Dean M. Chriss
Cayuga Falls, Ricketts Glen State Park, Pennsylvania

Cayuga Falls, Autumn, Pennsylvania

(Click image to enlarge)

Cayuga is a dialect of the Seneca language spoken by he smallest tribe of the Iroquois Confederacy, who are known as the Cayuga. It is also the name of one of the smallest waterfalls in Pennsylvania's Ricketts Glen State Park. At a little more than 13 feet (4 meters) high this waterfall is often overlooked among the much larger ones in the area, though it is actually quite beautiful. R. Bruce Ricketts gave all of the waterfalls in the park Iroquois names, or named them after family members and friends.

R. Bruce Ricketts was the proprietor of a nearby hotel from 1873 to 1903. The waterfalls drew people to the area and Ricketts' hotel, so he built a trail system between the waterfalls that, with a few modifications, is still used today. By the 1890s Ricketts owned or controlled over 80,000 acres (32375 ha, 120 square miles) and made a fortune clear-cutting almost all of that land. Fortunately about 2,000 acres (809 ha) of virgin forest in three glens where the waterfalls are located were preserved, probably because the area was difficult and expensive to access. After R. B. Ricketts death in 1918, his heirs began selling land to the state of Pennsylvania. When efforts to make Ricketts Glen a national park in the 1930s were ended by the Second World War and budget issues, Pennsylvania purchased the remaining land in 1942 and opened Ricketts Glen State Park in 1944, just before the war ended.