Columbia Montour Quarterly Vol. 4: April-June 2022



Volume 4 April - June

Your All-Access Guide to Columbia & Montour Counties!






The Pioneer Tunnel: Shining a Light on Mining History


Quarterly Trail Feature: Rails-To-Trails

Discovering Timeless Designs 11


12 Reflections: Montour Preserve’s First Land Manager


Covered Bridge Photo Contest Returns


Quarterly Covered Bridge Feature: Lawrence L. Knoebel Bridge

Left a Note: Gone Fishin’ 26 Events Calendar 22 Member Spotlight 29



Your SPRING Adventure Begins in COLUMBIA & MONTOUR Counties




shining a light on Mining HistorY

by Pioneer Tunnel Staff

2022 is an important year for the Pioneer Tunnel Coal Mine & Steam Train, located at 19th & Oak Streets in Ashland, Pennsylvania, as the beloved attraction celebrates its 60th anniversary. One of the region’s premier tourist attractions, the Pioneer Tunnel & Steam Train offers two unique, family-friendly tours. The first is a tour of a real anthracite coal mine, and the other is a ride on an old-fashioned steam locomotive along Mahanoy Mountain. Both tours are guided. Visitors taking the coal mine tour get a real feel for what it was like to work in the coal mines while riding in the complete safety of an open mine car pulled by a battery- operatedminemotor. Themine runs 1,800 feet intotheside of Mahanoy Mountain. During the tour, a knowledgeable guide relays the fascinating story of anthracite deep coal mining. The daily operation of mine tours helps preserve a tangible piece of the area’s history. It also gives visitors of all ages a better understanding of the difficult conditions faced by past generations of underground miners. During its time as an operational mine, the Pioneer Tunnel produced a daily average of 400 tons of coal. It now stands as a monument to those who engaged in the tedious, often dangerous, task of coal mining. Pioneer Tunnel is classified as a drift mine, which means the mine’s shaft has been driven horizontally into the mountainside to access the ore seam. The mine was owned and operated by the Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company from 1911 to 1931, at which time it was abandoned. Eventually,

the tunnel was dug out, retimbered, and restored in advance of its grand re-opening in 1962 – this time solely as a tourism attraction. To ensure the continued safety of the mine for visitors, the tunnel is inspected daily by the mine foreman. It is also inspected periodically by state mine inspectors. The temperature inside the mine is consistently around 48-52 degrees, soasweateror jacket is recommended for visitors. The mine tour lasts approximately 30 minutes. There are maps, charts and exhibits on display inside the mine that help visitors visualize the mining operation. Guides will also point out gangways and a vein of coal, along with other points of interest inside the mine.


In 1979, Pioneer Tunnel was given an award for excellence by the Pennsylvania Travel Industry Advisory Council as one of the top 10 tourist attractions in the state. In its 60 year history, it has been awarded many additional commendations from various tourist organizations for its continued excellence as a tourist attraction. Over the years, many improvements have been made to the Pioneer Tunnel. The latest was the building of a brand new “Lokie” barn in 2020. In addition to the tours, there is an air conditioned souvenir and gift shop which includes many unique items including rocks, minerals, gems, fossils and railroad items. Books about the anthracite region and the famed “Molly Maguires” are also for sale along with the locally famous “coal candy,” and specially designed t-shirts and sweatshirts. There is a lunch and snack bar called “The Jelly Bucket,” a picnic and playground area, restroom facilities, and free parking. Also within walking distance is the Pennsylvania Museum of Anthracite Mining.

Another attraction is the “Lokie” ride. The Lokie is an old-fashioned, narrow-gauge, steam locomotive built by Vulcan Iron Works in 1927. When the Pioneer Tunnel was first opened as a tourist attraction, two lokies were purchased from a scrap yard in Hazleton, PA and completely refurbished. The ride takes visitors three-quarters of a mile around the side of Mahanoy Mountain to the site of an abandoned strip mine. Tour guides on the Lokie provide an explanation of the strip mining process. Visitors are also treated to a unique view of the community of Ashland and are told about the Centralia mine fire and its origins. The underground mine fire started in May of 1962, and has continued to burn for the last 60 years. Due to the nature of the anthracite coal seam, it’s possible that it will continue burning for upwards of another 200 years. Once a sizeable town of approximately 1,500 residents, Centralia gradually declined into a ghost town. The town’s demise, along with the distinctiveness of the underground fire, have made it the subject of many national and international news stories over the years. The locomotive tour lasts approximately 30 minutes.


To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Pioneer Tunnel in 2022, Pioneer Day will be held on Saturday, June 4, from 10 AM to 5 PM. In addition to the regular coal mine tours and steam train rides, numerous special events are planned around the Higher-Up Park, which is adjacent to the Tunnel. There will be live music on the bandstand, chicken BBQ dinners, “bleenies,” homemade baked goods, and a variety of local and ethnic food favorites. Visitors to Ashland can also see the “Mothers’ Memorial” which is the only known bronze statue in the world replicated after Whistler’s famous painting entitled “An Arrangement in Gray and Black.” The statue is commonly referred to as “Whistler’s Mother” and was commissioned by local residents as a dedication to all mothers everywhere.

The Pioneer Tunnel is open from April through October. Current hours of operation and admission costs can be found on at or the attraction’s Facebook page, which is updated frequently to reflect upcoming events and other announcements. The Pioneer Tunnel office can also be reached year-round by calling 570-875-3850. Pioneer Tunnel is operated by Ashland Community Enterprises, a non-profit, community-owned, corporation established in 1962. It is administered by an unpaid, volunteer board of directors.


Pioneer Tunnel Coal Mine Tunnel 21_Layout 1 2/12/21 2:27 PM Page 1 Pioneer Tunnel Coal Mine


Tour a real coal mine and take a ride on an old- fashioned steam locomotive. Both tours are guided. Open April - October Tour a real coal mine and take a ride on an old- fashioned steam locomotive. Both tours are gui ed. Open April - October 19th & Oak Streets Ashland, PA 17921 570-875-3850 Tour a real coal mine and take a ride on an old- fashioned steam locomotive. Both tours are guided. Open April - October VISIT US ON Pioneer Tunnel Coal Mine 19th & Oak Streets As land, PA 17921 570-875-3850


- PLUS - Visit our gift

19th & Oak Streets Ashland, PA 17921 570-875-3850

shop after your tour & be sure to take home a box of original Coal Candy!


Rails-To-Trails: A Path for Everyone Quarterly Trail Feature by Jenn Puckett

Railroad tracks across America began to be abandoned in the 1960’s, and folks began hiking the left-behind corridors. In 1980, Congress passed the Staggers Rail Act, resulting in the discontinuation of up to 8000 miles of lines a year. Soon after, the National Trails System Act was created, providing for interim trail use and the “Rails to Trails” idea was born. Today, there are over 21,000 miles of these trails in the United States.

so many varieties on this hike. Two types of woodpeckers, both the smaller Downy and larger Hairy, were abundant. Bluejays, crows and cardinals were numerous. But my favorite sighting of the day was a Belted Kingfisher. These fish-hunting birds are distinctive with their spiky crest, rattling call and unique way of hunting – diving headfirst into the water to spear prey on their long bills. I also observed areas of wetland and in them, one of spring’s earliest plants – the Eastern Skunk Cabbage. Despite its unappealing name, the plant does not smell unless crushed. An interesting fact about this native species is that it is one of the very few thermogenic plants, meaning it creates its own heat by cyanide resistant cellular respiration in order to melt its way through the frozen ground. This is a lovely trail with plenty of native plant species and birdwatching opportunities, and is easy enough for nearly anyone to walk. Spring has sprung, so let’s get outside!

What are rails-to-trails? They are typically flat, level and graded. It’s a trail on which you can take your children and grandparents for a day without worrying about it being too strenuous. They are almost always pet friendly and excellent for both hiking and biking. And here in Columbia County, we have one in our backyard. I recently had the pleasure of a spring stroll along the Bloomsburg Rail Trail. Parking for this out and back trail can be found at a variety of locations, including each end of the trail. However, I elected to start at the midpoint, just off Millville Road and Irondale Street in Bloomsburg. Following Fishing Creek, the trail is home to many types of birds. As an amateur birdwatcher, I was very pleased to see


Before you go Please note: Only rail corridors that have been specifically turned to trails should be hiked. Please know that railroads are private property, and being on them is trespassing. You could be arrested and/or fined. Railroads do not always run on set schedules. Every three minutes a person or vehicle is hit by a train in the United States. Do NOT hike on railroads that are not specficially designated as a rail-to-trail. Wear sturdy footwear. The terrain is mostly level and easy to walk. Some parts can be muddy or wet depending on the season. Restrooms are NOT available. The trail is pet friendly, but please leash your furry friend and always clean up after them. There are residential areas on some sides of the trail, please respect private property and do not trespass. Take lots of pictures and leave only footprints. Pack out any trash! And be sure to use #itourcolumbiamontour when sharing your photos. They could be the featured photos of the week on Instagram!

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Most incredible experience with a sweet, smart horse! And wonderful, kind, knowledgeable guides! My husband and I hadn’t had much experience with horses (the last time was when we were children), and this was the perfect experience to get … -Samantha S. What a special experience. Carrie was very pleasant and incredibly patient and knowledgeable with our questions. She clearly knows her goats. Her goats are friendly and the interaction was so much fun. We were there the day a baby was born... -H. Rossler This place is a real hidden gem for anyone who enjoys camping. Beautiful scenery and the hosts are very welcoming. The horses, goats and other wildlife are the best part... -J. Poli

901 Wolf House Hollow Road Benton, PA - Visitors by appointment only Call us (570) 285-5242 or visit our website -

For more information about our events, visit 240 Southern Drive Catawissa, PA

(we also have raspberries) Hungry from picking strawberries? We’ve got you covered!

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Inside the newly renovated barn loft in Rohrbach’s Farm Market · Catawissa, PA ·

located next to Big Dan’s BBQ. Stop by & grab some PA Preferred wine, hard cider or a wine slushie to enjoy with your BBQ. Also serving TURKEY HILL Brewing Company on tap.

Walk through the doors of Timeless Designs and you will find yourself stepping into a delightful experience. The building known as the Opera House in Catawissa, home to Timeless Designs, was built in 1869 and to this day maintains many of the original architectural elements including gloriously high ceilings and tall glass display front windows. Originally opened as Country Shed Creations in 2013 by local resident Jennifer Ney, this eclectic shop hosts 14 vendors and an array of vintage, antique, new and repurposed merchandise and accessories. Jennifer has since changed the name to Timeless Designs to more accurately describe the diverse collection that is available inside the shop. After driving by multiple times and being captivated by the displays in those tall front windows, I finally stopped in to explore. Small local businesses have always been a priority for me, but add vintage and eclectic and I’m in my favorite setting. Warm, bright lighting, fun music and the soft scent of a seasonal candle captivated my senses. I enjoyed browsing through the rooms and looked high and low to ensure I didn’t miss a thing. I discovered Grandma June’s wonderful display of the best vintage kitchenware and collectibles. Items here truly do bring fond memories of days with my own grandparents. I spotted the room with both Maggie & More and Valley Hill Vintage. A perfect blend of repurposed and new crafts fill the floor and walls. Browsing the main room, I enjoyed seeing various vendor pieces combined for displays and many large furniture pieces showcased. Very new to Timeless Designs is the expanded clothing, hand bags and jewelry area with trendy new and vintage designs. If memory serves me correctly, my first purchase was a vintage table cloth that I repurposed into a kitchen curtain. Since then, I’ve added furniture and décor to my home and beautiful wreathes to my front porch. I never leave empty handed. The prices make my decisions easy. For over twenty years, Jennifer has been repurposing furniture, and her expertise is on display throughout the shop. As you browse and admire any of those pieces, keep in mind that they may not be there when you return. The uniqueness of each piece lends to quick turn over. It seems to be a common theme; all of the vendors are constantly bringing in new pieces. Jennifer also has an amazing way of redecorating the shop often and her reach goes far beyond the walls of Timeless Designs. Along with her husband Mike they offer painting, floor installation, and backsplashes. Their resume boasts entire rooms, kitchen cabinets, fireplaces, banisters and even a local restaurant! Jennifer would like to expand the vendor spaces in the future. She envisions Catawissa as a fun little town for people to visit whether they are locals or traveling through on a seasonal vacation. She says, “I love repurposing anything and everything so having a small shop that can showcase all the talented local artists there are, that’s my dream. I want to keep expanding what we offer; we just added vintage clothing, new clothing and more jewelry and still maintain the vintage that people love.” There is room to expand the shop, so when the time is right, you can expect to see even more from Timeless Designs! Timeless Designs DISCOVERING BY DENISE ROHRBACH




by John Zaktansky, Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association

​In the early 1970s, as word spread about PP&L building a power plant in Montour County and a subsequent lake area to be used as a backup coolant for the plant, local landowner Richard Hess developed an idea to capitalize on the news. “Our farm joins the preserve land where the pavilions are now. I had the idea of putting in a campground, because I understood that PPL wasn’t going to put a campground in and I figured that they’ll have the lake there for boating and fishing and trails to hike,” he said, taking a few days of vacation from his job with Sylvania, developing what would be the earliest electronic components for automobiles, to attend a conference at Penn State University on starting a campground. “They introduced a man who worked for PPL if you had any electrical questions. I talked to him during the first break, and he told me that he was responsible for this particular piece of property around the lake,” Hess said. “He wanted to find someone in the area to work as a contractor, so I started mowing grass for him, took care of tables when they were delivered and worked for him about a year as the lake was finished up.” Soon

after, Hess was hired as the property’s full-time Land Management Specialist, holding the position from 1972 through his retirement in 1995 and overseeing the first 23 years of the preserve’s development and growth. Flood of 1972 Richard’s first major challenge came immediately – as the historic flooding of Hurricane Agnes took its toll on the newly formed lake infrastructure. “It was interesting because here was no plan developed on what to do if we did have a flood because the lake was brand new,” he said. “There is an emergency overflow on the east side of the lake where the Sunset Overlook stone wall is, and they dug a deep concrete wall there.” The reservoir held back a lot of water that would have originally gone directly into the middle branch of the Chillisquaque Creek and eventually flowed into the town of Washingtonville. “At first, the water started to subside a little bit, and the people in Washingtonville thought they were done, but we all didn’t realize at the time that the water was building

more and more in the reservoir, it went over the emergency overflow and washed out a gulley more than six feet high – I know I remember that as I was later netting fish that were left behind in pools,” Hess said. “Residents of Washingtonville at first were very angry because they thought the company opened valves and let water out (of the lake), but they didn’t realize we were doing all we could to hold the water back.” The incident led to better planning for future flood events. “PPL stationed someone from the plant to make sure the dam was stable. They had a system set up to warn the people downstream – I think a fire company had a siren system,” Hess said. “Also, if a large amount of water was projected, the company would open valves prior to the storms to lower the level of the lake for more storage capacity. Of course, that caused more work for us, netting fish and repairing erosion. We wound up with some new species of fish in the creek that weren’t there before. It was all part of that first flood, which wound up being the worst one.”


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Wildlife rehab Early in the life of the Montour Preserve, the maintenance area was located on an adjacent farm, and in a large chicken coop of that farm was Hess’ shop and a rehab room where they would help various birds – like hawks – rehab their flying strength before release back into the wild. “There was this red-tail hawk that was in a cage like a large dog crate, and we had to move it over to the fly room. I had a winter coat on and a pair of gloves and I thought I would be fine,” remembered Hess. “I reached in for the hawk, but of course when you reach out, the jacket pulls away from your wrist and that is where this hawk latched on. “It felt like a nail going down into the bone. I had another guy there and he tried to pull it out, but hawks use them (their talons) for killing. We had the idea to take it to the fly room and it released to face me. I was off to the doctor for a tetanus shot.” Maple sugaring The first program offered at the Montour Preserve shortly after it opened was on maple sugaring – a precursor to the popular program that continues today.

“We tapped just a few trees and had one class that first year. We boiled it down in an old butcher kettle outside the maintenance area and finished the sap on a Coleman stove in the kitchen,” he said. “By the time we got to our second year, we had built a little structure in the sugarbush area. When we put the pavilion down there, we were able to get involved with school districts.” As it was with all programs and activities at the preserve, safety and liability mindfulness was high on Hess’ lists of responsibilities. “When we had sugaring programs, I would hire a professional tree trimming program and basically write them a blank check to go down the trail through the sugarbush and take down any loose branches or anything else that may hurt someone if there was a high wind or other incident,” he said. Evolution of the lake Soon after Hess took on the full-time role with the Montour Preserve, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission was involved in stocking the lake. “When the lake was first dug out, they didn’t leave any structure on the bottom that fish could use for cover,” said Hess. “So we got involved with Scout troops

and other groups to develop structures out of old tires and Christmas trees. We mapped out where these were placed in the lake.” Hess’ role at the preserve soon had the fish and boat commission knocking at his door for another responsibility. “With me being there all the time, they wanted to have me work as a deputy for them overseeing things at the lake, going almost immediately through training programs that helped improve things from a safety standpoint,” he said. “When it came to people fishing on the ice, we would never tell people it was safe. Signs told people they would go onto the ice at their own risk,” Hess said. “We did have several drownings at the lake. The first one I was involved with, the ice went from six inches to one inch in one step and the guy was by himself and he drowned.” The lake was not only a drawing card for people, but for new species of wildlife. “Fifty different species of waterfowl came in early on that hadn’t been there before, and that attracted a lot of people to check out the waterfowl and shore bird species,” he said. “The lake also provided an important fishing component that hadn’t been available before in the area.”


Reflecting on responsibilities Among the many components of his job, Hess admitted that being involved with the development around the lake from the first day was one his most memorable contributions. “Building the visitor center and renovating the farmhouse into offices that were closer to the lake and visitor center – I was able to get in to this great opportunity early on,” he said. “The state had an award for recreation areas that looked at cleanliness, safety and other factors. I really wanted to win that award, and we did. It still can be seen at the visitor center on the wall.” It required lots of work and attention to detail, he added. “Our goal from the first day was to keep the facility in such a condition that no matter who comes – even if it was the president of the United States – we would be proud of that facility as we showed them around,” he said. “I had to anticipate any sort of potential emergency and write down step-by- step instructions on how to respond to things like if there was an accident between two vehicles at the preserve or if there was a missing child.”

Hess was also involved in new innovations for the preserve, including a unique toilet system. “Initially we had Job Johnnies, but we then went around to different state parks and looked at different toilets to design one for the preserve that put in all the good features of the ones we researched,” he said. “We wound up winning an award for the design. I went out to Kansas City to get the award.” Preserve’s impact The foresight of leadership within PP&L in the 1970s went a long way to creating what is at the preserve today, Hess said. “PP&L could have easily early on put a fence and no trespassing signs around the lake, but instead they wanted to be a good neighbor (to the community),” he said. “They spent a lot of money and time to turn the preserve into something special early on. Most people don’t realize how much work it takes to keep things clean and keep things safe at a place like this.” Gauging the impact of the preserve on the community was difficult at first, he admitted. “In all the years I worked there, we did

not get a lot of feedback from people on how they enjoyed using it and how important it was for them to have things open for hiking and fishing and other programs,” he said. “But when Talen bought the plant (in 2015) and talked about tearing down the buildings and closing the preserve, then all sorts of feedback came in on how important it was because there was nothing else like it in the area.” Even with the river nearby for fishing, Hess pointed out that the Preserve provides so much more. “Coming with your family for a picnic, or hiking a trail, or going to the fossil pit and finding a fossil or checking out the unique waterfowl – some people used a word that the preserve was a ‘gem,’” Hess said. “It provides a lot of different activities to people in the area that wouldn’t be here without the preserve.” Formore informationabout thepreserve, including a list of upcoming educational programs, visit While still owned by Talen Energy, the Montour Preserve is managed by the Montour Area Recreation Commission. Learnmore about this group and support their work by visiting:

PLAY. LEARN. DISCOVER. Take a tr ip to the Bloomsburg Chi ldren’s Museum!

THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM, BLOOMSBURG 2 West 7 th Street | Bloomsburg, PA Call us at: 570.389.9206





Qing Jiang Sun.,

April 3 2 p.m.

Sonia De Los Santos Sat., April 2 1 p.m. Free pre-performance kids activities sponsored by the Bloomsburg Children’s Museum, 12-1 p.m.


The Exchange’s Art Cart will be on site with all-ages activities, 5:30-7 p.m.


Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

Sun., April 10 4 p.m.

Chontadelia Thurs., April 21, 6 p.m.


Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE


Free pre-performance kids activities sponsored by the Lewisburg Children's Museum, 3-4 p.m.

Fri., April 8, 7:30 p.m.

Tickets: 570-577-1000 570-577-1000

Covered Bridge Photo Contest Returns Each year, the Visitors Bureau holds a photo contest to produce a 550-piece puzzle featuring one of the area’s covered bridges. Limited-edition puzzles have been produced the past eleven years and have featured the East & West Paden bridges (multiple times), the Knoebels Bridge, Keefer Mills Bridge, Esther Furnace Bridge, Stillwater Bridge, Josiah Hess Bridge, Rupert Bridge, Kramer Bridge, a special Twin Bridg- es 10th Anniversary Puzzle, and most recently, the Wanich Bridge. The 2022 edition of the puzzle will be released this fall, and will be based on the winner of this year’s photo contest.

This year’s Covered Bridge Photo Contest will be open for submissions from April 1st – May 31st.

How to Enter:

• Email your photos to within the dates above. MUST INCLUDE: Photographer’s name & name of bridge in the photo’s title (Example: RupertBridge_Joe Smith_2022.jpg) • OR post your photo on Instagram using #CMVBPuzzle2022 . MUST INCLUDE: Photographer’s name & Bridge featured. If selected as a finalist, you will be contacted for a high quality version of your Instagram submission.

Wandell I

Rules and Regulations:

• Entry to the contest is FREE. • All photos must be of bridges located within Columbia or Montour County.

• All photos must be owned by the person submitting them. By submitting, you are giving the Columbia-Montour Visitors Bureau permission to use your photo as their 2022 puzzle and in future marketing efforts for the contest and for the counties. • All photos must be high-resolution (at least 1500 pixels on shortest side). • A max of four photos per person will be accepted.

• Photos may be from any season and do NOT necessarily have to have been taken in 2022. The top overall photo will be selected by the Columbia-Montour Visitors Bureau to be featured as the 2022 Covered Bridge Puzzle. The winning photographer

will have their name and a short bio published on the puzzle box. The winner will also receive a free puzzle and will be announced to local press outlets.


Puzzles & Games!

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Inn 21 - Half_Layout 1 6/11/21 10:01 AM Page 1

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Delong Fair 22 - Half_Layout 1 3/10/22 2:47 PM Page 1

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montour-D e long Community FAIR August 8-13, 2022 Free Admission • Free Entertainment Parking $5 *

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John Bosley Log Cabin The cabin was found beneath a bar that was being deconstructed on the entrance to Washingtonville 2 years ago, It was discovered to be over 200 years old. In an effort to keep the historic building, The Fair took ownership and is reconstructing it at this year's Fair to be used as a museum in the future.

Horse Fitting Demo Livestock Exhibits and Shows Flower and Vegetable Exhibits

Arts & Crafts Exhibits • Tractor Pulls Mini-Horse Pulls • Lots of Good Food! We follow all CDC regulations. For more details visit: 5848 Broadway Rd, Danville • (570) 437-2178


With special thanks to David Kline (Benton News), the Knoebel Family, and the Columbia County Historical & Genealogical Society

The story behind the Lawrence L. Knoebel Covered Bridge is pretty interesting. Some readers may not be aware that its story doesn’t start at Knoebels Amusement Resort where it resides today. The history before it made its way to the park was a bit hard to find. Here is what I have found in my research. In a previous life, I was the secretary for the Columbia County Covered Bridge Association. As a result of this, I have a small collection of local bridge history. Part of this collection is an email from David Kline, Editor and Publisher of the Benton News, to Bob Parks, former secretary of the Columbia County Covered Bridge Association. Mr. Kline stated that the L.L. Knoebel bridge was built over West Creek on the west side of Benton along present-day SR239. It was built in 1881 by J.J. McHenry at a cost of $348.00. The bridge connected West Creek Road with SR239 and formed a “T” next to the home of Leonard Cole, formerly the John R. Cole farm. Because of the bridge’s location, it was identified as the John R. Cole Covered Bridge. Mr. Kline continued and said that in 1936, the state decided to straighten out SR239 at this junction which meant the covered bridge would be bypassed and later removed. Mr. Hartman H. Knoebel heard of the bridge’s demise and in 1937, before the bridge was scrapped, bought the bridge for $40. Hartman and Lawrence L. Knoebel, the owners of Knoebels Amusement Resort at the time, dismantled the bridge in 1938 and took it to their amusement park 30 miles south on SR487. It took them less than one week to rebuild their newly acquired bridge and it was reconstructed just as it had been over West Creek right down to its wide boards, wooden shingles, and no paint.

The Lawrence L. Knoebel Covered Bridge circa 1936 or early 1937. The bridge spanned West Creek outside of Benton prior to its move to Knoebels in 1938. (Columbia County Historical Society)

The bridge, relocated at Knoebels Amusement Resort in 1938. (D. Kline)

The bridge being dismantled in 1938 to move to its new home. (Knoebel Family)


In 1964, the Knoebel family held a dedication of the bridge when the Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society renamed the bridge to the Lawrence L. Knoebel Bridge, after its owner. The dedication was open to the public and included a parade. Since then, the bridge has had a covered pedestrian walkway added. It was later listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. Dick Knoebel said that he remembers being very concerned that the bridge was going to be destroyed in 1972 during the flooding caused by Hurricane Agnes; powerful flooding that had destroyed many covered bridges in the area. The force of the floodwater did push the covered bridge off its abutments and downstream right after a cottage miraculously passed underneath the covered bridge. The bridge was recovered and placed back on its abutments after the floodwaters subsided. The bridge currently sits over the south branch of Roaring Creek connecting the 160-acre Knoebels Amusement Resort to the Knoebels Campground. It also connects Cleveland Township, Columbia County with Ralpho Township in Northumberland County. And today remains open to vehicular traffic.

Dedication ceremony and parade for the newly renamed Lawrence L. Knoebel bridge; July 12, 1964. (Knoebel Family)


Experience and Support Our Covered Bridges at the Same Time!


imeless & picturesque, the covered bridges of Columbia &Montour Counties in Central Pennsylvania harken back to simpler times. Home to an incredible twenty-five covered bridges, the counties recently unveiled a mobile covered bridge passport experience for visitors to navigate the countryside and check in at each bridge. While you may complete the trail slowly over the course of the entire year, all check-ins between May 1 & July 31 will specifically count toward triggering a special donation that will help complete restoration work at the Stillwater Bridge, and possibly others! A few days in the quiet countryside are the perfect way to get away from the toils of daily life, and our area’s historic bridges will serve as a reminder that sometimes, it’s the simple things in life that can make you happiest. Learn more about the 2022 edition of the mobile passport and sign up today by scanning the QR code with your phone’s camera!




marc montour county parks & trails cleanup April 9 Montour Preserve, Hess Recreation Area, Hopewell Park, North Branch Canal Trail, Washingtonville Borough, and North Branch Susquehanna River access locations. • 570-336-2060 george hinchliffe ’ s ukulele orchestra of great britain ( family discovery ) April 10 Weis Center for the Performing Arts, Lewisburg. • 570-577-1000

witch April 1 - 16 Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble, Alvina Krause Theatre, 226 Center Street, Bloomsburg. • 570-784-8181 statewide opening day of trout season April 2 All Pennsylvania Waterways. 7 th annual rube goldberg challenge April 2 Central Columbia Elementary School Gymnasium, Bloomsburg. • 570-784-2700 agricultural awareness day April 2 Bloomsburg Fair Grounds Industrial Building, Bloomsburg • 570-356-7654 sonia de los santos ( family discovery - world music & folk ) April 2 Weis Center for the Performing Arts, Lewisburg. • 570-577-1000 qing jiang ( solo piano – free show !) April 3 Weis Center for the Performing Arts, Lewisburg. • 570-577-1000 ronald k . brown / evidence ( contemp . dance ) April 8 Weis Center for the Performing Arts, Lewisburg. • 570-577-1000

beaver run consignment auction April 16 Beaver Run School, Danville. 570-490-0927

grand opening of the berwick stuart tank memorial museum April 16 Berwick Stuart Tank Memorial Museum, Berwick. • 570-350-9675 chontadelia ( world music from colombia - free show !) April 21 Weis Center for the Performing Arts, Lewisburg. • 570-577-1000

2022 bloomsburg mini maker faire April 23 The Bloomsburg Children’s Museum, Bloomsburg. • 570-389-9206


2022 Show Schedule

“Seven Journeys” Six Artists Plus One Group

Pat Bontinen, Sylvia Denger, Michele Heller, Andrea Krazter, Mary Lesnicki, Nancy Shuey & Pat Sosnoskie Thurs. April 7 - Sun. May 22 Reception TBD “Member Exhibit” Thurs. May 26- Sun. July 3 “Freshman Year” Emma Varano Thurs. July 7 - Sun. Aug. 21 Reception TBD “Luminous Watercolor” Lynn Yancha, AWS Thurs. Aug. 25 - Sun. Oct. 2 Reception TBD “Nature’s Calling” Jeff Krankoskie & Deborah K. Rhodes Thurs. Oct. 6 - Sun. Nov. 13 Reception TBD “Holiday Artspace Member Show” Fine Art, Craft Exhibit & Sale Thurs. Nov. 17 - Sun. Jan. 1 Reception TBD

Rodeo 22 - Half_Layout 1 3/10/22 6:23 PM Page 1

37th Annual Frontier Days Celebration

July 12-17 2022 Voted “Best in the East”

3D Barrel Racing Wednesday

Fun Horse Show Tuesday

APRA & IPRA Sanctioned Championship Rodeo Thur., Fri., & Sat.

Bull-A-Rama Sunday

No Pets Allowed

Grounds Open At 5pm

385 Mendenhall Lane • Benton, PA 17814

Camping Available • Great Food &Vendors For More Information: Call (570) 925-6536 Please Leave Message.




scout day May 7 Knoebel’s Amusement Resort, Elysburg. • 800-487-4386 buckhorn winefest 2022 May 7 Buckhorn Fire Company, Bloomsburg. 570-387-1119 mother ’ s day May 8 Knoebel’s Amusement Resort, Elysburg. • 800-487-4386 armed forces day May 14 Knoebel’s Amusement Resort, Elysburg. • 800-487-4386

renaissance jamboree April 30 Detoured to the River, Fort McClure Boulevard, Bloomsburg. down- • 570-784-2522 knoebel ’ s opening day 2022 April 30 & May 1 Knoebel’s Amusement Resort, Elysburg. • 800-487-4386 cris jacobs with special guests low hanging fruit April 30 Nescopeck Fire Hall. • 570-379-3342


benton spring fling May 14 Benton Park. 570-925-6602

bloomsburg fire department carnival May 4 – 7 Bloomsburg. • 570-387-8782

first annual golf tournament for the bloomsburg police K9 association May 21

36 th annual spring fling May 7 Downtown Danville. • 570-284-4502

Frosty Valley Country Club, Danville. • 570-275-4000.

the christians May 26 – June 12 Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble, Alvina Krause Theatre, 226 Cen-


ter Street, Bloomsburg. • 570-784-8181

celebrating our heroes ! May 28 Folk’s Butterfly Farm, Nescopeck., 570-394-7298 annual music , food , friends , FUN & bling May 28 Three Dogs Vino, Bloomsburg., 570-389-0151

senior citizens day June 8 Knoebel’s Amusement Resort, Elysburg. • 800-487-4386 central pa winefestival 2022 June 11 Bloomsburg Fairgrounds, Bloomsburg 570-784-4949 strawberry festival June 12 Historic Warrior Run Church, Turbotville. mary lapos solo show June 13 – July 15 The Exchange Gallery, Bloomsburg. • 570-317-2596 father ’ s day June 19 Knoebel’s Amusement Resort, Elysburg. • 800-487-4386


pioneer day 2022 June 4

Pioneer Tunnel Coal Mine, Ashland. • 570-875-3850.

deaf day June 4 Knoebel’s Amusement Resort, Elysburg. • 800-487-4386 autism awareness day June 5 Knoebel’s Amusement Resort, Elysburg. • 800-487-4386 arm Winery 22 - Half_Layout 1 3/11/22 2:03 PM Page 1

Winery Music Events 2022

Kick Off To Summer Saturday, May 21, 7-10 pm Food Truck: K-Dogs BBQ & Smoked Cheese Music: Light up the Moon 7-10pm Rob Hampton $5 cover Summer Concert Saturday, June 18, 7-10 pm Food Truck: Grilled Cheese Café 2 Music: Evan Campbell (Band or acoustic duo/trio TBD) $5 cover Sunday Funday Sunday, June 26, 1-5 pm Food Truck: Incredible Popcorn Music: Brooke and Kevin 2-4 pm Sunday Funday Sunday, July 17, 1-5 pm Food Truck: Music: Tyler Erik 2-4 pm

Sunday Funday Sunday, August 7, 1-5 pm Food Truck: Sugar Shack Mini Donuts Music: Mike Caigas 2-4 pm Summer Concert Saturday, August 27, 7-10 pm Food Truck: Dubelicious Grille Music: Deuce $5 cover Food Truck Wars Against Hunger Sunday, September 11, 12-6 pm Food Trucks: Grilled Cheese Café 2 Real Taste Taqueria Nanny Cakes Music: Tim Johnson 12-2 pm LCB 3-6 pm Classic Car Show Benefit Sunday, October 2, 1-5 pm Food Truck: Heir’s Home Cooking (Anthony Heir) Music: It Takes Two Raffle Baskets

Wines, Meads, and Ciders

130 Twin Church Rd. Berwick, PA 18603 570-759-WINE


by CMVB STAFF photo by Barry & Cathy Beck:

legally fish on Pennsylvania waterways on the designated days with NO FISHING LICENSE REQUIRED (Trout/Salmon and Lake Erie per- mits are also NOT required). All other fishing regulations still apply.

Fishing season is here again - what a wonderful way to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors! Before you hit the water, we wanted to share some important information that will help make your next angling trip a resounding success. Statewide Opening Day of Trout – April 2nd – End of Trout Regular Season – September 5th – Extended Season: All stocked trout waters, streams plus lakes and ponds: September 6th to December 31st. MINIMUM KEEP SIZE: 7 inches FISHING HOURS: 24 hours a day, after the 8 AM opener CREEL LIMITS: Regular season: 5 (combined species); Extended season: 3 (combined species) Fishing Creek Trout Tagging Prize Program: The Fishing Creek Sportsmen’s Association is continuing the stocking of tagged trout into the streams of Fishing Creek and its tributaries again this year. A total of 50 trout will be tagged with prize amounts of $25, $50 and $100 for lucky fishermen and fisherwomen to catch – over $2,000 in total prize money! Fish For Free Days: Sunday, May 29, 2022 & Monday, July 4, 2022 (Independence Day) are the 2022 Fish-for-Free Days. Fish-for-Free Days allow anyone (resident or non-resident) to

Fish-for-Free Days are great ways for families to “catch” the fun of fishing!

Stocking: The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission (PFBC) will stock ap- proximately 3.2 million adult trout in 696 streams and 128 lakes open to public angling. These figures include approximately 2.2 million Rainbow Trout; 686,000 Brown Trout; and 293,000 Brook Trout. As with past practice, the average size of the trout produced for stocking is 11 inches in length with an average weight of .58 pounds. In 2022, the PFBC will stock approximately 13,000 golden Rainbow Trout. In addition to being stocked during the preseason period before opening day, these highly prized fish featuring vi- brant golden-orange pigmentation and weighing an average of 1.5 pounds will be stocked during in-season replenishment stockings. Approximately 80% of golden Rainbow Trout will be stocked during the preseason, and approximately 20% will be stocked in-season. New stocking for 2022 in Columbia County Mugser Run: An in-season stocking will be added to the 4.7-mile section of stream extending from Fisherdale Road bridge down- stream to the mouth. Formerly, this water had been stocked only during the preseason.

Learn more about fishing in the area, and find interactive maps that show stocked waters, streams, boat access, and more! Click or scan the QR code to get started.





Locations in Columbia County selling fishing licenses: C.M. Laubach & Sons, Inc. 547 East 8th Street, Berwick, PA 18603

Nature’s Outdoors Taxidermy 357A Camp Lavigne Road, Benton, PA 17814

Red Rock Corner Store 121 State Route 118, Benton, PA 17814

Columbia County Treasurer 11 West Main Street, Bloomsburg, PA 17815

Wal Mart #1794 Buckhorn/Bloomsburg 100 Lunger Drive, Bloomsburg, PA 17815

Dunham’s Sports 225 Columbia Mall Drive, Bloomsburg, PA 17815

Locations in Montour County selling fishing licenses: Montour County Treasurer 435 East Front Street, Danville, PA 17821

Gumpy’s Creekside Cabin 2861 Route 42, Millville, PA 17846

s 22 - Half_Layout 1 3/11/22 4:22 PM Page 1 In addition to a fishing license, trout anglers 16 and older must posses a Trout Permit (or Combination Trout/Lake Erie Permit) to fish for trout. Licenses must be signed in ink and displayed on an outer garment. Anglers must also be able to provide positive proof of identification (other than the fishing license) upon request of a Waterways Conservation Officer. Non-resident students attending in- state universities now qualify for a discounted fishing license from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. The price of a license is $22.97, which is the same price as an annual license for state residents and $30 less than the cost of an annual non-resident license.

616 Walnut Street Danville, PA 570-275-1310

Lunch • Dinner • Takeout • Delivery Something for everyone... entrees, appetizers, burgers, salads, soup and don't forget the fresh cut fries! Offering a full bar with a variety of domestic, imported, craft, and seasonal beers. Family-friendly atmosphere with outdoor seating. Open for lunch and dinner. Online Ordering Available!


Dine In • Take Out • Catering Westovers Country Grill creates delicious, good ole’ fashion home cooking in a nostalgic country setting. From comfort food like BBQ to delicious steaks and pasta, you’ll love every bite. We even make homemade desserts! Stop by anytime, especially if you’re on your way to nearby Ricketts Glen.

Dine inside or relax outside on our all weather outdoor deck/pavilion. It’s also the perfect place to have your next party, event, or business gathering.

4438 Red Rock Rd. Benton PA 17814 570-925-0330 Open at 11am Tuesday-Friday 8am Saturday-Sunday

B.Y.O.B. Welcome!

Forks Farm custom meats Custom Order Our Meats and Save$! Custom ordering in bulk 1/4, 1/2, or whole beef, hog, or lamb is the most economic way to enjoy our grass-fed meats! Custom orders also mean our meats will conveniently be in your freezer when you need them. Order through our website or by emailing Our on farm store is stocked with fresh dairy, a wide variety of cheeses, local honey, pollen and maple syrup, custom blended spices, ghee, vinegars and shrubs, and more! Shop our store on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays all year round! Visit our FARM STORE Join our on farm buying club to order just your favorite cuts of grass-fed mea†s! We offer monthly ordering and pick up. Visit our website to join! Join our buying club



WE SUPPORT Local Foods & Family Farms


Member Spotlight The Columbia-Montour Visitors Bureau is proud to welcome the following businesses as recent new members to the organization!

central park hotel 976 Central Road, Benton, PA 17814 • 570.925-6650

A historic 1800s hotel near Ricketts Glen State Park featuring fine mountain dining and cold drinks as well as accommodations to the area. We are your gateway to the gamelands.

creative quaker - ceramic & arts studio 22 North State Street, Millville, PA 17846 Family Owned business in a small community setting that offers the opportunity to come in and paint ceramics and other activities with family and friends. Birthday parties, team-building, and group gatherings are welcome. Bisqueware is also available to take & paint or glaze at home.

escentially annie 285 Main Street, Benton, PA 17814 • 570.336.3254

Artisan candle company offering true-to-life scents to enhance your environment. Visit our studio in Benton, PA to sniff & shop our small-batch, handmade candles, and home fragrances, along with a curated selection of home goods by local crafters and artisans.

folk ’ s butterfly farm 9 Butterfly Lane, Nescopeck, PA 18635 • 570.394.7298

Folk’s Butterfly Farm specializes in educating the public about the importance of butterflies, habitat, and conservation. Visiting the Farm is an educational experience designed to broaden visitors’ horizons while they experience the wonder of butterflies. We offer tours, a butterfly-themed venue, field trips, and live stock for release.


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