January 29th is the birthday of Indiana County native Edward Abbey, born in Indiana, Pennsylvania in 1927. Abbey attended Marion Center and Indiana Schools and spent his teenage years on a small farm in Washington Township, near Home, PA that he called the 'Old Lonesome Brier Patch'. The farm is just a short distance from Blue Spruce Park; most likely Edward Abbey visited what was then known as Cummings Dam as a youth. He attended Indiana State Teacher's College (now IUP) for a short time and graduated from the University of New Mexico in 1951.
Abbey later worked as a fire lookout in national forests and as a ranger in Arches National Park and used these experiences for the basis of the book Desert Solitaire. He is also known for his novel The Monkey Wrench Gang, featuring characters who will do anything to stop developers from destroying the West. His novel The Fool’s Progress, includes many Indiana County references, including character's last family names and places that are still familiar in Indiana County today.
The historical marker for Edward Abbey, located along Route 119, has recently been temporarily moved while a road and bridge construction project takes place. We wondered what 'Cactus Ed' would think about all of the 'improvements' that PennDOT is making there, including tearing down the small house that his parents, Mildred and Paul, once lived in. Although not as well-known in his native county as he should be, Edward Abbey was, and still is, very popular in the American West where he spent most of his adult life. He died in 1989 and is buried in an unmarked grave in the wilderness desert that he loved and wrote so passionately about.
The 62-acre lake at Hemlock Lake has frozen solid for the first time this winter.
Posted January 28, 2016.
Snow has blanketed Blue Spruce Park and the ice is finally starting to thicken. Over the past few days the ice fishermen have been out for the first time this season.