Friday, December 30, 2016

General Store Leetonia

Shaut and Co. Limited
This is a picture of the general store in Leetonia at the turn of the century.  This could be today in Leetonia with snow freshly on the trees. This is where everyone in Leetonia got paid, and bought their goods for the week. I think it was pretty much and even trade with not much left over as the town was a company town and so was the store. People worked to make a bare existence living. They worked long, dangerous jobs in the Tannery, saw mill and in the woods lumbering.
The Tannery and Saw Mill are gone along with the rail road that carried the goods out to the world. The lumberman still log these woods and it is a dangerous job in which lives are lost every year. Other than the loggers no one is making a living in Leetonia anymore. Instead the woods are filled with snowmobilers in the winter, hunting, fishing, and recreational camp users in the summer.  When I am in Leetonia, I love to listen and sometimes I think I hear the sound of the railroad, smell the tannery and hear the stories being told by the old timers sitting on the store porch.  Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Let the snow begin!

Leetonia Road today
Although winter does not officially begin until December 21st, snow has fallen in Tioga Forest and has decorated the forest with a nice white gown. It is interesting how every year the first significant snow fall is always so pretty. By the end of February, the comments about snow will turn to dismay as people will start being tired of the white somewhat colorless winter and start wishing for the end of the winter white. Last year we seemed to skip winter and not much snowmobiling or other winter sports were possible. This could be why last night I saw a snowmobile running across Ridge Rd on the tiny 2 to 3 inches of snow we have gotten. One good bit of news for those of you who like to visit Leetonia in a car, the township is plowing the road from Parker Hollow to just past the Pioneer Camp. For some reason they decided to turn around at Melvin's driveway and not do the last 300 yds to Painter Leetonia Rd. They are doing this because of someone living full time across from Mick's old place. This is good news for me as it means I can get up and do some skiing or hiking this winter. 
This coming week has promised to start giving us some of the cold temperatures we usually get earlier. By the middle of the week we will see single digits. So if you go out dress warm.
I never like leaving my home in the woods even though I live a short distance away my city home lacks the quiet and solitude of the woods. This time as I was leaving I noticed a UPS sticker on my old UPS collection box I built at Parker Hollow. UPS will not deliver back in the woods. At first I thought someone used my old address and I might find frozen fruit. But when I looked inside it was a flat envelope addressed to 5990 Leetonia Rd., This is a camp as you head South on Leetonia Rd is right before you get to the pipeline on the left. I am not sure who owns this camp, but no one is there right now. If you know tell them their envelope is in the big green box at Parker Hollow. Mountain girl, Paula, back to work and missing Leetonia.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Thanksgiving in Leetonia

Sign front

Support for bear

Cushman View
Got up here Wednesday evening for a nice long weekend in my favorite place. A couple weeks ago, I found my large carved bear laying on the ground. In the past bears have knocked over the small one so I figured one gave the big one a push. When we went to lift him back up the base he was sitting on broke.  I had to chain saw it off making him about a foot shorter and put a board into his back to keep him upright. It looks like this will be his last winter and I will need to carve a new one in the Spring. The new one won't be as big. The eagle on my rock also suffered a blow to the face and is missing part of his beak. Not a good year for my carvings.
I decided to put in a ceramic floor in my downstairs bath as I really liked the one I did upstairs a number of years ago and the vinyl was worn out. So my big project was taking everything out and doing the floor. I am going to wait until next week to put everything back on it and give it a week to cure. Of course now that I did it the wall don't look so good so now I will have to paint them. I bit of reverse order from the way I like to do it, but it shouldn't be bad with everything out. 
Saturday I took a bit of a break and hiked up to Cushman view a little over 3 miles from the house. I said, hi, to Mick who has his permanent view up there. I have to say he chose a good spot. For those of you who don't know Mick, he was a long-time resident of Leetonia and a true mountain man. I heard via Facebook that a lot of people got bears this year. John Schilken from the Tannery got his first. So far I haven't heard anyone say they got Snaggle Nose, but it will be Spring before we know if he escaped another season. The weather has been unseasonably warm and the small amount of snow we had earlier is gone. Deer season starts soon and then the long cold winter will really begin.  I for one am enjoying the mild days while I can. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Snaggle Nose a Survivor and Victor

Snaggle Nose 2016 by John Schilken of the Tannery in Leetonia

Snaggle Nose 2011
Yes, Snaggle Nose followers he is still ticking after all these years. The first I heard of Snaggle nose was the summer of 2009 when my neighbor called me stressed about an adult male bear who had part of his face hanging and bloody from a fight with another bear. This bear had to be at least 3 and probably 4 by that time. He is close to 11 years old now and is a force to be reckoned with. The other bears run when they see him and he doesn't hesitate during the summer non-hunting season to stroll around Leetonia in the middle of the day and take any food he can find.
His size is at least 600lbs and he sports a permanent growling appearance, which is not as noticeable in the top picture. John said, Snaggle Nose came up behind him while he worked on the door of his place. I am sure he quickly stepped inside the camp. John said, "Snaggle nose was smelling the back of Pats truck when I yelled at him. All he did was turn to get his picture taken. Walked on back side of truck and up the drive." Pat had left some feed in the back of his car and Snaggle nose would have been happy to relieve him of that burden.
This bear teaches me a lot of what it means to be gravely injured, heal and not only survive but thrive. If any of us had gone through what he has..would we have given up, hidden somewhere embarrassed by our deformity?  Would we have held so much trauma in our brains that we never again became a functioning member of this earth. Snaggle Nose didn't give it a thought. He healed, he grew, and he became the biggest bear in all of Leetonia. He is a force to be reckoned with and honored. We should all have the heart of this bear and not retreat from life, but face it with whatever face or body we have been given.  Of course he did not get it by having an easy life...his strength came through a journey from a challenge, then through pain, growth and victory. I am not sure how many cubs his has in the area, but you can bet the heart of this bear beats on in many of them and his legend will never die. Mountain Girl, Paula, logging out.

Friday, July 15, 2016

1900 Bridge rail lives on?

Bradley Wales Railing

Bradley Wales railing
postcard 1930 to 1945

Leetonia Bridge late 1800's to early 1900's

John Schilken emailed me these pictures.The first two he took up at Bradley Wales on West Rim. You can see a rail that suspiciously looks like the rail on this old Leetonia Bridge. The last picture was taken off of a glass negatives, which were only around from 1880 to the 1920's. The bridge seems much longer than it does today unless since it is so narrow is an illusion. You will have to click on picture and make it large to see the metal rail clearly. Also notice the points of the rail in original were not bend over as they are above. This is looking into town from the South point first bridge. Leetonia hotel is on the left and Zimmerman's camp is on the right.After first posting this I found a color postcard with the railing on it by 1930.
Mrs. Lee?
This picture of a woman with a bicycle was also part of the group of pictures and based on looking up clothes style and the popularity of riding bikes for woman it looks like 1900. John thinks this has to be Mrs. Lee cause the poor workers in the mill would not have been able to afford such a luxury as a bicycle or nice clothes.

If any of you know if the rail from this 1900 bridge was used at Bradley Wales let me know. I will post some of the other pictures from glass negatives later. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Friday, July 8, 2016


As a kid I remember walking up to Lee Firetower and climbing up to see the ranger. The tower swayed back and forth in the wind and it was an unsettling experience and at the same time exhilarating to see the entire forest. Some time in the late 80's the firetower was taken down. Satellites replaced the eyes of the ranger and something was lost. I wished that I could have re-erected it on the top of my hill a bit lower view for it but it would have been wonderful. I have even looked at other firetowers for sale, but the cost of moving and re-erecting them is out of my budget. I would imagine keeping people from climbing it and the insurance, and maintenance would also be costly. Of course in my child mind none of that mattered...just seeing it again would be great. A friend who writes another blog reminded me of the Lee Firetower with her recent post about the Cherry Springs Tower, which is still there. Here is a link to her blog. The firetower originally costs only $621 dollars to erect. Now even for an old one it would be in the 10's of thousands. A salute to the Lee Firetower. Mountain girl, Paula, Logging out.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

July 4th Mid State Trail hike

Just to North of Little Pine State Park

Rock person
Lee and I spent the weekend of the 4th hiking almost 17 more miles of the Mid State Trail from Silver Springs to Ramsey Rd. over 3 days. It is a vigorous hike with a lot of steep climbs and steep descents. Speck, the Chihuahua walked all of it with us and didn't break a sweat. I wish that were true of both of us. We finished each day before noon to avoid the heat. The bugs were at a minimum due to low amounts of rain we have had in June. The hike has a lot of foot trippers in it, little rocks and roots that keep you watching the trail unless you fall. A lot of nice ridge walking, which Lee says is her favorite, partially because it is the flattest part of the hike. We have now complete over 100 miles of the trail which is 325 miles long. It is getting more time consuming to drive to starting points and I will have to say we will be camping over once we get much past Woolrich on the map which is the 120 mile point. Our little hikes keep us connected to the woods while our cabin is being rented out. We did run up to Leetonia on the 4th and it looked like most all the people had left by noon. 
Small dog big heart!
Still love Leetonia the best. I camped out on top my hill last weekend in the hammock with the little dog. That was a huge mistake as he snored and farted all night. I didn't sleep as well as him. Still loved being back home. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

June a month of Festivals

Mountain Laurel getting ready to bloom. 
Orange Salamander crossing road.
So June is the month for festivals; the Rattlesnake festival this coming weekend and the Mountain Laurel festival the weekend of the 25th. I took a 2 mile walk today up the mountain to the pipeline and noticed the Mountain Laurel will be opening soon and should be in full bloom for the festival. The temperature took a bit of a dive from the 80's to the 50's making the walk up hill a lot more enjoyable.
During the hike, the dogs and I saw one of the colorful, orange salamander's crossing the road. I saw several deer with fawns over the last couple days and turkey now that the hunting is done all the animals seem to know and show up a bit more.
I spent a few days at camp cutting willows down in the creek, which seem to grow as fast as I cut them. I also got to replace my water heater. A job thanks to its location in the basement which is made harder by the fact that I had to maneuver a 148 lb heater through a closet and down a trap door. The new ones have a plastic control valve that you have to make sure not to bang against anything or you will have a broken water heater. When it was all said and done I decided someone else will lift then next one down the hole in 10 to 14 years, cause if I try this in my 70's the water heater will probably be my headstone. 
Even with all the work, I dreaded coming back to Wellsboro tonight and returning to work tomorrow. The woods always calls my name. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Memorial Day in Leetonia...things to do.

There are two interesting things to do related to Memorial Day in and near Leetonia. First is to go up to Leetonia Cemetery and visit the soldiers grave sites.  This site is just about 600 yards down Francis Leetonia Rd to the left as you come up to Leetonia from the South. The graveyard is on a steep hill. There is also a row of babies buried up there from a whopping cough epidemic in the late 1870's. As you go up the hill you will notice an old foundation. That was the site of the first school house/church/meeting room in Leetonia.

The next thing involves a bit of driving out to Captain Lawrence Ritter's crash site. In 1946 this pilot crashed his WW2 P47 into the side of the mountain and was not found until 7 months later by bear hunters. I have instructions at the link to get there. If you are not familar with the roads but know where my place is. You head to the right out of my driveway and make the first left towards Cushman view then down the mountain and the first right is Francis Leetonia Rd. follow site directions and pictures from there. This involves about 3.5 miles of hiking to get to the wreckage site. Please do not take any of the wreckage out of respect.

Enjoy the weekend, but take a little time to remember all those who came, fought and died before us. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Thursday, May 26, 2016


Just a quick message to all wanting to come up to Leetonia for Memorial Weekend. The bridge in Leetonia opened back up this morning so no more detour!  Have a great weekend in the best place on earth. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Monday, May 23, 2016

A walk in the Woods

Red Clover

Yellow Wood Sorrel
We were back up in the woods from Saturday through Monday. It rained on Saturday and Sunday, but today was beautiful. I took some flower pictures on our walk. The color on the red clover was especially nice. Lee has been battling a Robin trying to build a nest under the porch. I think the Robin is winning, but they are both persistent. However, the place will be rented through Memorial weekend and that will give the bird plenty of time to set up a nest. There have been a lot of birds lately we have two pairs of Indigo Buntings, which we think are prettier than blue birds, finches, an assortment of wrens, and a Northern Flicker poking at the yard. Lee doesn't have her 16 hummingbird feeders up at camp since we won't be around to fill them or protect them from the bears. Lee hasn't had any luck getting the hummingbirds to travel to her feeders in Wellsboro. I guess they didn't get the forwarding address.
Word on the bridge that is out in Leetonia is that it may be open before Memorial Day Weekend. We can all hope as the detour adds at least a half hour drive and the road is horrible going around. We met a friend on our walk this morning finishing up his turkey hunting for the morning. He said he didn't see a thing, but the weather was nice and it didn't seem like it mattered. 
Also good news, Snaggle Nose, the bear, made it through another year. He was photographed by John down at the Tannery on a game camera. Hopefully, he will send me a picture so I can update it. Snaggle Nose must be at least 10 and seems to be an expert on evading the hunters each year. He is the biggest bear in Leetonia now and all the others run when they see him.
Even though I am a short distance away in Wellsboro, I cherish the time to just drive up and be in Leetonia. I always feel home there. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Bridge work continues along with a little May combo weather

Hail and snow

Bridge in Leetonia looking South

Bridge in Leetonia looking North
Good new they got the concrete poured on the bridge in Leetonia right before the weekend. Bad news is it will probably still be closed another 2 weeks while it cures and they fill in around it. Lee, Speck, Leo and I walked down from the house to the bridge about 1 3/4 mile on Saturday. It was a pleasant walk in the mid 50's. On Sunday however the weather changed for the worse. We woke up to 35 degrees and rain, which turned to sleet, snow, sun and anything else it could think of during the day Sunday. During one of the sunny spells we  walked up the road a little over a mile and enjoyed all the new foliage coming out. I noticed a lot of olive,honeysuckle, and maple growing up in the area just to the north of us that was select cut about 5 years ago. Unfortunately, not many young oaks to be found. Speaking of Oaks it looks like they will be logging along the half mile trail some time soon as many of the oaks there are dying. So enjoy the trail while you can. Lee and I have been working our way down the Mid-State Trail and have made it from NY state line to Blackwell about 75 miles of hiking so far. The trail goes all the way to Maryland(about 325 miles) so we have a bit farther to go. There are definitely some pretty sections one of the nicest so far being along Stony Fork Creek.  Our last section of hiking from Clay Mine Rd down to Blackwell is up on Youtube and can check out the video of it at the link.  Next week we will be back up into more seasonable temperatures of 60's and 70's during the day so it will be a nice time to come up to the woods. Mountain Girl, Paula, logging out.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Leetonia a time of detours

My truck after the detour

Sign coming into Leetonia from the South
If you want to cross the bridge in Leetonia you are out of luck for at least a month. They are resurfacing it. This is the bridge right after the Tannery coming into town from the South. The detour is Francis Leetonia up to Cushman and back down. I went this way and it is a muddy mess right now. In several spots it would be hard going in a car. Not only road closed in Leetonia, but up towards Painter Leetonia where is crosses to connect with Thompson Hollow. That bridge has been totally pulled out, which usually means 2-3 months of work.
With my luck I managed to hit both spots in one day. I was hauling hikers up from Rattlesnake Rock to the beginning of the West Rim Trail on the other side of Colton point. The detour for that one goes down a logging road that connects to Mill Road another mud filled experience. So for all you campers out there be ready for some extra fun driving through the woods.

I spent the weekend at my place doing some spring maintenance and enjoying the quiet only found in the woods. Lee and I have been doing the Mid-State Trail and did an amazing hike full of waterfalls near Stony Fork Creek.  you can check out the Youtube video at that link. We have done a total of 65 miles of the Mid-State Trail which runs 325 miles from NY to Maryland right through the heart of our area. We plan to chip away at the entire trail.

The Turkey hunters were everywhere Saturday as it was opening day. I am thinking they had a rough time of it because the gobblers where more active a month ago with all the warm weather we had. I saw a big gobbler coming off the Mid-State Trail on Tannery Rd at around 5PM. They can tell time real well. Sorry I haven't posted more often. Seems like I am on the run, I will try to pick things up a bit for you all. I have my place rented out much of the summer on AirBnb if any of you want to stay at the mountain girl's place you can rent it at the link. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Warm winter continues

Trestle Hollow Camp

Top end of Trail at intersection of logging Rd.
Mom and 3 cubs on Painter Leetonia Rd.
Before we got to camp a good sized coyote ran across the front of the car. He looked very well fed and was in a hurry to get out of our way. Today it was 63 degrees on top the mountain at the end of Trestle Hollow Trail. Lee and I have been up to camp every weekend with the weather staying warm and very little ice and snow. We walked the about 2 miles of Trestle Hollow over to West Rim. The first part of the trail has obviously been cared for by someone cutting limbs and trees out of the way. The second part was not as well maintained as the first and needs some tender loving care. Along the trail we saw a lot of turkey tracks and a few deer tracks and pawing of the ground looking for food. We hiked in light shirts without jackets with the weather so warm. After the trail we headed up Painter-Leetonia and there to our surprise was a mom bear and her 3 cubs. They were taking advantage of the good weather and low snow cover to look for food as well. Mom and cubs looked on the small side even though the cubs were obviously born last year. So it was a good day in the woods. I didn't want to leave. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

A Walk in Our Woods

The start of Misner Trail

Misner Trail
Climbing up to Cushman from Francis Leetonia Rd.

Cushman View or should I say no view

Corner of Leetonia Rd and Wilson Point
Lee and I were up in Leetonia again this weekend as the weather has stayed mild. It was between 34-36 degrees on our Misner Trail, Francais/Leetonia Rd, Cushman, Leetonia road loop about 9 miles. The only surprise on the trail was the top of Misner trail is covered in cut trees as they are logging up there. That made for a difficult last 200 yards of climbing over, under and around the trees. We saw several deer tracks and heard a dog barking. Now I know some of you are saying that was probably a coyote. But unless a coyote has developed a very low bark like a shepherd size dog, I am pretty sure it was a dog. The way the mountains echo it was difficult to figure out where it was coming from but we heard loggers as well so thinking it might have been one of their dogs. The last half mile of the top of the mountain was very foggy. I don't think we could see more than a couple hundred feet at times and about 3 degrees colder than the bottom. The footwork on the road was a bit tricker than I planned for a took a knee slide at one point. That will teach me to remember my ice cleats...guess being in town has already made me forget the basics of winter in Leetonia. The roads weren't bad for cars if you go slow no chains are needed today. We said, hi, to Mick as we passed his spot overlooking Cushman although you couldn't see a thing today with all the fog. The sign for Cushman View was missing last year and now the post resides over the hill. By the time we made it to the Corner of Leetonia Rd. and Wilson point Rd. we were glad the rest was downhill. It was nice medium jacket weather hiking as long as you were moving it was comfortable. All in all we covered 9 miles in about 4 hours which included lunch and a few breaks as we made it up about 900 ft of elevation climb. We have been glad the weather has stayed mild and hope to squeeze a few more trips up before the roads close. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Hike to Sand Run Falls

Top of Sand Run Falls

Rope down to Falls

Sand Run Falls
You know the old saying, "You don't know what you've got til it is gone," is so true. Now that I can't just walk out the door of the cabin and go for a hike. I have to drive to get back into the woods. Drove down to just outside of Arnot and walked down to Sand Falls. It is a very beautiful falls and pretty easy to get to. It is on the Mid State trail and I am sure quite a treat for any hikes doing the complete trail. I walked on a bit of a short cut to falls which was about a 1.5 to get to falls all downhill at a fairly gradual pace until you get to the falls. At that point there is a rope to help slow your descent down to the falls and help you climb back up the about 25 foot drop. It was just under freezing today and a very light snow, but quite warm for this time of year. I enjoyed my visit with nature and will be going up to camp tomorrow to check on things and who knows do another little walk up the mountain. My job change that doesn't require the kind of physical labor I was doing before I moved to town has put a few extra pounds on the mountain girl so time to walk them off and what better place than in the mountains and woods I love. Mountain girl, logging out.