With almost its entire area covered by second-growth forest and a population of under 6,000, Cameron County is a quiet, scenic, central Pennsylvania landscape dotted with seasonal hunting and fishing cabins. The county was organized in 1860, from portions of Clinton, Elk, McKean, and Potter counties, and named for Senator Simon Cameron, the secretary of war in Abraham Lincoln's cabinet. Revolutionary War veterans from New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania were some of the earliest settlers, arriving around 1810. Logging and tanning were the first industries, with the result that much of the county's forest was clear-cut by 1900.
Railroad service finally reached Cameron County in the 1860s after thirty years of lobbying by Erie and Philadelphia businessmen for a rail line that would connect the two cities. A feeder line connecting Driftwood to the Allegheny Valley Railroad provided a connection between Buffalo and Pittsburgh. As well as transporting lumber, entire buildings came to the county by train. When the small tannery town of Sterling Run needed an inexpensive school in 1932, it ordered a frame, gable-roofed building from Sears and Roebuck that today houses the Cameron County Historical Society (PA 120). Cameron is now best known for its recreational and scenic attractions. Bucktail State Park encloses 16,433 acres of land parallel to the Sinnemahoning Creek and the West Branch Susquehanna River, and includes the seventy-five miles of PA 120 that connect Emporium, Renovo, and Lock Haven. In the fall, the park is among the commonwealth's most scenic highways.
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