The Old Mine Holes and The Old Mine Road
Camp Pahaquarra History
The findings of their prospectors convinced the Dutch that they could mine the copper with profit and they soon began the undertaking. The date of the second expedition is not known, but it followed the trail of the first one, landing at Esopus on the Hudson. The first thing needed was a road to get ore from the mine to the ships. So the hardy Dutch began the building of a highway - or rather a trail from the shores of the Hudson to the shores of the Delaware. This is said to have been the first road constructed in this country. It was 103 miles long and was known as the "Old Mine Road." It still remains a public highway, as you may see, and will doubtless long continue as monument to these sturdy pioneers from Holland.
Previous to the coming of the Dutch only Indians had frequented this section. The Indians on the north side of the river were hostile to those on the south. Deadly encounters between the rival factions were the result and many are the traditions of blood and torture that have come down to these later days. Especially interesting is the story of the Indian Ladder which was built just below hereto afford a means of escape in time of native battle.
Among the numerous places of note nearby is Mount Tammany named after the celebrated Delaware Chief, Tamenund, meaning "beaver like" or amiable. Many societies have been named after this famous old Indian leader, including New York's great political organization, Tammany Hall.
After a time the miners and pioneers at Pahaquarra learned that the Delaware flowed into the Atlantic and then began hopes that ore might be sent down the streams to ships in the sea. Rafts were floated and little difficulty was encountered, except at Foul Rift. Foul Rift still retains its name and still, remains an obstacle to navigation, as most Scouts well know, especially if they are canoeists. However, river navigation among the early miners had the effect of doing away with much, of the popularity of the "Old Mine Road."
There is no record of the. length of time covered by the mining operations of the Dutch. In fact little is known of the early history and traditions of the section. As late as 1832 there were only thirteen families in the whole countryside. Among the ratables at that time were one grist mill, four saw mills, 59 horses and 121 head of cattle paying state and county taxes of only $109.61.
Going back a little further it is learned that in 1820 the post office for the section was called Calno. This information is gleaned from Peter Dimmick, who now owns and operates the ferry between Pennsylvania and New Jersey, bringing you to the camp if you came up by way of the Delaware Water Gap. As you climbed the river bank of the Jersey side you may have noticed an ancient foundation, about twenty feet square. That was the site of the original Calno post office. Late postmasters included Chauncey M. Dimmick, brother of Peter Dimmick, the ferry man. The latter was assistant postmaster. The average yearly income of the office for these brothers was $60, giving them about $2.50 per month each. The office went out of business physically and officially alike October 10, 1903, when a flood washed the building away. Mr. Dimmick says that at that time the water was five feet, eight inches deep in his kitchen. The rise of the Delaware at this point was placed at forty feet.
page 4 of 9 pages, Sep 1, 2005