Is Pecks Pond Finished?


My grandfather, John David Derstine, built the original section of this cabin, on Pecks Pond, in 1929. He camped all over the area to find the best location. 

The sun rises just to the left of the view from that screened in porch and the full moon comes up directly over the water in the summer. It’s spectacular! 

When there’s water in the lake. 


Here’s the current view from the porch! Over the years, silt has brought the bottom up higher and higher. When I was young, there was a raft anchored out there in 20 feet of water! Now is maybe 4 feet deep, at most, with lillies and all sorts of aquatic plants reaching the surface by mid summer. The clear topwater fishing season is only in the Spring. 

In the Fall of 2016, they started the draw down of the lake, to repair the dam. Construction was supposed to begin in the Spring of 2017. 

It’s now August and the call for the construction bids for the job, has not yet been made! All this Summer the lake has been nearly empty and growing a pasture!

This is our dock! It’s usually surrounded by water! We row our boats and paddle our kayaks in and out from here. Not this Summer. 

The PA DCNR (Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources) has a bad track record, with regard to the completion of these projects. Often, through no fault of their own, money gets shifted. Projects get stalled. 

I think the future of Pecks Pond is in jeopardy. 

I think my family’s 88 year history here will be over. 

I love this place. 


That’s the fireplace in the original section, that my grandfather built. Completely by hand. I have often imagined, what it must have taken to lift that huge rock,  and place it at the center, over the mantel. Remember, all by hand. 


Here’s what you see when you drive up the old path, over the hill behind the cabin. When I start up that old windy wooded way, my pulse quickens, every time. For 50 years. 

I’ve written letters to the State. They always write back. They do their best, with the meager funds they get. I’m not angry with anyone. Just sad. 

I won’t lose faith yet. I can survive one more empty lake season. Maybe two, but I don’t think the lake can. 

It has been Magic here over the years. My cousin Edward, taught me to tie my shoes in this cabin.  We all learned to row a boat on this lake. 

My father taught me and my two brothers before me, how to take a fish off the hook here and I taught my daughters. One of them taught her sons. 

Four generations of bass fishing on Pecks Pond. Four generations of lies. 😊

Fourth of July weekends here with more than 20 family members sleeping inside and on the porch. Everyone complaining about my dad’s snoring!  

My mother and Aunt Kit cooking breakfast. Cast iron pans filled with bacon and eggs. Once and a while, even fish! 

We’ll see what happens. 

3 thoughts on “Is Pecks Pond Finished?

  1. I am both jealous of you for having this wonderful refuge, and heartbroken that it may only be for a little while longer. What a wonderful place to preserve memories and family history!

    Like

  2. Is it something that can accomplished privately? Go fund me? The Conservancy? Audubon? And would you stay if you had water? Cost to take the well deeper?
    I do not like to lose. If it was me I would settle for my grandfather’s cabin by a meadow.
    For now, all I have is a virtual hug. I am sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

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