The Crystal Springs Hunting Camp was built in 1920 along Four Mile Road in sparsely-populated Pine Township. Its outer walls were constructed of locally-quarried stone.
The photo shows a large three-story building enwrapped with a roomy porch. It was indeed a landmark set in the northern woods of Clearfield County. The cars pictured look to be early- to mid-1930’s models.
The camp was the result of efforts by a group of Clearfield area men with the means to initially finance the construction and continue the maintenance of the camp’s facilities.
These initial investors served as camp trustees who carefully oversaw the use of the building and its surrounding 400 acres. Camp membership grew throughout the 1920’s
The first camp structure, long-predating 1920, was an older farmhouse that stood on the same grounds. The name Crystal Springs describes the pure spring water that rose from beneath the mountainous lands above Clearfield.
Crystal Springs was the site of all seasonal gatherings by members, as well as their families and guests. Summer picnics and colder weather parties were relished by all who were fortunate to attend.
No time of year defined Crystal Springs, as well as any other Clearfield County hunting camp, than the first week of December. The camp’s rooms were filled with buck, and later doe, hunters who were both members and guests. That time of year alone was why the camp was likely built in the first place.
Following decades saw a decline in the camp’s membership rolls. The Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression that followed throughout the early 1930’s made money tight for many camp members. The camp, more like a mansion, was let go for a county tax sale in 1935. Its heyday was short lived.
Eventually, the camp building was operated as a restaurant and bar. A good deal of the surrounding acreage was divided and sold. Some homes in the wooded area were built in the years thereafter.
The Crystal Springs building burnt in a devastating fire on Dec. 10, 1974. The remaining stone walls were later taken down.
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