Category Archives: Forest Fires

blogs about forest fires

State Symbols & Fire – Mountain Laurel the State Flower

Small pinkish white blooms appear in May and June. Photo by Joe Vatter

Every person who has spent even a little bit of time in Pennsylvania’s forests knows what mountain laurel is. Hikers are familiar with it as it impinges on trails and seems to reach out and grab at packs and clothing. Hunters are familiar with it for many of the same reasons and its ability to hide game. Tourists flock to areas where it is prevalent to see it in bloom. And wildland firefighters are familiar with it for not only its propensity to burn, but also for its thick matted roots that resist line building. It is a pretty, but not fragrant flower that blooms in May and June. It is a wonderous event to visit a forest when the laurel is in full bloom. The town of Wellsboro even has a festival “The Laurel Festival” in June to celebrate the plant, complete with a Laurel Queen, parade and all the other events found in small-town festivals of that sort. It is so popular in Pennsylvania that 84 out of 9835 small watersheds have ‘Laurel’ in their name (second only to Mill at 121). There are even 18 places named in the Pennsylvania Gazetteer referring to Laurel.

The plant blooms are a major tourist attraction. Photo by Joe Vatter.

Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia) is sometimes referred to as calico-bush, or spoonwood. It is a broad leaf shrub that retains its leaves throughout the winter. It is a member of the heather family, Ericaceae, that is native to the eastern United States. The family of plants contains many common shrubs including huckleberries, blueberries, azaleas, cranberries and rhododendron. It can be found throughout the Appalachian Mountains from Maine to Florida and west to Indiana.  Mountain Laurel is sometimes erroneously called Sheep Laurel, however sheep laurel is recognized as a distinctive species Kalmia angustifolia. The easiest way for a non-botanist to identify the two species is during the bloom. Mountain Laurel has light pink flowers and Sheep Laurel has darker, magenta blooms. The two species may be found in proximity to each other.

Mountain Laurel is the State Flower of Pennsylvania. (It is also the state symbol of Connecticut.) In 1933 the Pennsylvania General Assembly in a fit of indifference could not decide on a state flower. Some legislators favored the Pink Azalea (Rhododendron periclymenoides), others favored the Mountain Laurel. Compromise apparently was not an option. They passed two bills, one naming Mountain Laurel as the state flower, the other bill named the Pink Azalea as the state flower. Then they sent both bills to Governor Gifford Pinchot (a trained forester) and essentially said to him, “Pick one ya like!” Some accounts say that Gifford did not make the choice, but rather passed the decision on to his wife Cornelia. Whoever made the decision, Mountain Laurel became the State Flower of Pennsylvania on May 5, 1933.

The plant spreads by rhizomes sending up new shoots from underground.

WARNING: POISONOUS PARTS: All parts. Highly Toxic, Maybe Be Fatal if Eaten!

If for some strange reason you happen to ingest Mountain Laurel, you should know that symptoms. They include: salivation, watering of eyes and nose, slow pulse, nausea, vomiting, sweating, abdominal pain, headache, tingling of skin, lack of coordination, convulsions, and paralysis. It is an Andromedotoxin, a toxic compound C31H50O10 found in members of the heath family (Ericaceae). Honey made from the blooms of the plant can also impart the poisoning. In short if you eat Mountain Laurel it is going to mess you up.

Mountain Laurel is a heavy, hard and strong wood, but it is somewhat brittle. It has yellow sapwood and a yellow-brown heartwood with red spots. It has a green weight of 63 lbs/ft3. By comparison White Oak is 47 lb/ft3, Eastern White Pine is 22 – 31 lbs/ft3, and Eastern Hemlock is 50 lbs/ft3 when green.

The Janka hardness test measures the resistance of a sample of wood to denting and wear. It measures the force required to embed an 11.28-millimeter (0.444 in) diameter steel ball halfway into a sample of wood. This method leaves a hemispherical indentation with an area of 200 mm2. the measurement is in pounds-force (lbf). The rating for Mountain Laurel is 1,790 lbf., White Oak is 1,360 lbf., White Pine is 380 lbf., and Eastern Hemlock is 500 lbf.

The wood has been used for utensils (hence the nickname Spoonwood) furniture, bowls and other household goods as well as ornamental wreaths and roping. Until the 1960s, when man-made materials became widely used, the Mountain Laurel furnished root burls that could be substituted for expensive imported briar in the making of smoking-pipe bowls. The wood of these burls was far heavier, harder, and denser than that in the tree above ground, making it slow to burn from smoldering tobacco. Laurel briar is said to be inferior to the imported variety, but it still works for pipe bowls.

An “Old Hunter’s Tale” is that you will only find Mountain Laurel growing on the north side of the mountain. That’s pretty much false. If you use that as a guide to help you find your way out of the woods there is a good chance you will be spending the night in the woods, probably in a laurel thicket.

Mountain Laurel is usually an understory plant. During the past 100 years Mountain Laurel has spread and grown pervasively. After the Pennsylvania forests

Mountain Laurel is an understory plant that will often grow better when the canopy has been removed.

were turned into the “Pennsylvania Desert” at the beginning of the Twentieth Century, Mountain Laurel had been subjected to fire, and destruction from timber harvesting. The regrowth of the forests into the infamous “red brush” kept the laurel from being able to compete and its growth was stunted. As the middle of the century arrived the forest canopy reached above the maximum height of the laurel, and space became available for it to begin to grow with abandon. Destruction of the canopy by the oak leaf roller, gypsy moth and other forest pests allowed additional light to reach the laurel permitting it to grow and exclude other plants, notably trees.  While the plant is poisonous to humans, it seems to have little effect on white tail deer, who will browse it as a food of “last resort.” As a result, Mountain Laurel is not prone to overbrowsing by deer. It does, however make excellent cover for game. Many a young or novice hunter earned his stripes by following the directive to “Go through that laurel patch over there and kick something out.”

 

Mountain Laurel will burn hot and fast, due to the waxy leaves and relatively dry thin branches and stems. However, it will survive, and in many cases thrive after a fire. The plant grows reproductive rhizomes some up to 30 inches into the soil, where they are isolated from even the most drastic fire effects. Some prescribed fires have shown that Mountain Laurel will re-establish itself quickly after a fire and outgrow laurel in unburned areas in as little as 8 or 9 years. Sometimes in areas where canopy mortality has been the greatest due to fire the Mountain Laurel will grow best.

Mountain Laurel has matted roots and will grow over and among loose rocks. Trying to cut a fire line through a patch of laurel, even with modern mechanized machinery is a difficult task. In drought conditions fire can travel along the roots and rhizomes deep underground, beneath a fire line cut to mineral soil, and cause fire to break out across the line.

In some forests, prescribed fire is being utilized to thin if not outright kill Mountain Laurel, but like the hardy Pennsylvanians who settled in the forests where the laurel blooms, it is here to stay.

 

PA State Symbols & Wildfire

Pennsylvania has several state symbols. A state tree, a state bird, a state fish, and so on and so forth. Most if not all are somehow affected by wildfires. The next few blog entries will explore how wildfire affects – positively, negatively, or some combination of both – these symbols. You might even be surprised to learn that in some cases, state symbols may be responsible for wildfires.

The Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)

A stand of young hemlocks in a swampy area.

First and foremost, among them is the state tree, the Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis). Adopted as the state tree on June 23, 1931, the hemlock has played a prominent role in forestry and forest products and other industries in Pennsylvania.

To be clear, the Eastern Hemlock is not the same as the infamous hemlock that Socrates drank. That is a member of the genus Conium, an herbaceous plant from the Mediterranean region. From this point on when hemlock is referred to, it is the Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) that is being identified.

The hemlock is a coniferous tree found in valleys, swamps and the dark, shaded understory of mature forests. It is a long-lived tree and can attain heights of more than 150 feet. From early surveys it is believed that hemlock once comprised as much as 19 percent of the undisturbed Allegheny Plateau forests.[1] The tannic acid in the bark of the Eastern Hemlock has a tannin content of between 8 and 14 percent. This made the bark of the tree valuable for the tanning of leather.

The trees were cut in early spring until about the end of June. This was the time of year when the bark was said to be “slipping,” and thus easily removed. Bark peelers, men who were hired to remove the bark from the fallen trees, used bark spuds and peeling chisels to remove the bark from the logs. The peeled bark, measured volumetrically in cords, was stacked in the woods, with the inside facing up to allow it to dry more easily. When it was completely dry the bark was hauled to the tannery and sold by weight.

As tanneries began to spring up across Pennsylvania the demand for hemlock bark increased. There was a prodigious amount of bark – and thus hemlock trees required to supply the ever-growing need for leather tanning. DeCoster notes:

 “The Pennsylvania harvest of hemlock in 1896 was estimated at 1.3 billion board feet. The peeled bark went to the tanneries, the logs went to the sawmills.”[2]

Stranahan noted the volume of hemlock needed to supply the tanneries.

 “Fifteen hundred feet of hemlock were needed to produce one cord of bark, and the nation’s tanneries were consuming 1.5 million cords of bark annually.”[3]

The Mosser and Keck Company tanneries in Allentown and Williamsport used 700 and 1,200 train car loads of bark respectively each year.[4]

While hemlock lumber was not as easily worked as the white pine with which it shared the forest, it was usable. The invention of the wire nail which replaced the cut nail allowed carpenters to securely fasten hemlock together and its use for framing and crating and other rough applications became more common as the availability of white pine dropped.[5]

Dr. Joseph T. Rothrock noted the use of hemlock in his 1895 report.

“Hemlock came into demand as a result of two causes. First. because the white pine was exhausted here, and second, because the hemlock was exhausted in New York state. It was not recognized as lumber so long as white pine continued abundant, and hence it was cut simply for the bark, which was to be employed in tanning. The logs in most instances were allowed to decay where they fell or to become the fuel to destroy the remaining timber when the next forest fire devastated the region.”[6]

The last sentence however, is a common misconception. The lumbermen who owned the stands of forest and the loggers who cut the timber knew what they were doing. Bennett notes:

“Hemlock trees were relatively easy to hand peel free of bark during an eight to twelve week period during the summer sap flow season. The customary practice was for the cutters to maximize peeled saw log and tan bark production during this limited summer season. The freshly cut slippery logs and bark were left to dry until the fall and winter season when they could more easily and safety be handled and moved to roadside or mill storage yards. This seasonal division of work enabled full use of available experienced woods labor.”[7]

He further notes:

“…mature old growth hemlock timber is thick barked. The bark contents of an unpeeled log amounts to over 20% of its total volume. To cut thru, skid, load, haul, and handle this excess bark fiber only added to the cost of the final lumber product.”[8] 

Simply put, the trees were cut, the bark was removed, and the logs left in the forest to dry in order to haul less weight to the sawmill, where they were eventually sawed into lumber. It is easy to deduce why Rothrock and other forest advocates – even to this day – decried the wanton waste of hemlock logs. Most first-hand accounts that saw the stark white hemlock logs lying in the forests saw them in the summer after they had been cut. Those who viewed the photographs taken of the cutover forests saw photographs that were also taken in the summer. But a picture speaks a thousand words and the logs in the black and white photographs easily gave the viewer a false impression.

Bennett strengthened his case.

“Some 25 years ago [prior to 1986 when the article was published] after I had become convinced the hemlock log waste story was a childish tale, I wrote a short article for the “Northern Logger” magazine. I challenged anybody to show me any hillside or forest area where the rotted logs were supposedly left to rot. I assured readers I could still show them the remnants of the old hemlock stumps where logs had been cut. In return they would have to show me the remnants of the rotted logs. Of course no one ever accepted this challenge – how could they – the logs were never left to rot, except for the odd and overlooked in the skidding operation. 

Even today many of the old hemlock cut stumps still stand two feet high as sentinel spires of those early harvest days. I have yet to find any rotted logs to substantiate this ongoing myth.”[9]

This author can attest to the fact stated by Bennett that even thirty years after the publication of his article, hemlock stumps are still visible in the woods but the logs that were supposedly left are nowhere to be found, even in detrital remnants that have decomposed into the forest floor or partially burned logs that would have left an ash pile.

As tanneries spread across Pennsylvania the value of the bark escalated and its destruction by wild fires was noted on several occasions.

The New Bloomfield Times, May 18, 1880

Williamsport, May 10. Forest fires are still raging in this part of the State, Sullivan county being the latest sufferer. The hemlock forest of that county have been burning for two or three days, and great quantities of limber are reported destroyed. The latest advices received here to-day are to the effect that two thousand acres are already burned over between Thorndale and Schreyvogels, and over fifteen hundred cords of bark belonging to Thorn McFarland & Co. here have been eaten up by the flames. The fire is still fiercely burning and promises to do still greater damage unless its destructive progress is arrested by rain.

The Forest Republican, July 14, 1886

A dispatch from Sheffield to the Warren Mirror, under date of July 10th, says: One of the most destructive forest fires that ever visited this section of the country is now raging near here in Forest county. The fire originated in a large bark slashing in which was piled several thousand cords of bark. About sixteen hundred cords of bark, together with several lumber camps, are now burned and the fire is not yet under control. Horton, Crary & Co, who own the bark, have a hundred men fighting the fire, and it is thought it will be under control before night.

Pittsburg Dispatch, May 11, 1891

DESTRUCTIVE FOREST FIRE

Many Thousand Feet of Logs and Cords of Bark Destroyed.

Special Telegram to the Dispatch 

Keating Summit, Pa., May 10. One of the largest forest fires known for many years is raging south and east of Austin, on the land of F, H. and C. W. Goodyear. The fire has been burning since yesterday noon. It is estimated that 30,000,000 feet of logs and 10,000 cords of bark have been destroyed, besides 10 miles of tram railroad. Telephonic communications are cut off and it will be impossible to get full details until tomorrow. 

Dr. Joseph T. Rothrock reporting for the state forestry commission about which more is to come, noted:

The supply of hemlock is not only very limited, but none are more fully aware than those most directly concerned, that it too, is approaching extinction. The successful handling of large tanning plants makes it imperative that they should be kept at least reasonably active, and this demands a large annual cut of hemlock for bark. This, in turn, gluts the market with hemlock lumber. The end will come, and come suddenly, when both the pine and hemlock as sources of revenue to the capitalist and the wage earner of the State will disappear from within our limits. To the citizens of twenty years hence, it will appear incredible that with these facts before us, the close of 1894 showed no active measures taken for either protection or restoration of our timber resources.[10]

Metal salts eventually replaced hemlock bark as the principal tanning agent and the demand for bark fell.

Bark loading in McKean County

The methods of storing and transporting hemlock bark and logs in the 19th and early 20th centuries were conducive to the rapid spread of fire. Bark and logs were stacked along railroad tracks and sidings and piled as high or higher than the cars to which they eventually were loaded in a continuous line. The huge piles of bark were tinder dry.

Wildfires in the slashings would give off embers that would blow into the piles, or the steam locomotives would give off sparks. Once fire impinged on the piles it was difficult if not outright impossible to stop it.

Hemlock in McKean County

Burning piles of logs and bark caused disastrous losses and the Moores Run fire disaster was caused in large part by logs and bark piled immediately adjacent to the tracks.

Common woods found in Pennsylvania forests have different BTU values.  For example, dry white oak will release 24 Million BTU’s per cord, hemlock will release 15.9 Million BTU’s per cord and white pine will release 14.3 Million BTUs per cord. A cord is a measure of wood that is defined as a stacked pile 4 feet wide, by 8 feet long by 4 feet high.  The FireResource.com website notes that, “A cord is 128 cubic feet but because of air space between pieces the actual amount of solid wood may be only 70-90 cubic feet. This depends on the size and shape of the pieces and how tightly they are stacked.”[11] Because of this discrepancy they further note the weight of the wood in each cord. Considering that the wood is dry and suitable for burning in a woodstove the weights are: White oak – 3,757 pounds per cord, hemlock – 2,482 pounds per cord, and white pine 2,236 pounds per cord. The number of pounds per cord will vary significantly depending on the dryness of the wood. The BTU values will also vary as wetter wood will require more heat to drive out water in wood that is not sufficiently dried.  But these numbers illustrate that denser wood such as white oak will have more energy stored than the softer hemlock and pine.[12]

Despite its propensity to burn hemlock was used in wildfire suppression. Green hemlock branches were used by early firefighters to beat out the flames as fire crept across the forest floor. It may not sound like a good idea today but at the time it was often the best available tool for fire control.

Today hemlock accounts for about 6 percent of the forest in the Appalachian Plateau[13] and accounts for about 4 Billion board feet of sawtimber in Pennsylvania each year according to the Pennsylvania Forest Products Association.[14] The bark once so prized for its value in tanning is now used as landscaping material.

Hemlock trees in Pennsylvania are under assault. The Hemlock Wooly Adelgid (HWA) often referred to as simply wooly adelgid, has begun a destructive path across Pennsylvania. According to the Penn State Extension, the insect pest arrived in the western United States in 1924. It first appeared in the east around 1950 and was discovered in Pennsylvania in 1973.[15]

It is a small, soft bodied insect that is barely visible to the unaided eye. The adelgids feed on the nutrients taken from the base of the needles. The needles turn brown or gray and then die. Because the critters are so prolific, infestations can kill a mature hemlock tree in one to four years. The presence of adelgids on the trees can be found by turning over leaves and looking for small white cottony egg sacs at the base of the needles. These sacs will be present all year but are more prominent in early spring.

The death of thousands of hemlock trees from HWA infestation, coupled with gypsy moth mortality of hardwoods, is part of the reason a fire complex in Monroe and Pike counties – the Beartown Fire and the Sixteen Mile Fire burned a collective 8,644 acres in April of 2016.

Foresters and entomologists are looking for solutions but for the large stands of eastern hemlock that have re-grown since the state was subjected to industrial logging a century ago, there is nothing that seems to be adequate in the control of the invasive pest.

 

[1] Quimby, John W. Value And Importance Of Hemlock Ecosystems in The Eastern United States

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Forestry, 1995

[2] DeCoster, Lester, A. The Legacy of Penn’s Woods: A History of the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and the Department of Environmental Resources, 1993

[3] Stranahan, Susan Q., Susquehanna, River of Dreams, The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 1993

[4] “Mosser and Keck, Tanners of Union Sole Leather, East Allentown,” 1881, ExplorePAHistory.com, http://explorepahistory.com/odocument.php?docId=1-4-1D5

[5] Stranahan, Susan Q., Susquehanna, River of Dreams, The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 1993

[6] Rothrock, J.T. and Shunk, William F., Annual Report of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture for 1895, Part II, The Division of Forestry,   Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 1895, Official Documents Comprising The Department and Other Reports Made To The Governor, Senate and House of Representatives of Pennsylvania, Volume X, Clarence M. Busch, State Printer of Pennsylvania, 1896

[7] Bennett, Arthur L., lt’s Time to Debunk the Myths of Early Logging Practices, Pennsylvania Forests, Vol. 76, No. 5 Sept.- Oct., 1986.

[8] Bennett, Arthur L., lt’s Time to Debunk the Myths of Early Logging Practices, Pennsylvania Forests, Vol. 76, No. 5 Sept.- Oct., 1986.

[9] Bennett, Arthur L., lt’s Time to Debunk the Myths of Early Logging Practices, Pennsylvania Forests, Vol. 76, No. 5 Sept.- Oct., 1986

[10] Rothrock, J.T. and Shunk, William F., Annual Report of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture for 1895, Part II, The Division of Forestry,   Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 1895, Official Documents Comprising The Department and Other Reports Made To The Governor, Senate and House of Representatives of Pennsylvania, Volume X, Clarence M. Busch, State Printer of Pennsylvania, 1896

[11] FirewoodResource.com http://firewoodresource.com/firewood-btu-ratings/

[12] FirewoodResource.com http://firewoodresource.com/firewood-btu-ratings/

[13] Quimby, John W. Value And Importance Of Hemlock Ecosystems in The Eastern United States

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Forestry, 1995

[14] Pennsylvania Forest Products Association, http://paforestproducts.org/

[15] https://extension.psu.edu/hemlock-woolly-adelgid-hwa

100 Years Ago – 1918 ‘The War to End All Wars’ Affected Pennsylvania Forests

With America’s entry into the war foresters and crews for firefighting efforts became undermanned.  At Mont Alto student enrollment was down. Faculty left to join the Army. Even the head of the State Forest Academy, Dr. Edwin A. Ziegler, left Mont Alto and served as a commissioned officer during the war. Another prominent forester who would go on to serve in the AEF and later become prominent in forestry issues included Robert Y. Stuart, the last Commissioner of the Department of Forestry and the First Secretary of the Department of Forests and Waters. You can read more about Stuart and the others who contributed to the war effort in the new book, The Fires of Penn’s Woods, available from the author, at the Whistlestop Book Store in Carlisle, and online through Amazon.

 

The Fires of Penn’s Woods

The Fires of Penn’s Woods

New Book Details Wildfires Across Pennsylvania and How Pennsylvanians Responded to the Challenge

What is Happening in the Western States Now, Happened in Pennsylvania. Wildfires Raged Across Pennsylvania More Than a Century Ago

Carlisle, PA, December 29, 2017: Almost everyday news accounts show video and still photos of entire towns devastated by wildfires. Terms like “largest in history,” or “a community destroyed by a wildfire,” are common as news reporters in yellow firefighter shirts stand before the cameras. A hundred and twenty years ago the same kind of devastation was found in Pennsylvania. But it doesn’t take a 300,000 acre fire to be significant. If it is your family, house, barn or place of employment that was burned, it is immaterial whether the fire burned a thousand acres or two acres. The fire was significant!

As the great forests of Pennsylvania were cleared, the slash and debris left by loggers was prone to burn – and it did! Huge fires once raged through the forest of Pennsylvania. While certainly not on the scale of the fires that have burned across the American West in the recent years, the wildfires that have burned in Pennsylvania took lives, disrupted families and businesses, burned homes, farms and even entire towns. The fires provided the impetus for the founding of the science of forestry and wildfire control in the Keystone State.

The Fires of Penn’s Woods is a detailed historical account of how fires –some quite large and some quite small – impacted Pennsylvania and shaped what is today a sustainable forest that has re-grown from the Great Pennsylvania Desert – the land that was left after industrial logging virtually cleared the state of its trees by the beginning of the Twentieth Century.

Until now there has not been a comprehensive history that has documented wildfires in Pennsylvania to this extent. This thoroughly researched and meticulously detailed book describes how the science of forestry, wildfire prevention, and fire control has grown in Pennsylvania. This book is a must read for firefighter, foresters and others with an interest in Pennsylvania history.

The author, Michael Klimkos is retired from the PA Department of Environmental Protection. For twenty-five years he was a volunteer firefighter and a member of wildland firefighting crews. He has previously authored, A History of Trout Unlimited and the Environmental Movement: 1959 – 2000, (2003), and compiled and edited The Letort: A Limestone Legacy, (2015). He is the past editor of Mid Atlantic Fly Fishing Guide magazine. Mike is a member of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association and the Mason-Dixon Outdoor Writers Association. He writes from his home in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

The book is available through Amazon, as well as other retail booksellers. For information on how to obtain a signed copy, or find out where the author is doing a book signing or presentation, visit the author’s website at www.mjklimkos.com

The Fires of Penn’s Woods

By Michael J. Klimkos

2017, Carlisle, Pennsylvania

Library of Congress Control Number:  2017919450

ISBN: 10: 1981712410

ISBN-13:978-1981712410

 

6” X 9” – Paperback

350 pages, plus index

3 appendices

527 Endnotes

Shop owners and book re-sellers please contact me directly for pricing and details.

 

California Fires – 1917

Though it is not Pennsylvania, I thought it might be interesting to see what was happening 100 years ago in California. Here is just one report. From the Oakland Tribune comes this report of October 14, 1917.

TRUCKEE. Oct. 13. – One of the worst forest fires in years is burning about a mile west of Truckee. The fire started over a month ago from lightning and has been gradually spreading over the hills back of town until now it extends from Truckee almost to the head of Donner Lake, a distance of three miles and a width of two miles. Several hundred cords of wood belonging to B.A. Cassidy have burned and the wood haulers’ camp, with a great deal of supplies has been completely destroyed.

Forest Ranger Wilson of the government service, has a large force of men trying to hold the fire in check but a shift in the wind every afternoon makes it difficult to control.

From the Los Angeles Times, July 26, 1917

More than 450 newspaper articles reported on fires in California that year. Lives were lost to wildfires. Ranches, homes, and industrial sites were threatened and burned. It wasn’t the worst year for fires in California, but when it is your family or friends, your home, or place of employment, that was destroyed by a fire, it was a bad year.

100 Years Ago – October 1917

America was embroiled in the “War to End All Wars” and times were different. This week’s blog provides a look at what was happening in the fall of 1917.

The Fulton County News, McConnellsburg, PA, October 18, 1917

In the face of the fact that Pennsylvania has just passed through the worst forest fire season since 1908, Chief Forest Fire Warden Wirt reports that the average fire burned over just about half as large an area as in 1915, while the number of thousand-acre fires is twenty-five percent, under the 1915 record.

The total number of forest fires reported during the 1917 spring fire season is 1,746. The number reported in 1915 was 1,191, and in 1916, 1,013. The average area burned per fire was 157 acres in 1917; in 1916, 306 acres; and in 1916, 152 acres.

The full season for 1917, which is opening favorably, will probably reduce the average for the whole year to less than 140 acres.

The records of the Department of Forestry show that the fire wardens had to cope with unusually difficult weather conditions last spring. Two fires burned in January and even in February, a very unusual occurrence. During one week in May over a hundred fires were burning every day, the number of fires for this one week being 843, almost half the total number. The total area burned over was 275,097 acres, the total direct loss was $567,972, and the total cost of extinction was almost $35,000. Indirect losses, such as damage to watersheds and losses to labor, probably amount to several millions of dollars in addition to the direct timber loss.

Of the twelve counties which had over 50 fires each, Schuylkill leads with 108, followed in order by Luzerne with 92, Monroe with 88, Centre with 81 and Dauphin 72. Of the nine counties which had over 10, 000 acres each burned over, Dauphin leads with 20,757 acres, followed by Lycoming with 20,093 acres, Elk with 18.389 acres, Luzerne with 17,622 acres, and Centre with 15,949 acres. Of the nine counties which suffered losses of over $20,000 each, Juniata leads with a total damage of $71,714. followed in order by Lycoming with $57,609, Centre with $35,492, Luzerne with $29,458. and Blair with $25,765.

One hundred and eighty of the fires burned less than one acre; 1232 burned less than 100 acres; 1658 burned less than 1,000 acres and only fifty-nine burned over a thousand acres each. The largest single fire burned over 6,200 acres in Juniata County, and caused an estimated loss of $62,570. The second largest fire burned over 5,000 acres in Jefferson township, Dauphin County, but the damage was estimated at only $5,000.

 

The Civilian Conservation Corps – CCC – Part 3

Life in the camps was generally good, though many arrived at camp unprepared for what lay before them. Many of the men were from cities and had never dreamed that places like Leetonia, Livonia or Laquin even existed.

The camp day began with reveille at 6:00 a.m. followed by physical training with breakfast at 6:30 a.m., then sick call, policing the camp and at 7:15 trucks were loaded with men and tools and they set out for the day’s work. At 4:00 p.m. the men returned to camp for flag lowering, dinner, and announcements. Following dinner the men had free time until lights out at 10:00 p.m.[i] the men were fed nourishing meals three times a day and many thrived on the food and increased vitality.

There were problems and complaints to be sure. Many of the complaints centered around bad food, dirty quarters, vermin infested bedding, bullying and hazing. The Army, which ran the camps, investigated the complaints and wrote most of them off owing to the personalities of the men.

As with any group of people when put together, personalities conflicted and sometimes it led to trouble. At camp NP 2 near Gettysburg a riot broke out on the night of March 26, 1934. Following the riot, Lieutenant James McDonnell commandant of the camp held a summary court and immediately discharged two men. It was reported that lights were smashed and bunks were destroyed in the barracks. It was reported that further action would be taken against other suspected leaders in the riot.[ii] In the summer of 1934 three men from the Shingle Branch Camp were arrested for creating a disturbance in Renovo.[iii]

The camps were segregated. Black enrollees were in separate camps. Other camps were largely comprised of men from the same area. For example a camp may be composed of men from western Pennsylvania, or southern Alabama. Some of the camps located in close proximity to each other that allowed for the men from the camps to meet in the local towns caused those regional and racial animosities to come to the surface and cause problems. Camp NP2 was a segregated camp and this probably played into the mix. In another incident a shooting occurred at the Medix Run Camp in Clearfield County. Though the shooting was not fatal, it was a serious incident and turned over to the Clearfield County courts for adjudication.[iv] Another near riot with racial undertones happened at a camp near Kane on August 3, 1933. The Kane Republican reported that the seven were dismissed from the C.C.C. and sent home.[v]

On June 23, 1937 enrollees from the camps at Cooks Run and Two Mile Run, both near Westport in western Clinton County met on the streets of Renovo and began to fight. The riot which involved over 250 enrollees was caused by regional animosities. The Cooks Run camp was southern men and the Two Mile Run camp was comprised of Pennsylvanians. Though the Civil War had ended some 72 year prior, there were still grudges. Despite the fighting no arrests were reported.[vi]

Despite problems the C.C.C. enrollees became community members for the time they were there. On June 15, 1933 two C.C.C. men from the Hyner camp rescued a young girl from drowning in the West Branch of the Susquehanna River at Renovo.[vii]

As the program evolved, projects in areas concluded and enrollments were up camps were scheduled for closure. Another factor involved in the closings was 1936 was an election year. FDR in an effort to balance the federal budget proposed cutting the program despite its success. When the proposal was made to Congress both parties rebelled, Roosevelt backed off his proposal to reduce the camps to 300,000 men.[viii] In 1937 twenty camps were closed in Pennsylvania and 56 remained open.[ix] The year of 1936 is generally considered the “high water mark” of the C.C.C.

The C.C.C. was so prominent in American life and culture that Paramount Studios produced a movie, “It’s A Great Life” starring Joe Morrison and Paul Kelly, that detailed the life of the C.C.C. in 1936.[x] The movie was filmed in California and enrollees participated in the film project.

On March 17, 1936 one of the most devastating floods to ever hit Pennsylvania began. Known as the Saint Patrick’s Day Flood, practically every section of the state was affected. The C.C.C. proved invaluable in rescue and recovery efforts, helping the stricken people during and after the flood.

Despite their efforts, not all were happy with the program. Pittsburgh mayor William N. McNair, a long-time critic of FDR and his administration blamed the flooding on the efforts of the C.C.C. McNair was quoted as saying, “As long as these boys are in the woods we’re going to have floods.”  He blamed the C.C.C. for clearing brush and cutting trees in riparian areas allowing for faster runoff causing the floods. In concluding his rant against the program he also stated, “And in addition to causing floods these boys cause forest fires. I’ve seen them go out for a hike or lunch and throw their pop or milk bottles under bushes. What happens? Along comes the wind and exposes the broken glass. The sun hits the glass and you have a fire. I want to take these boys out of the woods.”[xi] Whether McNair actually believed what he was saying or was just bloviating to score political points in the wake of the devastating flood is unclear.

L.S. Gross, Supervisor of the Allegheny National Forest was quick to respond to Mayor McNair’s charges, and without naming him directly it was clear that Gross was pointing out the fallacy of McNair’s accusations. He detailed how the state had been hit by an unusually large amount of precipitation over the past winter and it rapidly melted. Gross pointed out that the forest duff had been reduced by years of unregulated logging and fires thus reducing the water holding capacity of the forest floor. “Removal of vegetation over widespread areas on the watersheds has not been undertaken. The construction of forest roads and other developments represents an area so insignificant in comparison to the forested area of the state that such an assumption that the CCC is at fault is incredible. The real fault lies in man’s carelessness with fire in the forest.”[xii]

As 1937 progressed, the economy was beginning to improve. Young men were finding gainful employment and enrollment was beginning to drop. As a result camps began to close and consolidate. Across the country 60 camps would be closed because of the drop in enrollment.[xiii]

It wasn’t all trees and clean air. There were accidents and tragedy involved with the C.C.C. On June 28, 1933, Thomas Fox, 18 of Philadelphia, was killed when he fell from a service truck. Fox was a member of camp S-70 near Waynesboro in Franklin County. It is believed he was the first C.C.C. enrollee killed in the line of duty. The camp was one of the first in Pennsylvania having been erected on May 6, 1933.[xiv]

The first fire related death occurred on August 19, 1933. Stanley Ferguson, 19 of Owego, NY, was killed fighting a forest fire in Idaho when a tree fell on him.[xv]

A bizarre incident claimed the lives of two enrollees on June 30, 1933. The men were killed at the C.C.C. camp at Pine Grove Furnace, Cumberland County, when lightning struck the tent they were in. The dead were identified as Robert C. Armstrong and Herman B. Chuderwicz, both of Pittsburgh.  Lawrence McGuire also of Pittsburgh was taken to the Army Medical School hospital at Carlisle and recovered. [xvi]

George Roberts of East Berlin, Adams County was injured when his motorcycle collided with a car near Mount Holly Springs on  August 7, 1933. He was a member of Camp S-55 at Landisburg. It was reported he suffered a fractured skull and broken arm.[xvii]

Returning to their camp at Shingle Branch, Clinton County, on September 2, 1933, a truck carrying 12 C.C.C. men overturned killing William Arnold, 22 of North Bend and injuring the others. The men had been on a detail to pick up provisions in Lock Haven for the camp. Descending a grade, the truck went out of control and overturned. Arnold died of a broken neck.[xviii] On September 19, Henry Appenzeller of Philadelphia became paralyzed when he reached above his head to put away some dishes in the camp mess hall. Appenzeller was involved in the accident on September 2, and was treated at Renovo Hospital for an injury to his shoulder and lacerations to his hand. Following his paralysis he was transported to Renovo Hospital where x-rays determined he had two broken vertebrae in his neck. He was transferred to Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C. for further treatment.[xix]

M. Fink, 42 of Ridgway, was fatally injured when a large tree he was cutting fell on him at the camp near Croyland on November 4, 1933.[xx] Judging by his age Mr. Fink was probably an LEM.

Not all injuries were work related. Nello Collette of Camp Lowell Thomas, near Trout Run, Lycoming County died of a fractured skull on March 21, 1934. “The unfortunate incident was from a boyish fistic combat.”[xxi] On May 7, 1934 a canoe capsized on Lake Mokoma at Laporte in Sullivan County. William Kelly, 24 of Philadelphia drowned in the incident.[xxii]

Vehicles continued to prove dangerous to the C.C.C. enrollees. On July 23, 1934 several C.C.C. men in a truck on the way to a forest fire from their camp a Duhring, Forest County , were shaken up but none required hospitalization.[xxiii] A couple of months later on October 19 Franklin Page died from injuries he received when he fell from the back of a truck and was dragged some distance when his foot was caught in the rear gate of the truck. Franklin, of Sharon, PA was a member of C.C.C. camp S – 76 at State Camp.[xxiv] The following spring, on May 28, 1935 a truck carrying 25 C.C.C. enrollees overturned near Kane. Three of the enrollees required hospitalization at Kane Hospital.[xxv] The men were responding to a forest fire near Chapel Forks, McKean County. And on July 18 two men were injured when a truck carrying equipment to the new C.C.C. camp west of Huntersville, Lycoming County, ran off the road and upset.

The deadliest incident in the history of the C.C.C. occurred on Labor Day, 1935 in the Florida Keys. A hurricane, struck a C.C.C. camp of 684 veterans.  In the aftermath 44 of the dead were identified, 238 were missing, and 106 others were injured.[xxvi]

On May 1, 1936, Daniel Dallas of Philadelphia and assigned to the Tobyhanna Camp, Monroe County died of injuries sustained in a truck accident on April 28. The truck with 17 men aboard was responding to a forest fire when it overturned. Dallas was thrown against a rock. He was transported to a hospital in Scranton where he died. Three others were injured in the accident and required hospitalization.[xxvii]

On April 30, 1937, Donald C. Kresskey, 20 of Bethlehem died at the Renovo Hospital from injuries he received when a ledge of rocks on which he was standing gave way, crushing him. Donald was a member of the Two Mile Run camp. By all accounts the C.C.C. was a comparatively dangerous place with an injury rate of seventeen per thousand in 1935, many of the accidents were related to motor vehicles.[xxviii]

The worst firefighting tragedy occurred on August 22, 1937. A fire in the Absaroka region in northwestern Wyoming claimed the lives of 11 firefighters, and injured scores of others when they were overrun by fire. [xxix] But Pennsylvania was not immune to death from fires. The worst was yet to come.


[i] Pennsylvania DCNR, The CCC Years, http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/thingstoknow/history/cccyears/index.htm

[ii] Altoona Tribune, Altoona, PA, March 27, 1934

[iii] The Express, Lock Haven, PA, August 3, 1934

[iv] The Kane Republican, Kane, PA, July 15, 1933

[v] The Kane Republican, Kane, PA, August 4, 1933

[vi] The Express, Lock Haven, PA, June 24, 1937

[vii] Harrisburg Telegraph, Harrisburg, PA,  June 15, 1933

[viii] History of the Civilian Conservation Corps and Its Lasting Legacy, Civilian Conservation Corps Legacy, Inc., Edinburg, VA, 2010

[ix] The Evening News, Harrisburg, PA, September 30, 1937

[x] The Daily Courier, Connellsville, PA, February 14, 1936

[xi] Altoona Tribune, Altoona, PA, March 27, 1936

[xii] The Kane Republican, Kane, PA, April 2, 1936

[xiii] The News-Chronicle, Shippennsburg, PA, June 4, 1937

[xiv] The Evening News, Harrisburg, PA, June 29, 1933

[xv] Lebanon Daily News, Lebanon, PA, August 19, 1933

[xvi] The Evening News, Harrisburg, PA, July 1, 1933

[xvii] The Evening News, Harrisburg, PA, August 7, 1933

[xviii] The Kane Republican, Kane, PA, September 5, 1933

[xix] Harrisburg Telegraph, Harrisburg, PA, September 19, 1933

[xx] The Evening News, Harrisburg, PA, November 4, 1933

[xxi] New Castle News, New Castle, PA, March 21, 1934

[xxii] Warren Times Mirror, Warren, PA, May 7, 1934

[xxiii] The Kane Republican, Kane, PA, July 23, 1934

[xxiv] The Express, Lock Haven, PA, October 20, 1934

[xxv] Warren Times Mirror, Warren, PA, May 28, 1935

[xxvi] History of the Civilian Conservation Corps and Its Lasting Legacy, Civilian Conservation Corps Legacy, Inc., Edinburg, VA, 2010

[xxvii] The Plain Speaker, Hazleton, PA, May 1, 1936

[xxviii] Speakman, Joseph M. Into the Woods: The First Year of the Civilian Conservation Corps, Prologue Magazine, Fall 2006, Vol. 38, No. 3, Washington, D.C

[xxix] The Morning Herald, Uniontown, PA, August 23, 1937

The Civilian Conservation Corps – CCC – Part 2

On May 9, 1933 the Harrisburg Telegraph reported that a CCC camp had begun operations at a site northeast of Waynesboro near Old Forge. It was located in the Mont Alto District and W. L. Byers was the district forester. He noted that the men would build fire breaks, trails, and roads. They would also work on erosion and flood control projects as well as being subject to call for fighting forest fires.[I] 

On May 11, 1933 FDR issued Executive Order 6129 that authorized 25,000 veterans of the Spanish American War and World War I to enroll in the program. There were no age or marital restrictions on these men and unemployed veterans rushed to fill the ranks. By the end of 1933 there were six veteran’s camps in Pennsylvania. They were located at Beaver Springs, Snyder County, Wheelerville, Sullivan County, Sinnemahoning, Cameron County, Farrandsville, Clinton County, Chaneysville, Bedford County, East Stroudsburg, Monroe County and Edgemere, Pike County.

That May of 1933 fires burned across Pennsylvania. The CCC was growing fast and the Kane Republican noted that a fifth camp for the Allegheny Nation Forest was being established at Highland Corners. The camp was originally proposed for Owls Nest but the site was moved.[ii] Camps for the young men were springing up across Pennsylvania.

On June 21, 1933 a CCC camp went into operation at Asaph, Tioga County. The camp was comprised primarily of young men from the New Castle area. A ‘special reporter’ Don Lanigan, most probably an enrollee, reported back to the New Castle News of a fire they fought on July 20, 1933. The fire reportedly burned “several acres of brush.”[iii]

Robert Bender of Lebanon wrote a letter to the Evening Report in Lebanon from a camp near Clearfield. He reported of fighting a fire that took five days to contain and extinguish.

“Our company fought the fire day and night. One group of 100 would go out and fight the flames for five hours, then be relieved by another group of 100. We worked from 7:30 in the morning until 12 o’clock at night. We used Indian water pumps which hold about five gallons and weigh seventy-five pounds, and we were tired at night.”[iv]

On December 5, 1933 a late fall fire burned over 200 acres on South Mountain in Cumberland County and CCC crews were instrumental in extinguishing the blaze.[v]

By the end of 1933 the Civilian Conservation Corps was off and running. During the first week of January, 1934 Secretary of Forests and Waters, Lewis Staley was ebullient about the work being conducted by the CCC. He noted that the 92 camps on state forest and state gamelands had a compliment of 18,000 men. They had completed 1600 miles of truck trails (now known as state forest roads), 1,400 miles of foot and horse trails and built 150 bridges. They had reduced fire hazards on 1,350 acres, and cut 150 miles of fire breaks. They had erected 4 steel fire towers and worked on blister rust and pine beetle eradication. They had developed public camping areas, cleared roadsides and built and maintained state forest telephone lines.[vi] The crews of laborers were led by “Local Experienced Men” or “LEMs” who had experience in such things as construction, forestry, mechanics or other vocational skills. Unlike the enrollees these locals were hired with no age or marital restrictions.[vii]

In preparation for the spring fire season CCC crews were being trained on firefighting techniques. State officials were describing the crews “as one of the most efficient forest fire fighting units yet organized among the emergency conservation workers.”[viii]

The CCC crews were being trained in firefighting and organized in preparation for the spring fire season. “Special training during regular working hours is provided for the fire crews by forest fire inspectors. On the fire line each crew is trained to split into two parts, each subcrew consisting of one foreman, one axeman, one brush hook man, five rakers, one torchman, two patrolmen and two spray tank men.”[ix] The CCC crews at Camp Lowell Thomas at Trout Run, Lycoming County were tested on their efficiency when a fire that was begun by their brush burning activities started a forest fire that burned over 300 acres.[x]

On March 26, 1934 an announcement was made that nine CCC camps in Pennsylvania would be closed. According to the administration in Washington, D.C. the camps would be moved to other states. At the time Pennsylvania had 92 camps under state control, 7 camps under the U.S. Forest Service and 4 under the direction of the National Park Service.[xi]

On March 21, 1934, Frank Bowes, reported from Camp Lowell Thomas at Trout Run, Lycoming County that “Over thirty percent of the camp is leaving on March 31. Most of them are returning home with the prospect of jobs.”[xii] Their enrollment was up as they were only allowed to serve for five yearly quarters.

At that point there were 30,000 men enrolled in the program and many were due to leave because their enlistments were up. They were also prepared to release men, “who, in the past few months have proven insubordinate or otherwise undesirable.”[xiii]

The men whose enrollment was up were due to be replaced by new recruits. Secretary Staley was exasperated by the closures and noted that it would become difficult if not impossible to complete the projects as planned if the nine camps were closed.[xiv]

On May 10, 1934 the Morning Herald from Uniontown ran a page one article that the corps was looking for 105 applicants from the area.[xv] That same day The Evening News of Harrisburg noted that Charles Mattis of Elizabethtown had resigned his post at the Camp in Armstrong Valley and was replaced “by a man named Christ of Lickdale” who had formerly been the superintendent of the Indiantown Gap camp which had been “abandoned.”[xvi]

The summer of 1934 was particularly dry in Pennsylvania and the forest floor dried to the point that fires would burn in the duff, smoldering for days. Extinguishing these types of fires is difficult and time consuming and the labor provided by the CCC proved essential to extinguishing these fires. In the ANF the CCC men were used to patrol the forest and close roads to automobiles.[xvii]

Newspapers, for the most part were particularly eager to print news about the CCC and letters to the editor were included wherever they were found. The Daily Republican of Monongahela printed one such letter in its May 12, 1934 edition from Kard Kraus who was part of the 359th Company at Camp S-71, known as the Kenneth B. Watts Camp, near Philipsburg in Centre County. In the letter he speaks of fighting a large forest fire that burned along covered a 12 mile stretch and burned 4 barns, 2 houses, and a garage at Moshannon and the baggage room at Peale.

“….The wind was so strong and the brush so dry that we did not have much chance to check the fire. It burned from Sunday morning to Thursday afternoon. We were also handicapped by several fires starting at different places in the mountains, burning between 10 and 50 acres at each fire. And they claim they were incendiary. They had 44 CCC camps beside the Rangers and civilians fighting the fires. They worked in shifts. Sometimes we worked 18 hours in a shift when there was danger of barns or houses burning.”

“Hot meals were brought out every 4 or 5 hours and that would be all the rest we would get as the wind would blow our back fires across the line and we would have a hard time checking it again. It is a hard and hot job along the fire line trying to check it and water is hard to get, sometimes carrying it a quarter mile up the mountain from the creeks. There is also danger of being trapped as the fire was burning on 5 ridges and we had to be on the lookout and listen to the foreman who was always patrolling ahead of the fire.”

“There were thousands of acres and millions of trees burned. We are glad to have gotten the out with the help of rain.”[xviii]

In 1934 eleven more camps opened in Pennsylvania.

By the end of July, 1934 H.B. Rowland of the PDF&W noted that the CCC had been invaluable in forest fire suppression. He announced that 25,000 man-days of labor had been expended in fighting 328 or the 3,250 fires that had broken out in Pennsylvania that year. He noted that the men were largely used as reserve fire fighting units and assisted the regular forest fire wardens and their crews.[xix]

In the spring of 1935 FDR was looking to expand the CCC and make it a permanent part of the Federal government. Roosevelt was particularly concerned that another drought like that of 1934 could devastate the country. The program would create shelterbelts of tress to prevent erosion, reforest logged and burned over areas and provide employment for the unemployed.[xx]

The Daily Republican heard from one of its readers who was in the C.C.C.

Dear Sir:

Will you please send me The Daily Republican paper. I would like to know what is going on in the home town. Well here is something about the camps.

The CCC camp is just the place for a young boy of 18 years of age. They either make you or break you in these camps and they always build you up and you are out in the forest. You learn something about the forest, like different trees and forest fires and other things on the order of trees.

And that good mountain air and fresh water. It is a nice place.

Yours truly

Gildo Pietroboni[xxi]

The spring of 1935 five new camps of 216 men each were proposed for the Allegheny National Forest.[xxii] Robert Fechner proposed expanding the corps by an additional 230,000 men and making the camp infrastructure “portable” insofar as was possible. Buildings would be bolted together on assembly and could be dismantled and moved as necessary. Each new camp would be assigned 15,000 acres on which to complete various projects.[xxiii] Pennsylvania was second to New York with an increase in enrollees from 21,951 to 48,700 men.[xxiv]

With all of the other projects the CCC was completing, fighting forest fires was a prominent part of their work. Many accounts of CCC workers fighting forest fires were reported.

Henry W. Shoemaker, publisher of the Altoona Tribune, noted that an opponent of the New Deal from Pittsburgh commented on the efficiency of the CCC in particular their ability to fight forest fires and wanted to make 5,000 of the enrollees permanent firefighters in the state’s forests.[xxv]


[i] Harrisburg Telegraph, Harrisburg, PA, May 9, 1933

[ii] The Kane Republican, Kane, PA, May 1, 1933

[iii] New Castle News, New Castle, PA, July 20, 1933

[iv] Evening Report, Lebanon, PA, July 31, 1933

[v] The News-Chronicle, Shippennsburg, PA, December 5, 1933

[vi] The Indiana Gazette, Indiana, PA, January 5, 1934

[vii] Speakman, Joseph M. Into the Woods: The First Year of the Civilian Conservation Corps, Prologue Magazine, Fall 2006, Vol. 38, No. 3, Washington, D.C

[viii] The Kane Republican, Kane, PA, March 13, 1934

[ix] The Kane Republican, Kane, PA, March 13, 1934

[x] New Castle News, New Castle, PA, March 21, 1934

[xi] Mount Carmel Item, Mount Carmel, PA, March 26, 1934

[xii] New Castle News, New Castle, PA, March 21, 1934

[xiii] Mount Carmel Item, Mount Carmel, PA, March 26, 1934

[xiv] Mount Carmel Item, Mount Carmel, PA, March 26, 1934

[xv] The Morning Herald, Uniontown, PA, May 10, 1934

[xvi] The Evening News, Harrisburg, PA, May 10, 1934

[xvii] Warren Times Mirror, Warren, PA, July 30, 1934

[xviii] The Daily Republican, Monongahela, PA, May 12, 1934

[xix] Mount Carmel Item, Mount Carmel, PA, July 31, 1934

[xx] The Gazette and Daily, York, PA, April 4, 1935

[xxi] The Daily Republican, Monongahela, PA, April 5, 1935

[xxii] The Kane Republican, Kane, PA, April 10, 1935

[xxiii] The Kane Republican, Kane, PA, April 10, 1935

[xxiv] The Indiana Gazette, Indiana, PA, April 27, 1935

[xxv] Altoona Tribune, Altoona, PA, May 10, 1935