Legends Collected in Central Pennsylvania
By (author) Henry W. Shoemaker
Publication date:02 August 2011
Length of book:434 pages
Published in 1916, Juniata Memories was Henry W. Shoemaker’s eighth volume of Pennsylvania folklore. Written in the author’s typical literary style, this volume includes twenty-six legends set in Central Pennsylvania and the Juniata Valley. These stories, “secured from old people, hermits, farmers, lumbermen, teamsters, hostlers, hunters, trappers, old soldiers, and their ladies,” prominently feature the Stone, Kishacoquillas, and Penn’s Valleys and the many towns that lie within and around them, such as Huntingdon, Lewistown, and Selinsgrove. The stories share a common theme with those in many of Shoemaker’s other volumes, portraying Pennsylvania’s pioneers as having a decidedly spiritual connection with nature.
Juniata Memories includes some of Shoemaker’s best-known legends, such as “Nita-Nee: A Tradition of a Juniata Maiden” (the story of Mount Nittany’s formation in Centre County) and “The Standing Stone: A Legend of the Ancient Oneidas” (set in Huntingdon County). These popular tales stand alongside Shoemaker’s telling of famous area love stories, ghost lore, supposed Indian legends, hunting lore, and even a story of buried treasure along the Susquehanna River. The volume is illustrated with scenic turn-of-the-century photographs taken by the Pennsylvania Railroad’s official photographer.