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.

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