Pete's September 1998 Article.


“Secret Places at Sinnemahoning” by Pete Bennett

As a child, I lived and roamed in the area and town known as Sinnemahoning. That’s no secret. It’s such great fun just thinking back and recalling it.  I’ve never told anyone, your the first to know! There were places that we went as children that most of us have never returned to since those days in the 1950’s. Places that lure and intrigue.  So memorable that they still call me today.

One place was know as “The Big Rocks”!  Now if you’ve ever been to Sinnemahoning, all you need to do is to look up.  Right there on the south side on the mountain overlooking the town are the majestic, Big Rocks.  It’s been passed down through history that the large set of two or three rocks was once an Indian Post Office.  How stupid right?  Well, maybe not!  If you have been there as I was, you would have seen, as I did, there in a crack  or fissure between the rocks there are holes about two to three inches in diameter. Maybe fifty of them. They were probably caused by erosion of water and the wind, but there they are.  Now it doesn’t take much imagination for a child to suppose that they looked just like the slots that we seen Mary Slocum, the postmaster, putting the envelopes into for distribution at the post office.  We imagined traveling Indian’s would stop there and leave messages for other traveling Indian’s.  Is it too hard for you to imagine that?  Maybe in the days after the famous Indian Massacre by Peter Grove, the Indians may have left word there for others to know what had happened there at the mouth of Grove Run.  This might have been in the days prior to smoke signals!  You never know.  Never saw any smoke come out of those holes though!  No air mail I guess.

Another place that mystified me was “Turtle Rock”.  Now you may think I have rocks somewhere up there, but there is a large rock that is located up in Grove Run that has a large turtle carved upon it. Now you’ll forget the rocks you think I have, when I tell you that the international sign for buried treasure is a turtle carved on a rock.  Every treasure hunter such as myself knows that!  It is said that the head of the turtle was supposed to point to the treasure.  Well, I’ll tell you one thing right now, it’s not pointing at the gold bars buried in Hicks Run!  Darn thing faces the wrong way!  Looks to me like it might be pointing at Kentucky. Fort Knox, KY maybe!

Sticking with the rocks, there is a place up in Ellicotts Run that’s known as “Visal’s Cave”. Ever heard of it?  Well, this one takes a lot of imagination too.  It’s said that back in the olden days there was a hermit, named Visal who, had a long beard and lived in the cave which was located between two large rocks up there. He only was seen occasionally, out gathering food and water.  Now!  Try your imagination out again and imagine why old Visal wasn’t seen too often was because he slept a lot.  I’m telling you, I’ve seen this cave!  I’ve been there.  It seemed we all started seeing him after we read that book, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”.  Now that I’ve said that your not going to believe there’s really a place called Visal’s Cave.  Right?  All I can say is to ask anyone who’s lived or lives there. Go ahead, ask me!

Another place near there, you won’t believe this one either, is a place called “Ring Rock”.  It is a large rock that all the kids and sometimes adults too, used to swim near.  It is located south of Sinnamahoning, across the stream from where Wykoff Run enters the Sinnamahoning Creek.  The rock has a large ring (maybe 4" to 8" in diameter) protruding from the highest point of the rock.  Everyone dove or jumped off the rock to swim in the large pool or water hole near it.  We used to tie a rope on the ring, using it to climb up onto the rock.  It is said the ring was put on the rock by Barclay Brothers Lumber Company to use as a boom anchor to hold back logs prior to there being released to be floated down the stream to Lock Haven in the spring of the year.  Boy, in the “dog days” of August and September that water hole was filled to capacity and everyone swarmed all over the Ring Rock.  If there ever was a place in Sinnamahoning that should be known as the old swimming hole, it has to be this place, the “Ring Rock".  I can’t forget it!  That name has a real ring to it! Don't you think?

There is just one more rock I can think of that is connected to Sinnamahoning and that is the “Rock of Ages”.  We sang that song quite often in the Sinnemahoning Methodist Church there as I was growing up.  Although I started out as being rather mischievous in Church, I did settled down and actually served as Superintendent of the Sunday School for a short period prior to leaving there in 1961.  So I guess I can claim the rocks that haunt me were well placed there from the foundation of that Church.  Amen!  See ya next time...

Click here to read Pete's 1st article about Sinnamahoning.


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