Fossil Hunting and Ghost Town Exploring

fossilIn the late 1800’s, The McIntyre Coal company of Pennsylvania was founded and operations for mining coal began. It was called McIntyre because the establishment mined coal from the mountains in McIntyre Township, above Williamsport Pa. My family and I recently had the chance to visit the area and do some exploring.

The small town of McIntyre, which formed during the time the mines were active, is now a ghost town. Only a few foundations from the some 300 homes, school, church, stores, and other structures can be seen. Most all has vanished since the closing of the mines in 1886.

One of the most catching sights that is noticed during exploring the mountain is the old cemetery which now sits quietly and eerily alone in the forest. The headstones are worn, but still silently stand to mark a place of reverence. Further into the forest are the various foundations and such.

mcintyre coalThe mines have all been shut. Signs of these are seen only by the mounds of dirt leading into the side of the mountain. They are like ditches which now lead to dead-ends. But during the mining days, they would traverse deep into the mountain where coal was found.

Coal is still readily found on the outside though. Besides the Ghost Town, there are fossil pits here. Many of the rocks, when split open, hold coal. Some hold fossils…..

It was a great time. My Mom and Dad went with us too, so it was extra special. My Dad who is a scout master used to take the boys up to the pits for fossil hunts. It had been 20 years since he had been there, and he was happy to show us around. We were happier to have him show us, and spend time with them. That was our treasure this day.

Springtime has arrived, however, and I don’t do well with Rattlers. So it seems more adventure for here might need to wait until fall. (unless I’m feeling extra brave some night, and say, kids, pack up, let’s go to the forest graveyard and town!) (and I might)

mcintyre ghost town coyote printAnd from the footprint (shown right (we are thinking it is a Coyote print)), snakes might not be the only thing to be careful about.

So as with all places and things, have fun exploring but be careful while doing so.

I’ll let you know when we go back. And of course if we find anything!

Best of luck with all that you seek! Enjoy life’s adventure!


at ghost town mcintyre lookout

My Dad, and I (jenny) and two of my four kids.

ghost town fossil pit

McIntyre fossil pit hunting

ghost town mcintyre pa


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8 Responses

  1. Don says:

    Thanks Jenny for sharing. It is so fun searching old places, and from someone who has lost both of his parents, spending the day with them IS truly a treasure.

  2. John Davis says:

    I remember how while looking for specimens for a college class, I fell down a rocky hillside. When I came to, my hand was laying on a perfect trilobite. I donated it to the school, and it is still their premier exhibit on such fossils. I got an A for the course, too! Good you are sharing your adventures with your whole family, Jenny!

  3. Nate Beck says:

    Awesome article Jenny!

    I wish we had a ghost town we could go explore. Seems like so much fun. And a graveyard in the middle of nowhere is my idea of a great spooky setting! Better pack your knee-high boots and snake repellant though.

    Very nice fam photo too Jenny 🙂

  4. Jenny Kile says:

    Thanks all….. it was a wonderful time and we will be going back before too long.

    @ John— falling for trilobite…..funny, but congrats on the find!

  5. astree says:

    Great article and pictures. I can almost feel the cool spring breeze. Did you take a metal detector? Also, that’s great to get out there with three generations of the family.

    Wasn’t there (is there still?) a “Williamsport watches WGAL” ? 🙂 it’s been a while

    I really like the background on that first picture, too. Something about looking down into town below.

    Thanks, Jenny. Great adventure.

    • JL says:

      hanging out with your interpretations is starting to effect mine.”Williamsport watches”
      will ra m sport watches?

      • astree says:

        Time for “Williamsport thaw CES” ? 🙂

        If I recall correctly, it was from a television station broad cast in the Susequehanna Valley, but I could be wrong about it. (There were also “Lancaster watches …” “York watches …” ).

        But I do remember some things about Miss Marsha, Captain Kangaroo, and Percy Platypus …. but Jenny’s too young for those.
        . (this is from WGAL)

        • JL says:

          Ra was out with a vengence, capt kangaroo was not before my time, Miss Marsha maybe and also Percy P. I did enjoy Percy P; Thank you!

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