“The Inspiration for "The Raven"”
The 554-acre Trough [troff] Creek State Park is a scenic gorge formed as Great Trough Creek cuts through Terrace Mountain and empties into Raystown Lake. Rugged hiking trails lead to wonders like Balanced Rock and Rainbow Falls. Rothrock State Forest and Raystown Lake Recreation Area border the park, making a large, contiguous area of public land for recreation. The American Indians knew Great Trough Creek Gorge as a place to live and hunt, but were displaced by settlers who came to harness the natural power of the moving water. In 1780, the first settler, Nicholas Crum, built a wooden tub (turbine) gristmill. A bloomery followed in 1790 and made about 100 pounds of iron a day. In 1827, Rueben Trexler constructed Paradise Furnace, which produced 12 tons of cast iron a day. In 1832, Savage Forge was built to turn the cast iron into wrought iron. Changing economics caused the community to crumble in 1856. Paradise Furnace briefly reopened during the American Civil War. The area has attracted many famous visitors. It is reputed that Edgar Allen Poe visited and later wrote the poem “The Raven” after seeing the ravens that nested on the cliffs. In 1910, the partnership of Caprio and Grieco established a standard logging railroad from Marklesburg, Pa., to Paradise Furnace, a distance of eight miles. At Paradise Furnace, a sawmill produced mine props, timber, and railroad ties from the second-growth timber of the valley. In 1913, the railroad incorporated as the Juniata and Southern Railroad and extended the rail line seven miles to reach the Broad Top Coal and Mineral Company’s mine at Jacobs, Pa. In 1917, the mine closed and the timber was all harvested. The railroad was dismantled and scrapped. Due to the need for metal for World War I, the scrap sold for more than the original cost to build the railroad. Due to the loss of trees, the land was prone to floods and forest fires. In 1933, to relieve the rampant unemployment of the Great Depression, President Roosevelt created the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The young men in the CCC received food, clothes and a small paycheck in return for building roads, trails and recreational facilities, fighting forest fires, planting trees and doing many other conservation activities. In June of 1933, Company 1331 arrived and lived in tents while they built Camp S-57, named Camp Paradise Furnace. The young men planted trees, constructed roads and trails, and created Trough Creek State Park, which opened in 1936. World War II ended the CCC and Camp S-57 closed in 1941.
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Trough Creek State Park
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