Monday, September 29, 2014

Fall 2014 Upcoming Events and E-Newsletter

It's time for the e-newsletter again!  Content in this quarter's newsletter is a little shorter than the previous newsletter due primarily to the amount of upcoming events we have scheduled.  With it filling a whole page, the Fall season will be extra busy for everyone at with viewing the "Stony Valley: Step Into History" 3-D model, numerous presentations, and even the annual Stony Valley Spook Hike. 

We hope to see you at one of our upcoming events.  Brandy M. Watts Martin, Schuylkill & Susquehanna Railroad Historian and Seth A. Martin, Stony Valley Daily Life Researcher, had a wonderful time at the Stony Creek Valley Coalition's Annual Picnic this past weekend at the Kittatinny Rod and Gun Club, where they showed the 3-D model and were on hand to answer questions.  If you missed the 3-D model this past weekend, don't worry.  What is usually Drive Thru weekend in October (Drive Thru is unfortunately cancelled this year) will see the 3-D model at Comics and Paperbacks Plus in Palmyra.  Check out the second page of the newsletter for ALL the upcoming events we have scheduled.  Fall is the season for presentations and events for!

This issue and back issues of the e-newsletter can be found at, and if you want to make sure you don't miss any updates on the blog or an issue of the e-newsletter, please sign up for our e-mail list! 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Waltonians Feed Wild Ducks

The other day I was looking through a stack of old bulletins of the Lebanon County Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America when I dumb-lucked across an interesting historical tidbit having to do with Cold Spring.  The Izaak Walton League is a conservation organization composed of hunters, anglers, and outdoor enthusiasts whose motto (from the bulletins) is "Defender of Woods, Water and Wild Life."  In the June 1946 bulletin, Marlan J. Heller, Chairman of the Wildlife Conservation Committee, reported:
"The order recently placed with Terrell’s Aquatic Nurseries for wild duck food was received on Friday, April 26th.  Since the wild celery winter buds and the white water lilies are perishable, they were prepared and planted as soon as possible.  Half of the wild celery winter buds and the water lilies were planted at Camp Strauss in Monroe Valley on Saturday, April 27th, and the balance at Cold Spring’s on Sunday, April 28th.  Since this Aquatic food program is a paid project, we urge all Sportsmen and the general public to refrain from picking or destroying these plants, thus helping to keep these places suitable for Wild Life propagation."
This information about the planting of duck food doubly interested us - because we study Cold Spring and because we live on Lake Strause.  Actually, it triply interested us since some of my husband Jim’s relatives were actively involved with the Izaak Walton League at the time.  (His grandfather, William T. Logan, was the first president of the Lebanon County Chapter when it was formed in February 1939).  In the aforementioned bulletin, under "worthy activities" of the Izaak Walton League is listed:  "Plant Duck Food - Wild Celery, Lilies, etc., in Strauss Dam and Cold Spring Dam."  Unfortunately, we could locate no local newspaper mentions of this project.

Terrell’s Aquatic Nurseries, located in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, were operated by Clyde B. Terrell, a nationally recognized authority on waterfowl and their feeding habits and habitats.  Wild celery is an underwater grass eaten by many species of diving ducks. Wood ducks and ring-necked ducks eat the seeds of water lilies.  Submerged portions of aquatic plants also provide habitats for many invertebrates that are eaten by ducks and other wildlife.  On his aquatic farm in Wisconsin, Clyde Terrell grew and gathered wild rice, wild celery, and other foods to be distributed for planting in suitable localities to attract ducks and other migratory waterfowl.  Plants and seeds were shipped throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Some of them ended up being planted at the Cold Spring Dam, possibly by Jim's grandfather and great grandfather.  

1932 Advertisement for Terrell's Aquatic Nurseries

Does anyone remember ever seeing white water lilies on the lake at Cold Spring before the dam was washed away in 1972 by Hurricane Agnes?  None of the old photographs we have show water lilies.  Has anyone encountered wild ducks on the lake or Stony Creek?  If anyone knows of other wildlife projects the Izaak Walton League participated in at Cold Spring, such as stocking fish, which they did in Lake Strause and many other dams and streams in Lebanon County, we'd like to hear from you.  Post a comment or contact us at email.