458 Meylert St Laporte PA 18626
TOURING SULLIVAN COUNTY’S MUSEUM
. . . while dusting
The museum holds much information on Celestia – the land given to God. But, as with a lot of things, artifacts and written material or further background continues to come in. Such was the case with the subject of this week’s article. A. C. Jenkins was affectionately referred to as Peter Armstrong’s “right hand man”. From Wayne Bender’s book “From Wilderness to Wilderness: Celestia” we quote the following: “Mr. Andrew Jenkins lived at Celestia while he continued to work in Eagles Mere. It was reported that when “Old Jenkins” died, over $3,000 was found in his home. [After the Celestia settlement dissolved] he stated prior to his death that the money was for the Lord’s personal use when he [He] returned to earth.” Mr. Jenkins originated from the Boston area and except for the last five years of his 81 year life resided at Celestia. He’d become ill and lived in Danville until his death, then was buried in Laporte. So it was a curiosity to receive the following letter in Mr. Jenkin’s handwriting:
“Celestia, PA, March 4th, 1914. Mrs. Frank Ingham, Dear Friend, I was very much unsatisfied with myself last night when I retired at one A.M. I felt that I was like a child, asking for a “sugar-plum” when I wish you to donate a something good for my “birthday”. Please forgive me, I done wrong. I felt ashamed of myself before God. He knows what is best for me, and he is very, very rich. In fact everything is his. Now the only way out of my blunder, that I know of, is to ask you to use the enclosed for the good of the V.I.S.* and if convenient leave a little package at John Smyth’s store. Now please do not be offended, but I must have clear sailing with the giver of every good gift, even if I displease some of my best friends. Mrs. Ingham, it is not pride that causes this action on my part, no, no. I do not despise the gifts of my fellow men, only I wish God to direct those matters in stead of Andrew Jenkins. P.S. Expect to shovel some snow this morning. Of course will get paid for it. Had a ride to Mr. Krouse’s, and it was needed, What a nice surprise it was.” *stands for Village Improvement Society – Laporte”
Did you get any of that? Talk about sincerity of repentance. But from reading the letter, we don’t know the transgression.
Then from a newspaper article: “Lost Way on Mountain During Severe Storm – Aged man nearly perished while going from Eagles Mere to Celestia. Andrew C. Jenkins, of Sullivan county, who will celebrate his seventy third birthday anniversary tomorrow [makes the date February 1914] sent in a letter to The Sun [Gazette, Williamsport] tells of an experience he had during the severe storm of last Sunday afternoon. He started to walk from Eagles Mere to Celestia, a distance of a few miles and was overtaken by the storm of wind and snow that swept over the mountains. He became so exhausted that he fell down several times. Once he got off the road and although he is familiar with every spot on the mountain it was some time before he could find his way back to Celestia at 7:15 Sunday evening, four and a half hours after he left Eagles Mere. Mr. Jenkins says he never before saw so much snow as now covers the ground in Sullivan county. In some places the drifts are ten feet deep.”
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