Drive northwest from Scranton, PA through Clark Summit and Factoryville (birthplace of baseballer Christy Mathewson) to Tunkhannock and you’re in the Endless Mountains. An early 19th-century map describes this area as being “lauter Berge die man nicht passieren kan,” “nothing but mountains you can’t get through.” (In today’s world, though, “endless” equates to six exits and ten minutes on US 81).
Turn north on route 29 in downtown Tunkhannock and go about a dozen miles north. You’re now at the edge of what once was the enormous, very hilly, Mitchell family dairy farm.
The Mitchell farm itself has long since been broken up into smaller parcels and sold. It turns out, though, that the area, until recently outhouse-and-weekly-bath-in-the-local-lake poor, is in the heart of the Marcellus shale. Fracking has replaced dairy farming as the main economic activity there.
The old family farmhouse still stands on the west side of Mitchell Road. Across from it is the family’s three-story dairy barn, which also served as a playhouse for the family’s children. It is now owned by the Koneski family, which has turned its portion of the former farm into a highly regarded sporting clays shooting range.