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A tour of Downtown Ricketts, high atop North Mountain. Learn some history while on this cache hunt.
The town of Ricketts arose at a site on the Wyoming-Sullivan County border along Mehoopany Creek. It was chosen in the summer of 1890 by the Trexler and Turrell Lumber Company, which had contracted to cut about 5,000 acres of virgin forest land that was owned by Colonel R. Bruce Ricketts of Wilkes-Barre.
The definitive work on the town of Ricketts is entitled "The Ghost Towns of North Mountain: Ricketts, Mountain Springs, and Stull," by F. Charles Petrillo and published by the Luzerne County Historical Society, 49 S. Franklin Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701 The author's meticulous research and access to marvellous photographs makes these old places come alive, and I am indebted to him for this source material. I have taken the liberty of placing a map of Downtown Ricketts from his book on the web, and you may find that it adds to your enjoyment of this hunt. Geocachers and others who frequent the Glen area would add a whole new dimension to their adventures by coming to know its fascinating history in the heyday of lumber, ice and railroads.
The center of the ghost town of Rickettts today is located 4.4 miles north of the present park entrance to Lake Jean at Ricketts Glen State Park on Route 487. Today, unless you knew it was there, you would drive right by without noticing the area that once were streets lined with homes, churches, a lodge hall, company store and hotel, and the facilities of one of the largest lumber mills in the region. It all disappeared eighty years ago. But if you know where to look...
Park on the west side of Route 487 and find the old railroad bed on the other side of the road, across the creek. This is a serial cache and your beginning is near at hand, or at foot. Phase two will acquaint you with some of the old ruins on the main street. Phase three unveils a delightful natural area which has been populated by varieties of water fowl every time I have been there. Phase four... well, phase four you'll have to find out for yourself.
Enjoy your tour of Downtown Ricketts!
PS: Benchmark LZ0099 is right there, if you're into that.
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- Downtown RickettsHere's the map. It's not a spoiler, but will help you appreciate the lay of the land.
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum