The Old Mine Holes and The Old Mine Road
Camp Pahaquarra History
Because the Hollanders of nearly three centuries ago were desperately in need of mineral resources, the Boy Scouts of America, Trenton and Mercer Area, have today a camp site that is historic and romantic, as well as picturesque and altogether desirable.
Holland, long famous as a country in which only one mineral is to be found, became aware some three hundred years ago that man cannot manufacture with zinc alone. It was then that venturesome spirits began to look to other lands for needed supplies and products. Among others was Henry Hudson who decided upon a tour of discovery to the New World. In 1605 he crossed the Atlantic Ocean, seeking not only minerals, especially copper, but also the much desired Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific. He finally entered what is now New York Bay and sailed up the magnificent river which was afterward given his name, passing the New Jersey Palisades, and made a landing at an Indian settlement called Esopus. This settlement later became a white colonization and is now known as Kingston, in the state of New York.
Hurried observation convinced Hudson that there was an abundance of minerals in the mountains, which ended at the river and reached back and back into the then undiscovered country. Returning to his home, the explorer made a report to the Dutch government which resulted in the sending of an expedition to the new land of promise.
This expedition landed in Esopus in 1654 and began at once to prospect for minerals, especially for the much wanted copper. The hardy adventurers followed the mountain range back in the unknown country for many miles arid finally came to another beautiful river. This was at what is now Port Jervis, the source, almost, of the Delaware River. Turning their faces southward and following the river, the explorers before long stood on the spot where you are now standing.
Amazement at the beauty and grandeur of the country did not stop the Dutch from thinking of their main object. They were after minerals rather than scenery. Following a tributary of the river - Deer Creek, now facing us-the travelers soon found what they were looking for, fine samples of copper-much better than they had discovered along the Hudson.
Loading themselves with as much as they could carry of the prized minerals, the explorers made their way back to Esopus and sailed for Holland. And today if you go to Amsterdam you may see in Holland's National Museum some 0f the copper taken from these mine holes in 1657 by Claaus De Ruyter and his fellow adventurers.
Thus was recorded the first work of the white man in this part of the country - in the old mine holes of the Pahaquarra Mountains. "Pahaquarry" as this mine and township is known derives its name from Pahaqualong, the Indian name for the mountain which forms the southern boundary of the township. The original word was spelled Pahaquarra. The "Y" having been added later. The Scouts have restored the original word. According to the United States Geological Survey the Indian word meant "termination of two mountains."
page 3 of 9 pages, Sep 1, 2005