Dean M. Chriss
F. L. Ricketts Falls, Ricketts Glen State Park, Pennsylvania

F. L. Ricketts Falls, Autumn, Pennsylvania

(Click image to enlarge)

Surrounded by old growth forest painted with autumn colors, F. L. Ricketts Falls drops a total of 38 feet (11.6 meters) and is named after the brother of R. Bruce Ricketts.

Ricketts Glen State Park is named for R. Bruce Ricketts, 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. He also named all of the waterfalls in the park. 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.