Old Mine Road

On That Road Again

By Bob Koppenhaver

In the 1600s Dutch miners discovered copper ore in a beautiful ravine located about seven miles north of the Delaware Water Gap. To access the ore and to transport it to Kingston, New York, they constructed a road, now known as the Old Mine Road. Primitive by present standards, it was a major undertaking in its day, and legends of the road and its Dutch miners have persisted for over two centuries.

Winter solstice: For a special treat, on the first day of winter, pull over into the grassy overflow parking area just across Dunnfield Creek. Look back, and, if you are here early enough, you will see the sun rise out of the middle of the Water Gap.

Old Mine Road runs about 40 miles through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (DWGNRA), along the northwestern edges of Warren and Sussex Counties on its way to Kingston. The Recreation Area was established after the abandonment of the proposed Tocks Island Dam project in the late 1960s. The entire district was condemned, and most of the structures razed, in preparation for a vast reservoir that was to cover the communities and farms that once stood along the old road. The dam was never constructed, and the pristine atmosphere that permeates the park today is ironic compensation for the havoc wreaked by the plan.

Flood damage sometimes obstructs part of the road that closely follows the river's contour. Yet again there are whispers about damming the Delaware. Still, the road's natural beauty and solitude make for a beautiful drive along its accessible portions. And knowing what was once along the route gives a better appreciation of the character of the old road and the people who have lived along its edges.

Interstate Route 80 west provides easy access to the southern portion of Old Mine Road and leads past some interesting sites on the way. After driving west past the Columbia exit (#4), the Interstate passes under a huge former railroad bridge that crosses the Delaware River. When it was built in the early 1900s, this viaduct was the world's longest poured concrete bridge. As you enter the Water Gap beyond the bridge, on the right are about a dozen old cellar holes, all that remains of the forgotten hamlet of Browning or Browntown. The folks residing here were associated with an old slate quarry farther back in the mountain, and one of the first volunteers for duty in the Civil War lived here.

The former site of Dunnfield, another hamlet consisting of a few houses, a post office, train station, and a thriving slate business, is now a parking area for the Dunnfield Creek Trail and others.

Past the parking areas you'll see the sign for "Last Exit in NJ ­ Flatbrookville." Turn right at the bottom of the ramp and proceed to the 3-minute traffic light that accommodates a one-way stretch ahead. On your left, the New York-Susquehanna & Western once ran along the river, carrying passengers, freight and milk from local farms. It passed through Dunnfield and crossed the river about a mile ahead. Today the old railbed is used as the Karamac hiking trail.

Past the light, the single-lane road seems to hang from the edge of the cliff, indicating how difficult travel once was around the mountain. The narrowest portion of the Water Gap has been known as "Indian Ladder" for centuries. Before blasting for the railroad and the highway that later followed cleared the way, travelers needed to use a notched log or rope to assist them up and over the projecting rocky outcropping that came straight down to the river.

Ground Hog Hollow rises into the mountain on your right. This area was once peppered with estates used as vacation getaways by prominent New Yorkers. Today only large cellar holes up on the mountain above the hollow remain to mark where these large homes were located. More recent tenants live in an active bear's den farther up the hollow and a fox den down toward the river.

About a mile beyond, Karamac Trail heads toward the river where it merges with the old railbed. The Farview Trail, an antique mountain road, heads up and over the mountain, passes by an old home site or two and eventually meets the Appalachian Trail. The trail names recall the former Camp Karamac, a large resort, popular in its day, and its predecessor, the Far View House. Karamac boasted a large lodge, tennis courts, archery range, waterfront swimming and boating areas, dances amd bands, and other activities befitting the agendas of young socialites. Wandering along these trails you can still find traces of the old camp, including the tennis courts.

Paint Spring deposits. Photo by Bob Koppenhaver

Another mile and the ruins of a very old dam can be seen in a small ravine in the mountainside on the right. Following the watercourse up the mountain for a quarter-mile or so will lead you to the Paint Springs. These two small pools are surrounded by rich rusty orange "mud" deposits, the pigments of which could be used to make paint­ or, mixed with bear grease, maybe even war paint!! The "Paint Spring Lot" was surveyed a couple of hundred years ago, indicating early interest in these pigments. Or perhaps the rusty deposits pointed to iron ore in the mountain.

A small riverside hamlet called Brotzmansville once sat below the old dam. Over the years the hamlet had a few mills, houses, a school, and a post office. Nearly all traces were washed away in 1955 when the Delaware River rose to a level eclipsing even the recent floods.

From the Interstate exit to here, the road has passed mostly through Worthington State Forest, named after C. C. Worthington, a wealthy late nineteenth century industrialist who once owned all 8,000 acres contained within the park, and hundreds more across the river. While developing resort property in Pennsylvania, Worthington maintained a relatively natural character in Buckwood Park, his domain that extended from the river to the top of the mountain, including Sunfish Pond. The road passes the State Forest headquarters on the left, located in a former farmhouse that was, during Worthington's tenure, called Buckwood Inn Farm, probably supplying fresh farm goods for the resort across the river. An old ferry ramp below the farmhouse predates the farm, providing interstate transport for early Americans. Long before that, this spot was a major crossing for Minnisink Indians fording the river.

Across the road from the headquarters, a beautiful waterfall cascades down the mountain. Farther up the steep mountainside an ancient stone bridge spans the watercourse above the waterfall. Near this old bridge are the remnants of a terracotta pipeline that once ran from Sunfish Pond at the top of the mountain to the ferry farm below. The pipeline used gravity to carry the cold fresh waters of Sunfish Pond down the mountain to serve Worthington's farm and guests. It has been suggested that the pipeline crossed under the Delaware River to bring the water to Worthington's guests at his PA mansion near Shawnee.

A mile up the road from the State Park headquarters is the parking lot for the Douglas Trail, a 2.5-mile long path that leads up to Sunfish Pond on the top of the mountain, named in honor of Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas for his part in helping to save the pond's natural character. Less than a mile beyond the Douglas Trail the road follows very closely to the river's edge. Along here is a tiny parking lot from which you can see Tocks Island upriver. Had the dam project been completed, there would now be an earthen barrier across the river rising 150 feet over the island. The New Jersey mountainside would have been deeply gouged out to provide fill for the dam and to make room for a large spillway.

Not far from this parking area, the Army Corps of Engineers cut a tunnel 600 feet into the mountain above the roadway. In order to test the stability of the strata surrounding the proposed dam, 1,200 rock-core borings were extracted to determine what rock layers lay beneath. The Rock Cores Trail zigzags up the mountainside, roughly covering the area where the borings were done. Some of the borings, as large as 2 or 3 feet in diameter, are still up there, awaiting your inspection. Upon first seeing them you will think you have discovered the pillars of an ancient temple.

Rock core samples left by the Army Corps of Engineers

Less than a mile upstream from Tocks, a few old overgrown lanes lead up from the bottomlands along the river, one of which once served a 1930s country resort called Harry's Farm, where the Rutgers College football team trained in the summer, and Jersey Joe Walcott prepared for battle with Joe Louis. Another of the lanes led down to the Coppermine Inn, frequented by tourists and locals for many years. In the 1700s one of the Shoemaker ferries was established here as a lodging for guests, including raftsmen guiding huge timber rafts to markets downstream. In the 1800s this inn was under the proprietorship of another Shoemaker, and was known as the Union Hotel.

Copper Mine Inn on Old Mine Road

Less than two miles beyond Tocks Island is the parking area for the Coppermines Trail, which passes near the mines for which Old Mine Road is named. Although many people refer to the portion of the road from the Gap to this point as Old Mine Road, it really begins here at the copper mines. Although there is no substantial proof, legend says the Dutch started these mines as early as the 1600s. Mining was attempted a few times from at least the 1700s until the early 1900s. After the last attempt to mine copper failed, the land was taken over by the Boy Scouts of America and converted into Camp Pahaquarra, a popular summer camp that incorporated some of the mining company's buildings for its own use.

A few small openings may be a result of early “pick & wedge” explorations by Dutch miners. Photo by Bob Koppenhaver

The copper mines and associated workings are across the road from the parking area. There are 18 mines or diggings existing today, mostly small in scope, remnants from the late 1800s and early 1900s. No one really knows what the earliest mines looked like or where they were. Legend states that the Dutch covered their mines or blew them shut to stop the English from taking them over in the late 1600s. Some still visible small openings may be a result of early "pick and wedge" explorations.

To see the lower mine, follow the trail a few hundred feet until the trail forks to the left along Mine Brook. Follow the brook and trail a few hundred yards until you suddenly come upon the mine adit. The mine is gated and locked, but just seeing this old mine in this beautiful ravine is worth the walk back there.

Moving on a short distance beyond Camp Pahaquarra, the Old Mine Road passes former Camp Cowaw, another BSA camp used until this area was taken over for the Tocks Island project. About a quarter-mile beyond former Camp Pahaquarra, the road passes the Poxono Island Boat launch, once Camp Cowaw waterfront.

A mile beyond the boat launch, the Calno School still sits along the road, a lonely reminder of a different time when families lived here. Behind the school is a large bottomland once known as Pahaquarry Flats. Nearly a mile long and half a mile wide, Native American villages of various time periods occupied this vicinity. A short distance beyond, the road passes a small cluster of houses and farm buildings once owned by VanCampens and Depues, both long-established family names throughout the valley. These structures are some of the few that survived the razing done in preparation for the never-to-be-built reservoir's rising waters. In the late 1800s, these and other homes located here were shown on maps as Calno Post Office.

About 250 years ago, during the era of the French & Indian War, as many as eight forts were built along the NJ portion of Old Mine Road. Some of these forts were fortified houses; others might have been more conventional stockaded forts. One of these forts, designated on old documents as "Van Camp's", was located somewhere here near the VanCampen and Depue homesteads.

Just beyond the buildings, a lane on the left crosses Van Campen's brook and once led into a farm or two. More recently the area along the river back there was used for the Depue Recreation Area. This area is now closed, again due to recent flood damage.

Continuing on, Old Mine Road parallels the beautiful Van Campen's Glen. The first trailhead is reached by turning right at the sign where a short dirt lane leads to a picnic area from which hikers can follow the naturally sculpted streambed of Van Campen's Brook into the Glen. Or continue to a small marked roadside parking area a little further up to hike down the glen. Either way will yield beautiful views along one of the nicest paths in New Jersey.

The Calno schoolhouse (above) is currently unoccupied. The Delaware View House (below) housed a small general store for years, but is now vacant.

Just before the hamlet of Millbrook lies the entrance to the Watergate area, acres of groomed grassy lawns on which to picnic, a pond or two, and public restrooms! Soon you'll come to Millbrook Village. Although it appears quite different from when it was a functioning, viable town a hundred or more years ago, this assemblage of structures is meant to resemble the old towns of the period. Millbrook is the site of a popular fall festival sponsored by the National Park Service in October.

Leaving Millbrook, Old Mine Road continues into Walpack Township in Sussex County. About a half mile from Millbrook is the northern trailhead for the Hamilton Ridge Trail, which leads to another trail steeply downhill toward the river, along the slides of Sambo Falls. Follow it until you finally reach another ancient path along the edge of the river. It has been claimed that this old trail is actually the original Old Mine Road.

About a mile beyond the trailhead, the Delaware View House is located on a T-intersection of Old Mine Road and the former Flatbrookville-Stillwater Road, which heads up the hill to the right (a fascinating trip in itself.) The original Greek Revival farmhouse­two rooms up, two rooms down­was built in 1837. In 1892 a multi-storey addition was built around the house to become a lodge called the Flatbrook Hotel. Sometime in the early 1900s it became known as the Delaware View House until 1926, when the building became known as Salamovka, a resort for Russian émigrés. Today the building serves as a general store for park visitors, part of the Historic Leasing Program invented in the 1980s to attract private investors to occupy and rehabilitate historic structures. Stop in for a hot dog, a chat with proprietor George Kately, and a beautiful view over the river valley from the front porch.

From the Delaware View House, the Old Mine Road descends for about a half-mile before crossing the Flatbrook and reaching a stop sign at a T-intersection. Turn left to stay on Old Mine Road through the former town of Flatbrookville. Years ago you would now be passing the Flatbrookville School, Flatbrookville church, various dwellings, even a post office. Today only a few buildings remain.

Here the road twists through the Walpack Bend, so named for the large S-curve in the Delaware. Walpack, the historical name for this general area and for the surrounding township, is the corrupted form of a more complex Indian term meaning "whirlpool". Sources from long ago referred to a circular eddy in the Delaware at the mouth of the Flatbrook. It is said that this circular current becomes pronounced during times of high water, so strong that it can suck down large trees.

About 3/4-mile from the stop sign by the Flatbrook and along the last curve of the "S", you will see a lane coming up from the left to meet Old Mine Road. This was the way down to old Decker's Ferry, one of the oldest ferries on the Delaware, dating from the 1770s. Due to the large S-curve in the river, this was the only place on the river where you could cross into PA by heading east! Also near this lane is a marker commemorating Old Mine Road, one of only two that still exist.

Fort Walpack, another French & Indian War bastion that may have been located in this area, is depicted on a couple of mid-1700s maps and described in a 1758 letter as a "wooden church, a small blockhouse, palisaded", an interesting combination of structures for a fort. Just beyond the Old Mine Road marker and just before reaching the Rosenkrans Ferry lane, there once stood the Lower Dutch Walpack church, built in 1747. Traces of this ancient church are difficult to locate, if they exist at all.

The private lane leading to the former Rosenkrans Ferry is on the left about a quarter-mile from Decker's Ferry lane. Like most ferries of the era, it was little more than a large flat-bottomed boat capable of carrying one car, or a horse and wagon, guided across the river by an overhead cable. To get the ferryman's attention from the Pennsylvania shore, customers rang a bell.

Just beyond the Rosenkrans Ferry lane, along the sharp drop-off on the left, is the site of a little known local legend called Ruthern Jump. The legend says that a man named Ruthern jumped down this steep incline for a quart of rum and broke his neck. No one knows whether he survived long enough to take a sip.

For a mile and a half beyond the Rosenkrans ferry lane, Old Mine Road passes a few houses and another lane known as Smith's Ferry. There are many more interesting sites of interest along Old Mine Road before it exits New Jersey at Port Jervis, New York.

Further on up the road...

Nearby accommodations and attractions

  • Brook Hollow Farm
  • PYO apples, several varieties including semi-dwarf trees (great for kids). Peaches from our orchards, pumpkins, farm market. Wagon rides on fall weekends. Near the beautiful Delaware Water Gap, Rt 80 ex 4 to Rt 94 N, 3 1/2 mi to Frog Pond Rd. You?ll be glad you found us!

    Frog Pond Rd., Columbia 07832, 908/496-4577

  • Big Skylands Country
  • Warren County's Montana Mountain, Merrill Creek Reservoir, and the Pohatcong Valley is equally rewarding for students of history and devotees of the outdoors.

    , ,

  • The Farm In Harmony
  • 7-acre military themed Corn Maze, with mini maze for little ones, open Wed.-Sun. through November 10.Fresh produceat farmstand or schedule pick-on-demand. Homemade soaps available online.Always a discount for Veterans with proper ID.

    231 Brainards Road, Harmony 08865, 908/283-0721

  • Rutherfurd Hall
  • Consider Rutherfurd Hall as refuge and sanctuary in similar ways now, as it served a distinguished family a hundred years ago.

    1686 Route 517, Allamuchy 07820, 908/852-1894

  • The Loft at Jack's Barn
  • At once simply elegant and elegantly simple, this rare venue incorporates an exceptional event space with old world charm, making your event unforgettable!. Whether large, small, or somewhere in between, we guarantee your experience with us will be remarkable! Personal tours by convenience of appointment only.

    1487 Route 31, Oxford 07863, 908/857-2054


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04 Feb 2017, 09:30
This was a great write up about the area and brings up many fond memories for me as I stayed there at the Old Copper Mine Inn Campgrounds and remember well the Inn itself. Hiking up to the copper mines was always fun and of the 18 mentioned we only ever found and explored three of them. It is most unfortunate that the lower mine has had it's gate closed and locked as stated in the story. Of the three we found two were horizontal and one was a vertical drop with short horizontal shafts half way down and at the bottom. The lower mine also had a beautiful vain of quartz to the left about 20-30 feet inside the entrance. It is sad that the state has locked up all of the beauty this mine holds within. I would so love to go back and visit the mine once again.
17 Aug 2015, 12:35
Hi, I'm sorry if this is not the place to do it and I know this is a long shot but am really looking for people who know the walpack/millbrook/ flatbrookville area and hoping by word of mouth we can get some helpful information :). I am in search of a piece of property to lease for about 8 campers with water access, hoping for Delaware River but we are not too picky. We are a very responsible and self sufficient group and have been camping at the same camp ground for 20+ years but now are looking for another spot. We are mostly all family with a few close family friends and are just looking for a place to go with our kids and family to go fishing/ swimming and spend time together we are not a young roudy bunch. We have generators and do not need anything but land. We are looking in the Columbia/ flatbrookville area but would love to hear of anything somewhat close.
Rod Barker
05 Apr 2015, 05:37
I am looking for any photos/ information regarding the Decker Ferry, particularly where it was anchored on the NJ side. When we moved to the area in 1950 we lived in the VanCampen house near Jean Zipser. We went to school with the Rue's & Mr.Pace. Spent almost every week-end at the Copper Mine Inn with Doc & Millie swimming, water skiing, etc. Many fond memories of the valley & we still live in Layton.
Henry Green
19 Oct 2014, 09:55
I spent three summers at the Boy scout camp Pahaquarra beginning in 1946. My troop was #50 from Princeton. Like every one else, we hiked and camped on the AT, participated in Order of the Arrow, and all the wonderful things boys did at that time. It still is a wonderful place to hike, though my knees are starting to object.

I have a copy of "The Mystery of Pahaquarry Copper" by C.H.Vivian reprinted from Compressed Air Magazine, March 1951, reprinted by courtsey Ingersol-Rand, Phillipsburg, NJ. Happy to share if unavailable from other sources.
Eagle's Nest Camp Foundation
05 Aug 2014, 21:08
Elaine, we have a ton of material for you on Holiday House and have just sent you and email about it, check your inbox!
05 Aug 2014, 13:29
Does anybody know of a gun club called. Need a buck gun club. In that area. My dad took us up there when we were little. I'm. Older now. What town was it?
Elaine Robbins Burger
25 Jul 2014, 22:14
I have written 13 chapters so far of my life (2 weeks! )at Holiday House the summer of 1946. I was only 8. The only ages permitted for the 'Girl's only Camp' were between 12-18. My Sister was 12, and had been given a 2 week stay at Holiday House by our Church. She suffered severe Asthma attacks, so if our Mother would agree to work in the Kitchen and Laundry, she could bring me at no cost. I was assigned one Cot on the second floor Sleeping Porch, the only one in residence on the 32 cot porch. I can DRAW every aspect of that beautiful House...however I can find no pictures of the camp anywhere. In case I publish this book, I'd love to have photo's to include. Can anyone help me?
Alan Hoffman
10 Feb 2014, 15:13
My grandparents, Eric and Edith Johnson, owned a house and 20 acres on the Old Mine Road from 1955 to 1973. I spent most of my summers there as a boy (I'm 56). We were on the inside of the "S-bend" in the river, so that from our beach we were looking southeast at Pennsylvania. Next door to the southeast was a summer home owned by Jacob Potofsky, a labor leader and at that time president of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers' Union. Next door to the northwest was the summer home of Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Quinn, I believe he was a funeral director in Jersey City. This house was known locally as the Daniel Decker Ferry house. Next house beyond Quinn's was the home of Mrs. Agnes Rosenkrans. Her son Benjamin operated a garage and "Flying A" gas station in the village of Flatbrookville. There was once a Flatbrookville Post Office, basically it operated out of the home of the postmistress, Mrs. Abraham Saulter. This was discontinued in the early 60's, and our mailing address thereafter was Walpack Center. Our mail carrier for most of these years was Mrs. Sarah (Sadie) Van Kampen, and when she retired her son Walter took over the rural route. My grandfather was bitter for years about what he thought was a government land grab for no particular good purpose. To the end of his life in 1995, he spoke caustically of the "Corpse of Engineers". Now that most of this area is federal land, I hope that efforts will be made to develop it for public enjoyment. I have wonderful memories of summers in Flatbrookville, I'm very thankful for the years my family was able to be in that special place.
Greg Thomas
19 Dec 2013, 06:56
Not long after the two posts below, I had a dream about being at ENF, and Ramsey Davis and Dave Holey were in it. I found it rather odd that I would recall them more easily when asleep than when awake, as they were as much a part of my personal little ENF-world as the others. I imagine Ramsey as having gone on to become a golf pro. Good-looking, athletic, energetic, fun-loving, and outgoing. Not just because of the name, I'd imagine Dave as a priest. He was on the small side, quiet and reserved but insightful, a bit more of a thoughts amd emotions kind of guy than many at ENF, and a great guy to hike alongside. When you arrived at camp each year, you never knew which kids from years gone by would be returning with you. I was always glad to see that Dave and Ramsey were back on the scene again. They were each part of what made it all fun. \r\n\r\nSo happy holidays to all. 2013 was the 50th anniversary of my final summer at ENF, so now all of that will be at least half a century in the past. That's just bizarre. It's sometimes just weird to get old. \r\n\r\nA-wooney kooney-cha, a-wooney\r\nA-wooney kooney-cha, a-wooney\r\nAye-aye-aye icki-aye kie-yainu\r\nAye-aye-aye icki-aye kie-yainu\r\nA-woo...a-woo...a-wooney kee-chee.\r\n\r\nOf course, there are Macarena-like hand movements that go along with that one, at least if sung while sitting at a table in the Mess Hall waiting for lunch. And KP's, remember that you must walk clockwise around the Staff Table to go get seconds for your shack. Amazing.
Greg Thomas
06 Nov 2013, 04:11
Wow, I forgot to mention John Glowdow and Vic Aimone. I don't know how, but I did. Must be the old age thing. The two were a bit of a tag-team. Vic was a bright, affable, amiable sort and always good to have around, while John was probably the funniest kid I ever met at ENF. A keen eye for the world and its shortcomings. He made otherwise long and boring things fun. That's big. So anyway, here's to John and Vic, and...\r\n\r\nSlap, bang! Here we are again \r\nHere we are again, here we are again\r\nSlap, bang! Here we are again \r\nJolly junior campers.\r\nWe laugh, we sing.\r\nWe laugh, ha-ha, we sing, tra-la.\r\nWe laugh, we sing\r\nWe're jolly junior campers\r\nTra-la-la, tra-la-la, tra-la-la, tra-la-la\r\nTra-la-la, Tra-la-la\r\nTra-la-la-la-la-la-la-la\r\n(Back to the top)\r\n\r\nYes, we actually used to sing that. Even when we became senior cmapers. There's no sense in trying to do a cover-up.
Greg Thomas
04 Nov 2013, 20:09
Did two summers at Holiday House (I was an Ojibway -- but that "SEE-ment pond" of a pool with the chute coming down was s-o-o-o cold). Then there were three years as a junior camper and four as a senior camper. This was in the 50's and 60's. Did all five weeks in main camp, except for the last year which was only three. Pretty sure I still remember something from every one of those summers, including going up to Holiday House and watching the covered bridge slam into the railroad bridge during the hurricane floods. And always the one time after taps when we snuck out and hopped the fence to Gray's Esso station and got a coke. That seemed so cool at the time. I also liked not getting any ribboms at chapel in the morning. Late, noisy and messy. That was us. That was good! Our dog, Nef (from the purple and white camp button -- I still have one of those), was one of Cookie's puppies, born under the Mess Hall in the summer of 1957. He was a wonderful mutt/dog, and ENF really was a whole lot of fun. I still have great admiration for Canon Leslie. He was a kind and sincere man. Not so much for Bob Wagner, but that may have been just me. Alan Dierksen and Pete McConnell were probably my two favorite counselors. Never had Bob Ehrler, but he was a fun guy too. Still remember Ronnie Shneider, Jay Finley, Marc Sauer, Monroe Moseley, Chris Reed, Billy Cosford, and many others, including Bertram Bland Jr., whom I think about often, hoping that the best somehow found him. Also Bobbi and Edna, the camp nurses, who twice took really good care of me when I landed in the infirmary. Still scared of the snapping turtle in the little pen outside the Nature Lodge though, so it wasn't all fun and games. Hikes past the tumbling down Albertson house and it's wonderful little spring (so cold and so good) up to the lean-to for a few nights. Carrying those bloody rubber packs along the AT past the fire tower for overnighters on the PA side. Then about straight down (thankfully includng wooden stairs at some points) in the morning to get back to a road and pickup by the camp truck. Riding in the back of that was a violation of every safety rule in the book, but most of them hadn't been written yet, so nodody cared, and it was fun to ride in. Hikes up along the creek on the Jersey side toward the "Indian Chief" profile in the rock and eventually camping out at Sunfish Pond. That was wonderful. Jay Finley (I'm pretty sure it was) stepped on a piece of glass while swimming in the pond one year, and the counselors had to create a makeshift litter and drag/carry him back down to Route 46. They probably unwisely left me in charge, but I got everybody back down the mountain in one piece and at the appointed hour. Good work by me! Hikes across the railroad bridge? When a train came? Yikes! And remember that the town of Delaware was really Sleepy Hollow, so you had to be very quiet while walking through to go climb up Blair's Nob, otherwise you would wake the people up! Oh no's! Archery. First Aid. Crafts. I still have a lanyard and a little round box with my initials woodburned into the top. Cool. Softball against those wussies from Camp Mohican (what kind of camp has electricity like that). Games of capture-the-flag, campfires, initiation (Owa-Tana-Siam -- except it was Tagu in junior camp). Boating and canoeing. Just the walk down to the river -- through the gate and down the hill, then sharp to the right and over the first of the two wooden bridges (all built by Lem -- what a feat!) Took me a few years to make it all the way to "Swimmer" so I could climb on the raft, but I finally did it. Quite a proud moment. KP, bug juice, prune juice, the camp store, the water fountain. Rest hour? Oh dear...there goes another blue ribbon. The deer at Hunter's Lodge. Yeah, it was a wonderful place to spend some time and learn about other people and another world. I'm really glad for the time I spent there, the lessons I learned, and the memories I have. Wouldn't trade it for much these fifty-plus years later. \r\n\r\nKai-yi kaiyikus, \r\nNobody like us\r\nWe are the boys of \r\nEagle's Nest Farm.\r\nAlways a-winning, \r\nAlways a-grinning,\r\nAlways a-feeling fine.\r\nKai-yi-yi (back to the top)\r\n\r\n\r\n
jim ''RUNT'' miller
29 Aug 2013, 13:09
my wife and I will be celebrating our 20th anniversary this year. we were the last couple to be married by Donald Von Hagen, the last couple to be married in Pahaquary, NJ [now Columbia], and the last couple to be married in Calno School. \r\n\r\nmy grandfather Lou Miller and my father James Miller, hunted there and camped at Dons place from the 50's to 1983.I started in 1976 and still go to this day. there are a bunch of us COPPER MINE KIDS that still get together every deer season.\r\n\r\nJim miller [that's me], chip fuller, Ron Taminsky [he use to stay at Blazes]and more, I think were on our 5th generation now with the grandkids. \r\n\r\nI sure do miss it, the Old Copper Mine Inn, Donald and the crew.
Wallace Wrede Jr.
25 May 2013, 20:12
Great memories of the Copper Mine Inn, Don Van Hagen (sp?) and Lenny Rue Sr. My dad was a pheasant farmer from Ironia who supplied birds to the Coventry gun club back in the 50s and 60ss. We used to meet Don, Len and members of the club at the inn and then commence to stocking thousands of acres with scores or hundreds of pheasants every weekend during the hunting season. What an adventure riding down those country roads in a 1953 Chevy pickup releasing birds into the wilds with my Dad, Len and crew. Great times.
John E Sipley
16 May 2013, 10:50
It's been a long time, how ever my dad's sister Mildred and her husband at the time Donald owned the old copper mine in back in the 1960's. I remember it very well. My dad at the time took my brother my sister and I there to visit my Aunt and Uncle at least once a week, and over the summer's. This bring's back the good old day's, of swimming in the river, water skiing, cook out's, fishing, watching my dad swim across the river. My dad died back in the spring of 1975. But I can remember these day's like they we're yesterday. Thank you for these great memories. John E Sipley.
Judy Christian
13 May 2013, 20:50
My grandparents, Lawrence and Mary Quinn, owned the property on the Old Mine Road next to the Rosenkrans property. One of the Old Mine Road markers mentioned in the article was at the top of our driveway. I have many photos, including photos of the car ferry. Mrs. and Ben Rosenkrans were friends of our family, I remember Ben pumping gas, I remember a general store in Wlapack and the post office. My grandmother rented her property back from the government as long as she could. I think we finally had to clear out in the mid 70's. On the property was a second house that my great grandfather had built with his own hands. It was a summer place for the family; they were not year-round residents. I have trouble even now reading about the area, and I have only visited once many years ago because it breaks my heart. I loved the place so...i loved the times we spent there.... it breaks my heart.
Joseph T. Cohn, M.D.
25 Apr 2013, 09:20
I am the grandson of Harry Freedman, the owner of Harry's Farm six miles from the light on Old Mine Road, as mentioned in the article. See www.harrysfarm.com for details of my dream to restore the farm to the resort it once was. I spent vast time and money to attempt to buy back the land from NJ and then from the federal government. I am still grieving the destruction and loss of this family treasure.
01 Apr 2013, 10:35
Many believe that the tocks island dam project was a ploy by our beloved government to do a land grab. I believe that could be true because a N.J. state forest ranger fish and game man told me a while back that the government does not believe in individual land ownership along the Delaware. Reason being that a few should not be privy to enjoy the river, it should be enjoyed by the masses, as in state parks etc.
Hilary Lamothe
01 Nov 2012, 00:19
I grew up on 96 acers located just above from Salamovka from 1955 to 1969, when the Army Corps of Engineers acquired our property and later destroyed one small and one large, new house built by my father, Henri LaMothe, the great high diver Guiness record holder.\r\nThe owner of Salamovka after 1954, who knew the White Russian owners, was Mrs. Virginia Bartow. Her son was a Concert Piano teacher at Blair Academy, until his death in 1967.My sister and I had the great experience of visiting there often, and a group of chamber music musicians from NYC would gather many summer weekends and play music after a great meal cooked in the original hose kitchen. They then used the sauna constructed on the small creek to the right rear of the house. \r\nThis is a great web link and I will try to contact the owner and may find some old photos as it was in the 1960's.\r\nThe view from Salamovka of the Flatbrook and Delaware Water Gap is stunning year around.\r\nAnother bit of history is that there was a big flood in 1955 I believe, which washed out the old bridge at the base of the hill 0.8mi from Salamovka.\r\nI went back to visit one evening in the late 1980's, from a business trip to Bellcore in Morristown. I found our old property entrance, blocked off, and could not see a trace of our 1959 built Danish architected ranch house. All I saw that night was many deer, and the large tree which stopped the runaway Korean War truck I was on and my Dad was able to steer it into. It feels strange to see so much obliterated!\r\nMy recollection is that the land was condemned to make the Tocks Island Dam Recreational Area - but the Lehigh University studies proved the dam would not work due to the geology in the proposed location - but the Army Corps of Engineers proceeded anyway without the folks being able to stop it!\r\nSincerely,\r\nHilary LaMothe\r\n
joan beach beachm
01 Sep 2012, 16:51
I would like a ny pictures of holiday he's such wonderful memories Spent my summers there from the time I was s I'd to twelve. Would love anything Advilable
john lambert
28 Aug 2012, 11:25
I remember going to the Coppermine Inn when Inn when I was young with my father.I remember Doc Vanhagen was the owner then, he also owned , Mommy's Place which was located on Spring Valley Rd in Hardwick.. Mommy's Place was vacant for years due to well water problems, then he finally sold it ...Since its reopening, it was called, Trincs's Tavern, and then sold again and renamed The Copper Top Bar..Now it is a regular house...
Tom Szigeti
05 Aug 2012, 02:52
I can remember camping at the copper mine in the 80s A guy named Don ran the Copper Mine Inn those were great memories. Bob Templin owned the camper that he left up there every summer.Those were Great times! I just recently went up there with my wife 8/4/12 after not going up there for several years that property where the copper mine inn still sits vacant is a beach I believe its called turtle beach. Kinda sad in a way for me to see that but I guess great memories to come for people that hang there now, and dont know its past.
Terry Hopping
26 Apr 2012, 09:34
Hi again: Needless to say, I married John Hopping. I had been going to the Gap since the 40s'. John and his 3 brother were raised by the state, N.J. and Frank and Vi Blazi. Frank lost his arm in a corn picker. The shame of it all was he played the violin. Frank and Vi used to go once a week to play bingo. And remember, they had 1000 chickens. The 4 boys were told to candle all the eggs before they went to bed. Well, by the time Frank and Vi came home, the walls were covered with eggs. I was up there a couple days ago and the only house left standing was the Lanes' house ( Blazi house) ANd also the one room school house. I am 80 years old now and I plan to go up the mine trail. I used to hunt there. I remember Sunfish pond. What ever happened to Camp Nobebosco? I have the book, The Old Mine Road. I live now in Montague, N.J. on River Road. Which at one time was Old Mine Road. I have a horse farm. Please keep in touch. Terry Hopping. www.brandyhaven@mercurylink.net. WEB
Robert L. Williams
01 Apr 2012, 09:42
I am very interested in speaking with anyone that has information on the history of the James Van Campen House in Pahaquarry--the home that recently burned. On the back porch of this house, nailed to the wall, was 18th century paneling that came from another house--I suspect it was installed during the Miller ownership. Would anyone know where this paneling originally came from? I suspect it could have come out of the Abraham Van Campen House acrossed the road. \r\n\r\nThe burning of this house is a real loss and underscores the neglect of historic buildings at Delaware Water Gap.
Al Granell
22 Feb 2012, 19:36
Video of the old camping days.\r\nEnjoy, those were great times.\r\n\r\nhttp://youtu.be/rZ22V-4tpVc
22 Feb 2012, 19:22
Can anyone tell me if you are able to enter the mines?
Tim Rue
24 Jan 2012, 02:55
Hello Warren Dean\r\n I tried to email you through this site. If intwerested please contact me at jarew@enter.net.\r\n Thank you,\r\n Tim Rue
Don Pace
30 Dec 2011, 13:28
Waren Dean,\r\n This site has a problem with connecting e-mail. My e-mail is\r\n pace.donald@rcn.com\r\n Thanks,\r\n Don Pace
Don Pace
30 Dec 2011, 13:25
Warren Dean, Please get in touch with me at my e-mail. I lived at camp Pahaquarra 1964-1968. After Lennie Rue(close friend of mine)Would like to talk about camp and area. I helped to write a book on the history of camp and the mines. Have lots of pictures of camp and mines.Sllso know Bob Demerest.Helped put up buildings at Millbrook. Bob was a school teacher of mine years ago. Don Pace\r\n
al granell
28 Dec 2011, 05:14
Great site,wonderfully done
Warren Dean
27 Dec 2011, 16:41
Tim Rue, I believe the Indians coming to shore at Pahaquarra were part of the tap out ceremony for the Order of the Arrow Award. I was in the Order and at one time was part of the Indian group. It may have been done at other times as well and it is possible that I have the tap out mixed up with the induction ceremony. Tap out was when you were recognized by your fellow scouts to go through requirements to become an Order member. Up along the creek (I think before the first mine} you can still see the Order of the Arrow area where some of the ceremony was carried out. It is on the oposite side of the creek from the mine. You can see rocks in a rectangular area maybe 20 by 30 with some rocks piled in the center that used to resemble an arrow. There was a wooden bridge of some sort there at one time.
Warren Dean
27 Dec 2011, 16:30
I think Ollie Nehland also worked 1easonally with the Park Service before I started there in April of 1973.
Warren Dean
27 Dec 2011, 16:28
Hi Bob Demarest and Tim Rue. I remember Len Rue coming to Brass Castle Elementary to give his talks and slide presentations about area animals. Always a high light of our school year. Also, the big house across from the woodwork shop at Millbrook is the building that was moved from near the Jean Zipser/Vancampen/Miller Farm area. The road gave way going up the hill by VanCampen's Glen and the house was almost lost. The front porch that is visible now was closed in at one time. I seem to remember that enclosure as having been constructed from some type of wooden boxes. I know this is the one because I helped with cleaning it out prior to it being moved. There was also some type of fencing, maybe chicken wire, on the river side of the drive leading into Miller Farm. I believe they raised game birds there at one time. I remember Ollie Nehland, Walter and Harold VanCampen all being mailmen at one time or another. I think Ollie
Warren Dean
27 Dec 2011, 16:14
Someone asked about the names of the leanto sites at Camp Pahaquarra. I believe Minsi and Shawnee were two of them. I was there around 68?
Skip Zimmerman
16 Dec 2011, 05:36
Seeking information on and photos of "River Side Farmhouse", an inn operated between 1902 and 1927 by Hiram Zimmerman. It may have been at or near the Coppermine Inn, as his ferry from the PA side had it's NJ terminus nearby. He apparently died in Pahaquarry in 1935 and was married to Susannah Bunnell. He is buried at St. Mark's Church in the "Zimmerman" Cemetery in Shawnee.
29 Nov 2011, 08:29
Wow, this site is even better than the one I saw yesterday covering similar ground;(http://www.njskylands.com/pkdwgnra.htm)\r\nMany very incoherent posters there, unlike this one. I too went to camp Pahaquarra in'65 and a winter weekend in 67 or 68. Someone unearthed a dormant memory of the rifle range(my favorite) and swimming off the dock just to the right of the parade grounds where we assembled upon arrival.I don't recall what the section was called but there were open lean-to's to the right and behind the lodge that we camped in in the mid 70's after the camp was closed and mostly disassembled. The summer I was there w/BS troop(can't remember the#-from Pittstown NJ)we slept in tents that were on platforms that were built about 10' up in the air,as I recall.There was a centrally located shower house w/cold water.Every morning you would hear the scratchy needle on the record over the loudspeaker before revele began to play.I remember wiping down the tables and sweeping the mess hall floors after meals. My Grandfather used to talk about a Camp Weygadt that my father went to w/the Boy scouts in the '30's, but I've not seen or heard any other reference to it. Anyone know? I have some pictures of that time somewhere.
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Herb Meyerson
12 Nov 2011, 10:33
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Al Granell
20 Oct 2011, 04:21
Just found my family pics and old super 8 movies of camping at the old coppermine inn. Also found the old pics of the family at watergate. Great times playing softball at the campsite. Swimming,fishing, just fond memories.
Joan beach
08 Oct 2011, 09:26
Would like any history of holiday house or eagle nest camp in Delaware n.j. Spent part of my summers at holiday house. Are their any books on that era?
Gary Letcher
03 Oct 2011, 09:54
I am the author of "Canoeing the Delaware River", soon to be released in a revised edition as "A Paddler's Guide to the Delaware River". \r\n\r\nI fondly recall Lenny Rue leading hikes and doing nature talks (complete with his snakes) at Camp Bernie near Blairstown, and at our Youth Conservation Corps program at Stokes State Forest. He was the best!\r\n\r\nWhoever suggested Ruth Jones at Kittatinny Canoes as a source of info on the history of the camps along the Delaware was spot on. She is a treasure of information on the region. Also, check Spanning the Gap magazine, much of it online, and Friends of DWGNRA. \r\n\r\nSee you on the river!\r\n\r\nGary Letcher
Kim Pollard
25 Aug 2011, 21:00
I am having a photo exhibit featuring images from the area impacted by the Tocks Island Dam incident. It will be held on 9/10/11 at 8pm at Caffe Nelle Cucine 155 Route 94 in Blairstown. Some of the buildings, farms and areas mentioned here have been photographed for this exhibit. I would love it if some of you could attend and share your stories and experiences. It is such a beautiful area and so full of history. Although many of the buildings are in poor condition, they are still so beautiful.
15 Aug 2011, 07:20
In the mid-fifties Camp Christopher close to Columbia New Jersey was flooded. Campers from St. Vincent's Home in Brooklyn, NY were rescued from roof-tops along the Delaware Water Gap. \r\nDo you know if there's any documented history on that particular incident?
Bob Demarest
14 Aug 2011, 12:43
Hi Don Pace,Warren Dan..I just now came across your comments about..The DePuy structure moved in the early 1970s to Millbrook Village;...it is really quite small;about 20 feet by 30(or even smaller)..and I was told by "Merlie DePuy" (in about 1998?...born about 1920?)...that this structure had been a washouse on the DePuy family property before it was moved to Millbrook. I can tell from my own personal observations,that it is an early structure,that may have been moved more than once; the joists supporting the second floor are nicely hewn, with beveled edges indicating that they were meant to be exposed or seen;...at some later date they were lathed and plastered,so I'm certain that it was indeed a residence...(built perhaps early 1800s) and then modernized probably in the early 1900s. I love the Millbrook area,its history,and appreciate all the interet shown and work done by Don Pace(a former student), and Warren Dean (retired N.P.S. Employee)...both good friends and knowledgeable gentlemen
Tim Rue
14 Aug 2011, 04:38
I am a son of Lennie and Beth Rue. We lived at Camp Pahaquarra where my Dad was the camp ranger until September 1964, then we moved up to the Silve residence at Millbrook. My family left the valley in 1969. I have many memories of living in Pahaquarry Township. I remember the Mayer family at Camp Pahaquarra, went swimming with them down at what we referred to as the Farmhouse (location of Dimmick's Ferry). I collected bits of copper ore and quartz crystals in front of the main tunnel up the trail behind the Mess Hall. Used to arrange the rocks in the Mine Brook to create little pools to wade in. The Saturday night farewell camp fires (scouts departed and entered camp on Sunday) began in darkness with spectators sitting on the embankment along the Delaware River, speaking in hushed tones. A ready made bonfire awaited flame. Out on the river scouts attired as Indians lit torches and paddled into shore. The audience quieted down. The canoes beached and the 'Indians" with torches lit the bonfire. At some point the sounds of a drum and chanting began as part of the unfolding ceremony. The animals in the Nature Center were cared for by my Dad (a naturalist)during the off season and were then kept in pens adjacent to the driveway, except for the snakes which were placed in the tool room above our living quarters. At one point my dad had 18 poisonous snakes (a mother rattlesnake had nine young). The snakes were kept in wooden framed cages with slanted glass fronts and small rectanguler wire-mesh doors on the back to place in food (generally mice caught in our pantry) or for putting in or removing the reptile. My Dad would give demonstrations to the scouts of 'milking' a rattlesnake by placing the reptiles's fangs over the lip of a glass. The rattlesnake venom would drip out of the fangs and collect in the bottom of the glass, which when dried it would crystallize. In the winter when scouts would camp in the Waterfront cabin my brothers and I would sleigh ride with them. Sometimes we would pile four or five of us high on a sled with my younger brother Jim or I on top (younger and smaller). We'd start downhill at the Cree campsite, curve past the Order of the Arrow building and my home (ranger station), then straighten out on our driveway towards our mailbox along the main road. Other scouts would line the trail with snowballs and try to knock us off the sleds as we descended. As residents my family knew the Millers, Von Hagens, Van Campens, Mordkins, etc. Fond memories.
Jim Bennett
22 Jul 2011, 16:20
My name is Jim and my grandparents Ed and Honey Miller owned the white farm home across from Jeannie Zippser , we spent most summers there growing up.. Ed Miller my grandfather spent lots of time hunting , fishing and trapping the area .. Great friends , Lennie Rue 111,\r\nGeorge Blazy and of course Ollie Nieland , Have tons of photos and info on the old days , have not been back in years ...
Don Pace
28 Jun 2011, 09:29
To Debbie T Strucky My e-mail is pace.donald@rcn.com Don
Don Pace
28 Jun 2011, 09:25
To Debbie Taylor Stuckey,\r\n I lived at Camp Pahaquarra for 5 years. My dad was Ranger after Lennie Rue. Rode the school bus with Bobbie VonHagen from the Copper Mine Inn. Still go up there a lot.Iam a history nut about the area and the old mines. The Inn is still there but the area has been made into a swimming area. It is called Turtle Beach. Drop me a line on e-mail some time. Would like to talk to you. Don Pace
Debbie Taylor Stuckey
20 Jun 2011, 18:28
Just found this site as I am plannning a vacation to N.J. this summer and am hoping to vist the water gap. I grew up spending my summers camping with my family at the Old Copper Mine Inn. We all called our selves the Copper Mine Kids. Hanging out at the candy stand all day or going up to the inn to buy milk for Mom. Swimming, water skiing, row boating, the boys from Camp Pahaquarra all the crazy things we did. Those really were the good times. Uncle Donald, Bobbi Ann. Some of us stayed in touch for a while but it was 30 yrs ago any one out there remember any of this?\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n
The Purple Bishop
29 May 2011, 06:20
In seeing plenty written below about our old camp "on the Delaware where they don't care what you wear" - 'just want to remind you that EAGLE'S NEST CAMP is online in all its glory and song.\r\n\r\nhttp://www.eaglesnestcamp.net\r\n\r\nEach year we have a reunion called the "Crow's Fest" and would love to have you all attend this year!\r\n\r\nWe are also on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/eaglesnestcamp\r\n\r\nCome on by and relive all the great memories!
24 Apr 2011, 06:00
Make sure you talk to Ruth from Kittatiny Canoes, she grew up right along the river down by Karamac and may have photos and info to add.
20 Mar 2011, 19:27
Amazon.com has both books mentioned in posts on this page: River Towns of the Delaware Water Gap, PA and The Old Mine Road. Just an FYI.
warren dean
12 Jan 2011, 20:39
The house across from the Jean Zipser (correct spelling} is actually called the Miller farmhouse.
warren dean
12 Jan 2011, 20:34
to j.depue, I am sorry. I mistakenly said that the depew house had been moved to millbrook. The house that had been moved was a vancampen house from the location I had said across from the gate to depew recreation site. If you were to walk south from the church, the house will be the second on the right. Probably the biggest house in millbrook. There is a Fort Depue or Depew in Shawnee on Delaware, PA. That I believe is an office building for the Shawnee Inn. Again, sorry about the wrong information.
Lyal Gordon
30 Dec 2010, 18:43
Note to John Snyder. The Explorer leader was Vinnie Stryker. Agree, winter camping was the best! Did summer camp in early 50s -- Troop 51 and Explorer Post 51, Frenchtown, NJ.
al granell
16 Dec 2010, 10:41
Grew up camping on weekends with the family at the old copper mine inn campsite, Don was the best. Driving to watergate, great memories
02 Dec 2010, 18:12
Can anyone tell me about all the campers along the river on rosenkrans lane? I was there today looking at one that was forsale on craigslist. seems they are scraping them all. was this a campground at one time? It said it was a private road. here is a link to the craiglist add.\r\n\r\nhttp://newjersey.craigslist.org/grd/2088458192.html \r\n
30 Nov 2010, 08:02
I'm presently searching for information as to the actual ferry crossing at Smith's Ferry a mile, or, so above Rosenkrans Lane off the Old Mine Road.If anyone has pictures, or, information about its location, I'd be interested.I think I have it pin pointed, but, want some verification.
J. DePuy
17 Nov 2010, 07:09
Warren Dean ... thank you very much for this information! The pipe gate to the defunct Depuy/depew/depue recreation center was actually open this past weekend because they corps is doing something down there. I saw the tennis court. I was amazed at the size of the trees the flood of 2005 brought down. The roots are right out of the ground. I can see why the place is closed. So the house that was moved to Millbrook Village sat right along the road next to what I believe is the VanCampen house? White with green shutters and 3 barns across from Jean Lipser's old house? I went to Millbrook Village and tried to determine which was the Depuy house and my guess was it is the one painted gold. If you know, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you again for this valuable information!
Warren Dean
16 Nov 2010, 16:43
There was a Camp Depew at the defunct Depew Recreation Area. An old concrete slab is still there that I believe was once a basketball court, not really sure. Also, a large Depew home has been moved to Millbrook from across the road at the pipe gate to the defunct Recreation Area.
J. DePuy
12 Nov 2010, 17:37
I have a huge interest in anything to do with Pahaquarry, Walpack and the Old Mine Road from researching my DePuy ancestry. There is a wonderful book entitled "the Old Mine Road" by C.G. Hine. It was first published in 1908 as Hine's Annual and he walked the Old Mine Road all the way to Kingston, New York. however, there is not a ton of information about Pahaquarry. I have been fond of the area since '78 or so when I was a teenager and at that time Watergate was free and The Coppermine Inn was still open! Mr. Pace I would love to hike the Copper Mine and if anyone has ANY information on DePuy homesteads in the Pahaquarry area I would appreciate the knowledge! I am familiar with the cemetery. I would like to also ask specifically if there was a boyscout camp that had been a DePuy homestead because I seem to remember I read that in a book by Amelia Decker. ANYTHING is greatly appreciated!
Lynn (Tietsworth) Nadeau
06 Nov 2010, 18:49
I went to Eagle's Nest Farm/Camp from age 11-17, starting in 1956. From Shack 11 to CIT to Jr-Camp Counsellor. Thousands of memories. The open-sided cabins remain my favorite place I ever slept, surveying the evening parade of skunk families from my upper bunk. No electricity except in the community buildings. No flush toilets. Cold showers. Now I'd see it as hokey (or worse) I guess: fake Indian, fake military w scratchy 78rpm bugle calls. But it was paradise to me. \r\nAlso a social eyeopener, as the kids came from families ranging from rich to Newark ghetto. Canon Leslie, then Bob Wagner, led it. Hikes up past the Albertson House, with its icy little spring under a wooden lid. Very sad to hear that camp all got razed, but a sort of closure, as I always wondered what became of it.
17 Oct 2010, 06:12
Sir:\r\n\r\n Mr Koppenhaver:\r\n\r\n Please contact me in regards to your article on the Old mine road. I would like to discuss hiring your services.
Edward Lubben
16 Oct 2010, 11:20
Stop the building on open land or we will not the Garden State any longer. \r\n\r\n Ed
Bob Taschler
15 Aug 2010, 05:54
Garrett Asks National Park Service to Preserve Historic Structures\r\n\r\nCongressman Scott Garrett (R-NJ) today sent a letter to Dennis Reidenbach, the Regional Director for the Northeast Region of the National Park Service (NPS), requesting that the National Park Service discontinue the demolition of historic structures at the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (DEWA). The letter, co-signed by Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), asks the National Park Service to work toward preserving the historic structures, make the National Park Services decision-making process transparent and cooperate with the public in the preservation of these historic structures.\r\n\r\nGarrett.Newsletter@housemail.house.gov
S Crockett Robertson
07 Aug 2010, 10:02
I spent many years as a pre-teen and teenager living in a cabin w/outhouse on the cliffedge of the river and walking the woods, Old Mine road and the surrounding area. We fetched drinking water from an indian spring, watched eagles, bears, panthers, muskrats, etc, rode horses at a small family stable, ate ice cream from an old general store with an antique register, picked up fossils roadside, and swam and boated the river. Those were the happiest days of my life; I am 64 now. We were forced to leave when rumors sparked the real estate grab. I prayed they wouldn't destroy the area by flooding it as planned. The spot where our cabin stood would have been a small island and so much would be lost. I am grateful that never came to pass. It is and was too special to destroy. It will never be what it was but, in spite of the development I know many will get to enjoy it.
Robert W. Kovacs
04 Aug 2010, 17:48
I have many good memories of the Gap. I grew up in Carteret, NJ and was a member of B.S.A.Troop 84. Our Scout leader was Bill Comba, (The Chief) We would go to Camp Cowaw every summer. 1966 was my most memorable year there. We camped in Pioneer Village. It was real camping. We slept in tents and cooked our food over open camp fires..I now live in Washington, NJ (Warren Co.) and take drives to were the old Camp Cowaw was. It's still a beautiful place with a lot of good memories.
Don Pace
06 Jul 2010, 05:56
Lived at Camp Pahaquarra for 4 years. My father was camp Ranger after Lennie Rue. Love camp area and have a lot of history of camp and the Copper Mines.Co-wrote a book in 1995 with some 30-35 of my pictures in it. I have given talks and walks at the mines in the past. Would like to hear from others about thier days at Camp Pahaquarra and the area of Pahaquarry Township.\r\n Thanks for any stories you may have. Don Pace
24 Jun 2010, 14:36
Spent summers from 1966-72 at Camp Pahahquarra. I can't remember where I parked at the mall some days, yet somehow I still remember the Official Song:\r\n\r\nThere's a camp along the Delaware\r\nPahaquarra is it's name\r\nFrom the rising sun, 'til the day is done\r\nWe have lots of fun up there\r\nIn the water deep we learn to swim\r\nJump right on in it's fine\r\nThey've got the eats to make you feel good \r\nOh, how the cooks can cook\r\nAt Pahaquarra on the Delaware\r\nWe don't mean Cowaw\r\nPahaquarra on the Delaware
Dave Christenberry
20 Jun 2010, 00:24
Great info. My family had links to Shawnee, PA going back at least to the 40's, and my brother and I went to the original Eagle's Nest Camp from '70-'79. Many of the commenters above are old friends...brings back great memories from my camp days and even early childhood near the river. Thanks!
Patricia Wilson Alpaugh
15 Jun 2010, 08:43
I just found this site.Judy Chastain,\r\nhow are you and hello to Elliot I still \r\nremember our lifeguard test you tried \r\nto drown us ha ha. I have a lot of nice\r\nmemories about ENC and I miss everyone.\r\nThere'll never be another camp like that.\r\nHope to get in touch with some of you.\r\n Patty
Paul Hurst
07 Jun 2010, 07:13
I am a 76 year biker. On a vacation trip from Montreal to Washington, I wanted to drive through the Delaware Gap Park on Highway 209. By having a closer look I noticed the Old Mine Road and would like to use that one by being "beamed back" to the "good old times". My question is: Can I drive the whole 40+ miles on my Honda Goldwing Touring motorcycle? In other words, what is the road condition of the Old Mine Road?\r\n\r\nThank You\r\n\r\nPaul Hurst
Nick Homyak
14 May 2010, 07:51
Old Mine Road should close from the Hercules rod and gun club to Old Mine Dirt at the end of Pompey Hill. This would restore the beauty of the area and prevent negative impacts, trash litter along this section. No one lives here. It could be hiked. Less road maintenance for the National Park Service. Organic Act any one. Make New Jersey Wild and recreational.\r\n\r\n During the 1000 year Floods of 2005/2006 this section of road was closed it was so nice; eagles bears crossing from the corn field to Pompey Hill. Had all the trash cleaned up. Beautiful views of the River and no cars.\r\n Don't forget when ever visiting bring a trash bag and help keep land clean, too many visitors or users donot.
Purple Bishopress West
07 May 2010, 06:02
Dear Old ENCers: I have downloaded some interesting aerial photos of ENC (Google Earth,etc.). Incredible memories and ENC website is fantastic! Thank You so much for this trip down memory lane.\r\nI was a camper and staff memmber for many years. The ENC Website Facebook photos are incredible!! Thank You so very much!\r\nHello to Billy K. and Dee-Dee, Danny, Judi, Dave, Mike, Danny W., and everyone! Guess Who,\r\nGirl's Chief of Staff....'79??\r\nSigned,\r\nGeologist/Paleoseismologist on West Coast, (CA).\r\nPS: Anyone up for a copper mine hike next time I'm on East Coast? I'd also like to visit the old ENC site.\r\n
Jonathan Laing
02 Jan 2010, 09:17
I remember as a kid going to Holiday House (Eagles Nest) with my family. My brothers worked at the camp as counselors and I vaguely remembered the swimming pool and the fireplace inside the dining area. I was such a sad thing to hear that is all gone now. I found some photos in a book published for River towns of the Delaware Water Gap. Brought back some memories of those days. I would like to see other photos if anyone has them.
Eric Geis
30 Nov 2009, 15:54
I was a camper at Camp Pahaquarra in the mid-late 50's. My troop was in Pennington NJ. My most vivid memory of the camp was that there was no 50 yards of land that was either stright or level. By the end of the camping, your legs were in fine shape.\r\n\r\nI too, appreciate the effort made to complie and write the history of this area.\r\n\r\nRegards,\r\n\r\nEric Geis
Artaray Thomas
24 Oct 2009, 02:19
I went to Eagles Nest Camp the summer of 1971 and 1972 while I was living in a childrens home. I have fond memories of that place. I remember my first summer I started as a none swimmer I hated that so much that by the time I left I was a Jr. Lifeguard! I was in a play there, as a matter of fact it was Peter Pan LOL. The hiking trips were awesome. I will never forget that place.
Judi Alden Chastain
16 Oct 2009, 17:27
Fellow Eagles Nesters, check out this: \r\n \r\nhttp://thetrybe.com/ENCsongframe.html
Judi Alden Chastain
16 Oct 2009, 17:08
I'm reading this because I went to Eagles Nest from 68 to 76. I also have continued to sing the ENC songs to my children for years. Still can sing them word for word. I recently joined facebook, and found more ENC people. The karchers, mike and dave christenberry, kathy foppes, lois brouillard ... I remember you, Elliott, and I'm wondering if the Laura who left the last note is maybe Laura Hofgesang. We've been looking for those hofgesangs. Leave another message, and go to facebook, and look me up. In my friends, You'll find more familiar names from our days at ENC.
12 Sep 2009, 08:41
I attended Eagle's Nest Camp from 1970 to 1979 and my 19, 16, and 10 year kids now know all the best camp songs because of Eagle's Nest. I have been a teacher for 15 years and every child I have taught knows "The Littlest Worm". I still talk about hiking long trails, learning how to swim, three day trips down the Delware, J turns, bug juice, kp, being jealous that my bday wasn't during the summer and I couldn't run around the mess hall to the chants of "GO, GO, GO," There was even a girl that knew every kid's name at camp within two days. Wonderful vivid memories. Oh, Eagle's Nest Camp we sing to thee, the place where every kid just loves to be...WHO'S CAMP...OUR CAMP...WHAT CAMP...EAGLE'S NEST\r\n\r\n\r\n
David in Bearstown
12 Sep 2009, 06:52
Interesting article, Bob. Thanks!\r\n\r\nThere's also a ton of info and old photos of forgotten river towns in this [excellent] recently published book: \r\n\r\nhttp://books.google.com/books?id=YElFxJdEoL0C&pg=PA6&lpg=PA6&dq=dor flinger+book+river&source=bl&ots=9UNvSieGw8&sig=ZKUKbjxUCM3EMvvX0NHHnSKkYnw &hl=en&ei=eaSrSuWYLYPOlAfO5KnnBg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4#v=o nepage&q=&f=false
David in Bearstown
12 Sep 2009, 06:13
LoveTheTrails,\r\nYou're right, it seems the DVH owner is something of a nut. \r\n\r\nhttp://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/2009/07/electrified-bearproofi ng-device-nearly-kills-little-girl-delaware-water-gap\r\n\r\n And he's very, very lucky that the girl survived.
Don Pace
27 Aug 2009, 16:40
Saw the comment from Larry Schear on July28. Would like to get in touch with him. I lived at Camp Pahaquarra for 5 years. My father was camp Ranger after Lennie Rue left.I collect all that I can on the camp and the mines. I have given guided tours and historical talks to many groups.Would like to talk to Larry. Please see if you can get me in touch with him or anyone who has pictures or stories. THANK YOU.\r\n Don Pace\r\n pace.donald@rcn.com
Elliot Debella
11 Aug 2009, 15:10
I was the Pool Director at Eagles Nest Camp for a number of years during the 1970's. Many great memories and fun activities....counselor races, overland/overwater races, great food, banquet on last camp night, etc. Very character building. Sorry to read about the knocking down of buildings...the memories can never be destroyed!!
carol b deniz (szekeres)
04 Aug 2009, 21:44
i camped at the old mine in for 15 years and would love to see some old friends frome the area. it is a great place full of much memories. someday i hope to see it brought back to its glory days
Larry Schear
28 Jul 2009, 16:43
Just foubnd this website - Attended Camp Pahaquarra from '53 through '59 - still have old maps, etc. - will collect images and memories and forward. Copper mines, Sunfish Pond, Skyline, Doc Shack, cold water showers, Indian tribe Named campsites, shooting a skunk at above the rifle range (not I; 'twas Dave Rizzuto!), etc.
27 Jul 2009, 16:20
Hi - I was there at Eagle's Nest Camp (1968/69)...the whole summer. The CTIs were great and the kids were my dearest friends. I miss them still. I am so sorry to hear that it is no more: "If you want to go tramp, tramp, tramp. Let me tell you about a swinging camp. Eagles Nest is the place be. Eagle's Nest for you and me." That was our song. That was a great time.\r\n\r\nHow blessed we all were to have been there. Nothin' like capsizing a canoe because you have to ... to get your canoing badge! To our counselors: Rusty, Denise, Dave, et al...thanks for giving us kids our own "Summer of Love" in '69! Woodstock had nothin' on us, at least in our minds.
26 Jul 2009, 23:19
http://bannedasians.t35.com/ -
Florence Post
22 Jul 2009, 20:51
Back in 1946-47-48 a group of us went to Kamp Karamac and enjoyed it tremendously. It was a rough type of living and it was carefree. I'm 80 now but still remember swimming, boating and dancing at the camp. After reading about the area, I may drive up there and sightsee.\r\nThanks for the write-up and area information.
todd struse
13 Jul 2009, 06:06
Went to summer camp across the river\r\nfrom '65 through '73 Hiked Old mine road, AT and Sunfish pond during that time. I love the area and have been very interested in it's history. I visit often \r\n
Dick Leslie
10 Jun 2009, 04:11
I went to Eagles Nest Farm from 1949 until 54. Think I knew Bill Gamble. Certainly knew my namesake Canon Leslie although he claimed to be no relation of mine. KP, early morning bugle, campfires, scary stories, vespers. All comes back. How about those toilets? All fond memories except for one priest who made a bunch of us 12 year olds put Kirkmans yellow soap in a cup with a little water and swish it and hold it in our mouths til we puked for saying, "Moses tied his ass to a tree and walked 20 miles."
11 May 2009, 10:52
Hello all,\r\nI LOVE the entire Old Mine Road area, and have hiked many of the trails back there. Douglas Trail is one of my absolute favorites and the waterfall at the beginning of the trail is just beautiful.\r\n\r\nOne comment, though......I've stopped in that Del View House General Store a few times and I find the owner to be a very rude man. NOT very friendly and even seems annoyed to have anyone stop in.\r\n\r\nI won't give him my business anymore.
23 Apr 2009, 05:18
Awsome place Me and my father went there to go hicking we love it so much we go every weekend
William C. Gamble
18 Apr 2009, 10:37
I was a camper for six years and a counselor for two at Eagles Nest Farm when Canon William O. Leslie was the director of the camp. Was there as a counselor during the great flood on August 19, 1955. Whatever became of the camp? Is it still in existance in some other place?
07 Apr 2009, 12:39
My father, Jack Griffiths, worked at Camp Pahaquarra in the early 1960's. He also played in a local band- The Delaware River Bottom Boys.
Bob Dahl
01 Apr 2009, 21:39
Eagles Nest Camp closed down in the 1990's. There is a group on Facebook. \r\n\r\nMy father went there in the '20's. My sister was girl's chief, my brother a kitchen boy, and I spend a couple of summers being a counselor. Some of the most fun and hardest work I have ever done. \r\n\r\nENC fell into disrepair for years, and was purchased by the truck service station next door, and for many years the parade grounds and colors areas were full of old tractor-trailers. Depressing. Then they knocked all the buildings down, and now there is nothing left of it - except a lot of great memories of singing and having fun (and working hard!) \r\n\r\nHunter's Lodge, and the Humpty Dumpty! Blair's Knob, the Glen, the Overnight Shack, the Crow's Nest, Arts & Crafts shack, Rec Hall, Mess Hall. Holiday House!!?? All gone. Even cabin 14, my favorite... even though it was about 50 feet from Rt 46! It was kind of hard to get the campy feeling listening to the trucks whine past at 60 mph all night...
29 Mar 2009, 20:22
Beautiful area. I went to Eagles Nest Camp july of 1969. What ever happened to the camp? What is there now?
22 Mar 2009, 09:29
John Snyder
02 Mar 2009, 17:50
I spent three summers and several winter weekends at Camp Pahaquarra, hiked to both Catfish and Sunfish Ponds. I explored the two larger mines all the way in many times, and to this day remember the twists and turns of the largest mine. Our Explorer Post 51 from Frenchtown, built the waterfront cabin following the 1955 flood. We also helped Lenny Rue cut timber that was used to rebuild many of the structuers destroyed by the flood. During winter weekends back in the late 1950s, and before we had licenses,we didn't think anytihng of driving our Explorer leader's jeep from camp down to the Copper Mine Inn to get sodas and play bumper pool. As much as I enjoyed my summer weeks at Pahaquarra, the best times were our winter working and hunting weekends.
Bob Lewis
26 Feb 2009, 11:51
I spent a few summers as a teen (1973-1976) canoe camping along the Delaware.. We had the pleasure of finding Coppermine Inn and we hiking the short hile to the actual copper mine and explored the mine. (before NPS added the gate) The mine was carved from solid rock seemed safe we explored back several hundred yards and comes to a T and branches off in both directions abount 100 yards... If your flashlight goes out, it is so dark you cant see your hand in front of your face. \r\nAlso hiked to Sunfish pond following the stream at Worthington.. great memories.....
John Mayer
11 Jan 2009, 12:44
I have wonderful memories of this area. My father was camp director at Pahaquarra. We spent several memorable summers at camp. We stayed in a farmhouse near the edge of the river. The camp ranger during this time was the naturalist Lennie Rue. I remember walking under the road in a tunnel next to a brook that ran between the nature area and the upper camp proper. I remember riding up to the rifle range in a 6 wheel drive govt surplus ammo carrier. Every night we had retreat on the parade ground..they would fire a small cannon. Also fires in the area adjacent to the waterfront. Later when I was a scout my father was directing camp Mohican, over the top of the mountain. My first 5 mile hikes were across the mountain to Pahaquarra. Another 5 mile hike was to Sunfish pond. I have been in the mine as far as the gate many times. The Order of the arrow campfire area was very close to the mine entrance. In 1976 after I had joined the Navy, while on leave some friends of mine and I camped there. Even getting the front tire of my Moms station wagon stuck in the edge of the foundation of the old farm house. At that time the Old Copper mine inn was still open for business.It's a shame tocks island closed so many things in this area. Boy scouts should still be enjoying those camps, as well as camp Mohican.
Gail Donohue
04 Jan 2009, 22:40
I too went to Eagle's Nest Camp. Camper from 1974-1979 when the camp move to Linwood MacDonald facility in Stoke State Forest for sereval years. I was counselor and Water front director there. VERY good memories
Rob MacGregor
11 Nov 2008, 09:35
I have happy memories of being a camper there in the early '50s
08 Sep 2008, 09:22
I've lived in Sussex County all my life, but recently moved to Stillwater Twp. I drove down the road where the Delaware Water Gap Rec. area entrance was supposed to be, but it is closed. Do you know why it's closed or when it closed? Was it due to the flood you spoke of? It was difficult to tell from your description if the road I am speaking of is or even near Old Mine Road, but I have a feeling it is. So far, your site is the only one with any info at all about this. I would love a response. Thanks!
Richard Fisher
30 Aug 2008, 11:26
I found an old picture with my Grandparents in a group of 100 or so people titled Kamp Karamac July 4, 1946\r\n\r\nSo I looked up to find more info about it. If anyone is interested in the picture please let me know.
03 May 2008, 19:53
I heard about a place called the hornet nest on old mine road in sussex county. Do you know anything about this place?
Chris Merrill
07 Apr 2008, 09:52
I am interested in finding out about which trails in the Delaware Water Gap area would work well for a group of 10-12 backpackers hoping to start at one camp site near a road, cover 7-9 miles, have another campsite, and then another 5-8 miles ending at another campsite near road access. Any ideas? We are from the DC area and hope to spend Memorial Day weekend hiking in the area.
Bonnie (Masten) Mrozek
22 Mar 2008, 11:06
I have a souvenir from "The Karamac"- it is an anniversary piece ( a copper arrowhead with a stamped and painted Indian Chief w/ headdress on it); I was wondering what year it was from and if it had any value?\r\nIt is in almost perfect condition; the only flaw is a few scratch marks on the banner on the back and the "M" is partially missing in the word Karamac.Also, I wanted to note that it is a keychain and still has the copper chain attached.
15 Mar 2008, 15:44
Thank you so much for sending me to this site. It has provided me with a lot of much needed information. With your description as you traveled along, it provides me with a feel of what the area must have been like in earlier years. Beautiful pictures too. THANKS!\r\n
Susan Calo
12 Mar 2008, 12:37
Hi Bart. I have heard of Eagles Nest Camp and in fact worked as a camp counselor there in 1975 and 1976. It was a great camp and was funded by the Archdiocese of Newark. My uncle who is now 91 went there when he was a kid. By the time I worked there a pool was added and lots of upgrades made. Kids who came had a great time. We sang songs all the time. We also took the kids on "overnights" on the mountain across the street. There was a beautiful glen across the street we used to take the kids to also. At night alot of the counselors went to Hunters Lodge with was right next to the camp. Lots of good memories from time spent at the beautiful setting.
27 Feb 2008, 17:18
I think you should add better pictures\r\n
Bart Hunter
27 Jan 2008, 10:31
Hi Great information.\r\n\r\nI wonder if you know or have ever heard of Eagle('s?) Nest camp. It was located a few miles south of the Gap. It was on the left hand side of the road headed north with a large field between the road and the camp. The camp backed up on the river. I know it was active in the 1950's.\r\n\r\nThank you for any information.\r\n\r\n
06 Jan 2008, 01:37
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