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Showing posts from January, 2016

Simeon Pfoutz: Lord of the Manor

Last week's post about Kettle Creek State Park seemed to interest a lot of readers (I had no idea my blog was read by so many people from Clinton County!). I recieved several emails from readers who wanted me to share more stories about this area; in particular, they wanted to learn more about Leidy Township and one of its earliest settlers, Simeon Pfoutz.

Simeon Pfoutz, as it turns out, was one interesting character.

Pfoutz first arrived in the region in the spring of 1813, accompanied by Paul Shade. Although both men were from Perry County, they shared a common dream of establishing a farm in the pristine wilderness. They explored Kettle Creek and worked their way upstream until they found a location that would make a suitable farm. When they found the ideal spot, Shade and Pfoutz cleared the area and built a log cabin.

By summer the two men managed to clear several acres of farmland and, in the fall, they returned by canoe to Perry County in order to bring back their families. Th…

Who's Buried Beneath Kettle Creek Reservoir?

Why Kettle Creek just may be the spookiest state park in Pennsylvania

Constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1961, the Kettle Creek Reservoir in Clinton County is a popular destination for fishermen, boaters and swimmers. Yet, beneath its peaceful waters rests the bones of long-forgotten early settlers of Leidy Township.

In the summer of 1960, fifteen workers were tasked with the challenge of relocating the graves from ten cemeteries that lined the banks of Kettle Creek to make way for the large 1,793 acre lake. These pioneer graveyards contained the remains of hundreds of early settlers, but by August it became clear that there was a problem-- nobody was quite sure just how many graves there really were.

Workers from Walter E. Steelman and John J. Cicero Associates, the contractor in charge of reinterring remains to the North Bend and Maple Grove cemeteries outside of the reservoir zone, were startled to discover that they had dug up 33 more graves than what was expected. As it t…