This trail is named for the mining village of Eagleton that existed in the area from about 1845 to 1870. Eagleton Coal and Iron Company, under the supervision of George Armstrong, built the village to house miners working in the Eagleton bituminous coal fields. During this time period, several mining villages existed in the Tangascootac watershed, some of which were funded by the royal family of Spain. Eagleton was distinguished among the villages by its railroad. The Eagleton Railroad climbed from the Tangascootac Valley to the village on the plateau top. It made the climb on a series of switchbacks that were known as the “Seven Switches.” A section of the Eagleton Mine Camp Trail follows this old railroad grade.
Eagleton was also distinguished as the site of the first labor strike in Central Pennsylvania’s bituminous coal fields. In 1865, approximately 200 workers revolted against unfair wages. Sheriff John Smith of Lock Haven arrived with twenty riflemen and defused the situation in a few days.
Another historical point of interest connected with this area is that site of one of Prince Farrington’s stills. Farrington was a legendary Prohibition-Era bootlegger in Clinton and Lycoming Counties. He continued bootlegging after Prohibition was repealed to avoid paying taxes. In April of 1925, federal and state Treasury Agents and PA liquor Control Board agents raided his still and arrested Farrington.
(Information provided by Forest District 10, Sproul State Forest, Renovo, PA)