Indian Head Campground - History
  • Native Americans
  • Pennsylvania Canal
  • Covered Bridges
  • Quaker Meeting House
Native Americans... The history of the Valley of the Susquehanna is impossible to consider, without taking into account the accomplishments of the Native Americans that lived here. Names of famous tribes such as the Iroquois, Shawnee, and Delaware can be traced all up and down the river. Many of the roads we use today were first developed by Native Americans, and many of the towns of today sit directly upon the location of major villages. Every creek mouth, and all of the logical locations to settle were first selected and utilized by the Native Americans. For the most part, fishing, hunting and food gathering was the way of survival for them. They fished for Atlantic eel, American shad, mussels, crawfish, and other river dwelling creatures, hunted the white tail deer and other animals, and eventually included farming of primarily corn, and other vegetables. Evidence of their handicraft can still occasionally be found on the grounds. Arrowheads, spear points, corn grinders, hammer stones, net sinkers, pottery, ax heads, fire pits, burned corn, and a variety of other implements have all been found at the site of present day Indian Head Campground.

PA Canal... After some unsuccessful attempts to use steam powered boats to travel on the Susquehanna River in the early 1800's, a canal was constructed along the banks of the river to bring the rich coal found in Northeastern PA to the homes and industries that needed it for energy. Other commodities that were produced along the river were also moved by the barges on the canal. We are fortunate to have the remains of one of the canal locks that lifted or lowered the barges as was needed, at the campground. Just a short walk down the old towpath, and you can view the workmanship of the builders of the stone wall that was part of the lock. The entrance to Indian Head Campground had a wooden bridge built over the canal so that the land on the other side could be farmed. In the photograph is James Quick who owned and operated a blacksmith shop where the red brick house now sits, located across from the entrance to the campground.

Covered Bridges... Costing $1,637.00 to build by Jesse M. Beard in 1847, the Rupert covered bridge is just a short walk from the campground. After suffering some severe deterioration, the bridge was closed in 1994, repaired at a cost of $1,083,762.00, and reopened in 2001. We are fortunate to have about two dozen covered bridges in the immediate area, that can be visited on a day trip.

Quaker Meeting House... The Quaker Meeting House in Catawissa, is a good place to visit to get an idea of the construction of the homes and buildings back in the 1700's. A rare two story log house was built in Rupert just across from the campground, near the large brick home that was the Paxton House. The log home had fallen into disrepair,
and was torn down.

Native American flint and stone points.

Pennsylvania Canal Lock by Richard Bonham.

Covered Bridge by Richard Bonham.

A stage in the reconstruction of the Rupert Covered Bridge.

Locations of Columbia County covered bridges.

Quaker Meeting House in Catawissa by Richard Bonham.

Original entrance to Indian Head Campground; Bridge over
the North Branch PA Canal to access the farmland.

People have camped here
for a long time!
Return to Indian Head Campground Home Page