Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The New "Old Antler's Inn"


New Sign

Front eating area

To go Package Beer
Lee and I went to check out the new "Old Antler's Inn," tonight and it was amazing. I don't think I have ever had a steak as tender as the petite fillet. I can tell you that you won't need a steak knife to cut it. Lee loved the potatoes and she is Irish need I say more. They told us they were grown in volcanic ash so I am assuming they are not from around here. The house salad was amazing no iceberg lettuce in this baby.  The house dressing is a vinaigrette that really brings out the flavor. Lee had the cream of carrot soup topped with a dab of sour cream and before you say yuck, she claims it has almost a squash like flavor. 

They opened last Monday on the down-low or as their assistant manager Mark Losinger says, "they are having a soft opening while they work on their menu and choose the things the customers like." 

Mark said he came back to the area after his wife got a job at Mansfield University. Mark is an outdoors man and jumped at the chance to come back here. He has a background working at some high end restaurants in the Poconos and brings a lot of enthusiasm and pure passion for what he does to the restaurant. Mark said he is impressed with the people on the staff and said all of them are loving what they do even down to the dishwasher. 

Mike Ackley and Joe Flynn are the new owners of the Old Antler's Inn and they have added a separate building that has packaged beer and other beverages. There is an ATM and they will be adding other merchandise as time goes on. 

Carol Coon, past owner of the "Log Cabin," greeted us as we came in. She will make sure you are welcome and knows a little bit about everything in the area.  Tina King was our waitress and we didn't want for anything. She even looked into getting something special made for the vegetarian. The place looks similar in some ways but they took out the middle fountain and made it all seating area. The tables have plenty of room around them so you don't feel crowded. They have booths that are quite cozy...you can even adjust your own light. This is a nice feature for those of us needing light to read our menus and then maybe not as much later in the meal. I took a picture of the big room but it turned out a bit blurry so it didn't make the cut. 

The other assistant manager is Alicia Ruskai, who wasn't there on the night we came. According to Mark she is the pro with numbers and keeps that part running smoothly. Mark likes people a lot more than doing math. All in all I would highly recommend it. Plan on spending about as much as Timeless Destination or a bit more. We both ate and had a glass of wine for $56 before tip.  They don't have a web site up yet with their menu and they suggest making a reservation if coming on a weekend or Holiday. Their number is 814-435-6300. Lunch is 11PM-4PM and dinner is 5PM-10PM every day. Kitchen closes at 9:30PM. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.



Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Raising Cane in Leetonia our 600th Post

Rico DiGuseppe with cane

Close up of Burt Pyle's Cane
I never know who is going to show up on my doorstep in Leetonia. A few weeks ago I answered a knock at the door to find Rico DiGuiseppe with a story to tell. He said he belonged to Diamond Glass Hillside Camp in Rory Ford,Pa and he had come across a piece of Leetonia history. His nephew Scott DiGuiseppe had given him Burt Low's cane.

Burt Low drove the stage coach from Leetonia to Cedar Run. They often brought mail, supplies and wages up the valley from Cedar Run. Burt Low had told Rico back during a talk they had in the late 40's about the time the stagecoach was held up coming up the valley. I remembered this account in the book "Sawdust and Tannin Bark". Burt had held off the "Blackwell boys," during a shoot off in which the horse pulling the stage was fatally injured. The boys ran off before people from Leetonia came to the rescue after hearing the battle echo up the valley. It was quite the event. I couldn't believe Rico had talked to Burt while he was still living about this incident. I told Rico the Cedar Run Inn still had the seat from the stage hanging on their porch.

It turns out Burt Low also ran the gas station in his later years. It was across from the now existing maintenance building on Painter Leetonia Road. Burt's house was also there along with another smaller shack along Cedar Run Creek. This shack Burt called his "healing camp," he would sit down there for hours by the sound and coolness of the creek close to the waters he felt healed him. I think many a person who sits near a creek or mountains in Leetonia feel healed to some degree. This healing camp is where Scott DiGuiseppe a nephew of Rico found Burt's cane and kept it all these years. The camp has been long gone. Rico hoped I knew of a historical museum that would keep the cane. I mentioned the Historical Society in Wellsboro that has some of the things from Leetonia. Hopefully, he will find a lasting place for this cane as a remembrance of the old stage coach driver and bandit fighter. Too bad the cane can't speak, I bet it has many a story to tell. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

THIS POST WAS CHANGED FROM ORIGINAL TO REFLECT A LAST NAME CHANGE FROM PYLE TO LOW. After looking up records for that period and getting input, I realized I had been given the wrong last name.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Missing Man near Morris

The following was copied from Tioga Publishing. Hunters if you are in this area watch for this person. They could be down in leaves as well as walking. Last night and today will be rough due to rain...we hope for the best.
We are still gathering information and have been in contact with the search party as well as police in Atwood's hometown. Based on the latest information, the clothing described below does not appear to be credible and no one saw Atwood in Tioga County.
Tioga District Forester Chris Gastrock said this morning that the search continues for 92-year-old Fred Atwood. Gastrock and 90 volunteers are on scene today.
Morris Fire Chief Dean Kreger said the search began Sunday night, Oct. 12, and continued through Monday, Oct. 13.
Kreger said Atwood was last seen Wednesday, Oct. 8, exiting his vehicle one mile above Morris, wearing green pants and a green jacket. Searchers found the car unlocked with the keys inside.

If you have any information on Atwood's condition or whereabouts, call 9-1-1 or the District Forest office at 570-724-2868.

UPDATE FRED ATWOOD'S BODY WAS FOUND IN TIOGA STATE FOREST ON THE DAY I POSTED THIS!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Past and Present

White House in Leetonia

Millworkers
Leetonia was once a booming Tannery and Mill town, now the sounds of work have turned to sounds of recreational cabins and hunting. I remember the White House when I was a kid in the 60's I don't remember exactly when it was torn down, but the Forestry Department used it for a while as a residence for the Forester, Ray Low, who grew up in our place as a kid.

Living in Leetonia back then wasn't an easy life. You worked for the company town and owed most of your paycheck to the company store by the end of the week. Your house didn't have insulation or insulated glass windows, cracks in the wall where covered with newspapers or anything you could jamb in a crack to stop the wind. You didn't set a thermostat to stay warm. You chopped wood and were happy if the temperatures stayed above freezing at night. No indoor plumbing(which was probably good, since it would have froze), water came from the creek or a spring. Baths were seasonal events not daily. Yep the sights and the sounds and the smells were very different then.

Now you would never know this past existed. Leetonia is quiet except on Holidays and weekends during the summer and hunting seasons. For people out of the area, Leetonia, which is still on the map is an illusion of a living town with food, shelter, and gas.  When you look at signs and road maps it makes you think, a State Road, and signs to Leetonia,  it must have something. This  thought has gotten many a person lost or stranded in Leetonia. It isn't uncommon for someone to run out of gas, break down.  If this happens to you unless you can walk four to five miles to the top of the mountain for cell service or walk eight miles to Cedar Run. You are at the mercy of the woods and hope someone will come down the road.

Yesterday, while working at Cassel's camp, a man walked up asking if I knew where he could get a motorcycle tire fixed. He and his wife were touring the area and gotten a flat. This presented two problems: nothing is open on Sunday, and nothing is close. I took them back to my place and found out the Harley dealer in Mansfield was still open, so we loaded it up on my trailer and I hauled them there. We made it ten minutes before they closed and wouldn't be open until Tuesday. Sometimes life works perfectly even if it isn't what you planned for the day.
As many of you know I had a bad accident in the woods a little over six years ago and if it hadn't been for others coming to our aid with food and finances we wouldn't have made it. I have always helped others when I could, but my accident made me realize how important the help of others can be. So thanks to you all who helped me I continue to pay it forward and you are part of that spirit. I hope these people enjoyed the rest of their vacation and their misfortune became a good story they have to share with others.

Short note: our power issues continued for a couple days with on and off issues. I am hoping things get ironed out before Labor Day weekend. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.


Friday, August 22, 2014

Power Out Heavy Rain

The Power has been out in Leetonia, since 8/21 at  6 PM or earlier. We arrived home after being out to find no power. We are on the generator to send this message. There was a high amount of rain that surged the creeks and there is a chance for more rain today. We lost power the night before due to a tree falling by Hooke's Camp. This outage is more severe and is taking a longer time to get repaired. I will update when we get power again.

Lastest UPDATE: Power is back on 7:45 AM 8/22. Major storms hit Westfield, Blackwell and English Center, Hail, heavy rain and flash flooding. More rain in forecast for today. Summer is the time to lose power a lot due to these kind of storms combined with a lot of trees. Hopefully, the rest of the day won't bring too much more rain. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Leetonia School Early 1900's

Leetonia School House that sat on Boneyard( currently Bonitz's Camp)
This is a picture which hangs on the wall inside the Bonitz camp. It doesn't have a date on it but I am guessing it is early 1900's. If any of you know the people in this picture we could nail it down closer. I know from my grandfather that the school closed in the early 1940's. The remains of the school were torn down in 1958 when the current Bonitz camp was built. Jack thinks they might still have the school bell somewhere. Not as many people seem to know about this school as the one near the graveyard was in more of the old pictures.

The school was divided into two pupil groups Primary and Intermediate.  According to a historical account Intermediate schools were for children who could write and speak English. Primary generally ages 4-7 for children just learning these skills. Although, some older immigrant children would end up in primary classes until they reached proficiency. 

I have a list of students at Leetonia that were in each of those categories during the 1905-6 school year.  I know there are a few of you whose relatives are in this list and I would be happy to hear from you.

LEETONIA GRADE SCHOOL  NO. 5
Elk Township
Tioga County, Pennsylvania
1905 -1906
James Bailey Pres., Gustave Gross Secr’y, W.T. Schanbacher, Teas., J. F. Grimm, Lesslie Lockwood, William Kelly, W.R. Longstreet County Superintendent
Names of Pupils
Primary Department



Nellie Bailey
Bessie Bailey
Prudence Bailey
Anna Borden
Dessie Borden
Rupert Borden
Fred Cole Harold Daniels
Talbert Davis
Ora Fritchel
Danniel Goodwin
Owindlin Gilbert
Madge Gilbert
Barton Gilbert
Susie Gubbins
Joseph Hartman
Ella Hartman
Helen Husted
Floyd Johnson
Ruth Kelley
Willie Klinegardner
Eddie Klinegardner
George Lloyd
Harry Lloyd
Pearl Loucks
Rosa Loucks
Nellie Louchs
Richard Kuttner
Gladys Morse
Velma Morse
Robert Mattison
Mary Marzo
Pearl Meeker
Ludwig Nissler
Elsie Nissler
Eddie Naegely
Frances Pepper
Freida Rief
Freida Schwab
Mildred Schramm
Joe Sereno
Victor Sereno
Mildred Schramm
Mildred Warren





Intermediate Department


Vern Anderson
Catherine Bailey
Leo Bailey
Eddie Bailey
Florence Bordon
Warden Casbeer
Leon Campbell
Max Crumm
Earl Dobbs
Robert Dobbs
Blair Daniels
Mary Daniels
Adelia Davis
Florence Davis
Maisy Furman
Daisy Furman
Frank Kelley
Mary Kennedy
Bennie Loucks
Plamos Loucks
Jason Loucks
Bert Lockwood
Helen Low
Earl Morse
Fannie Morse
Nora Mattison
Jessie Misner
Yerson Misner
Henry Nissler
Marie Nissler
Cleon Goodwin
Colin Goodwin
Ursel Gorton
Delilah Gorton
George Husted
Wilbur Husted
John Huggler
Walther Huggler
Willie Huggler
Charlie Hartman
Earl Hartman
Albert Johnson
Alma Johnson
Albert Kuttner
Ida Kline
Chauncy  Klinegardner
Tina Klinegardner
Ada Klinegardner
Clark Kelly
Frank Naegely
Pauline Naegely
Harry Pepper
Ernest Robinson
Mable Robinson
Ervin Rief
Herman Schwab
Sophie Schwab
Lottie Schwab
Emma Schwab
Bertha Schwab
Otto Schramm
Edith Schramm
Clair Stickley
Wilmot Stickley
Wildah Stickley
William Starner
Walter Starner
Stella Starner
Mary Sereno
Olive Shegog


Thanks to the Bonitz family for letting me scan their photo and recreate the old list. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.




Monday, August 11, 2014

Dog Lost in Leetonia

Ace and Ti

Super Moon over Leetonia
Last Saturday I came home and Lee meets me saying, "We got an extra dog."

She didn't seemed thrilled about it so I figured it wasn't voluntary. "Some guys found her over on Francis Leetonia road and they couldn't find the owner and wondered if we would take her," she added.

The dog, a Tri-colored English Setter, sported a training collar, bell, and full name and phone number on the collar. Lee had already called the number, which was a down-state number and left a message. We called around to Slate Run and Cedar Run as well as the local Dog Shelter to let them know we had the dog. You can see the dog in the first picture with Ace a friend of ours who was here helping clear some brush.

It is good when people have as much information as possible on the collars to help find them. But we knew from past experience if this was a cell-phone they weren't getting their message up here and would have to find cell service somewhere to connect with us. After a few hours Lee suggested I go look for the people in the area where the dog was lost. So Ace and I headed down the road. We didn't get far when I saw an out of the area car approaching followed closely by another car. I slowed them down and asked if they were looking for a dog. They said, yes and they were headed to our place next. 

We quickly found out the dog's name was Ti, as the women in the group proceeded to talk to her and tell her what a bad dog she was all while giving her happy embraces. Ti danced and whined for joy at the sight of her owners trying to make up for her bad behavior. Dave had his dog out training and he thinks she chased a deer and got out of range of the collar. It doesn't take much to jump over the ridge of the mountain and be out of range of the transmitter. Fortunate for Dave someone picked the dog up and dropped her off here where she could be easily found and not become coyote bait with a bell on. Dave didn't have his cell phone with him and had to call someone back where they were staying in Ansonia to get our message. Happy fast ending to our lost dog in Leetonia.

Kathy Davis who was in the group looking for Ti, told me they have a hunting FB group called Hunters United and I could post a lost dog message there if I ever find another dog or should I say when we find another dog. Ti was dog number three we have reunited with their owners since we have been here. The worst of the three was a six month old beagle who broke her chain over Easter near Gamble Run and was gone for a week in the woods before we found her running up Leetonia Rd. Many more go lost in this large area never to be found. Keep your dog's close and well identified so if the worst happens it is easier to get them home.
Ti in action

Last night was Super Moon in Leetonia. I caught the moon just as it came up over the mountain and it was beautiful and a bit eerie. The moon lite always lights up the forest and makes it so you can see just about anywhere without a flashlight. The last couple of nights have been cool in the mid-forties, but it warms up quickly into pleasant seventies during the day. This is some of my favorite weather easy sleeping and comfortable to work in outside. Of course the cool night weather leaves a heavy due that doesn't dry out until almost 10 am so you have to wear something waterproof to walk in early in the morning. Loving the moderate weather and the moon lite nights in Leetonia. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The misty days of Leetonia

Trailer leaves the woods
For those of you interested in the trailer it has found a good home. We bid it farewell and remember the fun days of having friends stay there and enjoy the woods. We still have the deck for sale and some leftover steel roofing. Also anyone wanting a full RV hook-up where the trailer used to sit it is for rent by the day, month or season. Contact me at campeaglebear@yahoo.com for more info.

On to other subjects I wish my camera could have caught the picture the other night when I was driving home in the dark. It was a misty,foggy night. The water droplets hung on the trees in a way the light from my headlights made them glow. The fog kept my travel slow and shadows danced through the trees. On a night such as this alone in the woods, dark and foggy, your mind plays tricks on you. You think you see a bear or something moving ahead and when you reach it there is nothing. It makes you feel that something supernatural is out there. Your brain goes to wild-men or Bigfoot.  During the day it is easy to laugh at such folly of the mind. But I assure you the next time you are alone on such a night in the woods it isn't hard to go to a very dark and scary place. 

Usually, this kind of post would be a good Halloween post but it came early in August this year. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Trailer for Sale






I am selling the trailer in front of our house for anyone interested. It is 22', needs water heater and awning. I am also selling the composite deck in front of it.  The deck is 10' x 16'. I would like $1500 for Trailer and $500 for deck. 

It is hard to believe it is getting near the end of July. Why does summer go so fast and winter so slow. The hummingbirds are picking up interest in the feeders. We don't have near the ones we usually do as we didn't put feeders out at the beginning of the season, since we were going to be gone. Lee only has 3-4 feeders up instead of the usual 17. I think in some ways she is glad to only have to feed a few of them.

Enclosed a deck for a guy in Germania and I have a ton of small jobs to finish up before the end of the summer. It always seems like the small jobs use up the most time. The weather promises rain much of the weekend so it will be hard to get much done outside in the way of painting. 

The marathon through the canyon is this weekend. I will be up bright and early Sunday to help with one of the water stations about a few miles down Painter-Leetonia Rd. It is always interesting to see the different kind of people that choose to run. It poured last year and I am hoping the rain holds off some this year. Any of you interested in the trailer email me or stop in. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Snaggle Nose lives!

New Paint for the Eagles and Bears
Thanks to Bob Paul, I have good news for all the Snaggle Nose the bear followers...he is alive and well. Bob spotted him on 7/19 around 10:30 PM. I am figuring this bear was born in or near 2006 so is now around eight years of age. The average lifespan for a black bear is around ten years although a few have been recorded at thirty years of age (Information from Defenders of Wildlife).

Snaggle Nose earned his name from horrific injury to his head in 2009, which has made his survival even more amazing. He is a huge bear and I am sure is weighing above 500 lbs at this point. His belly scraps on the ground he has become so large and isn't afraid of anything. He is a testament to survival and earned my respect a long time ago. Check here for a picture taken in 2010 of him.

I have been doing a little restoration of my bear carvings in the front yard. It started when I noticed a smaller bear(not pictured) had completely rotted out. He went to carving heaven and I cleaned up the other small bear and the eagle on top of the rock. Then I decided to cut the big bear off the tall log that was rotting and move it down to the sign. This task was not without some injury to the bear as he lost part of his arm and the eagle when he fell over. I had to glue and screw him back together again.  I painted all of them and put the big one on a rock to slow down the deterioration. 

The bigger one I had carved right before my accident six years ago. The accident stopped all progress on the carvings and I had never painted the big one. I believe he looks much better painted and he now has a job holding our address number. The address spot was lost during bridge construction last year. So if you are around check them out and keep an eye out for old Snaggle Nose. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Leetonia Upgrades

Clark Cabin

Melvin's Camp

Melvin's Camp close up
New things are going on in Leetonia. The first picture is Clark's cabin. It is in front of the Petite's place in downtown Leetonia. DBM house movers came in and jacked the cabin up in the air high enough to get a digger under it. They put in footings and build a block wall about 4-5 foot high under the cabin. It will then be back filled and give a firm foundation to the old place.

Melvin Venoman decided to get rid of the trailer and build a regular cabin under the roof he put up a couple years ago. His place is across from Pioneer Camp. It is small, cute cabin, which is being covered with hemlock in the board and batten style common around here. It is always good to see people taking care and improving their places. It makes Leetonia a happier place when everything is nice and well maintained.

I will try to get some pictures of the places when they are finished later. Tonight the weather is promising to be harsh. Severe thunderstorms,wind and possible hail. So hopefully we won't lose contact with the outside world. Have a great Leetonia day and enjoy the upgrades. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Fourth of July in Leetonia

Rattlesnake hiding in our wood pile.
Happy Fourth of July says the Timber Rattler in front of our wood pile. The cool day brought it out to the sun. Lee first noticed it when she was mowing. The mowing made the rattler mad and in went under the pile and rattled at her. This isn't the first time we have had rattlers close to the house, but his location is going to make it very dangerous for the dogs if they walk near the pile. I have called a rattle snake person to come and relocate our little friend.

As you all have noticed I haven't posted much for a month. Lee and I went on our first trip with our motorhome in 12 years. The dogs went with and enjoyed it so much they didn't want to leave the motorhome. The first day we were back Speck jumped in the drivers seat and Leo sat in the passenger seat. We had to drag them out. Guess they liked it.

A lot of people are up and I heard there is some construction going on in Leetonia. I will try to get down in the next few days and get some pictures. Thanks to all who watched everything while we were gone. I have to say there isn't any where nicer than where we live. Maybe that is why it took us so long to go anywhere else. 

Looks like the weekend is going to be mild temperatures and great for all those family get togethers. Have a great time where ever you are. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial weekend and stuff


Memorial weekend marks the beginning of summer and the weather kicked it off right. Beautiful blue skies and temperatures in the upper 70's to lower eighties with nice breezes made a perfect weekend for cookouts and Spring camp cleaning. Most of the camps seemed to have people up this weekend and it was good to catch up with so many. 
The bears are definitely out with many a sighting. I haven't talked to anyone who has seen snaggle nose our infamous bear who had about half his face ripped off about five years ago. So if any of you have seen him let me know for now he is MIA. 
Mick's camp is up for sale by owner so if you are in the area and interested you can get the contact information off the sign. Next weekend is the road rally, so for those of you who don't like this event and wish to come to the quiet of the woods avoid coming up at all cost. 
The road coming up from Cedar Run the first two miles is in awful shape. I am requesting everyone who uses this road to call 1-800 FIX ROAD or 1-800-349-7623. You can let them know from the intersection of SR414 and SR4009 the first mile is in Brown twp, Lycoming Co. the second mile is in Morris Twp, Tioga Co. the road name changes from Leetonia Rd. to Cedar Run Rd during those two miles and the state should have it as SR 4009. It is like going through a mine field of potholes. None of the ditches or pipes have been cleaned out for years so the water flows across the road and ruins it. I call every Spring otherwise it doesn't get fixed, so if everyone calls maybe they will get out here faster. Thanks to all who will do this and my car thanks you. The rest of Leetonia Rd to Leetonia is being worked on by Elk Township.
Hope you all had a great weekend. I know all who came to Leetonia this weekend had a wonderful time. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Rain and rising water

Apple tree in bloom
If you get this post by email you won't see the video go directly to Lost in Leetonia if you want to see it. We have gone quickly from snow white to brown to Spring green over the last couple weeks. The temperatures have swung as much as 40 degrees in a day. Our apple tree usually blooms on Mother's day and was a bit slow this year, but is making up for lost time.
It rained so hard last night it was deafening. I awoke to see the creeks along our house swollen and the new bridge getting a work out. Pine Creek made it to 9 feet but is now backing down if we don't get anymore rain. Wind came with the storm yesterday and took out our power for a few hours and of course there are a lot of people up at camps.
Summer is the time we lose the most power the most due to tree hitting the lines. The rain soaked ground makes the root bases easier to topple in a wind storm. I am getting my generator into top shape and ready for the weather.
I always forget how much work there is to do outside once the weather gets warmer. We have cut the grass once and it needs it again. It is also the time that I seem to find everything that is broken that needs repaired and the porcupines haven't helped. We saw a record 15 of them a couple weeks ago in about a 8 mile stretch. They chewed my gate and did a number on the wiring on my trailer to the point I had to rewire the entire trailer. Why can't they eat the trees and leave my stuff alone?
The bears are out more this last week. I have seen two close to the house and Lee saw three cubs coming up from Cedar Run yesterday. It is such a big change from Winter when it is quiet and cold. Now the birds are up chirping early in the morning and everything seems livelier. The trees seem to add an inch of new leaves a night and it is gradually becoming a dark summer forest again. This is the time of year to truly enjoy the woods and nature. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Forest Fire near Slate Run

Picture taken from deck of Manor
There appears to be a forest fire on the General Store Side of Pine Creek. This picture was taken by the Manor from their deck. According to them it isn't out yet, but has gone over the mountain into the Bonner Run area. Lots of dry brush and trees down from tornado back in 2011. Hopefully, they will be able to get it out. No news as to what started the fire at this point. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

We have had rain since. And fire was contained in above occurrence near Slate Run.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sunny Sunday

Top of Hill

Pine Forest

Moss on stone

Winter green(Spring Red)
The sun came out today to do serious battle with the rest of the snow and ice. I can now walk to the top of my hill without slipping and sliding it is wonderful. It amazes me how quickly the air warms up in the morning when it is sunny and calm. 

I walked to the top of the hill to take a shot over the trees as you see in the first picture there is something starting to happen a little haze of growth coming over them in a few spots. It will be a while to see any sort of leaves, but for now the winter is over.

Light filters down in the pine forest in a special way in the second picture and gives you almost a magical feeling when you walk through it. The only colors right now are the green of the pines,the red hue of buds and wintergreen, and the green of the moss on the ground, which is very responsive to any first light of Spring and almost glows when it first starts to grow.

The Wintergreen or Bayberry in the last picture has a very different reaction to the new warmth. All winter it stays green and then in the Spring turns this bright red. The berries are a wonderful breath freshener and I never forget to pop one in when I walk by one of these plants. 

If you look you can still find snow on the North sides of the mountain and ice clinging to the rocks slowly and stubbornly refusing to leave. But I decided I had enough ice and snow pictures for the year and wanted you to feel Leetonia's move to Spring. I even saw a few yellow flowers along the road when I drove to Leetonia yesterday. Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera with me or they would have made the blog. Spring is one of my favorite times of year. The grass is low, the bugs haven't arrived and you can watch the forest change daily coming into a vibrant living expression of all the energy the sun sends to it. Today is a good day to enjoy a walk in Leetonia or anywhere in nature. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Downtown Leetonia late 1800's

Leetonia Main St.

Company Store and Office
Leetonia Hotel
The first picture shows a long row of houses leading up the main area of Leetonia. I am thinking the fences around the properties might have been to keep the cows out, which roamed freely though out the town. I don't have any way to know and if any of you have another reason for the fences I would be glad to hear it.

Towards the end of the row sat the company store and office, which was on the property we removed the trailer from last Fall. This store basically used most of the workers wages to buy good and pay rent. There wasn't much left over from your wages when you left and sometimes you might even run into debt to the store. Leetonia was a company town and you didn't fair any better than the servants of the old country did working the land for the Land Barons.

The last picture shows the only picture I know of the Leetonia Hotel. It sat to the South end past the store. That would be right about where Pettites driveway comes up. There were also homes on the other side of the road not visible in this picture. 

Road update: The road is passable without four-wheel drive. There are still icy spots which can last several hundred yards on the North sides of the mountain and in areas shaded by pine trees. Lee came up the road Wednesday with the FJ Cruiser and didn't have it in four-wheel drive. I would still recommend going slow as the icy areas can come up quickly. We have the possibility of new snow(no accumulation) for Saturday evening. Sunday is supposed to be a nice sunny day. 

The bad news is I opened three camps this week and two of them the water would not work due to the very cold weather the ground is still frozen. I chipped four inches of ice off the top of one well. That pipe to house is only 1-2 foot deep and the ground is not unfrozen around it at all. The other camp the pipe is buried much deeper, but I couldn't put anything into the ground more than an inch.  Guess what I am saying is expect problems getting water to run this early in the season. Be prepared and bring your own water with you if you want to stay this weekend. I have hopes this will all change in the next two weeks. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Leetonia Railroad


Dropping logs from train

Not many trees left on the mountain


Leetonia Train late 1880's
There was a time you could hear a train whistle blow in Leetonia a time of loggers, trains, mills and the tannery. The time Leetonia bustled with work and tough men and women carving a life out of the wilderness. Driving through Leetonia now you would never know that life existed.  All that is left now are a few of the houses turned into seasonal camps a hint of where the old railroad beds lay buried in brush and trees along with and crumbled foundations and many a working man and woman's dreams.  
Many people died in Leetonia by disease or from the dangerous work of logging on step slopes and working on the railroad. Such was the fate of John Schwab(see original story) crushed under the wheels of the Leetonia train.
Charles John Schwab 1887-1919
The young were not spared either as the graveyard still shows to all who hike up the hill where many small children under two and babies were laid to rest because of disease. Another young boy whose last name was Campbell lost his life at ten years old. The boy played near the tracks when a runaway train car ripped off his leg, then slowly and painfully took his life.  Anytime I watch the movie "Fried Green Tomatoes," I can't help but think about Leetonia's similar accidents. If you lay quiet enough on a summer day you might still hear the whistle blow, and the brakes squeal of the Leetonia Train going through the valley into the busy town of Leetonia. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.


Friday, March 28, 2014

Elk Township starts work to reopen Leetonia Road




Road after grader
Yesterday I heard the sound of a large machine and looked outside to see the township grader coming down the road. Six large tires chained, some aggressive teeth and a blade hit the road past our house. I watched as the teeth bit into the ice in front of the grader and the large machine struggled swinging from side to side with wheels spinning a battle against the frozen ice and snow covered road. As Lee and I watched Ed run the machine up the road we had real concern for him navigating a winter's worth of ice and snow. The big grader has tasted defeat on this road before and there isn't any cell service to the South of us.

Just about the time Lee said, "Should I go look for him?" We heard the rumble of the heavy machine coming back. I went down and talked to Ed before I drove into town and he said that they may bring the truck with the plow on it down Saturday. He was hoping the coming rain would soften up the ice and make it easier to get off with the truck. 

The day he came it was still in the 20's and even after the grader beat on the road there was still \ 2-3 inches of ice left. He said he used the grader from my place down to just past Cedar Crest Camp. I am not sure I share Ed's optimism on that ice softening up enough that the truck will be able to plow it by Saturday, but I hope he is right.

It did start raining today and I was awoken to the sound of a Cardinal's call outside my window. The quiet mornings of winter are over. I spotted a Bluebird, Turkey Vulture, Rabbit, and fresh muddy bear tracks on my neighbor's porch. So the animals have put in a positive vote for Spring and with the arrival of the large yellow grader I too am starting to believe. 

You should still use four-wheel drive coming up the valley and be prepared for icy spots like the above picture if you come up this weekend. I think the majority of the ice might be gone before the following weekend as the temperatures are going well above freezing for the next ten days. Happy Road Opening. Mountain Girl, Paula, logging out.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Indian Post Box then and now

Late 1800s

Late 1800's bridge before rock

2014 March 
So this details the Indian Post Box disappearing act. It wasn't the rock that moved it was the bridge in the second picture which was moved further to the left by at least 75 feet. You can see from the last picture John Schilken took over the weekend the rock and hole are still there.  A few trees have grown up around it so it isn't as easily found in the summer. According to John Grube the bridge in the second picture was washed out in a heavy storm. The man fixing the bridge stayed at Red Rock camp and moved the bridge down to give the camp a little bigger front yard. You couldn't make a decision like that on your own now days. It took over 2 years of planning to put the new bridge in front of our house and they wouldn't move it on a whim.

John went down the road towards Cedar Run on Sunday and this is his road report:
  The road is ice down by the camp Cedar Crest (Camp below ours....  I believe).  From that point down to the Mine Hole bridge, the road is about 70% defrosted.  The stretch where you went over the hill between Mine Hole and 414 (where it gets narrow), is very ice.  I would say the lower section, Mine Hole down to 414 was 70% defrosted too.  There are definitely nasty areas in both areas where the road has limited exposure to the sun.  I'm sure you know where those are.  

Thanks for that information and the pictures of the Indian Post Box. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

South End of Leetonia and GPS warning!

South End Leetonia

Tannery Wagon moving bark

Francis/Leetonia Rd. School house row

State House 1910
These are all pictures of the South end of Leetonia from late 1800's through 1910. The first picture(late 1800's) shows all the houses along the road to South of Leetonia, which now has one camp named Cedar Crest in that area. At the upper end of the creek you can see the old tannery building. The stream moves back and forth from the Tannery and makes it way down to Pine Creek.

The second picture shows the a Tannery wagon moving bark as you can see younger children are common place as workers during this period of Leetonia history.  The third picture is a row of houses going up Francis Leetonia Road to the old school house. Behind the school house is where the current Leetonia Cemetery exists. The last picture shows a high view of the same area  and includes the State House(now heliport area), and the Tannery as well as the Schoolhouse area. The lack of trees makes many of the old pictures difficult to orientate since the area doesn't look a thing like it did back then. 

I have a total of eighteen old photos of Leetonia I will post sometime during my next few posts. The riddle of the Indian Post Office has been solved by John Grube. He told me that Red Rock Camp used to be closer to the road or should I say the road was closer to Red Rock. It appear the bridge over Cedar Run washed away in the early 1950's when it was replaced the person in charge of construction stayed at Red Rock to save driving back and forth. As a way of repaying the favor the gave Red Rock a bigger front yard by moving the bridge downstream a bit.  The old road can still be seen as a circular drive in front of the camp. And if you line up the road you can see the old bridge abutments. The old road then would have made a sharp left after the previous bridge and allowed travelers to be sitting in the position of the stage picture. If you look in that area under the brush you will still see the old "Indian Mail Box". Whether or not the Indians used this or it is folklore is still up for debate. But the location of the mailbox is at Red Rock Camp.

Two people have been stuck in the Leetonia area in the last couple days. The first a lumberman who started a skid on Francis Leetonia Rd and ended up in the ditch. He walked a good three miles to our house(the only live people in Leetonia) to call for help. He understood the risks and was prepared to walk. The worst and most dangerous of the stuck people was yesterday. Two women, four children(one only 19 months) in a van followed their GPS up Leetonia Road from Cedar Run. They said they were trying to get to the PA Grand Canyon. If you use GPS up here you better have Good Problem Solving skills cause it will get you deep into trouble. 

This could have been worse if I hadn't decided to go to Leetonia to check on a camp and visit some crazy Ruin camp people(you know who you are). On my way back I see three young girls walking down Leetonia Road towards Leetonia about a half mile from my house. I stopped to see where they belonged and they said their van was stuck in the road up a ways. I wondered why they chose to walk away from my house and towards Leetonia until I saw which way the van was pointed as I drove up to it. It was point going to my house, but since they didn't know where they were and were just out of sight of my house they walked toward the only buildings they had seen in Leetonia. They had the van pretty much buried into the ditch and I doubted I could pull it out with my truck, but offered to try. I went home and got the truck and chain, but even in four-wheel drive it was little use as I could get no traction on the 4 to 5 inches of slush snow. It also appear their chassis was hung up. So I took them to the house to call for a tow. There is only one person who will even consider towing anyone back here and that is Wayne of Gaines Garage. It was going to be two hours until he could come so I had a few children visitors for a while. The female adults preferred to stay with their vehicle and wait, so most of my story came from the kids. They told about how they had followed the GPS and gotten stuck a number of times until their mother in an attempt to keep from going off the steep side went into the ditch less than 500 yards from my house. I had gotten enough of a look at the adults to realize they wouldn't have been able to walk the eight to nine miles need to get help. It could have been a long night in the freezing woods or days before anyone would have found them. The sad thing is I don't think they had a clue how serious of a situation they were in. Other then the guys who came up to their camp for the weekend. I was the only person close and they started by walking away from me. I asked if they had seen the sign that said "No winter maintenance". They said they did but they were already in quite a ways. I blame the State for that one as there isn't a sign until you get two miles in where our township starts. That is way too late to help most people if they read it. This accident ended on a good note. The tow truck came and they got out and headed back to the York area. I am sure it didn't turn into the fun day trip to the canyon they had planned on.

The roads are still four-wheel drive only with chains, nerves of steel and the ability to walk out if needed. If you lack any of the above characteristics wait until April 15th., when they plow all of the roads. Mountain girl Paula,logging out.