Beury's Grove, Barry Township, Schuylkill County, once a popular public summer resort is now a privately owned resort known as Moon Lake under management of the Moon Lake Association. The resort is located at the foot of the Buckhorn Mountain (east) bordered on the south by Broad Mountain, open farm land on the north and west and overlooks the beautiful Deep Creek Valley.

During the early 1900's, Harvey E. Beury and his wife Alice, purchased the land from his parents John and Sarah Beury and farmed the land with portions of it being used as a cow pasture/meadow. Milk from the farm was sold to Greens Dairy, Ashland, and produce was huckstered to the Buck Run/Minersville area.

A small stream (Buckhorn Creek) starting at the foot of the Buckhorn Mountain along with many pure water springs surfacing at the site gave Harvey the idea to harness the water and create a lake. In 1920, with this in mind, the Beury's a family of ten, two boys and eight girls, and several employees, cleared the area by cutting down trees which covered the area leaving only the stumps. This  was the first step of what would , three years later, turn into a 12 acre man-made lake.

The next phase of the project was the digging of the terrain using picks and shovels and a hand-held slip scoop dredge pulled by a horse. This was followed by the cementing of the breast of the dam (25 feet wide), slightly S-shaped and approximately 400 feet in length. It contained four spillways (overflows) and has a main valve which could be opened or closed to regulate the depth of the water. The lumber for the forms were obtained from Beury's own sawmill nearby. The cementing was done manually by the family using a gasoline powered cement mixer.


After the water was harnessed, in order to remove the remaining tree stumps, that year during the winter months, the water was lowered to stump level. Following freezing over of the ground, the roots of the stumps were uplifted and were removed the following spring by chains and horse power.

Beury's brainstorm was the beginning of a popular summer resort “Beury's Grove” which opened in 1923. Over the years the resort provided many activities:  swimming, boating, canoeing, fishing, camping, picnic area, dance hall and band shell. It also had ice-skating and a few other amusements making it one of the most popular recreation centers in this area.


The grove opened daily at 8 a.m. and closed at midnight. Admission to the grove was set at 10 cents. During  World War II, servicemen and women in uniform along with members of the Salvation Army were admitted free. Price was later increased to 25 cents due to rising costs of operation. Following the opening of the grove, the property around the lake was leased and many cabins and cottages were erected but had to meet with Beury's specifications.

Shortly after many of these cottage/cabin owners formed the Beury's Grove Association.  The first cottage was erected by Hiram Bensinger and is now occupied by James Hepler. At the opening the only concession was a hot dog stand. Fresh water for the grove was supplied by gravity from a nearby mountain. The water was directed to a six-foot water wheel which powered a mechanical pump. This was later converted to an electric system.




The deepest part of the lake was 15 feet at which place a high diving tower was erected. The tower was 24 feet in height and had three diving levels (8,16 and 24 feet). There were also seven diving boards at different locations along the breast.

In the shallow (southwest) section of the lake, a see-saw was fastened to a bar which was suspended between two concrete pillars 12 inches above the water which dipped into the shallow water making this a very enjoyable feature for the children.

To accommodate the swimmers, a public wooden bathhouse/locker room was constructed  with separate rooms for men and women. This building also contained a first-aid room. Along the breast of the lake, there was a restaurant and also various concession stands. Two lifeguards were on duty daily and on weekends were increased to six when needed. There were outdoor toilets (privies) available, which had to meet government specifications. In the 1950’s these facilities were converted to flush toilets.


There was a public boat house where row boats and canoes could be rented with many of the cottage owners maintaining their own private docks. Mr. Beury purchased trout to stock a portion of the lake and also formed a fishing club in which a member paid a small fee with a limit to the day's catch. This became very popular among area fishermen.


A special area of the grove was designated for camping. Big Army tents were placed on wooden platforms along with many open sites being available for those who preferred this type of camping. A site could be rented for $1.50 a week. A picnic area with a pavilion was available for the use of church and other groups.

Two special buildings, one a two-story barracks style, the other a one-story structure, were erected in the eastern section of the grove for use of Girl Scouts and other female groups. The bottom floor of  the two-story building was used for recreation/kitchen purposes and the top contained bunks for sleeping.


Following opening, Mr. Beury continued improvement to the grove with construction of a dance hall at which time popular square dancing prevailed. Square dancing was held twice a week with the caller singing "Ladies high, Gents low, Swing your partner do-si-do" along with many other favorite tunes.

Modern dancing was also provided by area bands (live) and in later years the music was furnished by a juke box.

The bandshell featured many local talents who performed weekly and at various times well known acts were booked by Mr. Beury, such as the lone Ranger (Clayton Moore) and his horse Silver, who drew over 3000 spectators at a show in the late 40’s. Out door movies were shown from the bandshell every Wednesday evening. Other forms of entertainment included a shooting gallery, a merry-go-round (carousel), penny arcade. A miniature train ride which ran through the park  This was one of the most favorite attractions of the children.



Baseball team/Riding Academy

With Taylorsville baseball club being in dire need of a playing field, Harvey set aside a portion of his farm for this purpose. The ball club played against Lavelle, Gordon, Ashland and other teams from the surrounding area. The team was under the management of Tom Bush.

Following disbanding of the ball club around 1940, Beury tore down a building of a nearby colliery using the lumber to build a stable on the site to house horses/ponies owned by cottage residents.

This was later turned into a public horse riding academy where ponies and horses could be rented with a bridle path being established for the riders. A private tennis court next to the riding academy was provided for sole use of cottage owners of the grove. A public pigeon (blue rock) range as also established nearby.

Ice Harvesting/Ice Skating

Ice skating was popular during the winter months. When the lake was frozen over to a depth of 10-12 inches harvesting of ice took place. The ice was cut into 18 inch blocks weighing approximately 80 pounds and stored in a nearby ice house where it was covered with sawdust to preserve it until spring when it was used in the concession stand and also sold to the cottage owners and nearby residents. This practice continued until the late 40's when electric refrigeration came into the picture replacing the ice box.


Harvey E Beury

Harvey Ellsworth Beury, founder of Beury's Grove was the son of John and Sarah Heiser Beury. Harvey's grandfather James Beury immigrated from Bridgeport, England and settled in the Port Carbon area were he was associated in the coal business and was a barge mule driver on the canal that ran between Port Clinton and Port Carbon.

Harvey's father, John, moved to Barry township as a young man and purchased ground in the area between Beury’s Grove and route 901. Harvey was born in a log cabin on his parent’s farm near the grove, September 5, 1871 and was educated in the "Green’s School" (Barry Twp.). After purchasing ground from his father he followed in his father's footsteps as a farmer and in 1890 married Mary Alice Hubler who was born June 26, 1871, the daughter of Levi and Mary Mowry Hubler.


They became the parents of 10 children. Mr. Beury, besides being a farmer and owner of Beury’s Grove, was involved with many other activities. He was a butcher and also operated a timber/sawmill business started by his father. The sawmill, which was on his ground, was located near what is now the side of the Buckhorn Trout Fishing Lake. Harvey was a salesmen for Farmer's Mutual (Elizabethtown) Insurance Company and later became it's president. He was one of the founders of the Lavelle Telephone/Telegraph Company and also became president of that organization. He was a devoted member of St. John's (Kimmels) Church, Deep Creek Valley and when he died February 26, 1965, he left behind 131 blood descendants. His wife, Alice, preceded him in death August 10, 1952, and both were laid to rest in the adjoining church cemetery.

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