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 Co.to 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.