RENOVO — Middle Branch Hunting Camp in Clinton County is celebrating 100 years of existence.
Located adjacent to a former Civilian Conservation Corps site established along the Middle Branch Stream during the Great Depression, the camp was built in 1917 on land leased from the state by the original members.
Original members traveled all day by horse and wagon up Orviston Mountain. Their wagons were loaded with provisions to set up tents for extended periods of hunting. At the time, open hunting was the rule, and sportsmen were permitted to hunt for deer, bear, turkey, coyote and more, all at the same time.
Many of the original fixtures from the 1917 raising still remain. The camp is heated by a wood stove, plus an old cook stove that was obtained from the Brockerhoff Hotel. The ceiling in the main room was constructed by using shutters that were part of the former Bellefonte High School. During the replacement of windows, some hunting licenses from 1929 were discovered in the walls.
Up until the mid-1970s, the only lights in camp were oil lanterns. Gas lines were installed, and now the camp is illuminated by mantle-style gas lighting. Mountain water flows into the kitchen sink through a gravity feed from the spring house.
Today, much of what was a part of the original founders building of Camp Middle Branch remains as a reminder of the heritage of the men of the camp. Several members of the camp are fourth generation.
A celebration will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, to commemorate the camp's 100-year anniversary. Former members, friends and families are invited to attend the covered dish celebration.