Pine Creek History
Canoe and Kayak into the History of Pine Creek
Pine Creek begins on the Pennsylvania Triple Continental Divide
Pennsylvania features many amazing sites, but few are as geologically significant as the Triple Continental Divide inPotter County. Located near Gold, PA, north of Route 6 , this area is the start of three major waterways: the Allegheny River, the Genesee River, and Pine Creek. According to signage that appears near the divide, this is the only Triple Continental Divide in the country east of the Mississippi River.
Three Tiny Springs
Three tiny springs eventually become small brooks, then large streams, which become whole rivers that go to one of three seas, the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico and the North Atlantic Ocean.
One of the headwaters mountain springs forms the Allegheny River. The Allegheny passes through Coudersport, winding its way briefly through southern New York State then through the Kinzua Dam, through a portion of Pennsylvania Wilds Allegheny National Forest, then south to Pittsburgh before joining the Ohio River, where it joins the Mississippi River and ends up in the Gulf of Mexico.
Another spring on the mountain forms Pine Creek (formerly known as Tiadaghton) in the Pennsylvania Wilds Pine Creek Valley and PA Grand Canyon landscape, which goes to the West Branch of the Susquehanna , then to the Susquehanna River, and into Chesapeake Bay, before ending up in the Atlantic Ocean.
The third spring travels north and forms the Genesee River, which flows up through New York state to Lake Ontario then to the St. Lawrence Seaway before heading out into the North Atlantic Ocean. •
Pine Creek flowed North twenty two thousand years ago...
Twenty two thousand years ago Pine Creek had a northeasterly flow until the Laurentide Continental Glacier, which covered most of North America, dammed Pine Creek. This forced the river to start flowing in a southerly direction. Eventually the glacier started to melt and the massive amount of water enabled the river to sculpt what is known today as Pennsylvania's Grand Canyon.
For years there has been much discussion among writers regarding the aboriginal inhabitants of the Pine Creek valley. Several have contended that a superior race once dwelt here, and they have been called Andastes.
The Indians were commonly known among the white people by the names Iroquois, Mengwe, and Five Nations. At the period when the whites first became acquainted with this territory, the Iroquois proper extended through central New York from the Hudson river to the Genesee, and comprised five distinct nations confederated together, which, beginning on the east, were known as Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senecas.
The Pine Creek Valley has a rich cultural heritage. The Pine Creek Indian Path linked the Genesee Valley in New York State with a web of other trails through Pennsylvania ultimately connecting Canada and Florida. These ancient routes penetrated the Pennsylvania Wilds area and provided routes for hunting, gathering of wild plants, trading, and military activities. The use of these trails continued into the lumber era when the first loggers arrived in the Pine Creek Valley.
In the mid-1800s loggers in the region floated large white pine logs down Pine Creek to Williamsport for use as ship masts. In the
1880s, with the invention of the logging railroad, technology allowed woodhicks to reach farther into the “Black Forest” to harvest its rich resources.
Civilian Conservation Corps
By the 1920s most of this area had been cut over and the land sold at cut rate prices to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Heroic efforts were undertaken to stop the fires that raged over the tinderbox of slash and brush that covered the hillsides. In the 1930’s, the Civilian Conservation Corps assisted in this fire fighting effort and helped reclaim the land by planting millions of trees which stabilized soil erosion, and building many miles of roads and recreation areas. •