Friday, December 18, 2020

Bald Eagle Mountain Crash Site (Clinton County)

The Piper Cherokee wreck
Author's Photo

    On July 16, 1986, thick fog enveloped Lock Haven’s William T. Piper Memorial Airfield. Not discouraged by the adverse conditions, a pilot in his Piper Cherokee were preparing for take-off. The pilot throttled up and took off into the fog. Bald Eagle Mountain lay somewhere front of him, but the fog prevented him from gaining his bearings. Before he could react, the rocky tree covered slope of the mountain was rushing toward him.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Karthaus Iron Furnace (Clearfield County)


The remnants of Karthaus Furnace
Author's Photo

    A partially collapsed monolithic structure stands as a remnant to a forgotten industrial chapter of the quiet river town of Karthaus. Historically, the community was blessed with a plethora of natural resources. While the region's logging history is well known, the quest for iron ore in this section of Pennsylvania is less so. Exploiting this resource would not be without challenges, as one man would soon find out. In a way, this crumbling relic is a testament to him and his endeavor to succeed against the forces of nature.

Friday, December 11, 2020

Lumberjacks and Flying Logs: The Glen Union Lumber Company (Clinton County)

Glen Union's tramway takes a loaded log car across the river
Image Retrieved From: Sunset Along Susquehanna Waters by Thomas Taber III

    Sometimes the most colorful stories come from the most unexpected places. The tiny riverside hamlet of Glen Union in Clinton County is a perfect example. Looking at it now, it doesn’t appear to be more than a collection of seasonal camps. You’d never would have thought that in its heyday, it was a flurry of activity. Perhaps most interesting of all, it was the only place in the state that you could see loaded railroad cars suspended in the air. 

Monday, December 7, 2020

The Pennsy- Pearl Harbor Survivor and Avenger


The USS Pennsylvania at sea in 1934
Image Retrieved From:

    Today we remember the 2,403 American lives lost on this infamous day 81 years ago. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941 started like any other day, but by its end, the United States and the world were changed foreverOne of the witnesses to that horrific event was the USS Pennsylvania. 

Friday, November 27, 2020

The Clara Price Murder (Centre & Clearfield Counties)

Clara Price's cenotaph
Author's Photo

    You never quite know what might be just around the next bend, which is especially true if you happen to find yourself on scenic Route 879 near the small river town of Karthaus. Not more than a half-mile from town sits a monument to a horrific tragedy. Stopping to investigate will find the end, rather than the beginning, of a story about a young girl who traveled this same route over a century ago and never made it around the next bend.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Ferney Mountain Railroad (Clinton County)

Remnants of the Ferney Mountain Railroad along Ferney Run
Author's Photo

    Ferney, Clinton County is a place probably few have heard of and even fewer have actually been to. Hidden away on the north bank of the West Branch of the Susquehanna between Hyner and Farrandsville, Ferney joins three other remote hamlets on that side of the river, Richie, Glen Union, and Whetham. 

    Today, all of them are mere collections of seasonal camps with few permanent residents. You don't just happen to pass through these places, reaching them requires visitors to leave the safety of paved roads and cell service and navigate a narrow gravel road sandwiched between the railroad tracks and river bank.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Benner Cemetery (Centre County)

Benner Cemetery
Author's Photo

     Lying just out of sight from the busy streets and shopping centers of State College, is a small family cemetery. Though quaint and humble, one resident of this cemetery, along with his descendants, helped to make Centre County what it is today. His name was General Philip Benner.

Monday, October 19, 2020

The Pepper Hill Fire (Cameron County)

The plaque commemorating the eight men who perished
fighting the Pepper Hill Fire.

Situated along scenic Route 120 in Cameron County, sets a quaint roadside memorial. Here, the tragic story of eight men and their sacrifice came to a close. To find the beginning, one must look upon the steep rocky slopes of a terrain feature with a peculiar name, Pepper Hill.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Austin Dam Disaster (Potter County)

The Austin Dam
Author's Photo

Hidden within the wilds of Potter County lie the skeletal remains of a once impressive structure. Within these crumbling ruins lies a tragic story. Though the lessons learned from this catastrophic event brought about great change, it took the loss of human life to set them in motion. This is the story of the Austin Dam Disaster. 

Friday, September 25, 2020

Eddy Lick Splash Dam (Centre County)


Eddy Lick Splash Dam still clings to the present day
Author's Photo

     Pennsylvania’s lumber heritage is a fascinating era to research and explore. No matter where you may live within Penn's Woods, there's probably a logging connection somewhere to be found. Many remnants of this era remain to tell this story. One of which lies hidden along Eddy Lick Run in the wilds of Sproul State Forest. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Cottage Hill/Highland Street Tunnel (Clearfield County)

Highland Street Tunnel
Author's Photo

     Cottage Hill Tunnel, also known as the Highland Street Tunnel, is a remnant of one of this region’s most interesting railroads, the Buffalo & Susquehanna (B&S). What began as diminutive 10 mile logging railroad grew exponentially into an industrial giant of more than 400 miles. Today, little remains of this vast railroad empire. However, the tunnel and other scattered remnants continue to tell its fascinating story.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Jacksonville Lime Kiln (Centre County)


The Jacksonville Lime Kiln in 2018
Author's Photo

Though almost unrecognizable now, this lime kiln along Walnut Street in Marion Township was once typical of those used throughout rural Pennsylvania during the late 18th to early 20th Centuries. While sadly in poor condition, the kiln still provides a glimpse into the region’s agricultural past.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

The Lost Bebelheimer Shay...Solved? (Mifflin County)

The legendary Bebelheimer Shay
    The Seven Mountains region has no shortage of legends and lore. Tales of mysterious creatures and residual spirits are an integral part of the its rich culture. However, one enduring legend stands out from the rest. It is neither the wraith of man nor beast, though it seems to be quite elusive all the same. Many have tried to prove its existence, to confirm the rumors and stories from old timers who claimed to see it with their own eyes decades before. All of those who have tried have failed to catch a glimpse of this specter that “haunts” its mountainous abode.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Karthaus Tunnel (Clearfield County)

Karthaus Tunnel
Author's Photo

     Karthaus has always been a remote community along the West Branch of the Susquehanna River. Historically, transportation in this region of Pennsylvania often meant conquering the surrounding wilderness and braving nature’s forces. For much of its early history, the only way to reach the town was either the river itself or primitive dirt roads, both were subject to seasonal changes that could render them impassable and cut-off Karthaus from the outside world.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Jimmy Cleveland Crash Site (Centre County)

The Crash Site Marker
Author's Photo

     Mount Nittany is one of Centre County's most prominent terrain feature. Rising almost 800 feet and stretching across most of the county, it towers over communities ranging in size from bustling boroughs to quaint villages. For many of us who have lived in Nittany Valley, the mountain is an old friend, one that is always the first to welcome us back after we've left for destinations afar.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Wire Burning Site (Quehanna Wild Area)

The site as it appears today
Author's Photo
By 1962, Curtis-Wright's grand ambitions for their Quehanna research facility had collapsed into a smoldering disappointment. As the company prepared to vacate the area, they sublet a portion of their leased property along the main highway near the intersection with Wykoff Run Road.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

The Karthaus Confederacy (Clearfield County)

A fictional flag of the Karthaus Confederacy

Even before the opening shots were fired that would ignite the Civil War, a battle over secession was already taking place right here in Central Pennsylvania.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Wykoff Run Splash Dam (Cameron County)

    Pennsylvania’s logging era was a fascinating period in the state’s history. It was made possible by the perfect culmination of entrepreneurial individuals willing to take risks and decades worth of technological advancement within the timber industry. Industries boomed and fortunes were made, albeit at the cost of the state’s once pristine forests and waterways. 

Monday, May 11, 2020

Orviston Brick Works (Centre County)

A photo overlay of the narrow gauge railroad that supplied the Orviston brick works with clay and coal

Off the beaten path in northern Centre County lies a former company town that has outlived the industry that created it. It has remained relatively unchanged since the day the factory whistle echoed off the mountains for the final time. Though its industrial heartbeat has faded, citizens continue to celebrate their heritage. Welcome to Orviston, population 94.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Queen's Run Fire Brick Company (Clinton County)

    The Queen’s Run Fire Brick Company was one of the many fire brick manufacturers in central Pennsylvania in operation through the 19th and mid-20th centuries. Fire, or refractory brick, is a combination of clay and heat resistant minerals utilized in high temperature applications such as furnaces and kilns. Concentrated deposits of clay combined with the vast network of railroads and waterways for transportation laid the foundations for one of the most prosperous fire brick companies in the region.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Renovo Coaling Tower (Clinton County)

    Located in the quiet mountain town of Renovo the remnants of a once powerful industrial giant, the Pennsylvania Railroad, lies silent. A towering concrete structure remains a silent sentinel to the community's railroad history.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Titanic Post #6

By this time 109 years ago, RMS Titanic was resting 12,500 feet below the ocean.

Earlier this morning, at 2:20 am, Titanic slipped beneath the frigid waves, taking many unfortunate passengers with it. Almost an hour later, the rescue ship RMS Carpathia reached the scene of the disaster and began taking survivors on board.

In the end, over 1,500 people out of the 2,200 on board perished in the sinking of Titanic.

Statistics are as follows:
78% of the crew died
75% of third-class passengers perished
45% of first and second class passengers were lost
68% of the total number of people on board were fatalities

The sinking of Titanic affected almost every corner of the globe. From Lebanon to Bosnia, Norway to Japan, the United States and England, and of course right here in Pennsylvania.

Titanic's legacy is one that will transcend time, captivating generations long after the ship itself is gone. However, it's important to remember that the story of Titanic is composed of the individual experiences of those who were there. By seeing through the eyes of passengers like Aminah Murbarik, William Carter, and the others we explored in previous posts, the real story of Titanic comes to life.

I wish to thank everyone who has joined me on this journey the last few days. Exploring Pennsylvania's connection to the Titanic has been an enlightening adventure; I sincerely hope it was for everyone as well. In addition, I also would like to thank those who shared stories and details that provided additional insight along the way.

If you are new to the page, I encourage you to check out the previous posts on passengers bound for Pennsylvania.

Information Retrieved From:

Tikkan, A. (2019). Titanic. In Encyclopedia Britannica dictionary. Retrieved April 9, 2020.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Titanic Post #5

108 years ago tonight, Titanic entered a region of the North Atlantic known for icebergs. Throughout the day, Titanic had received messages from other ships warning of ice along their route. Not all of these messages were delivered to those commanding the ship and those that were didn't seem warrant a change of course.

Around 11:40 PM, an iceberg was spotted directly in Titanic's path. The alarm was sounded; the ship began to turn, but it was too late. Titanic sideswiped the iceberg, rupturing several of its watertight compartments. The clock started ticking; Titanic has just 2 hours and 40 minutes to live...

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Titanic Post #4

April 13, 1912

Everyone aboard Titanic was probably thinking about how smooth the journey was going. The ocean remained calm and no serious problems had arisen. Little did they know that danger was just one day away...

Passenger Snapshot #4

Name: Mary Corey and Claire Karnes
From: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Destination: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Born Mary Emma Miller in 1879, she was reportedly a native of Cambria, County. Mary later relocated to Pittsburgh and became a teacher there. She married Percy Corey in 1911. The two moved to Burma where Percy was working at the time. While there, Mary became pregnant and decided to travel back to Pennsylvania to have her baby.

Mary Corey boarded Titanic on April 10th as a second-class passenger along with her friend Claire Karnes. Claire had been in Burma as well and was returning home to Pittsburgh. She was also pregnant.

What happened to Mary and Claire during the sinking remains a mystery. It appears neither of them made it into a lifeboat. Both bodies were never recovered.

Information Retrieved From:

Encyclopedia Titanica (2020). Mary Emma Corey (ref:#388, last updated 5th January 2020, accessed 13 April 2020) URL: https//

Monday, April 13, 2020

Titanic Post #3

By this time 108 years ago, RMS Titanic had reached the open ocean on its journey to New York. Passengers explored the lavish ship as the crew settled into a routine. All appeared well as Titanic steamed through calm waters. In just two days, all that will change....

Passenger Snapshot #3

Name: Redjo Delalic
From: Bosnia
Destination: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Redjo Delalic boarded Titanic in Southampton, England as a third class passenger on April 10th. He was 25 years old and married. His occupation was listed as "general laborer."

Redjo's experiences during the sinking are unknown. It is likely that by the time he made it to the deck from his 3rd class cabin deep within the ship, it was too late to reach a lifeboat. Redjo died in the sinking. If his body was recovered, it was never identified. Six 3rd class passengers are known to have been traveling to Harrisburg. None of them reached their destination.

Information Retrieved From: 

Encyclopedia Titanica (2015). Redjo Delalic (ref:773, last updated: 6th September 2015, access 12th April 2020) URL:…

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Titanic Post #2

At 1:30 PM 109 years ago, Titanic set sail for New York from its final European stop at Queenstown, Ireland. About 1,300 passengers and 900 crew were on board. As the ship sailed towards the horizon, no one on shore thought it would be the last time they'd ever see Titanic.

Passenger Snapshot #2

Name: Daher Shadid
From: Lebanon
Destination: Kulpmont, Pennsylvania

One passenger was probably glad to see Europe fade into the distance. Daher Shedid had boarded as a third class passenger the previous day in Cherbourg, France. He was 19 years old.

Daher's journey had began under the most tragic of circumstances. He had fled Lebanon after accidentally killing a girl in his village while experimenting with a gun. Fearing retribution from the girl's family, Daher decided to leave the country and relocate to Kulpmont, Northumberland County, where his uncle was living.

Though he escaped a fate in Lebanon, Daher did not survive the sinking of the Titanic. His body was recovered in the days after the disaster. After being transported to Nova Scotia, his remains were shipped to Mount Carmel for burial. Daher Shedid was interred in St. Mary's Cemetery. His grave is not marked.

Information Retrieved From:

Kobeissi, K. (2012). The story of the forgotten Arab victims of the Titanic, told 100 years later. Morocco World News.…/the-story-of-the-forgot…/

Encyclopedia Titanica (

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Titanic Post #1

109 years ago today, RMS Titanic began its maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York City. At 882.5 feet long, Titanic was the largest moving object on Earth at the time. No one on board expected that this so called "unsinkable" ship was sailing straight towards disaster.

Starting today and running until April 15th, I will be sharing stories of passengers who were looking forward to returning home, or starting a new life, in the Keystone State.

Passenger Snapshot #1

Name: Aminah Mubarik
From: Lebanon
Destination: Houtzdale, Pennsylvania

25 year old Aminah was traveling with her two sons to Houtzdale, Clearfield County to reunite with her husband Jirjis, who had opened a grocery store there after immigrating in 1908. The family boarded Titanic in Cherbourg, France on April 10th as third class passengers. Aminah and her children were being escorted on the journey by a family friend.

During the sinking, it is believed that Aminah and her sons escaped aboard Collapsible Lifeboat C, just 20 minutes before the ship took the final plunge. The family friend escorting her perished in the disaster. Upon reaching New York, the family was treated for exposure. After treatment, the family reunited with Mr. Mubarik in Houtzdale. Aminah later took on the more Americanized name of Minnie, as did her husband, who went by George.

Information Retrieved From:

Encyclopedia Titanica (2018). Aminah Mubarik (ref:#1044, last updated: 23rd September 2018, accessed 10th April 2020). URL:…/omine-moubarek.html

Tikkan, A. (2019). Titanic. In Encyclopedia Britannica dictionary. Retrieved April 9, 2020.…/Ti…/Aftermath-and-investigation

Friday, April 10, 2020

The Central Railroad of Pennsylvania: Bellefonte's Forgotten Railroad

The last intact pier from the viaduct
Author's Photo

    This stone pillar is one of few remnants of Bellefonte's forgotten railroad. With a proper inscription, it would be a fitting headstone for the ill-fated enterprise. "Here lies the Central Railroad of Pennsylvania- A Victim of Circumstances."

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Centre County's Boudinot Lands

Elias Boudinot

Did you know that the city of Philadelphia owned land in Centre County for 140 years?

This story begins with one man, Elias Boudinot, lawyer, statesman, and former director of the U.S. Mint. Born in Philadelphia in 1740, Elias quickly gained prominence in his chosen career of attorney-at-law and then as a state representative of New Jersey during the American Revolution. Following America’s independence, Elias was appointed director of the federal mint in Philadelphia by President George Washington.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

The Colby Murders (Clinton County)

Luther J. Shaffer- The Murderer
Image Retrieved From:

    133 years ago today, Luther Shaffer was mulling over his final moments. One has to wonder what his final thoughts were as he stood over the trap door of the gallows. Seconds must have seemed like hours before the lever was pulled. When the order was given, Luther fell to Earth, only to be stopped short by the noose around his neck.

Friday, March 27, 2020

The Junction House (Centre County)

The Junction House at an unknown date
Nestled between Nittany Mountain and Sand Ridge lies the quiet village of Nittany. Like many of the quaint communities that line this end of Nittany Valley, life moves a little bit slower here, a quality that many residents appreciate. Though some aspects have stayed relatively the same, time has inevitably changed Nittany. 

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Western Maryland Dairy (Centre County)

The former Western Maryland Dairy
Author's Photo

    Milk has always been an agricultural staple of Central Pennsylvania. Bellefonte's centralized location among the rich farm lands of Nittany Valley along with its extensive railroad connections made it a prime location for processing this milk. The story of the dairy industry in Bellefonte is reminiscent of the dairies that once were common in many small towns across the region, but have since disappeared in favor of large conglomerates in major cities. So grab a glass of cold milk and relax as we dive into the history of Bellefonte’s Western Maryland Dairy.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Beech Creek Covered Bridge Ruins (Clinton County)

This concrete pier is all that is left of the old covered bridge
Author's photo

    A concrete pier is all that remains of the old covered bridge over Beech Creek in the community that bears the same name. The bridge was constructed around 1832 and was of the Burr arch design, a staple for many bridges of the era.

Monday, March 2, 2020

The Nittany Inn (Centre County)

The Nittany Inn in 2019
Author's Image

    The history of the Nittany Inn is just as extensive as a building that is approaching 200 years old ought to be. This beloved structure has witnessed the great changes within this rural community over its lifetime. To write down the complete history here would be quite lengthy. The Walker Township Historical Committee has already composed a wonderful chronology of the building in their book, "History of Walker Township 1810-1999", of which I highly recommend for anyone to add to their collection. I will simply address the building’s origin and some highlights. 

    The land for the future Nittany Inn was deeded to John Geary in May 1826. Construction of the inn commenced soon after. Geary sold the building in 1830 and relocated to Hublersburg to operate the inn there (the current Hublersburg Inn). Around 1848, John Orr purchased the Nittany Inn after presiding over the Hublersburg Inn for some time. Orr ran the establishment for about a decade before selling it. Thus the histories of both the Nittany Inn and the Hublersburg Inn are intertwined through these two common owners.

    One of the more fascinating backstories concerning an owner of the inn involves Henry Robb, who took over the business after he returned from serving in the Civil War. He had served not once, but twice during the conflict. His first term of service lasted from June 1861 to June 1864 while in the ranks of the 34th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry.

    Henry did not hang up his marching boots for long after leaving the army. Only a few months passed before he once again was headed back to war, this time as a "substitute." The Conscription Act allowed draftees to pay a substitute to take their place in the ranks. Joseph Long, a local wealthy landowner, paid Henry to take his place.

    Henry entered service with the 51st Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry in October 1864. Wounded in the leg while in Virginia, he was spared amputation in a battlefield hospital (which may have saved his life). Henry was mustered out of service in July of 1865, having witnessed the war from beginning to end. The money he received from serving enabled him to purchase the Nittany Inn upon his return.

    In the years after the war, the condition of his leg must have worsened, for in May of 1878, Henry had his leg amputated by Dr. Joseph Huston of Nittany. This did not discourage Henry, as he continued to run the inn until his death in 1894.

    As time marched on, the inn was sold, deeded, or rented to a long list of individuals. It continued to be a very popular watering hole until its closure in 2016.

    Like many historic buildings, the Nittany Inn has gone through numerous additions and renovations over the years. Originally, the inn was a simple two story frame structure. By 1839, the inn was comprised of the main building, a kitchen, carriage house, and two stables. Though updated and modified in the present day, it is not difficult to imagine the original building through the modern additions.

    The building is currently undergoing extensive work as of this post. The work has exposed the building’s “bones,” giving a glimpse at the architecture that has enabled it to stand for so long. 


As of 2022, the building no longer stands. From talking to the current owner, it appears the building had been neglected for far too long and could not be saved, although they tried to the best of their ability to do so. 

Information Retrieved From:

Walker Township Historical Committee (2000). History of Walker Township, 1810-1999.Published by the Walker Township Committee

Thursday, February 27, 2020

The Old Paint Mill (Lycoming County)

The Paint Mill as it looks today
Photo Retrieved From: Google Maps

First off, I would like to thank Joe Ulrich, a follower of the page, for bringing this topic to my attention. I was completely unaware of this building and its wonderful history before he mentioned it. I have learned so much from the amazing people that make up this page. For that, I thank all of you.

So let’s dive into yet another interesting tale, this time from Antes Fort, Lycoming County! The subject of this trip into the past is the Old Paint Mill, a structure that now lives out its days as a popular social hall along PA Route 44. The building’s name should be a hint to its origins, however I was surprised to find out that it was just one chapter of its “colorful” story.

Monday, February 24, 2020

The Bellefonte & Snow Shoe Railroad

The switchbacks
Image Retrieved From: Railroad Museum of PA Archives

The attached photos give a glimpse into one of the region's pioneer railroads, the Bellefonte & Snow Shoe (B&SS). Construction of the B&SS began in 1858 and was completed a year later. Running between its namesake communities, the railroad was primarily built to access the rich coal fields around Snow Shoe. To reach the mountaintop community, the tracks switch-backed up the Allegheny Front at Gum Stump, a small village north of Runville.

Friday, January 31, 2020

R.M. McCormick & Son (Lock Haven, Clinton County)

Author's Photo

A recent find at an antique store! This brass stencil will help us explore the lives of two outstanding gentleman of Lock Haven, Robert and John McCormick.

Robert McCormick was born near Lock Haven, Clinton County on April 15,1830. After attending school and taking up farming for awhile, Robert returned to Lock Haven in 1864. Robert then became involved with the thriving lumber business in the city. He continued agricultural pursuits on his 130 acre farm on Great Island.

By 1881, Robert was in business with his son John (one of five children) as lumber salesmen under the name of R.W. McCormick & Son. Their business was located at the intersection of Mill and Water Streets. Most of the lumber came from local mills.Robert carried on his business until his death on September 21,1900. He was buried in Lock Haven's Highland Cemetery.

His son John continued the business under the same business name for some time afterwards. Like his father, John was far from idle. Records from 1909-1914 show him as one of the directors of the Susquehanna Traction Company that operated the trolley in Lock Haven. On January 25, 1914, John passed away and joined his father at Highland Cemetery.

Unfortunately, the price for the stencil was a bit high and I decided not to purchase it. It was probably used for marking lumber and other products purchased by Robert and John.