In the northern central part of Pennsylvania there is a region called the Pennsylvania Wilds. It is a rural mountainous and pristine land of over 2 million acres. We enjoyed tent camping in this region of the state and had many encounters with the large timber rattles that populate the area. When we camped and hiked we always stayed on the trials and kept a watchful eye out for both snakes and black bear that roam the area. While exploring this area we always took time to visit the small mountain towns we came across. One small town we visited was called Renovo. It sits on the west branch of the Susquehanna River and was an old logging and mining town build in the early 1800's. When we pulled into town we were both impressed and sadden with the old stately buildings that were vacant and in a state of disrepair. We could see that this was once prosperous town with grand buildings from the old logging days in the Pennsylvania mountains. We took time out to walk around the town and look at some of the old buildings. I came across this old 5 & 10 store and was taken back to thoughts of my childhood when these stores were in every small town. I setup my view camera and as I was composing the scene of the store front, I notice this man coming my way down the street. I stopped him to ask a few questions about the area and he told me a long history about the old town. He was a R.R. worker on his way to work, and said he was one of the few people left working in the massive R.R. yards that is located across from the main street. Renovo was a properous Railroad town that hauled lumber and coal from the mountains. It's wealth was generated by the hard work of immigrate families who came to America seeking a better life. At one time the town had a population of nearly 5,000 people, now it has been reduced to about 1,000. Growing in the weeds with the boarded up store fronts one can see the remains of the hopes, dreams, and hard work of a past generation.
Some videos of this old town.