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Ghost Town USA’s

Guide to the Ghost Towns of

PENNSYLVANIA

“The Keystone State”

 

 

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Western & Eastern Treasures

Ghost Town USA Column Index for Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania began over 300 years ago when William Penn established "Penn's Woods" as a refuge for the oppressed. It evolved as one of the original 13 Colonies, and was a key player in Colonial America. Pennsylvania has several nationally important historical sites such as Philadelphia where the Declaration of Independence was drafted and signed -- VALLEY FORGE, where General George Washington spent the brutal winter of 1777 recuperating and preparing for an attack on the British forces in New Jersey -- Gettysburg, where in 1863, the Battle of Gettysburg was a turning point in the Civil War, and the site where President Abraham Lincoln gave his now famous Gettysburg Address.

 

The state stretches from Lake Erie, to the Delaware River, which gives it access to the Atlantic Ocean. Coal mining was and is an active industry through the southern and eastern portions of the state and lumbering was a major statewide industry. Commercial oil drilling created scores of boomtowns. In fact the first commercial oil well was drilled near Titusville in 1859.

 

Well over 100 iron forges and furnaces once produced iron for use in the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and the Civil War. Some of these forges and furnaces have been restored or preserved as historic sites.  In addition, there are hundreds of military forts, private stockade forts and blockhouses that protected the newcomer "American" settlers from British, French, or Native Americans. Railroad Construction camps, and vanished spas and resorts round out the list of what gives the Keystone state well over 1000 locations for exploring.

 

HELP!  (NEW FEATURE) Please check here to find a list of ghost towns that various contacts are looking for.  IF you have any information on these places please e-mail me and I can respond back to those looking for info on these ghosts.

 

PLEASE NOTE: 

Where photos are indicated thusly (PHOTO!), please use your browser’s “BACK” button to return to this page.  More photos will be added over time.

 

THE GHOSTS

 

AZILUM

Bradford Co.

A Haitian/French town established in 1793 along the Susquehanna River, three miles east of SH 187 at a point ten miles east of Towanda.

BETULA

McKean Co.

A former lumbering center, just west of SH 46, about 12 miles south-southeast of Smethport.

BLACKLICK/WHEATFIELD FURNACE

Indiana or Cambria Co.

The water-powered Blacklick/Wheatfield Iron Furnace was built in 1846, and was located in the Blacklick Creek Valley. The iron was shipped by wagon to Ninevah and Johnstown on the Pennsylvania Canal. This is just one of the 100+ iron furnace and forge communities that dotted the southern half of the state from the 1700s-1800s.

CAMP GIVENS

Franklin Co.

A Civil War era training center located a ½-mile west of Chambersburg.

CENTRALIA

Columbia Co.

“Entire town and some neighboring towns fled after underground fire began to heat up town.  Highway has since been closed there due to huge craters emitting smoke. The fire has been burning (since 1962) and no one thinks it will go out anytime soon.  It's the coal vein beneath the town that has caught on fire, so throughout this ghost town smoke rises from through the ground giving it a foggy look.”

Contributed by Stacey Cornwell (12/10/2001)

For other recently departed ghost towns, visit our ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST page.

This is one of the towns featured in my newest book, GHOST TOWNS: Yesterday & TodayTM.

Civil War Era “Deserter Camps”

Pike and Monroe Co.

Along the west side of the Delaware River from Dingman's Ferry south to Stroudsburg several temporary settlements were established in the swampy backwoods by deserters, draft dodgers, and others trying to avoid fighting in the Civil War. They were deserted after the war ended.

DERRICK CITY

McKean Co.

Part of the Bradford area oil boom in the late 1800s. It is shown on the AAA map on SH 346, three miles east of Bradford.

ECKLEY

Luzern Co.

An 1850s era coal mining town located on SH 940, nine miles east-northeast of Hazelton. This site is currently a state historic site, and is located 32 miles northeast of Ashland.

Forts

multiple

There are several hundred old forts built in the 1700s to protect the incoming white settlers from the Native Americans, who didn't want them encroaching on their territory. Also a large number were built for protection against the British or the French. Local research in many larger towns will produce the locations of a nearby fort.

GARDEAU

McKean Co.

A former lumber town in the far southeastern tip of the county.

GINALSBURG

McKean Co.

This 1850s Palitinate German socialistic colony was near Clermont, which is on SH 146 south of Smethport.

HOPEWELL FURNACE

Berks Co.

This class C/F charcoal-powered cast iron furnace community that was in operation from 1771 to 1883. It is located 35 AIR miles northwest of Philadelphia, just off SH 345, 6.5 miles northeast of Elverson, five miles south of Birdsboro. Well worth a stop, as this National Historic Site has been restored to what it looked like during the 1820s-1840s.

See our HOPEWELL FURNACE page for additional details.

This is one of the towns featured in my newest book, GHOST TOWNS: Yesterday & TodayTM.

ISELIN

Indiana Co.

Two miles north of Clarksburg, which is on SR 286, about a dozen miles southwest of Indiana. This coal-mining town still has a number of buildings still remaining from its early days. The mines closed in 1934.

KEATING

Clinton Co.

This once-booming lumber center is located on the north bank of the Susquehanna River a couple miles south of SH 120, and twelve or so miles southwest of Renovo.

KELLY STATION

Armstrong Co.

Located in Bethel Township, Kelly Station was “…just down the river from Logansport, where my grandparents lived. (It) was primarily a coal mining operation…”

Contributed by Lonny Paul, 10/06/2007.

LOCK RIDGE IRON FURNACE

Lehigh Co.

A major coal-burning iron furnace built in 1868. The furnace has been restored and houses a county-operated museum. It is located on Franklin Street, south of Alburtis.

LOGANSPORT

Armstrong Co.

Another Bethel Township ghost towns was Logansport.  It “…was a town along the river where there was a Schenley Distillery, coal mines, coke ovens along the river and rail tracks.  (It) became only ‘RD3 Ford City’ long ago.  I grew up in Logansport in the 70s.”

Contributed by Lonny Paul, 10/06/2007.

 

RD3 stands for - Rural Delivery Route #3 – GBS

MASTEN

Lycoming Co.

From 1905-1930, this was a busy logging town and through the 1930s, a Civilian Conservation Corps camp. It is located on Pleasant Stream in the northeastern part of the county. It is on Pleasant Stream Road 9.3 miles up from SH 14 at Marsh Hill.

NEBRASKA

(AKA...Ford Mills)

Forest Co.

On Tionesta Creek in flood plain of Tionesta Dam. From modern town of Tionesta, go to south end, up hill to Kiser Corners. Make a right at the four-way intersection and follow the road to the creek and site. A former sawmilling center.

PETROLEUM CENTER

Venango Co.

A former oil-boom town in Oil Creek State Park, northeast of Oil City. Exact location not determined.

PITHOLE CITY

Venango Co.

Pennsylvania's most famous oil-boom town located on a small road 2.3 miles east of SH 227 at a point 1.5 miles north of Plummer.  It dates to 1865.

QUEEN’S RUN

Clinton Co.

An old lumbering center, on the north bank of the Susquehanna River, several miles northwest of Lock Haven.

STONEY CREEK ENCAMPMENT

Somerset Co.

In 1758 this fortified supply center was situated on the Forbes Road, near present Stoyestown.

TEUTONIA

McKean Co.

This was an 1850s Palitinate German colony near Clermont, which is on SH 146 south of Smethport. Actual location not determined.

VALLEY FORGE

Chester Co.

This class C/F FORMER iron forge community is now a National Historic Park and lies adjacent to the current small town with the same name west of Philadelphia.  It was here in the Winter of 1777-1778 that an exhausted Colonial Army under the leadership of general George Washington recuperated from battle and slowly gained strength to again take on the British. In this tiny iron forge town, American history changed during that cold, miserable winter.  

See our VALLEY FORGE page for additional details.

WESTLINE

McKean Co.

One time lumber center four miles west of Tally Ho, which is on US 219 eight miles northwest of Mt. Jewett.

 

MORE INFORMATION

 

 

Historians estimate that there may be as many as 50,000 ghost towns scattered across the United States of America.

 Gary B. Speck Publications is currently in process of publishing unique state, regional, and county guides called

The Ghost Town Guru's Guide to the Ghost Towns of ***

These original guides are designed for anybody interested in ghost towns. Whether you are a casual tourist looking for a new and different place to visit, or a hard-core ghost town researcher, these guides will be just right for you. With over 30 years of research behind them, they will be a welcome addition to any ghost towner's library.

 

Thank you, and we'll see you out on the Ghost Town Trail!

 

For more information on the ghost towns of PENNSYLVANIA, contact us at Ghost Town USA.

 

E-mailers, PLEASE NOTE:

Due to the tremendous amount of viruses, worms and “spam,” out there, I no longer open or respond to any e-mails with unsolicited attachments, OR messages on the subject lines with “Hey”, “Hi”, “Need help”, “Help Please”, “???”, or blank subject lines, etc.  If you do send E-mail asking for information, or sharing information, PLEASE indicate the appropriate location AND state name, or other topic on the “subject” line. 

THANK YOU!  :o)

IMPORTANT

 

These listings and historical vignettes of ghost towns, near-ghost towns and other historical sites in PENNSYLVANIA above are for informational purposes only, and should NOT be construed to grant permission to trespass, metal detect, relic or treasure hunt at any of the listed sites.

 

If the reader of this guide is a metal detector user and plans to use this guide to locate sites for metal detecting or relic hunting, it is the READER'S responsibility to obtain written permission from the legal property owners. Please be advised, that any state or nationally owned sites will probably be off-limits to metal detector use. Also be aware of any federal, state or local laws restricting the same.

When you are exploring the ghost towns of PENNSYLVANIA, please abide by the

Ghost Towner's Code of Ethics.

 

 

 

 

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FIRST POSTED: December 1998

LAST UPDATED: January 13, 2013

 

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