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The rural and mountainous area surrounding Ricketts Glen State Park, at the intersection of Luzerne, Wyoming, and Sullivan counties, is known as North Mountain. The mountain range forms a watershed between the north and west branches of the Susquehanna River. At Ricketts Glen, Bowman's Creek begins to flow generally eastward through the now deserted ice-cutting town of Mountain Springs, along the former lumbering town of Stull, beyond the old tannery town of Noxen, into the farming valley of Beaumont, and onward to the Susquehanna River below Tunkhannock. North of Ricketts Glen, Mehoopany Creek flows northeasterly through the ghost lumber town of Ricketts, eventually flowing into the Susquehanna River at the town of Mehoopany, another old lumbering center.

In central Sullivan County, Loyalsock Creek descends from World's End State Park and passes through Lopez, once the county's major lumbering center. The Loyalsock then branches off into smaller streams before draining into Wyoming County. In lower Sullivan County, west of Ricketts Glen, Fishing Creek descends into a valley to Jamison City on the Sullivan-Columbia County line, also the site of a former lumbering community.

In the two decades between 1890 and 1910, the North Mountain area was the scene of the last major lumbering era in our region. Lumbering was the economic basis for the towns of Alderson (1887-1912) at Harvey's Lake, and at Stull (1891-1906) on Bowman's Creek, and for large lumbering operations in the towns of Lopez (1887-1905) on Loyalsock Creek, Jamison City (1889-1912) on Fishing Creek, and at Ricketts (1890-1913) on Mehoopany Creek.

Ice-cutting was another North Mountain industry during this era, with its major center at Mountain Springs (1891-1948) along Bowman's Creek, and to a smaller extent at Lake Ganoga (1896-c.1915), a private lake development near the state park. The ice industry continued to operate for another three decades after the end of lumbering in North Mountain, closing as mechanical refrigeration came into general household use immediately after World War II.

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Copyright 2006-2008 F. Charles Petrillo