|~ Newark Valley Historical
~ Nature Stories: 1900-1909 ~
|Local Historic Sites||
"A Deer Running Wild"
"A wild deer roaming thru the fields and woods of Northern Tioga was a sight witnessed on Monday last for the first time in probably fifty years. When the morning train from the north reached here the passengers reported seeing a deer in the field just west of the track on the Manning farm, just south of the village of Berkshire.
Later reports show that this deer, which is described as a large doe, was seen in several different places. The first we have heard of it was on the farm of D. Phillips, a mile or so north of East Berkshire church. The next was where seen from the train and after the train passed it jumped the railroad fences and went back on the east hill. Somewhere about this time it swam the pond at the axe factory at South Berkshire.
Thus the unusual sight of a deer at large in this section was enjoyed by quite a number and all remark upon the ease with which she cleared the highest fences. It is possible the deer has wandered here from the north woods, but it is generally thought it must have escaped from some park, though no one seems to have heard as yet of any being lost…….. It will not be well for anyone to shoot the deer, as there is $100 penalty."
Tioga County Herald, Newark Valley, Friday, June 21, 1907
"An Unusual Sight"
An unusual sight in this section of the country was witnessed Monday morning by a trainload of passengers on the south bound Lehigh Valley train. When the train was between Berkshire and Newark Valley a deer bounded out of a thicket and raced with the train in a ploughed field along the side of the tracks for several hundred feet.
The last wild deer in Owego was seen just sixty years ago. In May, 1847, it came down the hill and out of the woods on the south side of the Susquehanna, a little below Hiawatha Island. It was chased by dogs into the river and swam down to this village, where many spectators were gathered on the banks. The people prevented it from coming out of the water and it swam up and down above the bridge for some time. Finally Jehial Ogden, the gunsmith, shot it with his rifle, the ball striking it back of the foreshoulder. Then George and Leonard Freeman went out in a boat, knocked it in the head, and killed it. The deer was taken to the south side of the river, landed on a raft owned by Robert Cameron, above the bridge. Jehial Ogden took the heart and hide of the animal as his share and the Freemans took the rest."
Owego Gazette, Thursday, June 20, 1907
"Driving the Wolves"
Dr. R. T. Gates, who is one of the oldest residents of Newark Valley and who is 86 years old, writes the following interesting letter to the Herald of a wolf drive in Tioga county in 1828:
"In the year of our lord 1828, the wolves, then running in this county, became so numerous and so pestilent that the towns of Richford, Berkshire, Candor, Union, and Lisle held a conference over the question, and at that meeting it was resolved to appoint two men in each town to act as a committee to drive the wolves beyond the Susquehanna river.
"…………The outfit for each man was a dog, if he had one, a gun and plenty of ammunition, and a large cow bell. Nights they stood on guard, ringing cow bells and shooting off their guns so the wolves would not go back.
"The march commenced about half way between Harford Mills and Richford, and was formed east toward Hunt's corners and west toward Slaterville. The signal to march south was the firing of a gun at north Richford, then every man on the line that had a gun fired it and everyone rang his cow bell. At night dry trees were set on fire, so the men could warm themselves and wild beasts would keep back.
"Thursday night the centre of the line halted a little north of Gaskill corners. Horace Gates and Am M. Tyler stayed all night with Madison Livermore's father. That night the hungry wolves killed and ate six large sheep, near Gaskill corners. Friday was the day of victory and Friday night of deliverance, all over the drive.
"I was six years old the month of this wolf drive came off, and remember it, but can most distinctly remember hearing what was called a 'wolf squeal'. One night before the drive a great number of wolves collected on the hill near my father's house and made the most frightful sounds I ever heard.
"Quite likely some old readers of this story can remember how long Pennsylvania held a drudge against New York for this act of driving the wolves into Pennsylvania"
Owego Gazette, July 23, 1908
"Hunting for Bear"
"A Richford correspondent says: About two weeks ago, it was reported that a bear was roaming the woods in the extreme eastern part of the town. A party of fifty men with rifles and dogs spent a day hunting for him. They found peculiar tracks, which old hunters declared could be no other than bear tracks, but did not get a glimpse of the animal. Not much attention was paid to his until a few days since, when George Belden, who has an extensive apiary, went to visit the bee hives he had placed for feeding purposes on Brier hill, in the same part of the town. He found about half the hives had been crushed and the honey taken out. Were the thieves human the hives would not have been crushed in this way and only a very powerful animal would have the strength, so it seems there must be some foundation to the story.
"From Port Crane comes the tale that two Italians who are there picking peas for a resident of that place, report that they have lost a bear. Originally they had a cinnamon bear and a black bear, and the latter seems to have tired of that quiet village, and to have left. Doubtless he is the bear which is rambling through the woods near this city. He is black, of course, likewise large, and reported to be of a frolicsome disposition."
Owego Gazette, July 1, 1909
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