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Little Pine State Park

Eastern States 100

LITTLE PINE

The Iroquoian and Algonquian nations used the area as hunting grounds. It is believed that there was a Shawnee village and cemetery near what is now the village of Carsontown, just north of the park.

In 1782, the first American settlers in the Little Pine Valley were brothers John and James English. These brothers built two sawmills along Little Pine Creek in 1809, one of which was at the southern end of the present park boundary.

The village of English Mills was established in 1816 and housed the families of the loggers, occupying what is now the park campground. The cemetery of English Mills is on a small knoll in the middle of the campground.

Another prominent name in local history is Robert Carson. He was the first of his line to settle in the Little Pine Valley, and his descendents, who made homes near his homestead, gave rise to the village of Carsontown. Robert Carson was one of the first farmers in the area, and also operated a sawmill. The Patterson Family was also involved in the logging business. This family owned several of the properties on which splash dams were built to create artificial floods designed to carry logs downstream. Little Pine Creek was used to transport both sawn lumber and logs to Williamsport, which came to be known as “the Lumber Capitol of the World.” In 1909, the last log raft went down Little Pine Creek.

Stopping and controlling logs on the Susquehanna River was a major problem until the construction of a “log boom” at Williamsport in 1846. The boom consisted of a chain of logs that stretched across the river diagonally. At one time, the boom stretched for six miles from Williamsport to Linden, and supplied logs to over 30 mills.

In 1933, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built Camp S-129-PA and a small picnic area along Little Pine Creek. In 1937, the camp was closed and the property turned over to the Bureau of State Parks.

For more information on the CCC, visit the Civilian Conservation Corps Online Archive.

When the park opened, it used many of the CCC buildings. In 1950, a dual-purpose flood control/recreation dam was constructed. The park remained a picnic area until the campground, beach and swimming area were constructed in 1958.

In 1972, Hurricane Agnes flooded and destroyed many park facilities, including all but a few remnants of the former CCC facilities. Hurricane Agnes was the only time water went over the spillway. In 1975-76, federal disaster aid helped build a new beach house, office, maintenance area, and a new campground with modern restrooms.

As part of the “Growing Greener” initiative, several major improvements began in 2002, including, enlarging and modernizing the park office and putting showers in the campground.