Cameron County PA

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Saturday, July 25, 2009

More than 40 high school students danced the evening away Friday night while attending the Seneca Highlands Intermediate Unit 9 Summer Academy at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. The students, who came from McKean, Elk, Cameron and Potter counties, studied one of three areas this past week: drama and communications; entrepreneurial science and technology; and criminal justice and forensics. Carly Stuart and Trevor Clark were students from Cameron County that were chosen to attend this educational and fun filled week. Trevor is shown here enjoying the farewell Luau dance.

During the week the students attended hands on morning and afternoon classes and completed several projects during the week. Among the various field trips, the Technology & Entepreneurial Science group toured the Kinzua Bridge and Dresser Rand Company in Olean NY.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Violinist Stephanie Mills returns to Cameron County

Stephanie Violinist Stephanie Mills, an Emporium native and 2001 graduate of Cameron County High School, will be performing a concert on Wednesday, July 29, 2009 at 7:00 PM at the First United Methodist Church in Emporium.

She will be accompanied by Gladys Shultz, piano, and Paul Fehrenbach, violin and guitar.

Admission is free and open to the public, although any donations will be gladly accepted and will be used toward Stephanie's graduate studies. CDs will be available at the door for $10 each.

Stephanie is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), located just outside of Nashville, where she studied music and non-profit management. During high school, Stephanie studied violin with Dr. Paul Fehrenbach of Kersey, PA and Professor James Lyon at Penn State University. She performed numerous times at the Pennsylvania Music Educators’ Association Orchestra Festivals, as well as under renowned conductor/ composer, Lukas Foss, at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

Since high school, Stephanie has performed in orchestras throughout the country, including the Cape Cod Light Opera Festival Orchestra, Penn State Philharmonic, MTSU Symphony and Chamber Orchestra, and others. In 2005, she soloed with the MTSU Camerata, performing “Summer” from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. In addition to Paul Fehrenbach and James Lyon, Stephanie has since studied with Andrea Dawson (MTSU), Sarah Coté (MTSU), Cornelia Heard (Vanderbilt University), Theodore Arm (University of Connecticut), and Ioana Galu (Eastern Music Festival and School).

Saturday, July 11, 2009

PA Wilds Community Success Story

PA Wilds Community Success Story:Modest Emporium makes a move to highlight its own 'wildness'by Mike Wennin.

Emporium, Pennsylvania is located in the heart of the Pennsylvania Wilds. Surrounded by an outdoor paradise of forests, streams, and wildlife, Emporium—and Cameron County—has been the hub of sportsmen’s activities since the 1800s.

Its beautiful tree-lined streets have provided Emporium with recognition as a Tree City for more than 20 years. The manufacturing based economy has seen many shifts through out history from lumbering to tanning to dynamite to electronics—and today, sintered metal. Its people have always excelled in whatever the prominent industry of the day is, and have had an international market for their goods since the early days of lumbering where 100-ft.-plus tall white pine spars became masts for clipper ships that sailed around the world.

Today, there is a need to diversify the economy and the people of Emporium and Cameron County are stepping up to the plate to do what can be done to help this shift in focus. Before the advent of the Pennsylvania Wilds, forward-thinking County Commissioners recognized the opportunities of heritage tourism and offered to locate the newly formed Lumber Heritage Region (LHR) in the county courthouse.

Understanding the importance of being the hub of such a venture, this gesture has kept the County in the center of what is going on in the Region. In addition to the LHR, the DCNR Pennsylvania Wilds Rec Team is now housed in the county; the Pennsylvania Wilds Marketing Corporation and other PA Wilds entities meet here on a regular basis to the benefit of local businesses.

With the need to spruce up their assets, community leaders formed the Sylvan Heritage Council to lead the way in making the down town area more inviting. They have completed many successful projects from façade improvements to an annual clean-up event where the whole town gets a good spring cleaning. The council also sent a team to the “Balancing Nature and Tourism” workshop, where they learned ways to take advantage of the PA Wilds initiative—and have been working on projects ever since. The group received initial funding provided by the Emporium Foundation and local business owners. Since then, they have raised their own funds by participating in local events where they cook/bake and sell their own homemade goods and hot drinks, each packaged beautifully for immediate giving during on one of the community’s signature events, “Christmas in the Wilds.” They also participate in the Artfest held annually in the downtown, by creating more edible delights for sale. Even though the community is too small to qualify for their own downtown façade funding through the state program, community leaders established a facade improvement account through their fundraising efforts to help out local businesses which is patterned after Ridgway’s success. From new signs to mulching, no job is too small for this active group!

The biggest success so far has been the creation of the Cameron County Chamber of Commerce and Artisan Center. As the Pennsylvania Wilds Artisan Trail got underway, Cameron County did not have a venue for artists. Moving the chamber to a new location offered the opportunity to create the Artisan Center. Opened in July of 2008, the facility now displays the artwork of more than 50 regional artisans and has had sales topping more than $20,000 since it opened. The well- laid-out art center offers courses through out the year from stained glass to jewelry making to walking stick carving.

The next push will be on how to market the outdoor recreation prevalent in the county. Legacy events such as hunting and fishing are still draws to the area, but canoeing, kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, wildlife photography, elk-viewing and geocaching are all growing in participation. A rail trail from Emporium to St. Marys is in the works. They are looking at ways to capitalize on these and other assets in the county in order to share the unique features of the county.

Mike Wennin is the executive director of the Lumber Heritage Region of Pennsylvania, Inc.

Cameron County Fair August 2 - 8, 2009

Keystone Park was the first known location of the Cameron County Fair. Keystone Park is where GKN Sinter Metals and Embassy Sintered Metals are located on Airport Road and where the West Creek branch now flows. According to History of Cameron County (1991edition), the first fair was held around 1901. The fair was under the sponsorship of the Cameron County Agricultural Association. The fair was held each September until 1917. The start of the world War I and a severe flu epidemic put a halt to the fair that year.

The Cameron County Fair formed an association in 1967 as a committee of the Emporium Jaycees. The fair was held at the Pine Street Field. This fair worked in close partnership with the 4H program. After the field was sold in 1970 to Motor Coils a new location was pursued.

Mr. Henry Zimmer, a jaysee, made an offer to allow the fair to use a piece of land that had been the previous location of the Smokeless Powder and Picric Acid Plant. Paul Abriatis, another jaysee, loaned the fair committee bulldozers to prepare the land.

After many years of work the fair has grown into a lush green area with a concession stand, 4H building, exhibition hall, stage, animal display barn, and a 160 foot open front exhibit area. The largest exhibit hall(Beaver Hall) was named after fair director, Beaver Williams. The Beaver Hall has been begun renovation projects in the past few years by first updating the kitchen, adding a large new window and soon replacing the ceiling tiles in the main floor area. Beaver Hall is frequently rented out for wedding receptions and family reunions.

The fair has been a good source a family entertainment and a place to exhibit great works of skillful craft and the fruits of agricultural labors.
Much of the Information compiled from History of Cameron County -1991; # T115 written by Don Williams

Saturday, August 2, 2009
12:00-7:00 p.m. Competitive Exhibits accepted at Beaver Hall

Sunday, August 3, 2009
10:00-4:00 p.m. Competitive exhibit judging.Beaver Hall will be closed to the public until Monday at 6:00 p.m.
7:00 p.m. Vesper Service and Hymn Sing

Monday, August 4, 2009
1:00 p.m. 4-H Judging
5:00 p.m. Tractor Parade through downtown Emporium to the fairgrounds
6:00 p.m. Official Opening and Dedication of the 2009 Cameron County Fair
6:30 p.m. Ye Olde Goodies Auction
7:00 p.m. Campfire cooking demo, Scarecrow building contest
8:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. Legacy on Stage

Tuesday, August 5, 2009
5:00 p.m. Fair opens
5:30 p.m. Great Chili Cook-off
6:00 p.m. Bucket Brigade contest
6:00 p.m. Helen Hamett Ventriloquist on Stage/strolling after show
6:30 p.m. Stick Horse Radio for children 12 and under
7:00 p.m. Essence in Motion Dance Studio on stage
7:30 p.m. Lip-Sync
8:00 p.m. Don Williams Memorial All-American Game Show on stage and Open mic following game show

Wednesday, August 6, 2009
5:00 p.m. Fair opens
5:00 p.m. Pet Show Registration
5:15 p.m. Pet Show
6:00 p.m. Hot dog eating contest
6:30 p.m. Community Band of Elk and Cameron Counties
7:00 p.m. Coronation Ceremony; crowning of Miss Cameron County 2009, Jr. Miss Cameron County, Cameron County Prince and Princess
8:00-10:00 Old Skool on stage

Thursday, August 7, 2009
5:00 p.m. Fair opens
5:30 p.m. Pizza Eating contest
6:00 p.m. Emporium Ultimate Cheer
6:00 p.m. Bubble Gum Blowing Contest
6:30 p.m. Nail Driving Contest
7:00 p.m. Milk Chugging Contest
8:00 p.m.-10:00p.m. Trixx on stage

Friday, August 8, 2009
5:00 p.m. Fair opens
6:00 p.m. Redneck games
6:00 p.m. Pie eating contest
6:30 p.m. Beautiful Baby Contest Winner to be announced
7:00 p.m. Root Beer Chugging Contest
7:30 p.m. Seed Spitting Contest
7:30 p.m. Chinese Auction Winners announced 8:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. Nuttin Fancy Karaoke on stage

Saturday, August 9, 2009
8:30 a.m. 5th annual Harvey Gribble Memorial horseshoe tournament
12:00 p.m. Beaver Hall closes
1:00-4:00 p.m. Pick up competitive exhibits--Please be prompt
4:00 p.m. 2009 Cameron County Fair officially closed

Friday, July 10, 2009

Movie to be filmed in the area this fall

Tuesday, 07 July 2009
Denzel Washington, Chris Pine to star in 'Unstoppable.'
By Becky Polaski
Staff Writer
“Unstoppable,” a drama starring Denzel Washington and Chris Pine is scheduled to be filmed in the area in the fall. According to Carla Wehler, Sales Director for Pennsylvania Great Outdoors, the film is a drama involving a runaway train carrying a cargo of toxic chemicals.

It will be directed by Tony Scott and produced by 20th Century Fox. Filming in the area will take place mainly in Cameron County through individuals involved with the film will be lodged in Elk County as well. Wehler explained that the rail line running from Olean, N.Y. to Driftwood will be used in the film.

She added that she spent several days with the production staff in June showing them around the area. Wehler also noted that the project will bring considerable lodging revenue into the area. Mark Shade, Director of Communications for the Department of Community and Economic Development, also commented on the positive impact the movie will have on the area economy.

“We’re excited that this movie is going to be shot basically throughout Pennsylvania,” Shade said. “It is going to mean hundreds of hotel room nights for hotels in a very bad economy and that is always good news.”Shade added movie will also benefit area businesses as well. “The spin-off impact will be significant as well for businesses in the area that the shoots will occur,” Shade said. “It is great news.”According to the Internet Movie Database, “Unstoppable” is currently scheduled for release in theaters in 2011. Scott and Washington also worked together on The Taking of Pelham 123, which was released in theaters in June.
Last Updated ( Thursday, 09 July 2009 )

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Pennsylvania Wildest: Exploring the designated wild areas in the PA Wilds

Quehanna Wild Area – Elk and Moshannon State Forests in Elk, Cameron, and Clearfield Counties (Tom Hanes)

There are many ways to access this vast, and I mean vast, 48,000-acre patch of serene second-growth forest in the most unpopulated part of the entire state. The Wykoff Run Natural Area occupies 1,215 acres within the wild area and contains a large stand of paper birch, giving the impression of a much more northerly forest.

The Quehanna also supports large open meadows which boast exceptional wildflowers in spring and summer. It is the largest Wild Area in the state.

Hunting excels here as does the cross country skiing for those seeking a no-groomed trail experience. See vestiges of the impact of a tornado that struck 24 years ago. Look for elk at Hoover Farm. Watch waterfowl at the Beaver Run Dam shallow water impoundment. Try geocaching at Wildcat Rocks. Last and maybe least, beware the creatures that glow in the night or so legends say (the Curtiss Wright Company tinkered with nuclear powered aircraft years ago but the land has been cleansed of any radioactivity).

Perhaps the area’s best activity is long-distance hiking on the Quehanna Trail, with a convenient trail head at Parker Dam State Park, five miles off of Interstate 80. Most suitable for experienced hikers and backpackers, the trail creates a strenuous 75-mile loop ready for multiple-day expeditions.

Memories are for the making in the Quehanna. I once encountered a cow elk at close range on the Foley Trail. If you are game for a visit, watch out for ticks, rattlesnakes, and frisky male deer and elk (you don’t want to have a close encounter with a bull elk!). There are several books available offering maps and details for exploring the Quehanna Trail and Wild Area.

The PA Wilds is Working!

By Mike Wennin
After several years of planning, laying foundations, and creating partnerships, the twelve county Pennsylvania Wilds initiative is beginning to see results.

The immense coalition of state advisors, county employees and local volunteers working to develop the Pennsylvania Wilds has begun to see the fruits of their labor. Hotel rooms (this does not take into account campsites, cabins and lodges) sold in the PA Wilds was up in 2008 6.5 percent (954,000 total rooms) with a 12 percent increase in revenue ($71.3 million) from these rooms. This is significant in that some of the state’s traditional vacation destinations saw a decline. All of the festivals and events in the region experienced increased or sustained visitation last year during a time of high gas prices.

In spite of the economy, this year has seen some incredible increases so far in attendance and participation in area events. Groundhog Day 2009 saw 13,500 visitors. The Chapman State Park Winterfest had 12,800 participants—up 2000 from 2008. The Chain Saw Carving Rendezvous saw 20,150 visitors and raised $45,900 at their closing day auction. The Kinzua Outdoor Show saw over 6000 attendees, an increase of some 1,200 people. The Cameron County Canoe and Kayak Classic had close to 200 boats in the water up from 124 last year.

In Clinton County applications were closed early for the Hyner Run Challenge as more than 770 people had signed up for the event- up 150 from last year. Maple Syrup Weekend in Potter and Tioga Counties saw double the number of visitors at some of the open Sugar Shacks with several hundred people from as far away as Maryland participating in the event. Various cabin rental locations in the region are already booked for the season and Interstate 80 hotels are holding their own which is significant in that other destination hotels are experiencing a decrease in overnight stays.

One of the most satisfying outcomes of the Pennsylvania Wilds has been seen locally through out the region as community after community has stepped up to take on the challenges of taking advantage of this opportunity.

Early on, nine groups of community leaders from around the region participated in the Balancing Nature and Tourism workshop where they learned first hand how to utilize the possibility and opportunities the initiative has to offer. They recently reported on their projects and listeners were amazed at the results these nine groups had produced in such a short time…many working outside of their comfort zones making a difference in their communities…all beaming with pride in what they had accomplished and what they will accomplish in the future.

One of the regions many success stories include the opening of the Cameron County Chamber of Commerce and Artisan Center that has seen sales of upwards of $20,000 since it opened last July. The Center was created by the Chamber to participate in the PA Wilds Artisan Trail and represents over 50 local artisans.

People involved with the Pennsylvania Wilds are convinced that these early numbers are just the beginning of what will be seen this season. The current economy will give Pennsylvanians and their close neighbors an opportunity to discover the treasures in their own back yards, giving the local economies a much needed boost.

For more information visit the website at
Mike Wennin is the executive director of the Lumber Heritage Region of Pennsylvania, Inc.