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History of Lyman Run State Park

Lyman Run State Park was named for Major Isaac Lyman, an American Revolutionary War soldier believed to be the second permanent settler in Potter County. In 1809, Lyman built his home in nearby Lymansville (now Ladonna), east of present day Coudersport.

During the 1880s, large stands of white pine were harvested and floated down Lyman Run to Pine Creek and on to Williamsport. During the 1890s, the Goodyear Brothers purchased most of the land drained by the West Branch of Pine Creek.

In 1905, Frank and Charles Goodyear constructed a large camp and engine terminal in the area that now is the park day use area. From this base, steam locomotives pulled log trains through the ten miles of main line and 30 miles of spur lines. Many of the spur lines were steep, with grades of up to ten percent.

Each day, up to 100 train cars of logs were hauled out of Lyman Run to the sawmill in Galeton. At night, trains hauled hemlock bark to leather tanneries in Galeton, Westfield, and Elkland.

The land changed hands several times until it was purchased by the R. J. Gaffney Company, who cut the remaining hardwoods for a wood chemical plant on the West Branch Pine Creek. Logging ceased in 1913.

For forest fire and watershed protection, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania purchased the land in and around Lyman Run in the 1920s.

Civilian Conservation Corps

A green, circular United States Civilian Conservation Corps logo with trees 

During the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps built Camp S-88 in the area that currently is the park maintenance area. The young men of the camp completed forestry improvements and road construction projects. Toward the end of World War II, the camp housed German prisoners-of-war. After the war, the camp seasonally housed migrant workers who harvested the local potato crop.

Construction of Lyman Run Dam began in 1951. Lyman Run State Park opened to the public in 1955. The dam was replaced in 2009.