Old-timer repeats whimsy explaining Punxsy Chucks
Another story was advanced this Groundhog Day, explaining why Punxsutawney is considered the groundhog capital of the world. The tale is by courtesy of John Huselton, 371-1/2 S Jefferson St, Kittanning.
Huselton, 86-year old Bruin native, said he heard the story from one “Gib” Morgan while Huselton was living in Chicora.
“Morgan,” Huselton said, “received word from his uncle in New York that live groundhogs were bringing $2.50 apiece there. His uncle adviced Morgan to round up all the groundhogs he could find and take them to New York.
The storyteller continued:
“‘Gib got himself some prize dogs and started through Indiana and Ohio, paying farmers 25 cents for each live groundhog they could find. With the aid of the dogs, Morgan began driving 10,000 groundhogs through Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania on their way to New York City.
“Morgan had contacted farmers .along the way to have bales of clover out on the route to feed 1 the ‘chucks. People came front miles around to see the parade animals coming their way. All went well until the drive got outside Punxsutawney. Morgan stopped the group at Gobbler’s Knob to feed, then proceeded into Punxsutawney on a Sunday morning.
“Punxsutawney police halted the rocession, claiming the drive constituted a parade –which violated the Sunday Blue Laws. So Morgan took the animals back to Gobbler’s Hill for the day.
“When ‘Gib’ went to begin the drive Monday morning, he found all 10,000 groundhogs had holed up and none were left to continue the drive. And that’s why there are so many groundhogs in Punxsutawney.”
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Source publication: Kittanning Simpson Leader Times (Kittanning, Pennsylvania)
Publication date: February 2, 1960