Features appear in each issue of Pennsylvania Heritage showcasing a variety of subjects from various periods and geographic locations in Pennsylvania.

Cruising eastward across the scenic landscape in northern Pennsylvania on Interstate Route 84 toward Matamoras, Pike County, past Promised Land State Park, motorists pass through a historic, privately owned and managed wildlife reserve. For 136 years, the Blooming Grove Hunting and Fishing Club (BGHFC), chartered in 1871 as the Blooming Grove Park Association, has protected what is now 19,000 acres of pristine wilderness.

Nature journalist Charles Hallock (1834–1917) expressed the club members’ enthusiasm for hunting at Blooming Grove in a letter published in Spirit of the Times on November 7, 1873.

As the result of three day’s shooting . . . we now have a four-prong buck, weighing two hundred pounds dressed, hanging on the front porch, which was killed within three hundred yards of the Club House; a splendid fellow, and as fat as a seal; fifteen ruffed grouse and seven ducks—mallard and broadbills—hanging in the gun room. . . . A few members about a week ago bagged fifty-nine ruffed grouse, three woodcock, and a lot of ducks, hares, and rabbits in three day’s shooting, one gun taking eighteen grouse in one day. Deer and feather game are numerous upon our grounds and are rapidly increasing under our system of protection and breeding. . . . If you will pay us a visit now we can promise you a shot at a buck and a good bag of birds. Wild geese are now on the lakes. Bears are quite plenty in the beech where the mast is in abundance, and we are to have a hunt for them about the 1st of December, when lively sport is anticipated.

Barely had the guns of the Civil War fallen silent at Appomatox when a back-to-nature movement emerged. A taste arose for hunting and fishing in the rapidly shrinking, sparsely populated spaces — away from crowded urban centers. Hotels and lodges sprang up adjacent to game grazing areas and fishing sites, catering to city dwellers who came to cast their lines, bag wild game, or enjoy an escape with like-minded sojourners.

In 1871, a group of enthusiastic New York executives, many of whom had roots in rural America, purchased more than eleven thousand acres of land in Pike County to form the Blooming Grove Park Association. These grounds, in Blooming Grove Township, had been stripped of giant primeval trees by lumber companies. The association exemplified a period of private control of fish and game resources before being overshadowed by government conservation regulation.

The inspiration for the association came from Fayette S. Giles (1846–1897), a jewelry merchant who established an office in Manhattan shortly after the Civil War, and later in Geneva, Switzerland. In Europe, he visited wealthy private estates and participated in hunting, probably to make contacts for selling expensive jewelry. From 1875 until 1877, he helped reorganize the Swiss watch-making industry, which had just been competitively trounced by superior American technology. On his return to the United States, he became a major importer of Swiss watches. An avid hunter and angler,he conceived of forming a wildlife conservation park and forest within easy travel distance of New York City. He was Blooming Grove’s acknowledged leader until his death.

Giles was acquainted with two Pike County brothers, Lafayette Westbrook, a Civil War veteran, surveyor, and dealer in real estate, and John L. Westbrook, the county’s prothonotary. John Westbrook combed records at the county courthouse in Milford to identify land likely to sell at low prices. Twenty-eight tracts totaling 11,336.5 acres were identified in Blooming Grove Township where the most valuable timber had been removed and the topography was so irregular that it impeded good farming. The Westbrook brothers deeded the land to Giles in September 1870 for $105,000. Giles then deeded the land to three trustees — including himself — of the proposed Blooming Grove Park Association. The General Assembly of Pennsylvania approved the association’s charter, signed into law by Governor John W. Geary on March 23, 1871. The act authorized the association to sell five hundred shares to capitalize the venture; shareholders had to pay membership dues.

The association’s charter spelled out a challenging mission: “the preservation, importation, breeding and propagation of all game, animals, birds and fishes adapted to the climate, the affording of facilities for hunting, shooting and fishng on the grounds . . . supplying the spawn of fish or young fish, game, animals or birds to other associations or persons, and selling such surplus game, animals or birds or fish as may be killed, caught or taken . . . with an agreeable resort . . . respectable hotel, cottage houses, stables, exercising grounds for horses, and anything necessary or proper for their accommodation.” Furthermore, the preamble of the incorporating statute alluded to preventing the extinction of “game, animals, birds and fish,” as well as “giving a fuller development to field, aquatic and turf sports.” The association also received police power to arrest and prosecute trespassers, poachers, and those who damaged flora and fauna.

The trustees conveyed ownership to the association at the first stockholders meeting held at the park, on March 12, 1872. Organizers launched a campaign in New York City to enlist two hundred stock-holding members. Although target shooting, fly-casting, and canoeing contests had been held on September 1, 1871, at the Westbrook Hotel adjacent to the park, the first general use of the new premises began with the fall 1872 hunting season.

The association’s original tract was close to railroad stations at Hawley to the northwest and at Glen Eyre on the Lackawaxen River, about seven miles north of the clubhouse. The club renamed eight ponds and lakes on the property. Developed first, Lake Giles became the center of living accommodations, socializing, and preparation for hunting and other activities. It was in the northeast corner, with a smaller body of water, Lake Beaver, slightly to the north. To the southwest were Lakes Bruce, Westbrook, and Scott. Still further south and at a higher elevation were Lakes Laura, Ernest, and Belle. In time, the more remote Lake Laura became the second most popular center for lake fishing and cottages. The original purchase included no shoreline along major streams, but by 1886, enough land along the Blooming Grove Creek and the Shohola Creek had been acquired so members could enjoy stream fishing.

The original members came predominantly from New York City, although their backgrounds showed strong personal or family rural antecedents. The Westbrook brothers and Edgar Pinchot (1826–1900), uncle of Gifford Pinchot, conservationist and governor of Pennsylvania from 1923 to 1927 and from 1931 to 1935, were the only founding members from Pike County. Three journalists closely tied to the nature conservation movement were early association leaders. Genio Columbus Scott (1804–1906), author of the popular Fishing in American Waters (1869), had begun his career in the fashion periodical business in New York and operated a clothing store on Broadway. His greatest interest was fly-fishing. Scott was especially helpful to the association as it plunged into buying fry to stock its waters and building its own hatchery.

Educated at Yale University, Charles Hallock was an author, journalist, naturalist, and well traveled sportsman. As the organization’s secretary, he brought his knowledge of the business world to Blooming Grove, having been a business journalist for seventeen years. In 1873, he founded Forest and Stream, a periodical that merged with Field and Stream in 1930. Articles on fishing, hunting, forestry, gardening, the canine world, and equestrian affairs appeared side by side with features on boating, football, baseball, golf, tennis, and even chess. Hallock used his periodical to both convey essential information to amateur hunters and anglers and advocate the protection of game and the environment. Occasionally, he reported on Blooming Grove’s meetings, competitive events, and recreational programs.

Colonel Sanders Dewees Bruce (1825–1902), had commanded a Kentucky unit in the Union Army and served with distinction at Shiloh and Fort Donelson. After the Civil War, he moved to New York and launched The American Stud Book, a publication devoted to thoroughbred horse pedigrees, which he eventually sold to the Jockey Club. Bruce also founded Turf, Field, and Farm which, like Forest and Stream, attempted to cover the entire American sports scene. Bruce was the association’s vice-president from 1871 to 1875 and, briefly, its president in 1874. He was responsible for the group’s early involvement with horseback riding, and he secured a gift of two hundred fawn deer from friend and former wartime foe, William G. Harding, owner of historic Belle Meade Plantation and a general in the Tennessee militia whom the North imprisoned as a Confederate sympathizer.

Other notable founding members included David Dudley Field Jr. (1805–1894), world-renowned legal reformer who may have drafted the association’s charter; U. S. Senator Chauncey M. Depew (1834-1928), noted orator and author; Robert Asa Packer,(1842–1883), a native of Mauch Chunk (now Jim Thorpe), son of millionaire Asa Packer and a brilliant railroad executive in his own right; and George Wilkes (1820–1885), owner of the New York weekly newspaper, Spirit of the Times, and a world traveler and authority on international affairs.

In large part the association fulfilled the purposes described in its charter. Animal propagation and importation of species from other regions began in the earliest years of the association and continued for decades. These projects have merged the goal of conserving nature for its own sake with the desire to give hunters and anglers the maximum sporting challenge. The first association members quickly measured six hundred rods of forested land and encircled it with web-meshed wire fencing to form a breeding pen for deer. In addition to deer that wandered in, fawns were acquired and placed in the pen. By 1913, deer repopulation attributed to the pen had been so successful throughout northeastern Pennsylvania that the enclosure was dismantled. The timber on the area was later cut and sold to pay for club expenses.

Most of the experimental introduction of species not native to the region involved game birds and fish. Ducks, pheasants, quail, and, more recently, partridges have been purchased for specific hunting seasons or for special short-term hunting events. Professional breeders managed an area set aside as “the Pheasantry” as a concession in the 1930s. Pheasants, mostly English and a few ringnecks, could not survive the harsh northeastern Pennsylvania winters, so the flock had to be renewed each hunting season. The flock reached four thousand for a few years, but by 1937, the association eliminated the propagation program because it had proved too costly. Ruffed grouse and woodcocks, favorites of Blooming Grove hunters for many decades, were indigenous. Although the grouse remained throughout the year, woodcocks migrated to avoid the cold winter temperatures and intense summer dryness; they passed through Blooming Grove in autumn and spring. The association set up a fish hatchery not long after it opened, and a hatchery for trout is still in operation. Experiments with exotic species of trout and bass in Blooming Grove’s lakes and its two major streams met with mixed results.

By pledging to “cultivate the forest,” the association’s charter implied that healthy forests were essential for healthy game and healthy waters were essential for an abundance of fish. “Its forests include all varieties of trees, such as the oak, hemlock, chestnut, beach, spruce, cedar, maple, birch and pine,” wrote Hallock in Forest and Stream in 1873. Evidence suggests that when the park association acquired possession of the land it was by no means denuded of trees. Either lumbermen had taken only the most valuable trees, or seeds, roots, and stumps left behind from harvested trees had sprouted and grown to maturity by 1871. Environmental historian John F. Reiger contends in American Sportsmen and the Origins of Conservation (1986) that the park was “probably the first attempt to establish systematic forestry in the United States.”

Theodore W. Cart, Blooming Grove’s present historian and a collaborator with Frank L. Froment (1909–1997) on Froment’s History of the Blooming Grove Hunting and Fishing Club, 1871–1999, recently summarized Blooming Grove’s forestry activity. “Serious fires occurred before 1910 and in 1916,” Dr. Cart says. “There was heavy cutting in the late 1930s and during World War II to save the club from severe financial difficulty. It is not clear that sustained yield forestry was consistently or well practiced over the life of the club. The land has been properly managed over the last ten years by our trained forester, Robin Wildermuth.”

The association was fortunate to have been chartered shortly before 1874 when a new state constitution prohibited the creation of local or special laws, including laws under charters of incorporation. Blooming Grove Park Association was lucky, too, to have recruited ninety-four members before the Panic of 1873, a severe nationwide economic depression precipitated by the bankruptcy of the Philadelphia firm of Jay Cooke and Company that crippled the country for four years. By 1879, a core of about forty-five loyal members had carried the association to the end of the decade. In June 1878, the organization received a jolt when the state legislature mandated an end to hunting, shooting, and fishing on Sundays. Activities such as croquet and softball replaced Sunday afternoon fishing, until lawmakers repealed the prohibition in 1937.

In January 1903, a lawsuit decided on final appeal by the State Supreme Court, Commonwealth v. [Charles] Hazen, altered the future of Blooming Grove. In 1868, a Pennsylvania constitutional amendment had imposed a requirement that statutes must bear titles clearly expressing the subject covered in their provisions. The association’s incorporation statute of 1871 included the power to arrest and fine destructive intruders, but bore the simple title, “To Incorporate the Blooming Grove Park Association.” On November 30, 1900, an association warden arrested Charles Hazen, an experienced hunter living adjacent to association land, who was removing a deer he had killed on association property. A justice of the peace fined Hazen, but the Pike County quarter sessions court dismissed the conviction because the association’s policing powers were not mentioned in the statute’s title, commenting that “park” did not describe the association’s use of its property. The Superior Court reversed the dismissal, stating “park” originally referred to a restricted area owned by England’s monarchs where wild game was confined. The Superior Court ruled the association’s conservation of nature as beneficial to the public, which made the arrest powers appropriate. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, however, pronounced the statute unconstitutional. It accepted a definition of “park” from current American lexicography — an area reserved for enjoyment of its aesthetically pleasing trees and plants by the public. As a result, the association dissolved the corporation and the property reverted to the stockholders who obtained a new charter on February 20, 1904.

Although the new charter replaced “Park Association” with “Hunting and Fishing Club,” the list of activities still mentioned “maintenance of a private park.” However, incorporators deleted the clause authorizing the arrest and fining of intruders and the reference to cultivating the forest. The members also resolved a disagreement with the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Blooming Grove Hunting and Fishing Club members agreed to accept the commission’s interpretation of the Lacey Act, a federal law that prohibited most interstate transportation of killed game animals and birds. As a result, members no longer carried bags of game meat or birds on railroad trips back to their homes in New York and New Jersey.

Since Blooming Grove’s beginning, a clubhouse on the west shore of Lake Giles has served as the center of social activities. The present building is the fourth — fires destroyed the first three, in 1881, 1909, and 1973, all of which were caused by deficiencies in the buildings’ heating or ventilation systems. The first building offered little but sleeping accommodations and dining arrangements. When a party of fifty New Yorkers arrived in 1878 at the railroad station in Milford, about twenty miles to the east, they learned Blooming Grove’s clubhouse could accommodate only seventeen overnight guests; the others rented lodging in Milford.

The second clubhouse was completed in 1883 and expanded in 1890. It included forty-one bedrooms, a dining room, and billiards room. Servants stayed in separate houses. A steam boiler installed for central heating in 1908 caused the fire that destroyed the building in February of the following year. The site of its replacement was shifted to a ridge overlooking Lake Giles where it commanded an impressive skyline. Its design was horseshoe shaped, with the central section facing the lake. Forty-four bedrooms were situated on the two upper stories, and the ground floor included a living room, dining room, separate children’s dining room, bar and grill, kitchen, a spacious entry hall for visitors who entered through a porte-cochere, three alcoves for a fireplace, a library, and a card room. A fire in July 1973 substantially destroyed this structure, except the north wing. Its replacement, the present clubhouse, was completed in May 1975 with as much of the old ambiance as could be reproduced by salvage rescued from the previous building, including the porte-cochere, and with furnishings donated by members. Since World War II, most members have occupied family cottages, modernized with kitchens, and the present clubhouse was constructed with only a dozen bedrooms.

The period from 1910 to the beginning of the Great Depression in 1929 was the most active in the club’s history. With 214 members, the most ever, New York City residents no longer dominated the organization. Those from outside New York numbered 110. After the opening of the third clubhouse, club recreational pursuits gradually changed, as activities beyond hunting, fishing, and shooting rose to a peak in the Roaring Twenties.

Members began to prefer automobile trips to and from Blooming Grove over rail travel, and wives and children customarily stayed at the club for long summer vacations while husbands commuted back and forth for weekends. A local hunting guide, “Rattlesnake Jack” McConnell, routinely paid a visit to the dormitory where members’ chauffeurs slept and dumped a sack full of live snakes on the floor, causing panic among the city-dwellers. Relatively elaborate events, in addition to hunting, fishing, and shooting, kept members busy. Competitive softball, tennis, golf, equestrian events, and foot races were regularly scheduled, and evening dances, often in costume, kept things lively. In 1925, a junior club for members’ children was organized along the lines of traditional American adolescent summer camps, eventually developing supervised classes in outdoor skills and diversions.

World War I placed limits and restrictions on activities for two seasons. At the war’s end, the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, prohibiting sales of alcoholic beverages, meant the clubhouse could no longer sell drinks, although it is likely that conviviality was perpetuated from privately owned bottles. Many members built private cottages on the grounds between 1910 and 1929, and many auxiliary buildings and sporting facilities were constructed.

Pennsylvania’s government intervention in game hunting began gradually, and grew, in part, through the efforts of its colorful administrator, Dr. Joseph Kalbfus (1848–1919). An old cowboy and hunter who had lived many years in the American West, Kalbfus became a lawyer in Carbon County and later practiced dentistry while working part-time as secretary of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, created in 1895. He estimated only three percent of the state’s population was interested in hunting as a sport, so he was reluctant to ask for extensive legislative funding for his agency’s expenses.

Pennsylvania prohibited a number of techniques that market hunters used for highly efficient bird and deer killing, such as blinding creatures with bright lights and using hounds to chase deer. The battle to stop market hunting and perpetuate reasonable populations of wildlife species required a skilled agency staff. When hunting licenses for Pennsylvania residents were finally approved by the legislature in 1913, the Game Commission acquired a permanent source of revenue with which to hire enough game wardens, increase the game refuge areas, and import deer. Many hunters saw the wisdom of the game laws, even though the details of the successive laws shifted in bewildering fashion as estimates of deer and bird populations changed from year to year. Since about 1870, there had been real concern that the state’s deer population would soon be hunted into extinction. After 1910, extreme measures — including prohibitions on killing antlerless deer, importation and release of fawns, and establishment of protected areas to shelter deer — finally reversed depopulation. However, by that time farmers, prohibited from shooting deer, had become vocal in protesting crop damage by hungry whitetail deer. Deer overpopulation meant that starving creatures stripped the forests of seedlings and assaulted crop fields. Even today, the Game Commission must balance the interests of sportsmen and farmers. What the Game Commission accomplished from the 1920s on, Blooming Grove had attempted earlier through private initiatives.

Pennsylvania’s experience in fishing followed a similar pattern, although fishing for market sale and public consumption was never condemned as wild game market hunting had been. Pennsylvania had protected fishing locations as early as the colonial period. In 1901, the legislature distinguished between species of fish that were intended for sport and those intended for food. The Fish Commission, created in 1866 and renamed the Fish and Boat Commission in 1991, was active in protecting and propagating the species for which it was responsible, improving quality and quantity of their populations, trying to restore species in waters where they had become extinct — like the Susquehanna River’s American shad — and experimenting with species not native to Pennsylvania. State operated hatcheries were built at many locations, and the United States Fish Commission provided leadership and direction for many of the state’s activities. The Pennsylvania Fish Commission had good relations with the BGHFC, helping it eliminate a disease factor in the operation of the club’s hatchery and giving expert advice in managing its lakes and creeks.

The decade of the 1930s affected the course of the club’s history. In 1930, in an exchange with the Commonwealth, the club received 462 acres situated near its central zone, the scene of most activities. In return, the club surrendered eleven hundred acres located in the wild and relatively unusable southern stretches of its original property. As the Great Depression worsened, club leaders reevaluated their position. The association had been chronically spending beyond its income, and creditors were sometimes paid by donations from club members. On other occasions, members who made loans to the organization simply tore up redemption notes when repayment was due. In 1932, to reduce a $285,000 total indebtedness, a reorganization plan was adopted. Members were assessed $1,000 each beyond their normal annual dues for several years. As a result, the number of proprietary or stockholder members dropped from eighty to forty-six. By 1940, there were only thirty-seven proprietary members and five associate members. Despite the Depression years, shortages and travel restrictions of World War II, and four major crises following the war, the club prevailed.

Hurricane Diane, on August 18–19, 1955, damaged trees, streambeds, bridges, and roads. In 1970, the Commonwealth took, by eminent domain, property to construct Interstate Route I-84, awkwardly dividing club hunting and fishing locations. In 1973, the grand old 1910 clubhouse burned down. In 1976, at the very time finances were strained to build another clubhouse, the Westbrook family descendants put some land up for sale that the club had been leasing for many decades.

By forming a new legal entity, called the Westbrook Land Company, club member Roger M. Blough (1904–1985) — a native of Lackawanna County, retired corporation lawyer, and former chief executive officer of the U.S. Steel Corporation — and other enthusiastic members, thwarted competing bidders by buying the land through a very large mortgage. They then sold it to the club on installment terms. In 1981, Blough also negotiated the club’s sale of seldom-used acreage in the southern extension of the premises to the Commonwealth. The substantial payment the club received enabled it to throw off a debt burden that had lingered for decades, and to establish a Park Capital Fund, in 1982, which made it possible to purchase desirable land and make capital improvements.

Hunting and fishing continues to this day. Membership is limited to eighty-eight proprietary members, sixty percent of whom own cottages. The Keystone State’s deer population, skyrocketing since the 1970s, led to greater numbers being harvested in recent years. Live pigeon shooting ceased in 1990, in response to animal rights sentiment. Caged, pen-raised pheasants and partridges are still released for hunters, continuing the tradition of controlled hunting conditions, but the birds are now placed in designated shooting stations the same day as the shoot so hunting dogs will locate them before predators reach them. Several adaptations of skeet shooting are popular with members. The club still raises trout, which are nourished in confinement until they are large enough to be released into fishing waters. When fiberglass sailboats became popular in 1960s, the sport took a permanent place on Blooming Grove’s lakes. The growth rate of the county’s population over the last four and a half decades has been the highest in the Commonwealth, inevitably bringing the club into greater contact with the community and local government. These contacts have had amicable results and have been marked by a spirit of cooperation on all sides. Exemplifying this spirit is the club’s leasing of the old Blooming Grove schoolhouse to the county for one dollar a year.

Travelers along Interstate 84 should know how previous generations at Blooming Grove chose to spend their time and energy adventuring in and protecting nature’s challenging splendor. This has played a significant part in Pennsylvania’s heritage. All those who enjoy the outdoors should salute the club for carrying on such a lofty tradition.


Travel Tips

Although the grounds of the Blooming Grove Hunting and Fishing Club are open only to members and their families, visitors can experience the beauty and bounty of northeastern Pennsylvania at a number of nearby picturesque — and historic — locales, among them vast national and state parks and state game and forest lands.

In addition to Blooming Grove’s private wildlife reserve of nearly twenty thousand acres, Pike County in the Poconos offers a number of natural areas and recreational attractions for entire families, whether their interests are hiking, kayaking or canoeing, fishing, swimming, biking, camping, sightseeing, or simply enjoying a leisurely stroll through quaint villages.

The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, stretching north from the Delaware Water Gap to the Pike County seat of Milford, comprises seventy thousand acres along a forty-mile stretch of the Delaware River. The area offers a visitor center, beaches, hunting areas, river access for boaters, the thundering Dingmans Falls, and sixty hiking trails, including twenty-seven miles of the famous Appalachian Trail. Located in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area at Dingmans Ferry, the Pocono Environmental Education Center is a special place for students, teachers, botanists, birders, photographers, and everyone interested in learning about the natural world in a picturesque and informal setting. A visitor education center is the hub of activity with classrooms, nature library, crafts center, darkroom, and educational exhibits.

Four lakes in Promised Land State Park, ten miles north of Canadensis, enhance the natural beauty of this park of nearly three thousand acres. Park staff members and volunteers present environmental education programs throughout the summer months, and a small museum interprets artifacts, the region’s many natural features, and the history of the Civilian Conservation Corps, responsible for building many facilities at state parks, including the Egypt Meadows Lake in Promised Land, constructed in 1935.

Natural beauty, especially the unspoiled wilderness, is only a part of the region’s attraction; history lovers will also enjoy its diverse heritage and culture. Grey Towers National Historic Site, the baronial home of Governor Gifford and First Lady Cornelia Bryce Pinchot, perched above the charming community of Milford, attracts individuals with a penchant for historic houses and gardens. Zane Grey (1872–1939), the country’s noted writer of popular western novels, began escaping from New York to Lackawaxen with his brothers and met Lina Elise “Dolly” Roth in 1900, whom he married five years later. He published his first article “A Day on the Delaware” in Recreation magazine in May 1902 and wrote and illustrated his first novel, Betty Zane, the following year. The couple settled in 1905 into a farmhouse overlooking the Lackawaxen and Delaware Rivers. Several years later, Grey began writing his popular novels set in the American West. Today, National Park Service rangers and volunteers guide visitors through the Zane Grey House.

Headquartered in The Columns, a grand 1904 Colonial Revival-style mansion in Milford, the Pike County Historical Society chronicles local history and interprets important people, places, and events. The society maintains an entire room devoted exclusively to Abraham Lincoln and his assassination, the centerpiece of which is a flag on which the president’s head lay after being shot at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C.


For Further Reading

Froment, Frank L. History of the Blooming Grove Hunting and Fishing Club, 1871–1999. Blooming Grove, Pa.: Blooming Grove Hunting and Fishing Club, 1999.

Frye, Bob. Deer Wars: Science, Tradition and the Battle Over Managing White-tails in Pennsylvania. University Park: Penn State University Press, 2006.

Kalbfus, Joseph H. Dr. Kalbfus’ Book: A Sportsman’s Experiences and Impressions in East and West. Altoona, Pa.: The Times Tribune Co., 1926.

Kosack, Joe. The Pennsylvania Game Commission, 1895–1995: 100 Years of Wildlife Conservation. Harrisburg: Pennsylvania Game Commission, 1995.

Reiger, John F. American Sportsmen and the Origin of Conservation. New York: Winchester Press, 1975.

Roosevelt, Theodore. The Hunting and Exploring Adventures of Theodore Roosevelt, Told in His Own Words and Edited by Donald Day. New York: Dial Press, 1955.

Squeri, Lawrence. Better in the Poconos: The Story of Pennsylvania’s Vacationland. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2002.

Warren, Louis S. The Hunter’s Game: Poachers and Conservationists in Twentieth-Century America. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1997.


The author thanks Ted W. Cart, a friend since their schoolboy days, who is the Blooming Grove Hunting and Fishing Club’s historian, a second-generation club member, and an authority on wildlife protection. Dr. Cart identified the principal sources for this article and provided suggestions and guidance throughout its preparation.


Louis M. Waddell is the associate editor of Pennsylvania Heritage and an associate historian in the reference section of the Pennsylvania State Archives. His works include the final volumes of The Papers of Henry Bouquet, published by the PHMC between 1951 and 1994, and To Secure the Blessings of Liberty: Pennsylvania and the Changing U. S. Constitution, published in 1986 by the PHMC. His review of biographies of Pennsylvania conservationists Howard Zahniser and U.S. Representative John P. Saylor will appear in Pennsylvania History.