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Indian Echo - 
The Lost Voice of the Tiadaghton
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Article: Indian Echo - The Lost Voice of the Tiadaghton
Written & Submitted by Jim Carn
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Indian Echo: The Lost Voice Of The Tiadaghton

This is the Pine Creek Valley and it once  But though we be invisible, we're very
belonged to me; much for real,
I was an American Indian who roamed so And in the vast aloneness our presence
proud and free. you can feel.
I watch from where the eagle still makes See my people at twilight from atop the
its stately nest, highest hill?
The guardian of the canyon, where now Hear the war drums throbbing, echoing
my people rest. down each rill?
We were the mighty red men, the Indian Yonder swirling smoke rises from the 
by name,  valley floor,
And this once was our land until the  From councils of the dead, that you thought
white man came. were no more.
He crossed the waters with bridges and As the rugged mountains tower above the 
strung a line in the air, bluish haze,
And took over this valley as if he'd Those with piercing eyes can relive
always been there. the olden days.
But back before his intrusion, a long, Can't you hear the thunder as you stand
long time ago, upon the ground?
This was a land of plenty, for which That's the hooves of Indian ponies that
there was no foe. throughout the valley pound!
So deep and dark and dreary, so awesome, Don't you see those teepees in the later 
great, forlorn, part of fall?
This is the land of our fathers; the land Suppose you took them for corn shocks
where we were born. standing there so tall.
Here where the mighty mountains race Can't you hear the war whoops screeching
upward toward the sky, in the night?
This is where we lived and now beneath See those painted faces all around the
them lie.  firelight?
Campfires once flickered along the Though you think we're dead, we're very
water's edge, much around,
And great warriors stood upon each lofty The Tiadaghton is not lost, it's only 
mountain ledge. been refound.
Canoes once shot the riffles upon the  And we shall endure together from north
water's wrath, of Owassee,
Before the railroad came and carved its To the bottom reaches where stood that
sweeping path. famed old tree.
This was the land of the big pines, towering And through all generations we shall send
an ancient world, the raging flood,
While far beneath the skyline, mighty Pine To remind the living of the taking of 
Creek curled. our blood.
Here the moon rose brilliant, cold and Fierce storms and the unexpected shall be
crystal clear, this valley's lot,
Over a land of beauty, a virgin raw For we control the heavens and we'll send
frontier. you all we've got!
Down the awesome gorge, Red Jacket  And though we have departed, this will
often passed, always be our home,
Doing all he could to make our And over these hills and valleys we will
history last. forever roam.
But the age was against us; time was not Great Manitou will protect us through
on our side, all eternity,
Things being unequal, we bravely stood So roll on mountain river through all the 
and died. years that be!

--James Carn, 1973

About the Poem

Located in north-central Pennsylvania, the Pine Creek Valley begins near the tiny village of Brookland, Potter County, PA., and runs southeasterly for better than 70 miles, through Tioga and Lycoming Counties and ends just west of the Borough of Jersey Shore, PA. The Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, or Pine Creek Gorge, is located in this valley where some of the most beautiful scenery in the Commonwealth is found.

The Indians called the creek "Tiadaghton," but the white settlers mistakenly thought the Tiadaghton was Lycoming Creek, miles to the east, and thus call the stream Pine Creek from its earliest discovery because of the vast pine forests surrounding it.

The Indians believed in a Great Spirit they called Great Manitou, who they looked to for guidance and protection. Among themselves, they looked to Red Jacket, a Seneca chief, who was a powerful leader who fought with words to preserve his people's land and their identity in this region.

Along the west bank of Pine Creek, approximately one mile from the Susquehanna River, the famous Fair Play Men met under what came to be known as The Tiadaghton Elm Tree on July 4, 1776, to declare their independence from Great Britain, unaware that the Continental Congress was meeting in Philadelphia for the same purpose. The 500-year-old tree last blossomed in 1973 and was cut down in 1975 after succumbing to diseases and the ravages of time.

An Indian trail from the Seneca country ran through the Pine Creek Valley, connecting the Genesee Valley paths with the Great Shamokin Path at Jersey Shore. It was along this path that the railroad was built in 1883, and continued to operate for 105 years until it was abandoned and dismantled in 1988-89.

It was in this wilderness that the baby deer for the 1946 Metro Goldwyn Mayer Technicolor production "The Yearling" was found. It was also here that Cecil B. DeMille used the scenic background for the 1947 Technicolor production of "Unconquered."

The Pine Creek Valley is rich in both natural beauty and early American history. For here, in this still unspoiled setting, a small part of one the saddest stories ever recorded was played out -- the fate of the fast-vanishing American Indian.

First Added to the Site  on 26 JAN 2003
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