It’s a pretty ease process to add something to Google Maps but it can be rather difficult to demonstrate some random spot in the woods is a place of some significance. It is with some sense of pride and accomplishment that I have added Swartwood Cemetery back on the map. This cemetery had long been off the map, its graves had long been left untended. Using the details available and with some lingering photographs, I had an idea of what to look for as I ventured out into the hills across Route 209 from the Valley View campground. Using the AllTrails app I recorded my trail and I marked my GPS coordinates upon arrival.
I place that has been long forgotten and/or overlooked has been reclaimed through research, tracking, sharing knowledge and a little bit of activism. How can you reclaim a place? Research. Identification. And education.
My interest in the abandoned village of Egypt Mills began when family history research led me to look for the Valley View, or Swartwood, Cemetery not far down the road on Route 209 in Bushkill, Lehman Township, Pike County, Pennsylvania. According to information provided by the National Park Service, the land was settled in the late 18th century, with a 1776 land purchase by William Nyce; their leaflet makes reference to the Nyce family farm and a postcard from a once well-known Hunting Club but the village was small, prosperous and filled with lively cast of characters who would call this place home.
My project began out of curiosity; following the Tom’s Creek trail out towards Landis lake and wanting to know more about the remains of what I discovered, and the surrounding area between Little Egypt and Big Egypt Roads — remains of stone foundations and wools, mill runs, and steel tools. I began to photograph my surroundings and mark the GPS coordinates of each location. Then I pinpointed every location on Google Earth and added an overlay of old 1872 map of Lehman Township to identify what these structures may have been and to whom they belonged.
Continue to follow as explore each structure, the remains of the village, its current natural beauty and its lively history.