Black Moshannon Summer Festival keeps logging spirit alive

There’s a historical marker just about dead center in the Black Moshannon State Park that marks the spot where a burgeoning lumber town once stood.

Today, it’s little more than a patch in the thick woods, but the town of Antes was believed to be the hub of commerce in the early 1800s, according to the historical marker placed there by Centre County commissioners and the Moshannon Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

It reads: “A ghost town at the Black Moshannon Crossing on the Philadelphia to Erie Turnpike. The turnpike opened to traffic in 1821. This area became one of the largest lumbering operations in Pennsylvania. It had a post office named Antes and a school enrollment of 65 scholars.”

The lumbering industry wasn’t merely confined to the little town of Antes; it was a regional economic powerhouse.

Today, local folks continue to keep the logging spirit alive at the Black Moshannon Summer Festival, where on Saturday and Sunday attendees can celebrate the area’s lumbering history with lumberjack and lumberjill contests.

The day begins Saturday with a sand castle contest at the beach, followed by the logging games. Those games include log birling — standing on a rolling log —cross-cut sawing, ax throwing, horseshoe tossing, nail pounding and even a pine cone toss.

There will also be craft demonstrations and vendors, with food vendors from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Music and clogging will be happening throughout the day, and after awards Saturday, the beach party begins at 8:30 p.m.

On Sunday, try fly-casting, bird-watching or go for a mountain bike ride.

Food vendors again will be open 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Smokey the Bear will make an appearance from 1 to 3 p.m.

Also in that time, folk music by Richard Sleigh will fill the air. If you’re itching to put your hands to work, you can build a boat from 1 to 3 p.m., and at 3 p.m., there’s a canoe race.

For additional information call the park office at 342-5960.