Keeping the History of Kinzua Alive For the Next Generation
I recently had the pleasure of meeting with Bob Schmid, Joan Christenson, and Bill Vargo here at the WCVB. Bob and Joan are both historians of the Kinzua Dam and Reservoir area. Bill is a professional photographer of the beautiful landscapes in Warren County and beyond, who, like myself, is fascinated by Kinzua and Seneca history. I learned many interesting facts about the former village of Kinzua and the surrounding area. Did you know that Rimrock was not always Rimrock? The locals called it "Sam's Rock" named after Sam Campbell. Jake's Rock was named after Jake Morrison. Kinzua Golf Course sat where the Kinzua Beach is today. Professional golfer Arnold Palmer golfed there at one time! Where the Kinzua Marina now sits was once farmland. This is just some of the information that Bob and Joan shared with me during our visit. There were several communities such as Big Bend, Corydon, Sugar Run, Tuttletown, Dew Drop, and Morrison where people lived and worked. Evidence can be found that these fine communities existed in the old foundations, tree stumps, and roads that can be seen when the water level gets low enough. There were many memorable businesses such as Jinks Hotel, Ace Diner, and the Kinzua Valley Chemical Company just to name a few. Some of the homes that were in these communities still exist today. They were moved before the area was flooded through. Some can be seen on Route 59 on the way to the Kinzua Dam. Bob Schmid has done a huge service by posting the photos and stories of the people, homes, and businesses that once inhibited the area on his Facebook page, Construction of the Kinzua Dam. When I asked Bob and Joan where their interest came from concerning the Kinzua area, they had each replied that they had fond memories of taking car trips through the area and admiring the beauty of the communities as children. Bill Vargo's photos are widely recognized in our community. Bill captures the beauty that shines through the area today, while always respecting what existed in the area years ago. Bill's interest of the area lies in the natural beauty that still exists today. Thank you to Bob, Joan, and Bill for meeting with me and sharing your knowledge of the Kinzua area. It is a visit that I will never forget and hope to repeat again! Thank you Bob Schmid for permission to use the following photos from the Construction of the Kinzua Dam Facebook page.