Pennsylvania Timeline – 1900 – 1949

Note: These pages are not intended as complete documentation of events but are brief sentences and notations regarding events that shaped Pennsylvania history. The reader is advised to search elsewhere for more complete documentation of the events listed here.  The reader is free to contact the author of this site regarding additional information, new information or corrected information.



1900   Potter County led in the number of acres cut over with 17,064 acres cut of which 2,093 were to be utilized for farming, which was also the highest. Jefferson County produced 22,453,000 board feet of white pine. Potter County produced 189,541,000 board feet of hemlock and 213,678 cords of bark. McKean County produced 64,330,000 board feet of timber other than white pine and hemlock. Cambria County led in the production of pulpwood cutting 12,382 cords of wood. The report lists cords of wood cut for wood alcohol production separately from cords of wood produced for acid production. McKean led in wood cut for alcohol production with 32,300 cords, while Cameron County topped the list at 10,000 cords for acid production

1900   The Pinchot family endowed Yale School of Forestry

1900   Pennsylvania ranked second, only to New York in the value of manufacturing.  The state was also second in the manufacture of textiles and produced more than half of the iron and steel made in America.  Carnegie Steel produced 25% to 30% of all the iron and steel produced in America.

1900   John Mitchell, union organizer, arrived in the anthracite coal fields.

1900   With the absorption of the Pencoyd Iron Works into United State Steel, Pencoyd became the American Bridge Company.

1900   The Autocar Company had moved from Pittsburgh to Ardmore

1900   Congress passed the Lacey Act forbidding the interstate transportation of wildlife taken in violation of state law.

1900   The Commonwealth purchased 3,487 acres from D.R. Fullerton in Elk County that was the genesis of the Elk State Forest

1900   March 2   Heavy rains caused the Letort to flood Carlisle, flooding many dwellings and the powerhouse for the town’s trolley.

1900   April 27    The town of Laurel Forge, Cumberland county, was almost wiped out of existence by a forest fire.

1900   May 4   Pike County Press reported that an extensive forest fire raged Monday around Lackawaxen and all along the hills to Rowlands.

1900   May 8   The village of Corbett, Potter County, Pa., was destroyed by forest fire and several people were badly burned

1900   May 8       Three children were burned to death in a forest fire near Portland Mills, Elk County. Two adults and another child were seriously burned

1900   June   990 acres along Cedar Run in Tioga County were purchased from F.E. Watrous. This was the first purchase of land that became the Tioga State Forest.

1900   September 15   An epidemic of diphtheria spread through Carlisle. The cause was blamed on a sewage pipe from a number of hotels and the jail which emptied into the Letort and the current was not strong enough to carry the waste away

1900   Centre County reported 31,719 acres burned over. Elk County, where 20,554 acres were burned over, had the highest extinguishment cost of $5,703. Somerset County employed 770 men to fight fires on the relatively small amount of 6,308 acres. Elk County had 2,237 person-days invested in fighting fires in that county. Schuylkill had the highest total loss by forest fires totaling $167,008


1901   The Legislature passed a bill designating certain species of fish in either of two classes: game or food.

1901   Elbert H. Gary and J.P. Morgan headed a group of investors that purchased Carnegie Steel Company from Andrew Carnegie and combined it with their holdings in the Federal Steel Company. These two companies became the nucleus of U. S. Steel, which also included American Steel & Wire Co., National Tube Company, American Tin Plate Co., American Steel Hoop Co., and American Sheet Steel become United States Steel Co.  It was America’s first billion dollar company with Elbert H. Gary as the Chairman of the Board.  Charles M. Schwab, President of Carnegie Steel before the buyout, became the President of the new United States Steel.

1901   George Wirt graduated from the Biltmore Forest School in North Carolina.

1901   The first State Forest Reservation Rangers, Hiram Rake (part-time Pike County) and George W. Armstrong  (full-time Clinton County) were hired.  The first rangers were assigned to specific forests.

1901   The Commonwealth purchased 21,585 acres from Theodore Cobb for $32,378.35. This tract of land between Odin, Austin and Borie in Potter County was the first purchase of what became the Susquehannock State Forest.

1901   February 1   The Hyatt and Thompson Company sold 3,922 acres to the Commonwealth for $1.00 per acre that began the Bald Eagle State Forest.

1901   February 25   Legislation created the State Department of Forestry.

1901   April 1   Rothrock hired George Wirt as state’s 1st professionally trained forester.

1901   September 5   Mira Lloyd Dock was appointed to State Forest Reservation Commission.

1901   November 7   At a meeting of the State Forest Reservation Commission, Mira Lloyd Dock moved to authorize the purchase of the Caledonia Mining and Manufacturing Company land in Franklin and Adams counties for $3.50 per acre including the old hotel. The land was acquired.


1902   First State Forestry Reservation Tree Nursery established at Mont Alto

1902   A tuberculosis sanitarium was established at Mont Alto. Dr. Rothrock was a medical doctor, tuberculosis was running through the population, and Rothrock was of the belief that clean mountain air would aid in the cure.

1902   Zane Grey’s first story, “A Day on the Delaware” was published.

1902   Andrew W. Mellon incorporated T. Mellon and Sons Bank to form Mellon National Bank in Pittsburgh.

1902   A 7,608 acre tract in Licking Creek was purchased J. Preston Thomas for $1.72 per acre. This was the first purchase of what became the Tuscarora State Forest.

1902   5,355 acres were purchased by the Commonwealth for $5,030 in Dauphin County. This was the first purchase of the Weiser State Forest.

1902   January 15   The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania decided that the borough of Carlisle had the right to compel removal of sewer pipes leading to the Letort Spring and end the pollution of the spring and creek.

1902   January 21   The President Life and Trust Company sold 7,183 acres to the Commonwealth at a cost of $19,755.22. This was the beginning of the Rothrock State Forest.

1902   February 26   Rain fell on frozen ground and caused the Yellow Breeches, Conodoguinet and Letort to overflow and flood. South Hanover, Kelker and South streets were completely submerged. Train service through Carlisle was shut down.

1902   March   2,854 acres in Lehigh Township, Lackawanna County were purchased from William McMurtry for $3,567.40. This was the first purchase of what became the Lackawanna State Forest

1902   April   558 acres was purchased from James Dull for $2.00 per acre. This was the beginning of the Michaux State Forest.

1902   April 25   Two men were burned to death and a child at Clintondale, in running away from the fire, fell into a creek and drowned

1902   May 9   The Great Anthracite Strike began. The strike came to an end with the intervention of President Theodore Roosevelt, who created a commission to study and negotiate the issues. As a result of the commission hearings held in the Lackawanna County Courthouse in Scranton, miners got shorter hours and a 10-percent pay raise.

1902   June 23   The Carlisle town council was considering a project for widening the Letort Spring Run

1902   September 22   Bids were opened by the Carlisle town council for widening the Letort Spring Run through the town. The expense was expected to be between $2,500 and $3,000. No contracts were let at that time.

1902   September 27   Howard Cessna of Rainsburg, Bedford County sold 5,300 acres to the Commonwealth. This was the beginning  of the Buchanan State Forest.


1903   After clashing with Morgan and Gary, Charles M. Schwab left U.S. Steel to run Bethlehem Steel in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

1903   Milton Hershey founded the Hershey Chocolate Company in Derry Township, east of Harrisburg.

1903   Duquesne Light was formed to compete with the Philadelphia Company to provide electricity to consumers in Allegheny and Beaver counties.

1903   The Nonresident hunter’s license was first established for a fee of $10.

1903   February 1   President T. Roosevelt signed a bill turning over Interior’s forest reserves to USDA Bureau of Forestry

1903   Edwin Binney and C. Harold Smith, who had taken over Edwin Binney’s father’s pigment business in 1885 began the manufacture of Crayola crayons in Easton.

1903   The Pittsburgh Pirates won their third consecutive National League Championship and advanced to play in the first ever World Series against the Boston Pilgrims. Boston won the series, overcoming a three-games-to-one deficit to win the best-of-nine competition, 5 games to 3.

1903   An act of the legislature conferred constabulary power on employees of the Forestry Commission.  A separate act authorized a Deputy Commissioner of Forestry.

1903   A large forest fire that killed one person occurred near Brookville.

1903   The White Pine Sanatorium for tuberculosis patients at Mont Alto, operated by the Department of Forestry, began to receive public funding

1903   April 1   Robert S. Conklin was appointed Deputy Commissioner of Forestry. I.C. Williams became the Department Clerk.

1903   April 11   The Game Commissioners were authorized to appoint “deputy game protectors.” Seven were appointed immediately. There were 30 by year’s end.

1903   April 29   The Central Pennsylvania Lumber Company was incorporated in Williamsport.

1903   May 2   Cross Fork, Potter County destroyed by a forest fire.  A month before a smallpox epidemic began in the lumber camps surrounding the town. The state had sent guards to quarantine the camps to prevent spread of the disease. Whether the fire was an accident or intentional remains to be seen.

1903   May 13   Governor Pennypacker signed into being the Pennsylvania State Forest Academy at Mont Alto – a technical college on the lines of the military academies of the day. Forestry in all its aspects was taught there and a few years later there were nine states that had Mont Alto graduates as heads of their forestry or fish and game departments. Mira Lloyd Dock had a hand in its founding through lobbying in the halls of the Capitol. For the school’s first year she taught the botany courses, and continued teaching until 1929 (when the school went to the Pennsylvania State College). Her textbook was the Annual Report of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture for 1895, Part II. It contained, among other information, a description of all the trees to be found in Pennsylvania, where they grew best and their characteristics.

The school was run very much like a military academy by George Wirt and Dr. Joseph T. Rothrock

1903   October 9    The Bellefonte Hatchery was opened by the Pennsylvania Fish Commission. J.P. Creveling was named superintendent. Milton Hershey founded the company that bears his name in Dauphin County. The U.S. Fish Commission was renamed the Bureau of Fisheries and was transferred to the new Department of Commerce and Labor.

1903   October 16   Deeds were turned over to the Pennsylvania Fish Commission for the Pleasant Mount Hatchery grounds.


1904   Chestnut blight first discovered at the New York Zoological Park

1904   The Pennsylvania Fish Commission distributed about 90,900 frogs. More than 10.2 million chain pickerel were propagated. This was a first, as pickerel had never before been propagated in any fish cultural establishment in the United States. Yellow perch propagation began.

1904   Gifford Pinchot was appointed Chief of Forestry in the USDA, which he succeeded in calling the U.S. Forest Service.

1904   The banana-split was invented in Latrobe by Dr. David Strickler at Tassel Pharmacy in Latrobe.

1904   The Slovene National Benefit Association, or SNPJ, was founded to provide life insurance and sick and disability benefits to Slovenian workers.

1904   January 7   The Letort was reported as completely frozen over at Carlisle

1904   March 8   Heavy rains caused the Letort to flood Carlisle.

1904   May 11   The State Forestry Commission experimented with a new system of extinguishing forest fires. The new method consisted of kegs containing ten gallons of water, which were to be used on fires by means of a force pump. The kegs were conveyed to the scene of the conflagration on the backs of horses and the water used along the back-fire line to dampen the leaves and other inflammable material and for putting out tires in old stumps and logs. It was expected that two kegs of water would protect nearly a mile of fire line.

1904   May 31   Joseph T. Rothrock resigned as Pennsylvania Commissioner of Forestry.

1904   June 1   Robert S. Conklin appointed Commissioner of Forestry

1904   August 24   The Fulton County News reported that the wireless telegraph system will be employed in government forests as a fire-alarm system.

1904   December 6    A drought caused Letort Run to go dry.

1904   December 10   Charles Heckman of Carlisle secured 600 yearling trout which he planned to stock in the Letort Spring.


1905   USDA Division of Forestry became Bureau of Forestry then USDA Forest Service

1905   The first forest fire tower was erected in Franklin County by the Department of Forestry.  It was a wooden structure on Pine Mountain to the south and east of Mont Alto

1905   White Pine Blister Rust was discovered near Philadelphia

1905   Luzerne County Brewing Company was formed in Wilkes-Barre. Four years later it became The Lion Brewery.

1905   The H.J. Heinz Co. was incorporated in Pittsburgh.

1905   The Fish Commission participated in the St. Louis World’s Fair of 1904, named “The Louisiana Purchase Exposition,” with live fish displays.

1905   Pennsylvania’s first “Clean Streams Law” to regulate discharge of sewage was established.

1905   The State Game Refuge Law enacted.  The first State Game Refuge established in Clinton County about 12 miles south of Renovo on Sproul State Forest.  It closed in 1946.

1905   It became unlawful to trespass on posted private property.

1905   The Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh Railroad ran a branch line from Punxsutawney to Indiana

1905   Pennsylvania became one of the first states to protect black bears.

1905   Buckshot was banned for deer hunting in Pennsylvania. It would be allowed in the southeastern counties of the state later in the century.

1905   February 16   The Letort was reported as frozen over from its source to its mouth.

1905   April 19   Constables were made fire wardens by an act approved March 31, 1905, and empowered to call out all their neighbors to fight forest fires. They were required to act under the law on pain of prosecution for failure, and entitled to be paid 15 cents an hour for this branch of their work.

1905   May 2   The Pennsylvania State Police force was created.

1905   September 21   A collision between a pay train and a combination passenger and milk train on the Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh branch of the Philadelphia & Reading railroad at Roush’s curve at Mount Holly Springs killed five men.

1905   November 18   Dr. W. Z. Bentz and S. M. Goodyear received from the United States Fish Hatchery in Wyesthsville, VA, 750 brook trout which were placed in Letort Spring Run.


1906   The first class of foresters graduated from the Mont Alto Forest Academy

1906   A Department of Forestry was established at Pennsylvania State College as a Technical School.

1906   In this year 14 game protectors were shot at — 7 were hit; 3 were killed; 3 seriously wounded; 1 slightly injured; 1 citizen killed while helping Game Commission.

1906   Deer were first stocked in Pennsylvania 50 from Michigan were stocked.

1906   August 15   Carlisle Policeman Smith and Garfield Pittinger caught a four foot water snake in the Letort

1906   August 28   The first municipal watershed on state forest land was established at Halls Run in the Hopkins Reserve for the Borough of South Renovo.

1906   November 27    The Citizens of Crawford County made a gift to the Fish Commission of the Crawford Hatchery, located about a mile from Conneaut Lake. When completed, it became known as the Union City Hatchery.


1907   State forestry employees made ex-officio fire wardens

1907   Mont Alto sanitarium transferred to Department of Health.  Forest Reservations opened to the public as “outing grounds.”

1907   The Armstrong Forest Company hired its first graduate forester

1907   The Spruce Creek Hatchery in Huntingdon County opened in June.

1907   Smelt hatched at Torresdale Hatchery were planted in Begelow Lake.

1907   The first Pennsylvania buck law was passed; under it does were given absolute protection.  This was the last year it was legal to shoot a buck or antlerless deer in deer season.  Also during this year the passage of the law prohibiting the use of automatic guns in hunting game took place. Pennsylvania was the first state to bar these guns for hunting

1907   It was reported that 23,857 coke ovens were operating in the Connellsville coke region.

1907   March   President T. Roosevelt created the “midnight reserves”

1907   March 11   Carlisle anglers received ten cans of small trout. Five were placed below Carlisle and the others were put in the stream near Bonny Brook

1907   March 21   Dr. H. B. Baeshore of the State Health Department and Health Officer Wollett of Carlisle were to conduct an inspection of Letort Spring to determine if sewage was flowing into it

1907   May 27   Rachel Carson was born in Springdale, Pa.

1907   June 25   T. Chalkley Hatton, civil engineer was hired by the Borough of Carlisle and began a preliminary survey along Letort Spring for the placement of sanitary sewers


1908   A Conference on Conservation of Natural Resources was held in Washington, D.C.

1908   The Chestnut Blight was first discovered in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

1908   January 29 Fish Warden Criswell of Harrisburg arrested Harry Keller of Carlisle for fishing with nets in the Letort Spring. Keller was fined $27.50

1908   A severe fire burned all the mountains from Cedar Run north to Ansonia and through the Asaph country and left only sand and rock.”

1908   April 16   The Shippensburg Chronicle noted that trout season had begun the day before and “the best streams here-abouts are Bonny Brook, Big Spring, Silver Spring, Trindle Spring and many other smaller streams.”

1908   April 21   The Pennsylvania Department of Fisheries launched the steam tug Commodore Perry on Lake Erie. The 71-foot long, 14-foot beamed boat cost $5,885.

1908   June 4   Trout were delivered to Carlisle from the U.S. Fish Commission. Dr. W.Z. Bentz received 1500, Dr. C.E. Wogan 1500 and Dr. H.M. Boyer 1000. The fish were placed in the Letort and Lines Run

1908   July 31   During the last week of trout season it was reported that many trout and other fish were caught from Bonny Brook and Letort Srping. Dr. William Shearer, 18 trout; Walter Line, 13; Harvey Davis, 18; John Dysert 2; Jacob Dittenhaufer, 2. Harry Fahnestock caught 2 bass and Harry Stinson caught 2 carp.

1908   September  9   Charles Kunkel Fox was born.


1909   A law was passed forbidding the emptying into any waters of the commonwealth any waste deleterious to fish.

1909   Approximately 80,000 coho salmon fingerlings were planted in the Lackawaxen and Equinunk. Two were taken by hook and line in the Lackawaxen in July.

1909   The Pennsylvania Fish Commission began work on the artificial propagation of freshwater pearl mussels.

1909   The Milton Hershey School was founded in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

1909   Passage of the law prohibiting aliens from owning guns in Pennsylvania. It was repealed 1967

1909  The Act of May 13, 1909 known as the Fire Warden Act, abolished the use of constables as fire wardens and in their place allowed for the development of crews of firefighters under the leadership of a person who was appointed as a fire warden because he wanted to do it.

1909   The Forbes State Forest began when 8,532 acres were purchased from the Byers and Allen Lumber Company.

1909   March 3   The stone arch bridge on East North Street in Carlisle, over the Letort was reported as being in a partial state of collapse and closed to traffic.


1910   The Holtwood Dam was completed on the Susquehanna River by Pennsylvania Water & Power Co., forming Lake Aldred.

1910   Renovo Hospital was erected. Today the site is occupied by a Dollar General store.

1910   The partners that created the town of Colver were John Heisley Weaver and B. Dawson Coleman. This partnership was formed to exploit the coal resources available in the Cambria and Indiana county areas of Pennsylvania. Weaver had sixty percent of the partnership and Coleman the remaining forty percent. This partnership lasted from then until February of 1922.

1910   The town of McIntyre came into existence, built by the Jefferson and Clearfield Coal and Iron Company, a subsidiary of the Rochester and Pittsburgh Coal and Iron Company.  The town was named for Hugh Barclay McIntire, a coal speculator from the nearby town of Jacksonville.

1910   Frank D. McBride founded American Solder and Flux, now Force Industries in Philadelphia.

1910   January 4   The Camp Necessity Club met at the home of J.S. Sible, 256 Herr St., Harrisburg, to establish a formal club.

1910   January 8   Gifford Pinchot was dismissed from US Forest Service by President Taft over Bollinger Affair dealing with coal leases in Alaska.

1910   April 15   The Letort drew crowds of anglers on the opening day of trout season

1910   May 10   The Whistle Pig Fishing Club came into official existence at a meeting of the Camp Necessity Club with L.S. Williams elected as president.

1910   May 16   George Wirt reassigned from Mont Alto to Harrisburg to act as state forest inspector to upgrade the forest management plans of the state forest.  When he left the academy forty-six of the state’s first fifty professional foresters in the Department of Forestry had graduated from Mont Alto

1910   June 17   The graveyard at North Pitt Street and the houses on East Street were threatened with flooding

1910   July 13   A contract was awarded by the Middlesex Township supervisors for a new bridge to span the Letort Spring. Ferro-Concrete won the bid at $1,692. The bridge was completed and opened on October 15, 1910.

1910   September 20   It was announced that a bond issue would be put before voters of Carlisle in February to fund $20,000 for a north side drainage system and $29,000 for south side drainage and dredging of the Letort and Mullygrub springs.


1911   The second State Forestry Reservation Tree Nursery was established at Clearfield.

1911   The magazine, In The Open, began publication in Pittsburgh.

1911   The use of steel traps in taking bears in Pennsylvania was prohibited.

1911   April 8   The State Department of Health inspected cesspools in Carlisle and found that the ones in the East End were found to be discharging to the Letort and not constructed in accordance with the laws.

1911   May 11   Congress passed the Weeks Act, Public Law 271, allowed the federal government to buy land in eastern states for the establishment of National Forests.

1911   Joseph Kowalonek started a small grocery store on the corner of Chestnut and Chester streets in Shenandoah that became Kowalonek’s Kielbassy  After at least one other move, the store moved to its current location on South Main Street in the mid 1980’s.

1911   August 13   Zachariah Walker was lynched in Coatsville.

1911   September   The Crawford Hatchery of the Pennsylvania Fish Commission was abandoned.

1911   September 30   The Bayless Pulp and Paper Company’s Austin Dam gave way in Potter County killing 80 people.

1911   December 2   Vince Marinaro was born in Reynoldsville, Pa.


1912   About 500,000 muskellunge eggs were hatched at Union City, the first to be planted in the waters of the state.

1912   The Chestnut Blight was discovered on State Forest Reservations

1912   The town of Palmerton, home of the largest zinc smelter in Pennsylvania was incorporated.

1912   The Philadelphia Orchestra was founded

1912   Duquesne Light became a subsidiary of the Philadelphia Company.

1912   Fire destroyed two bonded warehouses of the Schenley Distilling Company

1912   Vast areas of Clearfield and Centre county burned in forest fires that raced through the area.

1912   January 12   A gas explosion at the Harwick Coal and Coke Co., near Cheswick, killed 10 men and injured four others. Rescue workers found the bodies of the men who died in the caverns, which lie 3 miles from the base of the 260-foot shaft toward Rural Ridge

1912   May 11   Seven cans of trout were shipped to Carlisle from the U.S. Fish Hatchery at White Sulphur Springs, WV and placed in Letort Spring Run. Cans of sardines were also shipped to Carlisle where they were placed on grocery store shelves.

1912   September 13   Maurice Goddard was born in Lowell, Massachusetts to Norman O. and Susan Kimball Goddard.


1913   The average size of a forest fire in Pennsylvania was 412 acres

1913   Chicago entrepreneur and stockbroker Charles Pape brought together 19 small oil companies in Oil City, Pa., to create a new corporation, the Quaker State Oil Refining Corp.

1913   The first “drive in” gas station opened in Pittsburgh.

1913   The Lincoln Highway, known also as Route 30 in Pennsylvania was dedicated, connecting New York City and San Francisco.

1913   The first effort to control motorboating by law, Act 292, was signed by Gov. John K. Tenner. It required all motorboats (except steamboats) to have an efficient muffler.

1913   The Spruce Creek Hatchery was sold by the state.

1913   The Commodore Perry of the Pennsylvania Fish Commission was a valuable aid in raising Oliver Hazzard Perry’s flagship, The Niagara, from Misery Bay.

1913   Gideon Sundback invented the zipper and founded the Talon Company in Meadville.

1913   Savage Firearms rocked the shooting world with the introduction of the first commercial sporting cartridge to attain 3,000 fps. It was one of Charles Newton’s creations, the famous .250-3000. Inherently accurate, light of recoil, and perfectly matched to varmints and medium-sized game, the .250-3000 in the Model 99 sold like hot cakes. Pennsylvanians bought them for deer hunting as fast as they were made.

1913   Neuweiler Brewing opened in Allentown  The brewery operated on North Front Street until the late 1960’s.

1913   Elk were first purchased in 1913 for re-introduction into Pennsylvania.  There were 50 from Yellowstone National Park and 22 from private preserve in Pike County; in 1915, another 95 were purchased from Yellowstone; in 1918 or 1919, about a dozen elk were donated to the agency by an Altoona businessman; in 1924, another six were purchased from Wind Cave Game Preserve in South Dakota; and in 1926, another 4 were purchased from Wind Cave Game Preserve.

1913   John A. Ferguson became head of Penn State’s School of Forestry

1913   March 27   An act authorizing the Department of Forestry to lease small tracts of state forest land to citizens of Pennsylvania for campsites, was signed into law.  The first lease was issued along Pine Creek in Shippen Township, Tioga County

1913   An act authorized the Department of Forestry to designate District Foresters

1913   April 17   Resident hunter’s license law enacted.  Residents were required to buy a license and pay a fee $1.00.  Hunting licenses sold by county treasurers only.

1913   May 8   Wild turkey hunting was banned statewide for two years.

1913   October 3   Mira Lloyd Dock resigned from the State Forestry Reservation Commission after 12 years of service. Joseph T. Rothrock also resigns citing old age and poor health.


1914   The first steel forest fire observation tower was erected in Franklin County

1914   A new hatchery was erected by the Pennsylvania Fish Commission on Erie filter plant grounds. The anthracite coal industry employed 180,899 people and had 600 fatalities.

1914   Pittsburgh baker, Philip J. Baur and Boston egg salesman, Herbert T. Morris went into business in Philadelphia and formed the Tasty Baking Company. The feature product was the Tastykake.

1914   Pittsburgh installed its first electric traffic signals.

1914   The Smith-Lever Act, which established the nation’s Cooperative Extension system to ensure federal, state and county funding for county extension services became law

1914   August   Gifford Pinchot and Cornelia Bryce married

1914   Gifford Pinchot lost the race for U.S. Senate seat from Pennsylvania


1915   Marywood University was founded by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Scranton

1915   January   The American Neutrality League of Philadelphia, comprised mostly of German-Americans held a massive rally to keep America out of the war in Europe.

1915   March 29   It was planned to stock 15,000 seven-inch “breeding trout” in the Letort and other streams before opening day on April 15.

1915   April 21   Fish wardens and deputy fish wardens were given power to make arrests by an act this day.

1915   The entire Caledonia region was severely burned in the early part of the century. In 1915 the entire mountain range in the Pine Grove Furnace section burned from the Cumberland Valley to the upper end of the Buchanan Valley. A number of buildings at Laurel Lake were destroyed in that fire.

1915   June 3   Governor Martin Brumbaugh signed Act 353 (PL 797) known as the Pennsylvania Forest Protection Law which created a Bureau of Forest Protection and the position of Chief Forest Fire Warden. George Wirt was Chief.  The Bureau of Forest Protection became responsible for preventing, controlling and extinguishing fires on all forest land in the Commonwealth. The law became effective on July 3, 1915. George Wirt became the state’s first chief forest fire warden.

1915   August 5   Severe rains fell on Pennsylvania and in Erie a cloudburst and subsequent flooding caused the death of 27 persons.

1915   October 1   The Harcum Post Graduate School opened in Bryn Mawr.  It eventually became Harcum College.


1916   The Wellsboro Division of the Corning Glass Works was established.  The factory would go on to make incandescent light bulbs and radio and television tubes.

1916   The Gallitzin Forest District came into being as a Forest Fire Warden Headquarters as a result of the Forest Fire Protection Act of 1915

1916   February 12   The disaster which occurred in the Ernest mine No. 2 of the Jefferson & Clearfield Coal & Iron Co, last Friday afternoon, was the most horrible disaster of recent years in the bituminous coal district. Twenty-seven employees lost
their lives and five were injured.

The Jefferson and Clearfield Coal and Iron Company, with its allied interests, did not take out regular compensation, preferring to conduct an insurance system of its own. Attorney Henry I. Wilson, of Big Run, who has charge of the concern’s compensation
work, was in Indiana conferring with the officials in regard to adjusting the compensation.

The Jefferson & Clearfield Coal & Iron Co. in whose mine at Ernest the disastrous explosion occurred , was exonerated from all blame connected therewith by the coroner’s jury, which conducted the inquest Wednesday afternoon, with Coroner Dr. H. B. Buterbaugh presiding.

1916   February 19   The Right Rev. John W. Shanahan, Bishop of Harrisburg, since May 1,  1899 died at 2:50 o’clock in the  morning in St. Joseph s Hospital, Lancaster, following an operation. As the third Bishop of Harrisburg he was responsible for building St. Patrick Cathedral in Harrisburg, creating 20 new parishes and opening a home for orphans.

1916   May 15   The Harrisburg Telegraph reported that a fire in the Pocono Mountains had covered 50 square miles.

1916   December 29   It was reported that seventy cans of trout had been stocked in Yellow Breeches, Lines Run, Letort Spring Run, Mountain Creek, Tagg Run, Spruce Run, Whiskey Run, Bonny Brook, Boiling Springs, Big Spring, Trindle Spring and other streams.

Frank B. Sellers, of Carlisle, President of the Game and Fish Association of Cumberland County stated, “The majority of the fishermen here are against licenses for piscatorial purposes from the standpoint of sportsmanship, and feels the present laws are sufficient to protect the fish if they are enforced.”


1917   Anthracite coal production peaked at 100,445,299 tons.

1917   Electric lights were first installed at Fish Commission hatcheries.

1917   A new motor truck was purchased for the Erie Hatchery.

1917   Donald Slick of the Cambria Steel Company founded Slickville in Westmoreland County. His brother Tom would go on to racing and TV fame.

1917   Duquesne Light acquired Harwick Coal Company

1917   It became unlawful to shoot game of any kind from an automobile.

1917   The state purchased the first steel fire observation towers from the Aeromotor Company of Chicago.

1917   The Glatfelter Pulp Wood Company hired its first graduate forester.

1917   January 22- 25   The first Pennsylvania State Farm Show was held at Harrisburg

1917   April 6   America entered World War I.


1918   The average size of a forest fire in Pennsylvania was 140 acres.

1918   Bituminous coal production in Pennsylvania peaked at 177,217,294 tons.

1918   April 15   Weather was cold with snow and rain for the opening of trout season and it was noted that the War was having an effect on anglers not being able to buy rubber boots. Cumberland County was in one report called, “Trout County.”

1918   June – July   Race riots occurred in Philadelphia.  The cause of the riots was in part due to the large influx of blacks from the south to work in war related industries causing housing shortages and wage stagnation and decline

1918   October   The Great Flu Epidemic struck Pennsylvania


1919   The name of State Forest Reservations was changed to State Forests

1919   The Gray Chemical Company hired its first graduate forester

1919   The Legislature passed a law authorizing the Game Commission to purchase lands to be known as State Game Lands, and to be used for game refuges and public hunting grounds.

1919   July 8   The Act of July 8 required that nonresidents buy a $5 fishing license. Only 50 were sold that year.

1919   July 22   A cloudburst caused a half a million dollars in damages to Wellsboro.

1919   August 10   Dr. Joseph Kalbfus, executive secretary, and “Woody” Kelly, field superintendent of game refuges, were killed in an automobile accident at a railroad crossing in Warren County when their car was struck by a train.  Seth Gordon of Paxtang, succeeded Joseph Kalbfus as Executive Secretary.


1920   Robert S. Conklin was replaced by Gifford Pinchot who was appointed to Pennsylvania Forest Commission by Governor William Sproul

1920   The state was divided into 24 forest districts with a district forester in charge of each.

1920   The Gypsy Moth were first discovered in Pennsylvania near Loretto, Cambria County

1920   Savage Firearms brought out yet another radical chambering, the .300 Savage, which for the next 64 years turned out to be the bread-and-butter caliber for the Model 99. The .300 Savage was based on a shortened .30-06 case. Compact and efficient, it was an immediate hit with big game hunters, especially in Pennsylvania.

1920   Villa Maria College was founded making it the first Catholic College for women in the Philadelphia area. In 1929, the name was formally changed to Immaculata College to accommodate government regulations for the naming of the post office, Immaculata, PA

1920   September 1   The Kittanning Forest District was created. However the first acquisition of land had occurred in January 1919 when the Commonwealth purchased the 3,200 acre Frazier Tract for $6,880.

1920   November 2    KDKA in Pittsburgh began broadcasting as the world’s first commercial radio station.

1920   The first State Game Lands were  purchased. It was designated State Game Lands Number 25, containing 6,288 acres, in Elk County. It was purchased for $2.75 per acre.


1921   The legislature appropriated $1 Million for forest fire protection

1921   Rosemont College was founded by the Society of the Holy Child Jesus in Rosemont.

1921   Bucks were declared legal with antlers four inches above the top of the skull.

1921   March 25   Amos Johnson and Charles Holmes were fishing near the sewerage outlet into the Letort and were arrested by Traveling Warden (PFC) Baum and fined $12 for fishing out of season

1921   April 20   William H. Wareham caught seven 12 inch trout in the watercress pond at the head of Letort Spring Run. Wareham won the steel fishing rod given by Harry Donson, a sporting goods dealer in New Cumberland for catching the largest trout in the Cumberland Valley the previous season.

1921   April 21   The act of April 21, 1921, Public Law 258 amended the Act of May 11, 1911, Public Law 271 empowered the federal government to purchase land that became the Allegheny National Forest.

1921   May 5   A law authorizing the State Forest Commission to sell or exchange certain portions of state forests when such was advantageous to the state became law.

1921   May 16   The Act of May 16, 1921, P.L. 559, known as the “Resident Fish License Law,” was passed.

1921   May 17   Public Law 848 amended the Act of February 25, 1901, which reorganized the Department of Forestry

1921   May 19   William H. Wareham was arrested by Game Protector Warren W. Zell for using a landing net while fishing for trout in the Letort.

1921   June 4   Justice of the Peace Eckels found Wareham not guilty of landing legally caught fish with a net

1921   June 28   Carlisle officials allowed the continued use of “The Old Swimming Hole” in the Letort

1921   August 4   The discovery of “marl beds” of fine limestone on the farms of J. Harvey Line and George W. Rhoads near the headwaters of the Letort was announced. The limestone would be used for agriculture.

1921   August 25   Bradford County Fish Warden William E. Shoemaker was shot while apprehending two violators. Shoemaker died from the gunshot wound on Sept. 22, 1921.

1921   December 31   Boies Penrose died while serving in the U.S. Senate in Washington, D.C.


1922   The first resident fishing licenses were established. The cost was $1. For the first time the commission became self-supporting. A total of $207,425.53 was the first year’s income for licenses sold to all citizens over 21 years of age.

1922   January 24   A black strike-breaker replacement miner was killed during a miners strike and riot at the Foster Mines near Edri, Indiana County. Two Eastern European miners were arrested and later acquitted of murder charges.

1922   March 17   Thomas Adams, a city planner of London, England, recommended that the banks of Letort Spring be transformed into a public park

1922   April 14   Coal miners went on strike at Jerome in Somerset County.

1922   June 2   Dr. Joseph T. Rothrock died in West Chester

1922   June 8   The wooden bridge spanning the Kiskiminetas River at Saltsburg burned. This event led to the creation of the Saltsburg Volunteer Fire Department.

1922   July 20   At the request of mine owners, Governor Sproul sent 240 National Guard troops to Heilwood in Indiana County to prevent violence during the strike, or potential strike by coal miners.  On July 22, Indiana County Judge Langham issued a restraining order preventing the miners from striking.

1922   Gifford Pinchot was elected Governor of Pennsylvania


1923   The average forest fire in Pennsylvania burned 105 acres.

1923   January   Gifford Pinchot inaugurated Governor of Pennsylvania

1923    January 1   The Legislature reduced the fishing license age limit to 18. The first license button was issued.

1923   The bituminous coal industry in Pennsylvania employed 200,538 people and had 401 fatalities.

1923   The federal government made its first purchase of land in the region, some sixteen hundred acres, at the headwaters of Morrison Run in Warren County in early 1923. The cost was $2.50 an acre, but it did not include mineral rights. Nine months after that first land purchase, on September 24, 1923, President Calvin Coolidge signed a proclamation creating Allegheny National Forest. This new piece of public land was to cover approximately seven hundred forty thousand gross acres in Warren, McKean, Elk, and Forest counties. Inside this area-bounded on the west by the Allegheny River, the south by the Clarion River, the north by the New York state line, and the east by a line running south from near Bradford, past Kane to Ridgway-the federal government would consider purchasing whatever land was available. Within three years roughly two hundred forty-five thousand acres of brush land was added to the public domain, land that made ideal habitat for the whitetail. When coupled with the new game laws and stocking efforts of the Game Commission, it soon produced an explosion of deer. The Allegheny National Forest was established. The forest covers 512,998 acres (801.6 sq. mi. or  2,076.0 km2) of land.

1923   All Pennsylvania game laws were codified.

1923   The Game Commission was given authority to establish antlerless deer season.(First season — December 19-21 in Washington and Quincy townships, Franklin County; 100 licenses allotted at $5 each; 8 legal and 1 illegal deer taken.)

1923   The first open season on elk was held since their re-introduction to Pennsylvania.

1923   April 15   The Courier newspaper of Harrisburg interviewed an anonymous angler who stated, “Countless thousands of short trout are sacrificed in this state each season to unskilled or careless or brutal releasing methods. The selfish, swinish fellow who doesn’t care a hoot but lets the short ones go only because the law says he must, will continue to kill short ones by unhooking them and slapping them back on the water. But the fellow who has a spark of decency will give them every chance. And if he’s really interested he’ll either fish with barbless hooks, hooks that will let the little fellows release themselves by giving them slack line, or else he’ll angle with the larger size hooks only, hooks so big that the babies have small chance of hooking themselves when they strike, in waters where the big fish are and the little yaps are scarce….”

1923   April 16   Miss Rosalie Wade was noted as the only woman seen fishing and was a member of a party that reported catching 12 trout in Letort Spring Run.

1923   June   The Department of Forestry was reorganized and became the Pennsylvania Department of Forests and Waters. Robert Y. Stuart of South Middleton Township, Cumberland County became Commissioner of Forestry and the first Secretary of the Department of Forests and Waters.  Lewis E. Staley became the Deputy Secretary and State Forester.

1923   July 23   Carlisle Borough Council passed an ordinance ordering the cleaning of the Letort Spring under the Letort bridge.


1924   A statewide stream survey was started by the Pennsylvania Fish Commission to classify waters with regard to area, depth, fish species, aquatic life and general conditions.

1924   A cooperative forest tree seedling nursery was established at Torrance State Hospital in Westmoreland County by the Department of Forests and Waters

1924   Chestnut Hill College, founded by the Sisters of Saint Joseph in Philadelphia.

1924   As the result of an antitrust case that went to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad consolidated 13 railroads into the Reading Railroad.

1924   April 11   In observance of Arbor Day, Boy Scouts planted 200 trees along the banks of Letort Spring Run southeast of Carlisle

1924   April 15   The season began with high water and anglers were reminded that the limit of trout was 25

1924   May 29   A wooden bridge over the Letort at Kutz’s Church lane collapsed under the weight of a truck loaded with lumber.

1924   June 7   The Clark McNary Act passed, allowing the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to cooperate with each state in forest fire protection and extinguishment efforts.

1924   August 15   The Sisters of Mercy established Luzerne County’s first four-year institution of higher learning, College Misericordia in Dallas


1925   A site was purchased in Bedford County to be known as the Reynoldsdale Hatchery. The Pennsylvania Fish Commission set creel limits at: trout – 25; bass – 10; walleye – 10; pickerel – 15; and muskellunge – 3. During 1924-26, the fishing license age limit was reduced to 16 years of age.

1925   The Tammany Pea Shore Fishing Co. went defunct.

1925   W.W. Thompson published Historical Sketches of Potter County, Pennsylvania; Hunting and Fishing Stories, Legends.

1925   The Gannon College of Arts and Sciences was founded as Cathedral College under the charter of Villa Maria College in Erie.  Gannon College received its own charter as a four-year men’s college in 1964.

1925   Route 6 in Pennsylvania was incorporated into a highway system that would connect the United States from coast to coast. Named US Route 6, the road stretched from Cape Cod, Massachusetts to Long Beach, California. It became one of America’s first transcontinental highways. Today the road remains one of the longest highways in the nation

1925   What would become Eastern University and Palmer Theological Seminary began as Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary in St. Davids. The collegiate division began in 1932 and was chartered as a four-year college in 1952. It became Eastern College in 1972 and then Eastern University in 2001. The Seminary of the University was renamed Palmer Theological Seminary in 2005.

1925   The Hammermill Paper Company hired its first graduate forester

1925   January 14   It was reported that brook trout were stocked by the Pennsylvania Fish Commission in Cedar Run, Letort Creek, Limestone Spring in Mechanicsburg and Big Spring.


1926   Nonresident fishing license fees were made reciprocal, but in no instance less than $2.50.

1926   Gifford Pinchot lost the race for U.S. Senate seat from Pennsylvania

1926   What was to become Alvernia University was begun when the Bernardine Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis established a Teacher’s Seminarium for the education of the Sisters in Reading. In 1958, the institution was expanded into a four-year liberal arts college. Alvernia received its charter from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1960.

1926   Mercyhurst College was founded in Erie

1926   Construction of the University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning began. It took 11 years. It was aided by some 97,000 schoolchildren who donated dimes in return for certificates saying they helped build it.

1926   The Philadelphia Company was acquired by Standard Electric and Gas

1926   Lake Ontelaunee in Berks County was completed to upgrade the water supply of the City of Reading.

1926   May 16   A 6000 acre fire burned from Instanter to Straight Creek in Elk County

1926   May 17   The Owls Nest Fire broke out on the Central Pennsylvania Lumber Company land in Elk County. The fire eventually covered 23,000 acres. The fire was brought under control five days later and mop up and patrol continued for two weeks.  The fire began following an 7,000 acre fire in the Allegheny National Forest near Loleta.


1927   The Forest Academy Program at Mont Alto and the forestry school of the Pennsylvania State College (PSU) were merged

1927   Joseph S. Illick was named state forester

1927   A new fishing license button made with a device on the back for carrying the license, together with an approved pin was adopted by the Pennsylvania Fish Commission.

1927   May 20   The Pennsylvania Railroad applied to the Water and Power Resources Board to reconstruct the bridge on the Cumberland Valley Division over Letort Spring Run

1927   July 19   The Letort Springs Beautification Committee met to discuss plans to build playgrounds in the First Ward and Second Ward. The committee sought the cooperation of the borough and civic organizations.


1928   The average size of a forest fire in Pennsylvania was 45 acres

1928   August 1   Lake Wallenpaupack was opened to public fishing.

1928   The Pennsylvania Fish Commission, Bureau of Research was established. The commission stocked the lake created by the Conowingo Dam. The resident fishing license fee increased to $1.50.

1928   Valley Forge Military Academy was founded in Devon, Pennsylvania, several miles away from the campus’ current location. After a 1929 fire devastated the original single-building campus, the Academy was moved to its present site in Wayne, Pennsylvania

1928   January 23   The Carlisle Chamber of Commerce reported on a plan for the beautification of Letort Springs. The plan prepared by James McGonaghie proposed at 25 year plan

1928   September 14   The Borough of Carlisle decided to pay one fourth of the expenses for cleaning the Letort on the north side of town to relieve flood conditions on the southeastern part of the town during rainy weather


1929   Mont Alto Forest Academy became part of the Pennsylvania State College

1929   Governor John S. Fisher reorganized the Department of Forests and Waters and formed a Bureau of State Parks.

1929 Hunting licenses were sold by issuing agents as well as county treasurers.

1929   Fifteen acres were purchased from John N. Davis, which included the summit of Mount Davis, the highest point in Pennsylvania at 3,213 feet.

1929   Work is begun on the Farm Show Complex at Cameron and Maclay Streets in Harrisburg

1929   January 23   Myron Cope, Pittsburgh Steelers color commentator, TV sportscaster  and writer was born Myron Kopelman

1929   July   The first monthly Service Bulletin (forerunner of Pennsylvania Game News) of Game Commission published in mimeographed form.

1929   N.R. Buller published Creation of New Fishing Waters. The Tionesta Hatchery was completed. Congress passed the Migratory Bird Conservation Act, thus enabling the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to set seasons and bag limits on migratory birds.

1929   A tract of land covering 1,621 acres was purchased from Charles W. Sones. This land was the first purchase of what became the Wyoming State Forest.

1929   September 24   The Sisters of Mercy opened Mount Mercy College which later evolved into Carlow University in Pittsburgh.

1929   October 29   The U.S. stock market collapsed starting the Great Depression.


1930   Gifford Pinchot wrote the foreword to the book, Let’s Go Fishing. In addition as governor he shepherded through the passage of the Administrative Code of 1929, the most comprehensive reform of state government under the Governor’s jurisdiction to that time.

1930   The most severe drought ever experienced happened during the summer. Many tributary streams dried up entirely. Most of the Michaux State Forest burned over as well as large areas of Clearfieldand Centre counties.  The year would see the most wildfires in Pennsylvania as 6,790 fires burned 312,300 acres. It was the last year when more than 200,000 acres burned in Pennsylvania, and the last year (to date) where more than 5,000 fires were reported. It was also the most expensive year to that time, as $675,943 were spent on suppression activities. That amount would not be eclipsed until 1998.

1930   April   The first edition of Pennsylvania Game News was published in mimeographed form

1930   The James H. Reed power generating station on Brunot Island in Pittsburgh opened.

1930   September 30   The first natural gas well in Tioga County was completed on the Palmer Farm about five miles from the town of Tioga.  This began a “gas boom” in the area.  On February 17, 1931 the Meeker Well struck gas.  At the time it was the largest producing well east of the Mississippi River.  However by 1933 most of the wells were “played out” and the area became a storage field.

1930   Gifford Pinchot elected Governor of Pennsylvania for a second time


1931   January 21   Pinchot’s second term as governor began. Lewis E. Staley served as Secretary to PDF&W. John Keller was named state forester.

1931   Maurice K. Goddard graduated from Deering High School in Portland, Maine. That fall he entered the University of Maine at Orono to study forestry

1931   The Fish Commission stopped sending out fish on application. Afterwards, all fish were stocked by commission personnel.

1931   Elk were given protection in Pennsylvania and the last season was held until .

1931   Charles Lose published The Vanishing Trout: A Study of Trout and Trout Fishing in the Waters of Central Pennsylvania.

1931   June 23   The Eastern Hemlock was named the official state tree.

1931   July 1   The act of May 28 became effective. It required a license for motorboats operated on inland waters. The enforcement of the law was placed with the Fish Commission.

1931   August 28   The Carlisle plant of the Pennsylvania Power and Light Company announced that construction of a new condenser system through which tastes and odors in Letort Spring Run will be eliminated.

1931   October 1   The first issue of Pennsylvania Angler was published. The subscription price was 50 cents per year. George Neff was the editor. The “magazine” was mimeographed and was free for the asking.

1931   November 12   Fish Warden George James of Carlisle announced that forty cans of brook trout had been stocked in Letort Spring

1931   The first open season on both buck and doe deer, with only spike bucks protected was held.

1931   The Game Commission was empowered to sell gas, oil and mineral rights of game lands.


1932   The use of aircraft to assist in detecting wildfires began. Douglas Brown, a pilot who was a state forest fire warden, circled the Plumer Fire Tower between Clarion and Oil City pointing in the direction of some smoke until the tower man finally spotted it.  During the remainder of that year Brown spotted twenty more fires from his Taylor Cub. He eventually developed the technique of gliding by the tower, with his engine idling, then yelling out the location of the fire.  By the 1940s reconnaissance aircraft were regularly used in detection roles.

1932   Safe Harbor Water Power Corp. created Lake Clarke with the completion of the Safe Harbor Dam.

1932   For the first time, the Pennsylvania Fish Commission distributed more than one million legal sized trout.

1932   The first regulations for motorboat operation were published by the Board of Fish Commissioners.

1932   The National Football League franchises for the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Pirates were initiated. Pittsburgh’s franchise was later re-named the Steelers

1932   March 3   The Letort was listed among Cumberland County’s streams that received 24,480 brook trout. The trout were planted from its source to Carlisle.

1932   April   Pennsylvania Game News was first printed in magazine format.  It had a circulation 5,000

1932   September   Land was purchased in Cumberland County for the Huntsdale hatchery of the Pennsylvania Fish Commission.

1932   October 19   The Letort overflowed its banks following a heavy rainstorm

1932   October 25   The Carlisle Civic Club announced plans to beautify a 4 acre tract in the first ward as a community project and to help relieve unemployment. The park is located on East North Street east of the stream.


1933   The creel limit for trout was reduced to 20. Act 275 amended Act 21 to specify procedures and language for fishing license application, establishing outside issuing agents and special licenses for dealers.

1933   The Penn Fishing Tackle Manufacturing Co. was founded in Philadelphia. Its current address is 3028 W. Hunting Park Ave., Philadelphia, Pa.

1933   March 1   Willis Miller was arrested and committed to Cumberland County Prison on a charge of using dynamite to kill fish near Bonny Brook. William Glass was also implicated in the blast.

1933   March 7   29,270 trout were stocked in Cumberland County streams. Many of the trout were from the newly completed hatchery at Huntsdale

1933   March 31   The Emergency Conservation Work Act was signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. As a result, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) came into being.  Pennsylvania had the most camps behind California. At its peak there were 136 camps located throughout Pennsylvania.

1933   May 5   Mountain Laurel was adopted as the official state flower

1933   June 9   Clay Gibson of Carlisle caught a 19 inch brown trout in the Letort which contained 15 minnows from 2.5 to 4 inches long.

1933   July 8   Art Rooney purchased an NFL franchise, called the Pittsburgh Pirates, for $2,500 which became the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1941.

1933   September 15   Brown trout were stocked in the Letort. This was not the first stocking of brown trout in the water.

1933   October   The Pennsylvania Angler was printed for the first time in black and white. Alex P. Sweigart was the editor and he was considered to be the first editor of the magazine

1933   October 23   Robert Stuart died at his office in Washington. He had gone to D.C. after serving as Pinchot’s 1st Secretary of the Department of Forests and Waters. Afterwards he headed the U.S. Forest Service.


1934   The Pennsylvania State Planning Board was created by Governor Gifford Pinchot in July 1934 to study ways to help the commonwealth find employment for idle workers and lead it out of the depression. It was established in part as a response to President Roosevelt’s action the previous year in setting up a National Planning Board within the Public Works Administration.

1934   “Fisherman’s Paradise” was created on Spring Creek in Centre County. The number of visitors in the first year totaled 2,952. The Fish Commission regulation established the basic boating “100 foot rule.”

1934   John J. Kauffman founded the Reading Instrument Co. in Shillington, where he made cast iron sinker molds and brass eyelets.

1934   George Harvey began teaching fly-tying at Penn State University

1934   March   President Roosevelt signed the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, which provided that, “fish and wildlife conservation shall receive equal consideration and be coordinated with other features of water resource development programs.” The act was strengthened by amendments in 1946, 1958 and 1965.

1934   March 16  The U.S. Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act became law (commonly known as Duck Stamp law). The first stamp, featuring a pair of mallards, sold for $1; 635,001 were sold.

1934   March 20   Fifty cans of brown trout, each containing more than a dozen of legal size were stocked in the Letort

1934   April 17   John Lippert caught a 21 inch trout in the Letort that weighed 3.25 pounds

1934   October   Locks and Dam 2 on the Allegheny River, across from Sharpsburg, Aspinwall and Etna, opened for navigation

1934   May 11   John Metz, while fishing the Letort hooked himself in the cheek and required hospitalization.

1934   October 20   A pre-revolutionary home at Bonny Brook on the banks of the Letort, owned by John Hippehammer was destroyed by fire.


1935   The first use of two-way radios for fight forest fires was done in the Harrisburg district.

1935   Maurice K. Goddard graduated from the University of Maine with the highest distinction of academic honors.  Goddard became an instructor of “general forestry subjects” at Penn State assigned to Mont Alto.

1935   R. Lynn Emerick replaced John Keller as state forester

1935   The first tourist license (three days – fee $1.50) became available for nonresidents. The same bill also provided a 12 year age limit for nonresidents.

1935   The first migratory waterfowl refuge in state was established at the Pymatuning Dam

1935   With the passage of the Public Utility Holding Company Act Duquesne Light was required to separate from the Philadelphia Company.

1935   The Cornwall Tower Site was purchased creating the first of three tracts what would become the Valley Forge State Forest. This was the area in Lancaster County on which the Cornwall Fire Tower had been erected in 1923.

1935   February 20   The Carlisle Borough Council estimated costs at $350,000 for beautification of the Letort Spring and flood control.

1935   May 27   Fishermen of Cumberland County launched a movement to improve the fishing in county streams. A meeting was held in Shippensburg to discuss the possibility of obtaining funds to “clear and improve” the Letort, Yellow Breeches and Big Spring. Thirty were in attendance

1935   August 17   Plans were developed for a new bridge over the Letort on East High Street in Carlisle. The bridge was to be 80 feet wide.

1936   John L. Lewis founded the Congress of Industrial Organization (CIO) with the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) as the backbone of the organization.

1936   Gifford Pinchot published Just Fishing Talk.

1935   George Earle, III was inaugurated governor of Pennsylvania.  He was the first Democrat elected governor since Robert Emory Pattison in 1891.


1936   The sale of timber from State Game Lands was first authorized

1936   The “last” lumber raft down the Susquehanna River crashed at Muncy with a loss of life.

1936   March 2   Charles A. French was appointed by Gov. George Earle as commissioner of fisheries.

1936   March 17   The St. Patrick’s Day flood occurred throughout most of Pennsylvania. Millions of dollars of property damage occurred, and lives were lost.  Flood waters washed away a number of trout and destroyed many rearing pools.

1936   April 15   The Borough of Carlisle purchased six lots on East North Street to provide public access to the Mission Playground

1936   June 11   In one of the first mentions of a person fly fishing in the press it was reported that Don Martin of Fort Hunter took eight trout (4 brooks and 4 browns) on nymphs in the Letort.

1936   July 2   A permanent game protector training school was established at Brockway.  The first student class was enrolled at the Training School .  It was the first group of its kind in the world.  27 men graduated on February 28, 1937.

1936   September 1   Application was made to the Water and Power Resources Board to lay a 12 inch gas pipeline under Letort Spring Run at the east end of Liberty Avenue in Carlisle.

1936   September 24   Charles K. Fox in his “With Rod and Line” column in the Harrisburg Evening News, reported on the positive efforts being done to help the trout streams of Cumberland County and the threat posed to trout by herons and egrets.

1936   November 19   Work that had started the previous June on beautification of Letort Spring Run was nearing completion. Conducted under the auspices of the WPA stone walls were constructed in Carlisle along the banks of the stream. Mud and debris were also removed from the stream.


1937   House Bill No. 6 made Sunday fishing lawful.

1937   The Pennsylvania Game Law was recodified.

1937   The bridge that carries PA Route 970 over the West Branch of the Susquehanna River was completed.  It was built by Bethlehem Steel Company’s Pottstown Works.

1937   The Board of Game Commissioners was changed to the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

1937   January 29   Ducks Unlimited incorporated in the District of Columbia.

1937   April 20   James George, Cumberland County WCO noted there were still some very large trout in the Letort following the opening day.

1937   May 21   Governor George Earle signed Act 211 that created the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.

1937   June 4   2.33 inches of rain fell on Carlisle and Letort Spring Run overflowed flooding East Pomfert Street

1937   June 22   The Clean Streams Law and the Flood Control Acts were passed.

1937   July 22   The Bankhead–Jones Farm Tenant Act of 1937 (P.L. 75-210) authorized acquisition by the federal government of damaged lands to rehabilitate and use them for various purposes. Much of the land acquired in this manner in Pennsylvania became State Forest.

1937   September 2   The Pittman Robertson Act was passed by the U.S. Congress.

1937   November 10   The Pennsylvania Fish Commission announced it had planted “brook trout in Big Spring and rainbow trout in Letort Springs and Big Springs.”

1937   November 10   The Pennsylvania Fish Commission announced it had planted “brook trout in Big Spring and rainbow trout in Letort Springs and Big Springs.”


1938   The Fish Commission produced its own brown and rainbow trout eggs for the first time.

1938   The first statewide “antlerless only” deer season in Pennsylvania. This was the culmination of a campaign that started in the 1920’s when Game and Forest Managers realized that the deer herd was larger in many places than the land could support.

1938   January 14   The State Water and Resources Power Board approved the request of the Borough of Carlisle to relocate the channel of Letort Spring Creek for a distance of 650 feet downstream from the Reading Company’s bridge.

1938   April 15   The daily limit was reduced from 15 to 10 trout. William Swartz caught an 18.5 inch rainbow trout in the Letort with a metal ring attached. For catching the marked trout he received $5 in tackle from a Carlisle hardware store. The State Water Power and Resources Board approved a request by the United States Government, Carlisle Barracks, to construct walls along the Letort Spring Creek in North Middleton Township.

1938   May 27   Following a fire at the county home, the Cumberland County Commissioners authorized construction of a hard surfaced road through a field on county property to access the Letort for fire protection.

1938   March 9   It was noted that one of the favorite local places for sucker fishing in the spring was at the mouth of the Letort where it flows into Conodoguinet Creek

1938   October 19   The Pepper Hill fire in Cameron County happened.  Seven CCC boys and their supervisor were killed fighting the fire. Twenty more were injured.


1939   Maurice K. Goddard was appointed assistant professor at Penn State.

1939   Joseph Ibberson graduated from Mont Alto

1939   All American Aviation was licensed to carry mail to 54 communities in Pennsylvania and surrounding states. This company was the forerunner of Allegheny Airlines.

1939   Charles Eliot Goodspeed published Angling in America, Its Early History and Literature.

1939   Little League was begun in Williamsport.

1939   April 6   In a press release put out by the PFC it was noted that if one wanted to catch brown and rainbow trout the Letort was one of the places to go but it was not listed for brook trout.

1939   September 1   Senate Bill 160 permitted the purchase of land and waters by the Fish Commission.


1940   Maurice K. Goddard and a colleague, William H. Pfeiffer, met with representatives of the U.S. Forest Service and worked out the agreement that finally gave Penn State use of a camp in the Allegheny National Forest. Camp Blue Jay, as it was called, had been built in 1935 under the depression-era Federal Emergency Relief Program as a camp for out-of-work transients.

1940   The U.S. Fish Commission’s Bureau of Fisheries was joined by the Biological Survey of the Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was created. Joseph M. Critchfield of Confluence was first appointed to the Pennsylvania Fish Commission by Gov. Arthur H. James. Richard M. Williamson became editor of the Pennsylvania Angler.

1940   Yellow perch were raised to fingerling size for the first time by the Pennsylvania Fish Commission.

1940   A law prohibiting the sale of fish bait or bait fish taken from inland waters became effective in Pennsylvania.

1940   The Pennsylvania Turnpike opened.  The first section of turnpike to open was from Carlisle to Irwin and covered 160 miles.

1940   Crooked Creek Dam in Armstrong County was completed

1940   June 10   Hoyt Brubaker of Carlisle reported to the Carlisle Fish and Game Association that the willow sprouts planted along Letort Spring have taken root.

1940   September 7   Maurice K. Goddard married Ethel Mae Catchpole in New York City.


1941   Pennsylvania fishing regulations prohibited trolling from a motorboat.

1941   April 1   The Carlisle Fish and Game Association was proposing setting aside sections of the Letort and other nearby streams for use of children. Ras Clausen was in charge of the proposal. The section to be reserved for the exclusive use of children was from a wading pool near Ridge Street south to the Reading Company railroad tracks.

1941   April 15   5000 trout were stocked in the Letort from the borough line south to Bonny Brook

1941   April 25   Work was begun to widen the Carlisle – Harrisburg Pike (Route 11) including widening the bridge over the Letort.

1941   June 30   An explosion rocked the Kent No. 2 Mine in McIntyre, Young Township, Indiana County.  The explosion killed seven miners.  The mine was owned by the Rochester and Pittsburgh Coal Company

1941   Considerable acreage burned in Sproul State Forest

1941   December 7    Pearl Harbor was bombed prompting America’s entry into World War II.


1942   The blue pike catch in Lake Erie was up 400 percent over 1941. A regulation was enacted that prohibited the operation of a motorboat while intoxicated.

1942 Maurice Goddard called to active army duty.

1942   Because of a severe wildfire problem and the attitude of the local residents, a 20,000-acre area of western Monroe and eastern Carbon counties was declared a non-protection area.

1942   April 18   A story was circulating in Carlisle fishing circles of a large trout in the Letort known as Uncle Sam, or Dreadnaught, or Submarine of the Letort. No further information was found telling the fate of the large trout.

1942   June 30   The Civilian Conservation Corps was de-authorized and disbanded

1942   July 18   A cloudburst happened in McKean, Cameron, Potter and Clinton Counties that caused an estimated $2.5 Million in damages, took 16 lives and damaged or destroyed more than 300 houses.  It is estimated that over 8 inches of rain fell in less than 8 hours in Smethport.


1943   Act No. 145 provided free fishing licenses for servicemen.

1943   Charles Wetzel published Practical Fly Fishing, containing modern fly-fishing methods.

1943   The Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers merge for one season to the Phil-Pitt Steagles.  This was due to the war effort and lack of players caused by the war.

1943   The Youghiogheny Dam and reservoir in Fayette County was completed

1943   A 9,843 acre fire burned between Trout Run and Wolf Run

1943   April 15   It was reported that officers and enlisted men at the Carlisle Barracks preferred the Black Ant, the Black Gnat and Ginger Quills for fishing the Letort that ran through the post.

1943   May 7   Arthur Armstrong caught a 3.5 pound 23.5 inch rainbow trout in the Letort at Bonny Brook


1944   There were 1,723 fires in the forests of this Commonwealth. These fires burned  over 68,000 acres, averaging 39.4 acres per fire.

1944   The Fish Commission purchased Trexler Fish Hatchery in Allentown. Trolling regulations were amended to permit trolling from motorboats on all commonwealth rivers.

1944   August 1   The Philadelphia Transit strike began.


1945   Myra Lloyd Dock died.

1945   The legal size of muskellunge was increased from 22 to 24 inches.

1945   The first electronic computer, ENIAC, was built in Philadelphia.

1945   Hunters were required to tag big game before moving the carcass and report the harvest to the Game Commission on a harvest report card supplied with hunting licenses within five days of the close of the season.  Hunters were no longer required to submit to the Game Commission an annual report form provided with hunting licenses detailing all wild birds and animals they harvested over the course of the license year.

1945   May 31   The Pennsylvania Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act became law.

1945   June 3   Charles Fox, Vince Marinaro, Jim Kell and Mahlon Robb collected 250 green drake duns from Stone Creek in Huntingdon County in an attempt to transplant them into the Letort. This was their first effort to transplant the fly to Cumberland County. The effort continued through 1948.

1945   The Slinky made its debut during the Christmas season at the Gimbels Department Store in Philadelphia.  This led to the founding of the James Spring and Wire Company which later became James Industries that relocated to Holidaysburg.


1946   A project to create 7.5 minute topographic maps of Pennsylvania was begun

1946   Maurice K. Goddard assumed the position of Resident Director of Mont Alto.

1946   Construction was begun on the Conemaugh Dam

1946   H.J. “Jack” Heinz, II took the H.J. Heinz Company public

1946   Kings College in Wilkes-Barre was founded by the Congregation of Holy Cross from the University of Notre Dame,

1946   April 3   W.M. “Dick” Roberts of New Castle was appointed to the Pennsylvania Fish Commission by Gov. Edward Martin. He was appointed to fill the vacancy of Fred McKean.

1946   August 1   George Wirt retired from the PDF&W

1946   October, 4   Gifford Pinchot died


1947   The West Virginia Pulp and Paper Company began a land acquisition program in Pennsylvania

1947   December 15   O. Ben Gipple was promoted to State Forester

1947   The Harrisburg Fly Fishers met for the first time at the Harrisburger Hotel in Harrisburg. The inspiration for this organization came from Charlie Fox and Vince Marinaro. In addition to Fox and Marinaro, the other original members were Jim Kell, Roy Brunner, Joe Carricato, Gene Craighead, Mahlon Robb, Art Jerome, Doug O’Hanley, Lew Kunkle, Bruce Brubaker and Bill Bennett.

1947   Act 81 provided free fishing licenses for certain disabled veterans.

1947   The Fish Commission started a stream-management program. Pennsylvania boating regulations were rewritten to conform with the Federal Motorboat Act of 1940.

1947   The Tree Farm System was inaugurated to encourage better forestry practices on privately owned woodlands.


1948   The PDF&W completed installation of radio systems at all 150 fire towers and district offices. The program was begun in 1935.

1948   Joseph Ibberson completed Master of Forestry at Yale

1948   Anthracite surface mine production peaked at 13,485,837 tons.

1948   Governor James Duff designated Pennsylvania’s section of U.S. Route 6 as the Grand Army of the Republic Highway.

1948   Gwynedd-Mercy College was founded by the Sisters of Mercy in Gwynedd Valley.

1948   January   Fred Stone and J. Allen Barrett alternated as the editors of the Pennsylvania Angler.

1948   January 4   The Game Commission Training School at Brockway was renamed the Ross Leffler School of Conservation.

1948   February 16   The Harrisburg Fly Fishers held its first annual banquet. The guest speaker was Edward R. Hewitt.

1948   May 17   At the luncheon meeting of the Fly Fishers Club of Harrisburg, the first progeny of the green drakes planted by Charlie Fox, Vince Marinaro and Mahlon Robb was on display. Charlie had carried on his stocking program of insects’ eggs in 1945, 1946 and 1947

1948   October 30–31   The Donora Smog Disaster occurred which killed 19 people in a 24-hour period.


1949   Comprehensive forest management plans were begun for state forests

1949   The Hammermill Paper Company began an active land acquisition program in Pennsylvania. Purchasing 32,000 acres.

1949   The U.S. War Department deeded 14,000 acres of the former Tobyhanna Military Reservation, Monroe County, to the Pennsylvania Game Commission for wildlife management purposes.

1949   Forestry and State Park regions were established.

1949   May 2   A 1,175 acre tract of land was purchased from Geisen-Hall that was the foundation of the Cornplanter State Forest.

1949   Screpesi’s Sandwich Shop at 500 Lancaster Avenue in Reading opened for business.

1949   April 25   Gov. James Duff signed House Bill 982 which modified the scope and organization of the Pennsylvania Fish Commission. Charles A. French was named as the first executive director.

1949   August 5   The Mann Gulch fire near Helena, Montana killed twelve smokejumpers and a forest ranger. One of those killed was Leroy Piper from Blairsville.