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This area of the Pennsylvania was settled during the late 1700s and was the last stronghold of the mountain buffalo in the state. The large landholdings that make up much of the present-day Bald Eagle State Forest were assembled from original land grants given to Revolutionary War soldiers.

They were purchased by the major logging and lumbering companies during the late 1880s and 1890s. More than 120,000 acres were either sold to the state following extensive logging or were bought at tax sales. The average price for land at that time was $2.30 per acre, a great bargain for the citizens of the commonwealth.