458 Meylert St Laporte PA 18626
TOURING SULLIVAN COUNTY’S MUSEUM
. . . while dusting
Early Fisherman in Sullivan County
With fishing season soon approaching, we thought perhaps anglers of now would appreciate the writings of those seasons and experiences gone by. While researching the Genesee Road in a Now & Then, Vol. V article of 1934-35 the following was taken from a description entailing the Lincoln Falls area:
“back a piece where there is a branch road to the right which crosses a bridge over Elk Creek, lives John Morgan [today the Morgan Century Farm] in a house built in the early days. It was in this house that Mr. Charles Heebner and Mr. Winterstein made their fishing headquarters for upward of forty years. They spent at least two weeks there each spring. Mr. Morgan’s [born 1/2/1912 - died 9/11/1987] home is the old Snell place and he has lived there since the death of Rachel Snell Little [born 12/11/1825 - died 4/26/1909. Note – Rachel was one of twelve children of John and Rachel Snell who married Ezra Little in 1868; John Morgan was the son of John and Edith Snell Morgan of Hillsgrove.] It has been the headquarters of many other prominent fishermen .
. . from Mr. Gernerd’s Now and Then, where Judge Charles D. Eldred describes his first visit to this famous trout hole. He writes in 1891 and his visit was made 65 years previous to that, which would make it in 1826. Mr. Morgan tells me this trout hole has not changed its location in all these years. However, it has moved from one side of the creek to the other several times, filling up with stones at one side and deepening at the other and vice versa. It is probably ten feet deep now. Trout still lie there in great numbers and display much the same characteristics as they did in 1826. Judge Eldred writes as follows: “The water was clear and deep, and as far as I could see in every direction it swarmed with trout of all sizes. I think it would be no exaggeration to say that, if they could be taken out, twenty barrels would not have contained them.” And this from an exceptionally restrained narrator. He was unprovided with hook and line on this visit.”
Further on is an except that describes the ebbs and flow along the Hoagland Branch and the numerous crossings of Elk Creek for the Genesee Road with yet another “fish story Judge Eldred used to tell of Thomas King and the falls of King’s Creek: . . . the fact is well authenticated, that many fine trout streams in Pennsylvania abounding in the species below steep and prominent cascades, had no fish of any kind above them until supplied by human hands. The east Branch of Elk Creek (King’s Creek), for instance above Lincoln Falls was in this condition, until the providence of one of the first settlers of Elkland Township, Thomas King, transplanted a colony above these falls, which soon possessed that fin stream by millions, to its utmost sources.”
If you’ve ever traveled up the dirt road that traverses Hoagland Branch, you can appreciate a fisherman’s view of nature or for that matter, just anyone valuing Mother Nature’s gift of creation. All the major and minor waterways of Sullivan County afford you the luxury of a visit for the sights, sounds and smells you will experience – be you fishermen or not.
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