Today’s photo is from Bellefonte Mayor Tom Wilson. It features members of the Middle Branch hunting and recreational camp in 1934.
According to Wilson, 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the Middle Branch camp.
Middle Branch camp is located in Clinton County, adjacent to a former Civilian Conservation Corp site established during the Great Depression along the Middle Branch stream. The camp was built in 1917 on land leased from the state by the original members.
During the turn of the century, original members would travel all day by horse and wagon up the Orviston mountain, loaded with provisions to set up tents in order to hunt for extended periods of time. Hunters were permitted to hunt for deer, bear, turkey, coyote, etc., all at the same time.
Many of the original fixtures from the 1917 raising still remain. The camp is heated by a wood stove plus an old coal cook stove that was obtained from the Brockerhoff Hotel. The ceiling in the main room was constructed by using shutters that were part of the former Bellefonte High School. During the replacement of windows, some hunting licenses from 1929 were discovered in the walls. Up until the mid-1970s, the only lights in the camp were oil lanterns. Gas lines were installed and now the camp is illuminated by mantle-style gas lighting. Mountain pure water flows into the kitchen sink via gravity feed from the spring house.
A celebration to commemorate the camp’s 100th anniversary will be held at 1 p.m. Sept. 23. Former members, friends and families are invited to attend the covered-dish celebration.
ABOUT THIS SERIES
Each Monday, the Centre Daily Times will publish an installment in our “Share our Heritage” series, featuring photos from Centre County’s past. Readers are welcome to submit photos to the CDT by mail, in person or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.