The region now known as Clearfield County, and specifically the city of DuBois, was once known to the Susquehannock tribe (a branch of the Lenni Lanape) as OTOCSIN which is roughly translated as “Land of the Devils.” They called it this for many reasons. First, the forests were dense and dark giving a sense of eeriness and anxiety. Also, the region was plentiful with predatory animals that the Native Americans did not what to deal with like bears, mountain lions, and rattlesnakes. Next, the Native Americans believed that the trees held evil spirits which thirsted for the souls of men. And last, but not least, the region was thought to be inhabited by monstrous creatures that would feast on the bodies and souls of anyone entering the Dark Woods. The Native Americans knew that the monsters would remain in the Dark Woods, and remain there if they were unprovoked and undisturbed. Despite many warnings, the white man chose to settle OTOCSIN, and in doing so released the Devils from the Land.
George Shaffer was the first (recorded) permanent inhabitant of what is now DuBois, moving into the dark wilderness area in 1812. They lived in a log cabin near the present intersection of West Long Avenue. and Main Street. Shaffer died in 1812 leaving the land to Henry Shaffer. He did not value the land, seeing no real worth in the low lying swampy acres. Furthermore, he was disturbed by terrible dreams of tentacled creatures with rubbery flesh, lashing tentacles, and burning three-lobed eyes. Greed and fear led to him selling off the land acre by acre in parcel until it was all gone. With his pockets full, he departed the dark land known as OTOSCIN.
Settled officially in 1812 by Shaffer and platted in 1872, DuBois was incorporated as a borough in 1881 and as a city in 1914. While DuBois was founded as a lumber town, the mining of bituminous coal quickly became the chief industry in DuBois. Over the years there have been many unsuccessful attempts to combine the city with the surrounding Sandy Township. The town was founded by John Rumbarger, for whom the town was originally named. The Rumbarger Cemetery is all that survives of this original settlement. The town was later renamed for local lumber tycoon John DuBois, who came from a longstanding American family of French descent.
DuBois and the surrounding region has prospered from its abundance of natural resources. In its early days, the local economy depended heavily on timber and furs. The hardwood industry continues to be important to the region, and is home to one of the largest hardwood forests in the United States. After the railroad came to town, the coal mining industry grew quickly and provided fuel for steel mills, factories and power plants throughout the Commonwealth. This region leads the world in the powdered metal industry. Local manufacturers use powdered metal technology to make parts for manufacturing equipment, automobiles, and appliances. Natural gas wells have been part of the local landscape for decades. This industry is poised to grow with companies drilling in the Marcellus Shale formation. Last but not least, DuBois offers a diverse and encompassing array of medical, mental health, and social services to promote, improve and sustain the quality of life in this thriving community.
The Great Old Ones are alive and well in the City of DuBois, as well. The influence can be seen every day if you look close enough, and pay attention to what you don’t really want to see. The Great Old Ones are around us every day, in the crack houses, meth labs, and heroin dens. They are alive in our greedy churches, uncaring government offices, and sensationalized non-stop media. Just stop and look into the eyes of the mentally ill and criminally insane lumbering down the sidewalks day and night. You will see that the Old Ones are alive and well, indeed.
The Great Old Ones must simply stand back and watch as we revel in the sins that have caused us to become opposed to ourselves. Gluttony, fornication, avarice, hubris, envy, greed, wrath, boasting, and slothfulness are alive and well in the city of DuBois. The Great Old Ones simply watch and wait, amazed by our own ability to destroy the world simply by living in it.
We have done the bidding of the Great Old Ones more successfully and eagerly than any demon, crazed sorcerer, or devil-worshiping cult ever did. We have raced towards corruption with wild abandon. As a species, our surrender is complete. The Great Old Ones have destroyed us by allowing us to destroy ourselves.
Now the time is ripe.
Soon the stars will align. Quickly the feasting will begin.
At that point, the City of DuBois, and the entire world will realize their folly.
Step this way. The exit is right over there.
Take this drug.
Stay in bed and collect Social Security Disability rather than work.
Cash in your “food stamps” on cigarettes and booze.
Dump those chemicals. Drill, baby, drill.
Abuse and neglect that child.
Ignore the poverty around you.
Stuff your pockets full of tax money.
Smoke your cigars and eat your steak.
Drive your fancy cars.
The abyss awaits. The Great Old Ones have won.
You just don’t see it yet because your eyes are focused on yourself and your desires.
Welcome, my friends, to the City of the Damned standing within the Land of Devils. Make yourself comfortable. Eat, drink, and be merry. For tomorrow … the Stars May Be Right.