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The original forest in this area consisted of hemlock in the stream bottoms with American chestnut and oak on the slopes and mountain tops. The first state purchase of land for this district was 7,608 acres bought in 1902 from J. Preston Thomas at a cost of $1.72 per acre.  Originally called the Rothrock Forest Reserve, this tract was later merged with the Pennypacker and McClure reserves to form the present Tuscarora State Forest.

Lumbering began in earnest in the early 1900's by large lumber companies such as the Perry Lumber Company, Oak Extract Company, East Waterford Lumber Company and the Pine Creek Lumber and Timber Company.  The great logging era ended in 1930.

A major development came in 1933 with the establishment of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a work program for able-bodied and unemployed males. State forestry personnel planned and supervised work activities for the CCC, which included construction and maintenance of:

  • Roads
  • Trails
  • Bridges

and the development of:

  • State parks
  • Picnic areas
  • Scenic overlooks 

Six CCC camps were located in the Tuscarora.