Greencastle museum speaker to explore Catoctin Mountain Park

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot
This photograph of the Catoctin Mountain area is courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Scott Bell, Chief of Resource Management for Catoctin Mountain Park, will be the guest speaker at Allison-Antrim Museum, Inc.’s quarterly meeting, set for 7 p.m. Thursday, July 9.

Bell, via a PowerPoint presentation, will cover the unique history of Catoctin Mountain Park, including its natural resources, recreational use, charcoal making and even the moonshiners who once operated there.

Catoctin Mountain National Park, which is right out our back door, is rich in natural beauty with clear mountain streams and abundant wildlife.  It was established in the mid-1930s at the height of the "Great Depression.”

Previously, the forest of oak trees had been the source of charcoal, to run the iron furnaces of the area, and for the lumber industry and farming.  In part, the park’s founding was to provide employment through government agencies, such as the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration.  In the 1960s, the park was the site of the first Job Corps training center from 1965 to 1969.

One of the camps established there became a presidential retreat known as Shangri La, which was used by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  Later on, President Eisenhower renamed it Camp David, after his grandson.

Bell’s main duties at Catoctin Mountain Park include cultural resource protection, biologist, environmental compliance and coordinating actions with the other Divisions in the Park, other National Parks, the Regional Office and other federal, state, and local organizations.  He received his bachelor’s degree in Biology from Indiana University in 1974 and his Master of Science from Michigan State University in Park and Recreation Resources in 1992.  Prior to the National Park Service he worked for the Florida State Parks, the Alaska Fish and Game Department as a Fish and Wildlife Technician conducting salmon research, worked on an oilrig in the Artic, and was a Forestry Extension Agent in Kenya in the Peace Corps.

There is no admission fee for the speaker’s meeting, but donations are greatly appreciated, and will be credited toward Allison-Antrim Museum’s annual speakers’ series.

For more information, visit: www.greencastlemuseum.org, Facebook, on Twitter @greencastlemuzm, or call 717-597-9010.

Allison-Antrim Museum, Inc., 365 S. Ridge Ave., Greencastle, is open regularly Monday to Friday, from noon to 4 p.m.