it would be very nice to 
stop at the church and attend the preaching service, 
but they were so madly in haste to get to the foot of 
Blue Knob, which now appeared about a mile away, 
that it was impossible to stop them. So we stuck to 
it and at last — exactly eleven miles by Brother Kinch's 
pedometer — we lay down at the foot of Blue Knob, 
while "Grimmy" and Mann and a few others busied 
themselves in lighting a fire to boil coffee. 

While keeping up with "Grimmy," as Prof. 
Charles Grimminger is wont to be called, we learned 
something of his unique travels and sociological 
studies abroad and in this country, and we hope some 
day to get the genial and original professor to detail 
some of his experiences for readers of this column. 


He has hiked from the source of the Rhone to its 
mouth and has slept alone at night in deserted castles. 
He has also traversed the Rhine from its source to its 
mouth, doing his own cooking along the way, even be- 
fore he understood the German language. He has 
toured through Spain, Italy, France, Germany and the 
British Isles and has always kept away from the beat- 
en paths. He preferred to mingle with the people and 
has lived in the slums of all the large cities purposely, 
so as to study them from a sociological standpoint. 
Last year he spent five weeks in the Ghetto of New 
York City, and his experiences would make highly en- 
tertaining reading. It was interesting to The Observer 
to note the lack of artificiality in his personality. All 
along the hike, his witticisms and repartee kept the 
hikers amused and entertained and he possesses a 
strong and intense individuality. 

Just at the point where a halt was made for lunch, 
there is a farm kept by a German with a strong ac- 
cent. He has two fierce dogs and it looked for a time 
as if all hands w'ould be forced to climb trees, but 
eventually Brother IMann, armed with his woodsman's 
hatchet, braved the canines in their lair and secured 
drinking water from the spring. Two upright forked 
sticks and a cross-piece held a pail of water and soon 
a fiTre was kindled underneath and the odor of coffee 
was as incense to the nostrils of some of the hikers. 
Every fellow had his own lunch and there was quite 
a variety. The communistic spirit was manifested 
strongly and a delightful half hour was spent around 
the camp fire. 


About a mile below the Blue Knob dining hall is 
the Conrad farm recently acquired by the City of Al- 
toona and slightly further over, on the next hill, is the 
spot where the two little Cox children were found 
dead some years ago. A granite marker has been 
erected on the spot. Pavia is about three miles to 
the south and Claysburg eight miles to the east. After 
dinner, the climb to the top of Blue Knob began. The 
elevation on the roadway, where lunch was eaten, 'S 
9,576 feet, and the elevation of Blue Knob is 3,136 
feet. We had a climb of 560 feet up the side of the 
mountain, with no path to travel. McGraw and Kinch 
led the way and the balance of the "13" straggled along 
behind, Westfall bringing up the rear at a safe and 
sane distance. "Grimmy"' and Bendheim were un- 
able to stop until the top was reached, but all others 
paused to ease the heart beats and catch the breath. 
The side of the mountain is thick with underbrush and 
brambles and these had to be pushed aside. Now and 
then one of the branches swung back, giving the 
hikers a stinging blow in the face. Here and there the 
ascent A^as very steep and the carpet of leaves hid 
loose stones, causing the hikers to slip frequently. It 
was no easy matter. Every ounce of energy was call- 
ed into play and the walking cane proved of great 
value in bracing oneself now and then. There are no 
huge boulders on the west side of the mountain, how- 
ever, and after a strenuous struggling of forty min- 
utes, the hikers were on the crest of the highest point 
of land in the state of Pennsylvania. We felt like 


shouting "Eureka" or "Excelsior" or some other word 
of exclamation. Now we can imagine the thrill that 
must come to Alpine climbers who scale dizzy heights 
and precipices and finally stand on the highest peak of 
all. There is a sense of satisfaction in having accom- 
plished something requiring all the forces at one's com- 
mand — of triumphing over Nature — and this was the 
feeling in each heart at 1 :20 p. m. that Sunday, as wc 
looked out over the "Schwytz" country, as that section 
is popularly known. 

Except for two narrow defiles, Blue Knob is 
something of a disapointment so far as the panorama 
is concerned. It is so shut in by other mountains that 
but two narrow openings are left where one can look 
for any distance. On the west side of the mountain, 
one sees the "Schwytz" country, which might be call- 
ed a valley on top of the mountain. However, this 
view is very limited, and the best vantage point on u 
clear day is from the northern end of the Knob, where 
one may see the buildings in Altoona with naked eye. 
It was too misty on Sunday to catch this view, but 
others in the party who have visited Blue Knob on 
previous occasions, say that through the narrow de- 
pression in the mountain in the foreground, one may 
see a portion of Altoona. Looking northeast, one 
catches a glimpse of the country towards Claysburg, 
but this again is too narrow in perspective to excite 
a thrill. Some of the hikers climbed the tops of trees, 
but even from this vantage point, the "Schwytz" coun- 
try afforded the only panoramic effect, and it was very 


pleasing. The view from Blue Knob is not to be com- 
pared with the wonderful panorama seen from Wop- 
sononock's noble brow, where mountains and valleys 
and cities and more mountains merge into a vista that is 
unsurpassed. The sweep of the panorama from Wopsy 
is sublime. From Blue Knob, it is so restricted by the 
presence of surrounding peaks as to be scarcely worth 
the climb. Yet there is a lot of satisfaction in know- 
ing that you have elevated yourself above the heads 
of 8,000,000 Pennsylvanians. We were exactly 11^ 
miles from Ben's Creek. 

On one of the trees was found a muslin sign 
placed there by members of the Blair County Game 
and Forestry Association, announcing a fine of $10 for 
molesting any wild bird or nest. On it was written the 
date — April 30, 191G— rand the names of the men who 
were there — Messrs. Kinch, McGraw, StouflFer, Wing- 
ert and Steins. The hikers' names were placed on the 
margin of the card and if you go there some day, you 
will find The Observer's name among the rest. All 
the trees on top of the Knob are oak. Far below stood 
Mt. Hope church — like a toy church building — the 
only habitation to be seen in this whole landscape. The 
clouds cast their shadows on the mountains far in the 
distance and a strong but fresh and exhilarating 
breeze drove the clouds swiftly along, giving promise 
of rain ere long. The promise was not fulfilled, how- 
ever, despite the crowing of the roosters which Mr. 
Kinch felt was a sure sign of rain, and the entire 
journey was made under ideal conditions. The brush 


is thick on top of the mountain and after spending half 
an hour there, the descent was begun down the north- 
em slope. 

It is much easier to drop 600 feet down the side 
of a mountain than to climb the same distance. In 
fact, we traveled so fast at times, what with slipping 
and sliding, that it seemed as if the foot of the moun- 
tain was coming up to -meet us. More than one of the 
hikers performed some most ungraceful evolutions and 
it is a wonder we did not finish the descent with curv- 
ature of the spine. It took twenty-five minutes to 
descend. There was less brush on the northern slope, 
but here and there were huge stones, seemingly carved 
from a quarry, with the tops as smooth as a board, 
some covered with moss and vegetation. One big rock 
was split in two by a small tree which persisted in 
finding its way toward the sky. Two of the greatest 
treasures found along the way were modest little vio- 
lets which tried to hide their beauty with a covering of 
leaves. Mr. Kinch said he had often seen violets in 
October but never before in November, and the blush- 
ing flowerets were tenderly uprooted and brought to 
Altoona by the finders. 

Just before leaving Blue Knob. Werner joined the 
party after a private expedition, bearing in his hand 
a good-sized hornet's nest. 

That led to the query: \\'hen is a hornet not a 
hornet ? 

To which the answer is : When it's dead. 

None of the hikers were quite sure there were hor- 

Captain John Logan's Spring, now in heart of Tyrone City, 
Blair County. 


nets in the nest and they were still more uncertain as 
to whether they were alive or dead, but in response to 
The Observer's desire to see the interior of a hornet's 
nest, Guide McGraw took out his knife and slit it 
from top to bottom. 

While the operation was in progress all hands held 
their breath, for hornets have a way of showing their 
spite that is most unpleasant, especially when they sit 
down on one's neck. 

Nothing happened, and we had a safe peep at tne 
interior of the pesky varmint's home. Guide Kinch 
says the nest is made from the scaling of fence rails, 
which the hornets bite off and carry home, converting 
the thin wood' by some process into a continuous strip 
of almost gauze-like grey paper. There seemed to be 
three or four layers of the material and inside were 
three combs. 

On top of the highest comb were found several hor- 
nets clasped together in their last long embrace. . The 
queen hornet, twice as large as her subjects, was 
found half way down the nest, snugly hidden under 
the middle comb. In the cells were found hornets in 
varying stages of growth. Some were in the larvae 
state, while others were full grown and ready to pop 

It was the first time in our young life we had' ever 
attempted to handle a full-grown hornet, but we pick- 
ed one up and held it without the slightest trepida- 

There's a reason : They were dead 


Most of the hornets die during the cold weather, 
although if the nest is taken home and left in a warm 
place, they come to life surprisingly and annoyingly 
quickly, as Brother Werner can testify. 

There is much more we might say about the habits 
of hornets if we only knew what to say, but we must 
hasten down the mountain to Claysburg, or we'll never 
get home. 

At the foot of the mountain we came upon the resi- 
dence and farm of William Ritchey — one of the 
Ritcheys of Blue Knob. Mr. Ritchey was very hos- 
pitable and invited the hikers to an open plot where 
three barrels of sweet cider stood" temptingly. 

"Do you like cider?" said he. 

All hands avowed they did and without further 
ceremony, said William Ritchey did then and there in 
the presence of the assembled company, placed a big 
tin pail under the bung hole of one of the barrels and 
let 'er splash. From the pail it found its way down 
thirteen throats and in a short time the pail looked* as 
if it had sprung a good-sized leak. 

At the Ritchey farm we saw a rare species of 
mouse — the kangaroo or jumping mouse — with long 
hind legs and long ears. It had committed suicide In 
a pail of milk. Poor thing! One of the hikers took 
it with him to mount it. 

Guide Kinch says that the mountain between Blue 
Knob and Poplar Run presents the wildest scenery in 
this part of the State and since he has visited every 
section on foot many times during the past thirty 
years, we believe he is qualified to speak. 


Anyhow, the term ''Schwytz," meaning Swiss, is 
very appropriate, for on all sides, particularly at Lick 
Hollow, the scenery is strongly suggestive of Swiss 
views so often seen in books and magazines. 

There is no road' from the Ritchey farm down the 
hollow towards Poplar Run — nothing but a path. 
Down, down, down goes the path and we pass through 
a grove of beech wood, whose silver coloring gives the 
ravine a fairy-like appearance. On either side, the 
banks are covered with a thick carpet of leaves and 
hemlocks abound, while the tiny stream in the bed of 
the deep ravine adds to the wild yet beautiful effect. 

At last we were forced to walk the bed of the 
stream, which is known among the natives of that sec- 
tion as Bull's Creek, but which appears on the maps as 
South Poplar Run. Far above us towered the moun- 
tains on each side — probably 1,000 feet high at that 
point. A lumber camp and piles of sawed' timber in- 
dicated the activity of the woodsmen, although none of 
them were present as we passed. 

To the left of the ravine is a deep hollow, the al- 
most perpendicular sides of which have been culti- 
vated. It seems almost impossible that a team of 
horses could stand up on the side of the mountain. 
How in the world the pioneer ever cleared the land and 
then plowed it was a mystery to the hikers. 

As we passed a barn across the ravine we shout- 

"What place is this?" 


"Lick Hollow," was the answer. Another person 
shouted : "Hill Cove." 

Whatever it is, it is worth seeing, for it is an in- 
dication of what a man can do against the forces of 

Just below Lick Hollow is one of the prettiest 
gems of Nature to be seen in this section. It is a wa- 
terfall, surrounded by hemlocks, while the rocks are 
covered with moss and ferns are abundant. The wa- 
ter of South Poplar Run leaps over a shelf of rock to 
a deep pool twelve feet below. Jnst now the stream 
is low, but even at that it is a beautiful sight to see 
the water tumbling over the jagged rocks. With the 
stream bank full, it must be inspiring. We cannot im- 
agine a more ideal retreat for one who wishes a sylvan 
nook or a shady glen to spend some quiet moments. 
It would also make an ideal objective for lovers. 

The village of Poplar Run consists of a few scat- 
tered houses, a school house and general store and a 
church building. A few men lounging on the village 
green told us the name of the place. 

Looking back from this place, the scenery is sub- 
lime beyond description. We do not hesitate to say it 
is the most beautiful sight anywhere in this section. 
Towering in the background are no less than six moun- 
tain peaks, all nearly 1,000 feet high, and with the lit- 
tle village in the foreground, the effect is surely Swiss- 

About a mile farther down, the hikers halted a 
moment. In a field nearby some of the young men and 


boys amused themselves playing ball and we were sur- 
prised and pleased when one of the spectators walke:l 
over to The Observer and made himself known. It 
was L. G. Dively, one of the candidates in the Trib- 
une's circulation campaign. Mr. Dively was just as 
glad to see us as if he had won one of the cars. 

From this point on to Claysburg, navigating was 
a difficult procedure for The Observer. With the kink 
in the back of the left knee, there also developed a 
tender spot on the sole of the left foot and with two 
handicaps, we had to exercise a lot of stern resolve. A 
fine touring car standing near where the boys played 
ball was a sore temptation. On the way an automobile 
passed and we had to sit on ourself good and hard not 
to stop the chauffeur and ask for a lift. In the dis- 
tance could be seen the quarried heights of Dunning's 
mountain, just above Claysburg. It was three miles 
away. My ! how long those three miles seemed. How- 
ever, our courage asserted itself and we hobbled into 
Claysburg forty-five minutes before the 5 :20 train left. 
In order to forget our troubles, the hikers harmonized 
a bit for the benefit of the waiting passengers and no- 
body seemed a bit the worse after it was over. 

Guide Kinch's official pedometer showed exactly 
nineteen miles and every mile was a joy to The Ob- 
server, even with a sore foot and game leg. The 
hikers were congenial and we could not desire finer 
company. We hope it will not be the last time we thir- 
teen shall meet. When we arrived at Altoona, there 
seemed to be a blister on the sole of that left foot about 


the size of a dollar, and stiff, sore and weary we board- 
ed a trolley car for home, delighted with the day's out- 
ing. An hour later we sat in church looking uncon- 
cerned as though we had been in bed all day, and list- 
ening to one of the greatest Republican sermons wc 
have ever heard. It was a .very full day and we recom- 
mend it to our readers. 

Here endeth the story of The Observer's hike 
from Ben's Creek to Claysburg, via Blue Knob, and 
we trust it has not been over-weary in its reading. 

*'The Lost Children of the Alleghenies." 

Through the courtesy of our good friend, A. L. 
Hench, of Altoona, we have been privileged to read a 
book entitled, "The Lost Children of the AUeghenies," 
and since the incident occurred near the vicinity of 
Blue Knob, we feel that this is the proper time to re- 
vive the story for the benefit of the younger generation 
who may not be familiar with the tragedy which stir- 
red this entire section in the year 1856. 

Many doubtless have heard of the story of the 
two boys who wandered from their home in Spruce 
Hollow, Bedford county, and after twelve days of con- 
stant searching were found near the edge of a little 
stream which flowed into Bob's Creek, both having died 
from starvation and exposure. Rev, W. P. Zimmer- 
man, of Philadelphia, is the author of the book refer- 
red to, which not only gives the facts in prose but also 
recites them in blank verse and contains several chap- 
ters on religious and moral questions. While standing 

Monument over Grave of Ga-ni-o-di-uh, or Cornplanter, 

Cornplanter Reservation, Warren County. 

(From photo by P. C. Hockenbery, Warren.) 


at the foot of Blue Knob, we were able to see the 
ridges which the poor lost boys had crossed in their ef- 
fort to find their way home and Guide Kinch pointed 
out approximately the spot where a granite marker in- 
dicates just where the little fellows were found. 

Although the story of the boys being lost is well 
known among the older inhabitants, it may not be gen- 
erally known that the bodies were found as the result 
of a dream which came to a man living twelve miles 
away from the scene of the mountain tragedy. Here 
are some extracts from the book : 

"In the year 1856, there lived in Spruce Hollow 
in a little log cabin, a family by the name of Cox. The 
family consisted of Samuel Cox, Susannah his wife, 
George S., aged 7, Joseph C, aged 5, and a daughter, 
aged 2. 

"On the 20th day of April, 1856, while Mr. Cox 
and his family were about to partake of their break- 
fast, the loud barking of the dog attracted their atten- 
tion. Mr. Cox remarked that if the dog continued to 
bark until he had finished eating, he would go out and 
shoot it whatever it was that caused the dog to bark. 
Hastily finishing his meal, he shouldered his gun and 
started for the woods in the direction of the dog's bark, 
leaving his two little sons at the table with their mother 
and their little sister. 

"Failing to find any game, he returned to the cabin 
by a different route from that which he had taken in 
going out, and not seeing the boys, he inquired of their 
mother where they were. She had not noticed them 
after they had gone out from breakfast. As there was 


but little land cleared about their cabin, it did not take 
long to determine that they must have followed after 
their father. The parents both in wild alarm ran to 
the mountain, and although they made a careful 
search, they failed to find them. Almost distracted, 
they made the fact known to their neighbors that their 
boys were lost in the wilds of the mountains. 

"The news spread like wildfire and ere the sun had 
set, fully 200 men were searching the hills and ravines. 
They remained out all night and kept up fires on dif- 
ferent cliflfs, hoping thereby to attract the children, but 
not even a footprint was found. Thousands eventual- 
ly joined in the search for the boys without success. 

"Many were the views, conjectures and specula- 
tions concerning the fate of the boys. Some would 
have it that wild beasts had devoured them ; others that 
they had been carried away by gypsies ; still others be- 
lieved they had been kidnapped or stolen ; others that 
they had been drowned in one of the mountain streams, 
but the great majority believed they still lived in one 
of the many dark caverns in the mountains and re- 
doubled their exertion to rescue them. 

"A colored man who lived in Morrison's Cove, 
who had gained some notoriety in revealing mysterious 
things by means of a peach tree limb, was sent for to 
practice his magic art. It did not take long to prove 
that he and his peach tree limb were frauds of the first 

"There was living in Somerset county an old 
witch, who was noted for her conjuring powers. Aft- 
er a short consultation, it was detennined to send for 

o 3 
5 I 

CC (s 



her. When she arrived and went through a number of 
conjuring tricks, she said she could see the boys plain- 
ly far out in the interior of the mountain, subsisting on 
nuts, and lodged at night on a nice bed of leaves U'l- 
der a heavy bunch of laurel. But she said : *I can't find 
the children unless you give me some money.' Her 
conditions were complied with and she led the search- 
ers until nightfall. The next day she led the way, fol 
lowed by hundreds of people, but when night came the 
children were not to be found, and she declared she 
could go no further. 

"After ten days and nights of fruitless search, with 
no hope of finding the lost boys, a faint glimmer of 
light was shed upon the scene. A man by the name 
of Jacob Dibert, living between twelve' and thirteen 
miles from the place where the children weie lost, 
dreamed that while out searching for them he had 
found them. 

"In his dream, he wandered far out in the moun- 
tain where there was a large stream, which proved to 
be Bob's Creek, over which lay a beech log, crossing 
which he soon came to Blue Ridge. After climbing 
this he came to a ravine or narrow valley whe'"e he 
came across the carcass of a deer and further on a 
little shoe, that one of the little boys had lost. Further 
down was a little brooklet which formed among tiie 
mountain gorges and upon its bank grew a bircli tree, 
the roots of which formed a semi-circle, and in this lit- 
tle circle on the very margin of the stream, lay the lost 
children, dead. At this point of the dream he awoke, 
and the whole scene was so clearly impressed upon his 


mind that he could scarcely be convinced that it was 
only a dream. 

"Mr. Dibert was in no way superstitious, but his 
wife told him there was just such a valley on that part 
of the mountain, about two miles distant from her fa- 
ther's farm, and that she frequently brought their cows 
from that valley. 

"On the second night he again dreamed the same 
dream. The third night came and precisely the same 
vision appeared to him again. Mr. Dibert felt certain 
his vision was true and he started on the following 
day to his wife's brother, Harrison Wysong, who lived 
some twelve miles away, and near the place designated 
in his dream. When he told his brother-in-law about 
the dream he had had three nights in succession, Mr. 
Wysong told him he was getting crazy. He said that 
the place he described was five or six miles away from 
the home of the children, that they could not have 
traveled so far, and if they had, they never could have 
gotten over Bob's Creek, which is a large stream. None 
of the searchers had looked on the east side of the 
stream — none supposed for an instant they could have 
crossed it without being drowned. 

"Mr. Wysong tried to' dissuade his brother-in-law 
from going on such a wild hunt. 'Very well,' said Mr. 
Dibert, 'if you will not accompany me I will have to 
go alone.' Failing to dissuade him, they started to- 
gether the next day and it wasn't long until they had 
reached the stream and the log he had seen in his 
dream. Farther on they passed the dead deer. After 
climbing Blue Ridge, near the top lay the little shoe, 

*» 5 

TT +* 

£ -Q 















Mausoleum of Col. Gardeau, McKean County, 
formerly a great lumber town. 


which had been worn by the younger of the children. 
Going down the ravine, they came to the little brook- 
let and the children were found in exactly the posi- 
tion shown in the dream. 

"Their bodies were wasted to mere skeletons ; their 
limbs scarred and lacerated from traveling through 
thorns and thickets ; their clothing worn out and hang- 
ing in shreds about their emaciated forms. It was evi- 
dent that they had wandered until completely worn out 
from fatigue and hunger. They were interred in one 
coffin and fully 5,000 persons were present at the fu- 
neral. They were buried in Mount Union cemetery, 
Bedford county. Both Mr. and Mrs. Cox lived to a 
ripe age and were then gathered home to join their 
long-mourned sons in the better world." 

These are the essential facts in the story and as 
The Observer recalls the immense stretch of wild and 
barren country in that region, we can well imagine how 
easily a child might have been lost, especially when 
timber was so dense, as it was in 1856. As we looked 
down from our eminence on the ravine which will al- 
ways be known as the place where the Cox boys were 
lost, we could see in our imagination the little fellows 
pushing their way through the almost impenetrable 
thickets, wild fear in their eyes, beaten and baffled at 
every turn, and finally falling down together for their 
last long sleep. Because of the tragedy associated with 
it, the region of Blue Knob became of intense inter- 
est and we can never dissociate the vista of mountains 
and ravines without a mental picture of the lost lads 
groping their way to their death. 


Los Angeles 

This book is DUE on the last date stamped below. 

URL ^^ 


DPC I 9 1966 


Form L9-60m-7.'54(6990)444 



A 001 403 408 6