Sabula Walk: A Historical Journey

May 08, 2016 at 10:14 PM


Anju Jolley (second from left front) and Pam Kirk (far right front) led the Sabula walk.

            An overcast spring morning didn’t deter people from attending the DuBois Area Historical Society’s 8th Annual Spring Walk held at Sabula on May 7.

            Sabula residents Pam Kirk and Anju Jolly led thirty-five people on a tour of one of the most historic sites in the DuBois area. Kirk had lived at Sabula for 38 years and Jolly, who calls herself, “the last immigrant to move into Sabula,” has lived near the lake for over 30 years. “You come here and you want to stay,” explained Kirk.

            The walk started at the breast of the dam on the eastern side of the continental divide, with stories about early visitors to the area including the Susquehannock Indians, Lucian Bird, the first white man to visit, Moravian missionaries, and famous hunter Bill Long. The narration included several explanations of the origin of the name Sabula.

            Still visible in the water just below the spillway are logs left over from the late 19th or early 20th Century when Sabula Lake was a holding location for John E. DuBois’ lumbering operations. Some of the trees cut in that area during the lumbering era were estimated to be 297 years old.


           Adjacent to that location is the still in use Pennsylvania Railroad tunnel (above). The material cut from the mountainside during the construction of the tunnel was used to fashion the dam. Additional dam construction material came from the now abandoned Buffalo and Susquehanna Railroad tunnel.

          From the breast of the dam the tour moved into the residential community on the shore of the lake. Originally constructed as summer cottages in a resort setting, something that would happen again decades later with the opening of Treasure Lake, the simple homes have all been expanded.

          Kirk and Jolly highlighted the occupants of the homes from the original owners names such as DuBois, Moore, Osborn, Hibner, and Gray to today’s occupants. The tour concluded at Kirk’s boat dock and home.

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