Columbia Montour Quarterly Vol. 6: October-December 2022



Volume 6 October - December

Your All-Access Guide to Columbia & Montour Counties!






2022 Covered Bridge Puzzles & Ornaments Have Arrived!

Uncovering the Historic Bosley Cabin 6 10 Covered Bridge & Arts Festival: October 6 th -9th


12 Your Guide to Fall Colors on the Susquehanna Greenway

Events Calendar 16

Finding Fall Wildflowers Along the Mahoning Flats 25 21 T he Stories Behind the Signs

Member Spotlight 27

Halloween Wine & Witches Trail 28



Your fall Adventure Begins in COLUMBIA & MONTOUR Counties


The Columbia-Montour Visitors Bureau is excited to announce the official arrival of its twelfth annual Covered Bridge puzzle. The newest limited-edition puzzle depicts a fall scene at the Parr’s Mill Bridge in Columbia County. Limited quantities are currently available for the general public on a first-come, first- served basis. They make a fantastic Christmas present idea for family or friends! Puzzles are sold for $15, tax included. A $2 donation from every puzzle sold will be made by the Bureau to the Columbia County Covered Bridge Association. They may be purchased at the Visitors Bureau Welcome Center, located at 121 Papermill Road in Bloomsburg

Freas Far

during normal business hours (Monday – Friday; 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM). Puzzles are also available to be shipped anywhere in the continental United States for an additional shipping charge. Mail orders may be placed by calling the Welcome Center at 570-784-8279.

This year’s puzzle photo was taken by Ben Prepelka, who was honored earlier this year as the 2022 Covered Bridge photo contest winner. The Parr’s Mill Bridge spans the north branch of Roaring Creek and connects Franklin and Cleveland Townships. This Burr Truss arch span was built in 1865 by F.L. Shuman at a cost of $1,275. It is located four miles south of Catawissa on Parr’s Mill Road, off Ashton Hollow Road, east of Pennsylvania Route 487. Named after Washington Parr, who purchased the nearby Willow Grove Grist Mill in 1875, the bridge and mill became known as Parr’s Mill Bridge and Parr’s Mill, respectively. If not already sold out, the 2022 Parr’s Mill puzzle can also be purchased at this year’s 40th Annual Covered Bridge & Arts Festival, held October 6-9 at the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds. In addition to the puzzles, there will be a brand new item available at this year’s event: commemorative Covered Bridge & Arts Festival Christmas ornaments featuring the Rupert Bridge. Ornaments will be sold for $25 apiece and only 250 will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis (no pre-orders). They will NOT be available at the Columbia Montour Visitors Bureau’s Welcome Center prior to the festival. In future years, each of the twenty-five historic bridges in the Columbia-Montour County region will be featured with their own ornament.


These limited edition ornaments will be available during this year’s Covered Bridge & Arts Festival.

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by Linda Sones

Some of you may have heard about the old cabin found within the walls of a derelict bar in Washingtonville during the winter of 2020 by a crew from Fares Farhat Construction Company employed to level the rotting building. Years of modifications covered the cabin and it was lost from sight. Once found, the search for its original owners was underway, as was a new home for the cabin. So, who did own this cabin originally? To answer this, we must jump back in time and look at the history of the region and Washingtonville. In 1768, approximately one-third of Pennsylvania, including the region that contains Montour County,

became open to settlement. About 4,000 applications were received by Pennsylvania Land Office Secretary James Tilghman to settle this new area. Of all those applications, James Tilghman’s application for land in what is today the Washingtonville area was the largest award made by the colony. Tilghman was originally from Maryland and never lived in this region. Instead, he leased parcels to those individuals wanting to settle in this wild territory. One of the people was John Bosley. John Bosley was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on December 6, 1734. He married twice; he married Hannah Bull on October 18, 1759, and later, Susannah Price on July 27, 1785, both in the Baltimore region. The date

that the Bosley family migrated to this region is not known exactly, but it is thought to be about 1773. John, his wife Hannah, and five children became the leaseholders of the parcel that would include present- day Washingtonville. Upon it, John built a grist mill and a sawmill. In July of 1778, the Bosleys and the rest of the settlers of this region evacuated the area as a result of the Wyoming Massacre, an encounter during the American Revolutionary War between American Patriots and Loyalists accompanied by Iroquois raiders. The clash took place in the Wyoming Valley of Pennsylvania on July 3, 1778, in Exeter and Wyoming, Pennsylvania. More than 300 Patriots were killed in this battle.


the fortification of his mills during this period of war, protecting his family and property from the raiding Iroquois. The fort was known as Fort Bosley. The fort was occupied by continental troops and local frontier rangers for the next two years, some of which fought in the Battle of Fort Freeland, on July 29, 1779. But in August 1780, the troops left Fort Bosley and the region making it harder for American patriots to defend the regional forts. Fort Bosley was abandoned soon after, possibly attacked around September 6th, 1780, when Fort Rice (in modern-day Lewis Township, Northumberland County) was attacked by loyalists and the Iroquois. Historical records indicate that Fort Bosley was rebuilt in the spring of 1781 and staffed until peace was declared in 1783. Revolutionary War records further indicate that multiple skirmishes between Frontier Rangers and Iroquois-led warriors occurred during the duration of the war, at and surrounding Fort Bosley.

The cabin as it was first discoverd in downtown Washingtonville in 2020.

The exodus of settlers during this time was called the “Big Runaway”. Most of the settlers relocated to Fort Augusta at modern-day Sunbury at the confluence of the North and West Branches of the Susquehanna River, while their abandoned houses and farms were all burnt to the ground by the raging Iroquois. Some settlers returned soon after, but the attacks were renewed the following year, leading to a second evacuation known as the “Little Runaway”. These attacks on the Pennsylvania frontier led to retaliation by the American army against the Native Americans, known as Sullivan’s Expedition, and led to the destruction of more than 40 Iroquois villages.

On July 13, 1778, Bosley gave an account of his family’s evacuation from their frontier homestead and also pledged allegiance to the American Patriots. Bosley would serve as a Frontier Ranger, Northumberland Co., Robinson’s Volunteers, to the end of the Revolutionary War, and allowed

A new roof in process of being constructed for the cabin at the Montour DeLong Fairgrounds.

Workers preparing for the construction process.


After the war, John Bosley again ran his mills until Joseph & Samuel Hutchinson took ownership of the mills by 1791 when Bosley decided to sell out. James Tilghman, the lessor of the land that would become the Washingtonville area, died in 1793. His son William Tilghman soon began to sell off parcels of his Washingtonville area estate. The Hutchinsons bought the area settled by the Bosley family, yet still owned by the Tilghmans, in 1795. In 1796, the Hutchinsons founded the “Town of Washington.” family purchased frontier land in western upstate NewYork in 1792, the Bosley family continued to have a presence in our area until 1795. They moved to New York in the 1790s. John died in 1800 at the age of 65. He is buried in Geneseo, Livingston, NewYork. Although the Bosley Jumping back to the present day, the cabin found in Washingtonville in 2020 is located on a parcel previously leased by Bosley. The log cabin would have housed the

Bosleys as they operated their grist and saw mills, farmed the adjacent land, and continued to clear the area of virgin forest. The residents of Washingtonville, with support from county and state elected officials and agencies, decided they wanted to keep this piece of their history and so the cabin was dismantled piece by piece and placed in storage until a home

and funds were acquired for its reconstruction. In partnership with the Montour-DeLong Community Fair Association, the fair was able to obtain funding to save the two-story cabin and have it rebuilt on their land. The Doolittle Construction Company rebuilt the cabin during

Each piece of wood was labeled prior to being dismantled in Washingtonville so the cabin could later be accurately rebuilt piece-by-piece.

Doorways were fortified and rebuilt.


PLAY. LEARN. DISCOVER. Take a trip to the Bloomsburg Children’s Museum!

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

the week of the Montour-DeLong fair in August so guests of the fair could watch it come to life. Some changes had to be made as some of the original material was rotted or badly damaged from years of remodeling. The cabin is now a one- story unit with a metal roof. If you are interested in seeing the cabin, come and see it at its new home on the Montour-DeLong Fairgrounds!

The cabin’s dedication ceremony during the 2022 Montour DeLong Fair. Visitors Bureau Executive Director Otto Kurecian was in attendance (second from left).


P resents the


overed B ridge & A rts F estivAl

Bloomsburg Fairgrounds

October 6–9, 2022 Thurs-Sat: 10am-6pm Sun: 10am-5pm

Covered Bridge Bus Tours on Friday & Sunday!


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Your Guide to Fall Colors

on the Susquehanna Greenway

Article by Susquehanna Greenway Partnership Staff

A s the dog days of summer fade and the season shifts to crisper cooler weather, the verdant greens of the Susquehanna Green- way also transform to the colorful spectrum of fall. This phenomenon makes it a wonderful time of year to explore the outdoors of our region, but why do leaves changes color in autumn anyway? Why do some keep their foliage while others shed their leaves? What makes them red, orange, or yellow? How do we know if it’s going to be a colorful year?

costly to maintain during the winter when resources are scarce. But before they drop, we see that wide spectrum of color.

Bright Red

Imagine you are a Sugar Maple deep in the forests along the re- mote sections of the West Branch Susquehanna River. If the latter part of summer was unseasonably dry, the autumn sky was clear and sunny, and the nights were a chilly 40 degrees – these weather conditions will bring out your brilliant red colors. This is all thanks to a substance known as Anthocyanin, a red pigment produced in the leaves of Sugar Maple trees.

While you’ve been unpacking those sweaters and scarves, we’ve unpacked these mysteries and more below!

Leaves: To Drop or Not to Drop?

Trees can be divided into two basic categories: deciduous and evergreen. Evergreen trees keep their leaves or needles for multi- ple years using a waxy coating to prevent the loss of water and an antifreeze to help them resist freezing temperatures. Deciduous trees, on the other hand, loose their leaves entirely each year. Since the leaves of deciduous broadleaf trees (oaks, maples, dog- woods, etc.) require more water and nutrients than the needles of evergreen trees (pine, spruce, and hemlock), they rid themselves of their costly-to-maintain foliage. As the days become shorter and temperatures drop, the deciduous trees adapt to the rigors of winter by shedding their leaves and reabsorbing the nutrients back into the tree to conserve its resources.

A tree is like a miniature economy, and the large leaves are too


This picturesque barn, located just south of Retherford’s Farm Market in Benton, makes an ideal foreground complement for the surrounding fall foliage.

liant spectacle was famously observed by 20th Century Naturalist Aldo Leopold who described the fall color of these needles as a beautiful “smoky gold.” It can be found planted in parks and yards, as well as growing wild in forests throughout the state.

In response to unfavorable weather, this pigment is produced to protect leaves as an antioxidant that repairs damage, a natural sun- screen that shields excess sunlight, and as a defense against the cold and drought. It is also thought to help provide the tree more sugar and other nutrients before the end of the growing season. Yellow to Orange While the Sugar Maples produce brilliant red pigments, other trees such as aspen, birch, and hickory display their yellow and golden hues from the leftover materials in the leaf after the green chloro- phyll (a pigment used to make nutrients) has been reabsorbed. This means the yellows come from a lack of green pigmentation that masks the yellows throughout the spring and summer. In addition, some maples, such as the streamside Silver Maple, add an eye-catching orange to create a yellow to red spectrum across the landscape. The color is caused by the leftover compound be- ta-carotene, the same chemical that makes carrots orange.

Where and When?

The colorful trees mentioned above can be found sporting their fall colors throughout Pennsylvania, from parks and yards in sub- urban areas to the deeper forested areas of the state. However, the region known as the Alleghany Plateau along the upper West and upper North Branches of the Susquehanna River yields more bril- liant red maple forests than anywhere else in Pennsylvania. These thick forests create a sea of unbroken autumnal colors that will make any peeping trip worthwhile. In Columbia & Montour Counties, some of the best fall foliage viewing will be found in the northern parts of the counties, where the region is more forested. Quiet back roads found to the east and north of Exchange in Montour County all the way up toward Red Rock and Ricketts Glen State Park will be a great place to start. Picturesque rolling hills and farm-filled valleys near Waller and Benton will make for fantastic photography opportunities. For those looking to find a photogenic barn for the foreground of their snapshot, you’ll find it just south of Retherford’s Farm Market on State Route 487.

Smoky Gold

Although the broadleaf trees, like maples, tend to lose their leaves, while conifers (cone-bearing trees) keep their needles, there are some exceptions. Tamarack, a conifer tree species native to Penn- sylvania, is known for losing its needles annually each fall. The bril-

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North of Jerseytown, the dirt covered roads passing through State Gamelands #226 will give you a great chance to see deer and other wildlife. Along your travels, be sure to stop at old Katy’s Church to see a classic example of a rural countryside church. And for an unforgettable view of the valley below, take Teaberry Road heading north to connect with State Route 442. As the year draws into late October, it’s time for the southern parts of the counties to shine. On Sunday, October 23rd, Weiser State Forest - Roaring Creek Tract will continue its annual tra- dition of opening the Roaring Creek Trail to vehicle traffic for one day only. Visitors may travel the road to enjoy beautiful fall foliage. The trail will be one-way traffic only, and will start on the Route 42 side of the tract and end at the parking area on the Route 54 side. Entrance gates will open from 9:30 AM - 2:00 PM; vehicles must exit the 8-mile trail by 3:00 PM. And of course, the area’s 25 iconic covered bridges are a MUST see during fall foliage season each year. With about half of the bridges located in the northern parts of the counties and half in the southern ends, there will be plenty of time throughout October and early November to capture the trees’ stunning brilliance alongside the historic wooden spans. To locate each bridge in the counties, request or download a free copy of the Covered Bridges of Columbia & Montour Counties brochure by visiting:

FarmsFall 22-HalfPg._Layout 1 9/27/22 10:24 AM Page 1

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570-799-5888 Open Thur, Fri, Sat, Sun: 9am-6pm Closed January

Restaurant & Farm Market Banquet Hall with available Catering Christmas Tree Farm Check Website for Special Events!

Located 1 Mile Off Rt. 42 In Numidia 270 White Church Rd, Elysburg, PA


📷 NICOLE DUMOND East & West Paden Twin Bridges

@PHOTOGP.DK Ricketts Glen State Park

When planning the best time to hit the road hunting for fall foli- age, keep an eye on the weather. The consistent dry, sunny days and cool 40-degree nights will turn the Sugar Maples a brilliant, bright red sooner. For a nifty tool that predicts the foliage nation-wide, look online for the Smoky Mountains Fall Foliage Prediction Map, found here: . Be sure to also keep an eye on the Columbia Montour Visitors Bureau & Pennsylvania DCNR’s Facebook pages for weekly fall foliage updates as the season progresses through the the state!

The Susquehanna Greenway Partnership also offers tips on photographing foliage at: •


@TLBTB Montour Preserve

@AL.MYT Retherford’s Farm Market

The Susquehanna Greenway is a corridor of connected trails, parks, river access points, and communities, link- ing people to the natural and cultural treasures of the Susquehanna River. The mission of the Partnership is to continue to grow the Greenway, inspiring people to engage with the outdoors and transforming communities into places where people want to live, work, and explore. Learn more:





rohrbach ’ s farm corn maze Through October Rohrbach’s Farm Market, 240 Southern Drive, Catawissa. • 570-356-7654 mylee & hannah ’ s dino - mite corn maze Through October Retherford’s Village Farm Market, 4095 Maple Grove Road, Benton. • 717-756-2287 kohl ’ s stony hill tree farm corn maze Through November 6 Kohl’s Stony Hill, 3319 Mexico Road, Milton. • 570-437-3442 the thin place October 1 – 9 Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble, Alvina Krause Theatre, 226 Center Street, Bloomsburg. • 570-784-8181 warrior run / fort freeland heritage day October 1 & 2 Hower – Slote House / Fort Freeland Site, 246 Warrior Run Blvd. • 570-538-1756 car cruise in for a cause October 2 Freas Farm Winery, 130 Twin Church Road, Berwick. • 570-759-9463 keystone bulls and barrels October 5 Keystone Horse Center, 103 Horse Farm Road, Bloomsburg. • 877-539-4677

40 th annual covered bridge & arts festival October 6 -9 Bloomsburg Fairgrounds, 620 W. Third Street, Bloomsburg. • 570-784-8279 river poets reading series October 6 & 20 Bloomsburg Public Library, 225 Market Street, Bloomsburg. • 570-784-0883

julie fowlis ( scottish folk ) October 6 Weis Center, 1 Dent Drive, Lewisburg. • 570-577-3727

berwick riverfest October 7 -9 Test Track Park, Berwick. • 570-752-2723 hallo - fun weekends October 7 -9, 14 -16, 21 – 23 & 28 – 30 Knoebel’s Amusement Resort, 391 Knoebels Blvd.; Rt. 487, Elysburg. • 800-487-4386 knoebel lumber 5 k October 8 Knoebel’s Amusement Resort, 391 Knoebels Blvd.; Rt. 487, Elysburg. • 800-487-4386 corn hole tournament for mental health awareness October 9 Freas Farm Winery, 130 Twin Church Road, Berwick. • 570-759-9463


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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.




oktoberfest fundraiser for the bloomsburg public library October 14 Caldwell Consistory, 150 Market Street, Bloomsburg. • 570-784-0883 scottish chamber orchestra feat . violinist nicola benedetti October 14 Weis Center, 1 Dent Drive, Lewisburg. • 570-577-3727 36 th annual pumpkin festival at the ol ’ country barn October 15 – 16 Ol’ Country Barn, 9 South Comstock Road, Benton. dcdc presents “ dinner and a show with dueling pianos ” October 21 Pine Barn Inn, 43 Pine Barn Place, Danville. • 570-275-2071 mumu fresh – maimouna youssef October 21 Bloomsburg University – Haas Center for the Arts, 400 East Second Street, Bloomsburg. • 570-389-4409

fall festival pumpkin run October 22 & 23 Pioneer Tunnel Coal Mine & Steam Train, 19th & Oak Streets, just off Rt. 61. • 570-875-3850 halloween and fall foliage train rides October 22 Train leaves from Autoneum, 480 West 5th Street, Bloomsburg. • 570-784-2522 the tl collective ( contemporary dance ) October 22 Weis Center, 1 Dent Drive, Lewisburg. • 570-577-3727 weiser state forest - roaring creek trail fall drive - through October 23 Weiser State Forest-Roaring Creek Tract, Route 54 Parking Area. 570-385-7800 alfredo rodriguez & pedrito martinez duo ( cuban jazz ) October 27 Weis Center, 1 Dent Drive, Lewisburg. • 570-577-3727 catawissa halloween parade October 29 Main Street, Catawissa. Parade starts at 7:30 PM. Rain date is Sun- day, October 30th. 570-784-6378


NOVEMBER the small glories ( folk duo ) November 9 Campus Theatre, 413 Market Street, Lewisburg. • 570-577-3727

run for the diamonds November 24 Downtown Berwick. • 570-759-1426 treefest : benefitting the bloomsburg theatre ensemble November 25 – 27 & December 2 – 4 Caldwell Consistory, 150 North Market Street, Bloomsburg. • 570-784-2522 joy through the grove November 25 – December 31 Knoebel’s Amusement Resort, 391 Knoebels Blvd.; Rt. 487, Elysburg. • 800-487-4386

bloomsburg theatre ensemble improv November 11 Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble, Alvina Krause Theatre, 226 Center Street, Bloomsburg. • 570-784-8181

merz trio ( classical ) November 17 Weis Center, 1 Dent Drive, Lewisburg. • 570-577-3727

duplessy and the violins of the world November 17 Bloomsburg University – Haas Center for the Arts, 400 East Second Street, Bloomsburg. • 570-389-4409 columbia county 4- h carnival November 19 Bloomsburg Fairgrounds, 620 W. Third Street, Bloomsburg. 570-784-6660

parade of lights November 25 Downtown Bloomsburg, Main Street.

a christmas carol November 26 – December 28 Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble, Alvina Krause Theatre, 226 Center Street, Bloomsburg. • 570-784-8181





berwick christmas boulevard December 3 – January 1 Market Street, Berwick. • 570-336-0858 philadelphia freedom : a tribute to elton john December 3 Bloomsburg University – Haas Center for the Arts, 400 East Second Street, Bloomsburg. • 570-389-4409


soweto gospel choir ( south african gospel ) December 1 Weis Center, 1 Dent Drive, Lewisburg. • 570-577-3727

benton winterfest December 3 Downtown Benton.

christmas market at forks farm December 17 Forks Farm, 299 Covered Bridge Road, Orangeville. • 570-683-5820. wreaths across america December 17 1402 Bloom Road, Danville. • 570-863-9111

danville hometown holiday December 3 Mill Street, Downtown Danville. • 570-284-4502

FOLK DUO The Small Glories Wed., Nov. 9 Campus Theatre

CUBAN JAZZ Alfredo Rodriguez/ Pedrito Martinez Duo Thurs., Oct. 27

CONTEMPORARY DANCE The TL Collective Sat., Oct. 22

by Laura Klotz, MarkerQuest Blog edited to fit magazine by CMVB Staff

the Stories Behind the Signs

One woman’s quest to photograph and research all of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission's historical markers recently brought her to Columbia & Montour Counties

Lt. Moses Van Campen was dispatched, along with a contingent of twenty soldiers, to travel to the region and establish a fort to provide the residents with better protection. Moses selected of the farms, which was owned by Isaiah Wheeler, for the positioning of the fort; they built the stockade around his house, and when it was finished they named it Fort Wheeler in his honor. It was built quickly, since they could tell there was no opportunity for delay, and indeed there was an attack on the settlement before the fort was completed. According to a contemporary account, a runner came with a warning about the approach, and the locals

I’ve lived in eastern Pennsylvania for over forty years, which is the closest I’m going to get to telling you how old I am. My maternal grandfather’s family has lived in Lehigh and Northampton Counties since before the American Revolution, and the various branches of my family tree are tied to the commonwealth’s history in a lot of different ways. I’ve been fascinated with these blue and gold markers since I was a kid, but when you’re driving past them, you don’t often really have the chance to read what they say. I always thought that was un- fortunate since they seemed interesting, and as an adult, I’ve occa- sionally wondered if most people pay attention to them at all. I de- cided that this project would be a fun way to make sure that at least a few more people get to know about them and the information they contain. So, with the blessing of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (the people who have been putting the signs up for over a hundred years), I launched this blog. Because I’m a very well-rounded sort of nerd, I decided to treat it like one of the collection quests in my video games, and this is my quest log.

Fort Wheeler Marker; Columbia County

We were in Columbia County on our way to Altoona last month, and we stopped in Bloomsburg for lunch and some markers. My husband is an extremely good sport. It would have been neat if Fort Wheeler had still been there for us to see, but I still get to share its interesting history with all of you. The European settlers of what today is Bloomsburg were, in 1778, being subjected to an extensive series of attacks by Native Amer- icans, and the violence had them in terror. From what I found in my reading, this is because the Natives had - for one reason or another - allied themselves with Great Britain against the fledgling United States. So in April of that year, a young man by the name of


Montgomery House Marker; Montour County

gathered what they could carry and locked themselves inside the incomplete fort. The Natives burned many local houses, but only a few made any attempt to attack the fort and they were easily turned back. The fort’s defenses were sound, even without the fort being entirely finished; these defenses were described as be- ing barricades “made with brush and stakes, the ends sharpened and locked into each other so that it was difficult to remove them and almost impossible for one to get through.” Not much seems to have been recorded about the appearance of Fort Wheeler, save that it was a stockaded fort on the banks of Fishing Creek. It had a spring on the property which provided fresh water, and there’s a mention of a cemetery for fallen sol- diers. As I said, the stockade was built around the house belong- ing to the Wheeler family; but while a lot of the old forts survive in the form of hand-drawn maps or even at least have a mention of the shape of the garrison, there seems to be no such record for Fort Wheeler. A little more is known of its leader, Moses; he was born in New Jersey in 1757, and was living in what is now Columbia Coun- ty when the Declaration of Independence was read. He joined the Pennsylvania militia and rose through the ranks. After Fort Wheeler was completed, it remained his base of operations for quite some time, and whenever Moses wasn’t involved in a scouting party, he used the fort as his headquarters. Local apoc- rypha states that one of the reasons for this is that Isaiah Wheel- er, on whose farm the fort was established, had an exceptionally pretty daughter, and Moses was in a love triangle for a little while with her and one of his scouts. Alas for Moses, she married the other guy. I’ll admit I have no idea if that story is true or not, but it’s kind of fun to picture. Less fun is the reason why Moses left Fort Wheeler. He remained stationed there until 1780, at which point he went with his fa- ther, who had also been staying at Fort Wheeler for a time, back to the family home, where they tried to rebuild what had been destroyed in attacks. But on the morning of March 29th, they were taken by surprise; Moses was taken prisoner, and his father and brother were murdered. He escaped a few days later, leading his fellow captives in a daring flight, and returned to service in the Pennsylvania militia. He later married Margaret McClure, on whose family farm he built another fort, so I’ll continue his story when I talk about Fort McClure. As for Fort Wheeler, it does have an unusual distinction among the colonial forts in Pennsylvania, in that it was never abandoned. When it wasn’t actively garrisoned by soldiers, the locals manned it themselves. It was also never captured or destroyed by enemy forces. The only reason it’s not still standing is because it even- tually fell victim to the ravages of time, and ultimately collapsed. As late as 1896, the fireplace was still standing, if nothing else. In 1915, the Moses Van Campen chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution erected a stone monument commemorat- ing its location; it was relocated in 2015 to Lightstreet Park, which is why I didn’t happen to see it. I’ll try to get a photo next time I get up to Bloomsburg. Nothing remains of the fort today except for the spring which provided it with water, and - possibly - that cemetery. But where exactly the cemetery might be, or have been, I can’t seem to find any indication. So if you know the answer, please reach out and let me know!

Meanwhile, let’s take our first shot at Montour County! This little county has only a handful of markers at present, and I was able to grab roughly half of them while we were on our way to Altoona last month. It’s a lovely green landscape with many attractive his- toric buildings, and Kevin and I definitely want to go back and spend more time there. Sadly, because we were there on a week- day, the building in today’s post was not open for tours; but I’m sure it’s as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside. At the time that the house was built, in 1792, Montour County didn’t exist yet; the land on which the house sits was still part of Northumberland County. The man who built the house was Gen- eral William Montgomery, a distinguished veteran of the American

Revolution. He was born in Chester County on August 3, 1736, to Alexander and Mary (McCullough) Mont- gomery. He was the sec- ond of their four (or five, sources vary) children, but he and his siblings lost their parents to unknown causes when they were all still quite young. It fell to various relatives and family friends to raise them, and they saw to it that William was educated in a number of professions, including milling, surveying, and trade. As a young man, he earned his title serving

General William Montgomery

in the Revolution as the commander of Chester County Militia’s Fourth Battalion. He fought on Long Island in New York and also in New Jersey. William was a busy gentleman. He had also served as a dele- gate to Pennsylvania’s provincial conventions and, after moving to Northumberland County following the war, he served several terms in the State Assembly. In 1784 he was elected to the Con- tinental Congress; the following year he was named Judge of Northumberland and Luzerne Counties. Through the remainder of his life, he held a number of other offices, including a seat in State House of Representatives (where he was serving at the time the house was built), and was named Major General of the Pennsylvania Militia. Somehow, while doing all of this, he found the time to have ten children with two wives; his first wife was Margaret Nevin, the daughter of his father’s business partner, and a few years after her death he married Isabella Evans. William and Margaret had maintained a very successful wheat farm in Chester County, but after her death he began buying land in Northumberland County. The land was positioned along the Susquehanna River and the Mahoning Creek, so it was originally known as Montgomery’s Landing. William brought his family to live there after the Battle of Wyoming, and along with building them an elegant home, he established the town’s first grist mill, sawmill, and trading post, and served as its postmaster. His adult son Daniel plotted out the portion of town which today serves as its historic center, between Mill Street and Church Street. Daniel was the principal merchant of the community, under his father’s


main house is believed to be attached to the original home built in 1777, which is also two and a half stories high, with a log and frame structure. After William’s death, it was handed down through the family until 1939, when his descendant who lived there, Miss Helen Russell, died; the house was put on the market, leading sev- eral locals to worry that it might be demolished. Fortunately, it was purchased and put into the care of the newly-established Montour County Historical Society. Many residents, as well as members of the large Montgomery family, contributed historical items for dis- play in the house, and it has served as a museum and the society’s headquarters for nearly a century. It was added to the National Reg- ister of Historic Places in 1979. From April to October, visitors can walk into the Montgomery House Museum between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. every Sunday, although special tours can be arranged by appointment any day. You’ll find arrow- heads, musical instruments, and a plethora of historical documents, including letters written by Benjamin Franklin and Abraham Lincoln. The Montgomery House is a historical treasure, inside and out. •

tutelage, and gained an excellent reputation with his neighbors - so much so that they renamed the settlement Danville in his honor. In 1813, Columbia County was formed from a portion of Northum- berland County, and Danville was named the county seat. This was all accomplished partially through the efforts of both William and Daniel, who was now also serving the commonwealth in elected positions. The creation of Montour County didn’t happen until many years later, but I’ll talk about that when I report on the county marker. William lived to the age of 79, and died in his beautiful home on May 1, 1816. He’s buried in the Old Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Danville. His sons and grandsons continued a family tradition of military service, and many of them - Daniel included - are also bur- ied in the various cemeteries in Danville. As for the house, it’s a real eye-catcher, and I can only imagine it was the envy of the neighborhood back when it was new. Two and a half stories high and made of stone, it features a pedimented ga- ble roof. A low wall of the same stone surrounds the property. The

Be sure to follow Laura’s journey & read her other fascinating stories behind the state’s recognizable historical blue markers!




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Six Luxury rooms for today’s distinguished travelers who are looking for a comfortable home away from home! Wandell Inn 240 Main Street Benton, PA 17814 570-394-7033

A Picturesque Inn Nestled in the charming Village of Benton Pennsylvania... just a short drive from both Ricketts Glen State Park and Bloomsburg University. Each one of our six guest rooms is uniquely designed and features works by local artists. Complimentary coffee bar .

Finding Fall Wildflowers Along the Mahoning Flats Quarterly Feature: Hess Recreation Area by Jenn Puckett

The saying goes - April showers bring May flowers. What some folks don’t know is that native species fall flowers are out there to be found if you know where to look! A recent visit to the Hess Recreation Area yielded some great finds. While fall is the time for changing leaves, it’s good to remember that all the natural landscape is transforming. Temperatures are dropping and the birds are getting ready to either migrate or preparing for the chilly months to come. Chipmunks and squirrels are growing undercoats to stay cozy during the cold season. The air grows cooler and all of nature begins to slow down. This is a reminder to me to take my time and enjoy things in a more mindful way. My mom and I have always enjoyed hiking together and this was a perfect opportunity to get out on the trail together. We entered at Perkins off Route 54 and followed Meadow Lane to the Mahoning Flats Natural Area parking area. There is not a lot of space here but more parking is available at Hess Recreation Field and you can access the same trail from there. The trail itself is fairly level. As always, make sure to watch your step and wear appropriate footwear. The first bloom we found was White Snake Root. This is a native plant species that can easily be confused with other flowers. However, this is a poisonous plant, particularly to cattle if consumed. Like many things in the great outdoors, let this one be. It’s not dangerous to be near, only if consumed. More reason to pack a snack!

The next was Goldenrod, which has a bad reputation that it doesn’t deserve. Many think their allergies come from this native species. It’s often mis-identified as ragweed (which is the main cause of sniffles at this time of year). This lovely native plant is an amazing pollinator and provides food to butterflies, bees and more. Ragweed blooms at the same time as Goldenrod but is propagated by wind rather than pollinators. Since Goldenrod is the showier and more noticeable of the two, it often gets the undeserved blame for our sneezes. 25

Before you go Wear sturdy footwear. The terrain is mostly level and easy to walk. Some parts can be muddy or wet depending on the season. Finally, we spotted a member of the aster family. The New England Aster or Michaelmas Daisy is a beautiful purple bloom with a yellow center. It has been used by some Native Americans to heal multiple ailments including poison ivy and pain relief. This is just a small sample of what you can see at the Hess Recreation Area. There’s a trail along Mahoning Creek (which is open to fishing), charcoal grills and picnic tables and a covered bridge with fishing access.

Restrooms are available near Hess Fields.

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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If your great night out consists of a delicious meal, then you’ll definitely want to visit us here at Old Forge Brewing Company. Our chef has created a menu that is outstanding and truly unique. Outstanding Food & Amazing Beer. We have just what you’re looking for! DISCOVER

We offer up to 16 of our very own beers on tap with 2 additional Cask Conditioned beers rotating on the hand pumps. We also feature a selection of wines and a cocktail menu. Lunch, Dinner, Appetizers & Daily Food Features Interested in Take-Out? Call to order! We Have Beer To Go: in Cans, Growlers, or Crowlers.

532 Mill Street • Danville, PA 17821 • 570.275.8151 OLDFORGEBREWINGCOMPANY.COM

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

the cottages at frosty valley resort 1301 Bloom Road, Danville, PA 17821 • 570.275.4000

20 individual, private cottage-style lodging in Danville. The cottages overlook our scenic 18-hole golf course with access to The Iron Fork Restaurant, Olympic Swimming Pool, banquet facilities, and barn venue. We provide a unique lodging experience you won’t find at a hotel.

m . s . bond busing , llc 159 Dahl Road, Bloomsburg, PA 17815 • 570.394.1213 Providing local transportation for schools, as well as Bus Transportation for weddings, daycares, church groups, special events, and much more!


Hocus Pocus we need wine to focus!

How it Works: • If you are interested in participating in the Halloween Wine & Witches Trail, simply proceed to one of the wineries of your choosing during the posted event dates (you may start at whichever one you’d like). • Pick up a free event ticket at the first winery you visit – all will have tickets available. • Fill out 1/2 of the ticket and turn it in at the first winery. Keep the other half to record stamps/signatures. • Enjoy your first wine pairing and have your ticket authorized in the assigned space for that particular winery. • Proceed to the rest of the wineries during their normal business hours and enjoy delectable wines and Halloween Candy pairings + get more stamps/autographs! • At your final winery stop, turn in your completed second half of the ticket to be entered to win any of the prizes. All participants who complete every stop on the trail will have a chance to win any one of the individual winery gift cards and the Grand Prize bundle regardless of where they turn in their ticket.

It’s the spookiest time of year, but a visit to the wineries of Columbia & Montour Counties will be so sweet! From October 22-30, visit a total of eight participating wineries on a special Wine & Witches Halloween Trail and enjoy special wine and Hal- loween candy pairings along the way. Once you’ve visited each location, you’ll be eligible to win one of eight $25 gift cards (one from each participating winery) as well as a Grand Prize bundle of gift cards. This year’s grand prize will feature: an $80 wine voucher to be used at any/all wineries on the trail, a $50 gift card from the Central Park Hotel in Benton, a $25 gift card from the Pine Barn Inn in Danville, and more!

Wineries participating in this year’s Halloween Trail:

Cardinal Hollow Winery Outlet at Winding Creek Shops Freas Farm Winery Juniata Valley Winery Outlet at Nature’s Outdoors Kulpmont Winery Outlet at the Ol’ Country Barn

Pour Choices Winery Purple Cow Winery Ricketts Hard Cider Winery Shade Mountain Winery – Danville Outlet

**NOTE** Hours vary for each winery. The trail can be complet- ed at any point from October 22-30 during each winery’s normal business hours. Please plan to call ahead or visit individual winer- ies’ websites for individual hours of operation as locations’ hours may change on short notice. No purchase necessary to win prizes; wine trail tickets are free. However, please note that wine tastings at each stop may have fees if you choose to indulge!








Puzzles & Games!

& A FINE SELECTION OF BODACIOUS CARDS! Open Thursdays 10am - 6pm Fridays 10am - 7pm & Saturdays 10am - 4pm (on Music Hall show dates, hours extended) 12 East Main St., Bloomsburg 570.387.8027

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DineIn • TakeOut • 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-Sunday

B.Y.O.B. Welcome!


Van ' S musical Corner Van Wagner | Born in Pennsylvania. Lives in Pennsylvania. Makes music. Mined coal. Logs trees. Teaches kids. Van Wagner is an educator. In the classroom, he teaches Environmental Science at Danville Area School District. He has been selected as Conservation Educator of the Year in 2005 from Schuylkill County and in 2007 and 2009 in Union County. In 2012 he was awarded the Sandy Cochran award for natural resource education from the Pennsylvania Forestry Association. In 2015 the Red Cross presented Van with the Robert N. Pursel Distinguished Service Award. Outside of the classroom he educates audiences with his music and programs on Pennsylvania History. He received an Outstanding Achievement Award in 2018 from the Pennsylvania Heritage Songwriting Contest. His music has been featured on the History Channel, WVIA TV, as well as Country Music Television (CMT). He has released 29 original albums and published a book entitle "Coal Dust Rust and Saw Dust." His music and programs not only entertain but inspire audiences to become involved in learning about Central Pennsylvania and beyond.


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