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The Devils Turnip Patch



About five miles west of the terminus of the Bald Eagle is a deep rift, or cross-crack, known as the Turnpike Gap, through which a turnpike has for many years connected Clinton Township with the City of Williamsport. A curious feature of this fissure is a spot called "The Devil's Turnip Patch." It consists of a large space along the pike, on the west side, without a tree or bush, that is covered with immense blocks of stone piled up in haphazard profusion. Hidden from sight under the rocks a brook can be heard, as it goes babbling on "to join the brimming river." The scene is one that never fails to excite the wonder and curiosity of all thoughtful beholders. Old Nick doubtless never gathered the stones, and never attempted to raise turnips in such a barren patch, but the question is, how did the stones get there in that particular spot? Some one may be ready to tell us that these bowlders are Drift-Relics, and will be pleased to lead us back in imagination to the age of the great continental glacier, when immense icebergs would become detached from the slow-moving sheet of ice and float off to drop their freight of rock as they melted. And perhaps the narrator would fancy that a great floe of glacial ice loaded with rock was stranded in this gap, and discharged its freight right on this spot, and possibly that a series of icebergs were drawn through this gap by a strong current and were wrecked here. But in this case the rocks all appear to belong to the very formation on which they rest, and that rather spoils the theory. Geology is a noble science; and it is also an excellent study for the exercise of the imagination.

  • Gernerd, J. M. M., The Muncy Valley: Snap-Shots of Scenery, Geology and History, 1909, Press of the Gazette and Bulletin, Williamsport PA
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