Black Forest Souvenirs was inspired by Henry Shoemaker’s early experience in the Black Forest of Germany and the mystical draw of its vast expanse of hemlocks, spruces, and pines interspersed with lumbermen and roaming wildlife. On trips to Clinton, Potter, McKean, and Lycoming Counties in Pennsylvania between 1899 and 1902, Shoemaker discovered forests still intact, evoking the romantic ideal of the German Schwarzwald. However, upon returning to the mountains five years later, he found these forests desolated by the logging industry, practically a ruin—a vision far from the romanticized wilderness he had encountered early in life. This destruction inspired Shoemaker to attempt to preserve the region’s folklore, recording stories and tales told by elderly residents of the area. Traversing the line between fact and fiction, Black Forest Souvenirs reveals a pristine landscape preserved in the minds of its people.
This collection of legends from the northern regions of the state was originally printed by the Bright-Faust Printing Company in Reading, Pennsylvania, in 1914 and includes photographs by William T. Clarke.