Punxsutawney, PA

groundhog

Punxsutawney, PA – Yes, this is groundhog country but let’s get to the legend of this town. The town’s name comes from an old Indian legend. Supposedly, an evil Indian sorcerer appeared and killed the people coming from the East. Later, a young Indian chief killed the sorcerer and his body was burned to destroy the evil medicine. A swarm of sand flies emerged after this event and plagued the Indians. The Indians named this area “Ponksaduteney” meaning “town of the sand flies”. Through mispronunciation and poor spelling, the name “Punxsutawney” emerged. Now, let’s get to the groundhog story. The Delaware Indians believed the creation of man happened here. They believed their forefathers were animals who evolved into humans. The first to cross the bridge into human form was “Wojak”. The name   “wojak” translates into “woodchuck”. The area was full of these little critters and on February 2, 1886, the local newspaper declared it “Groundhog Day”. The weather forecasting by the groundhog comes from a Dutch legend. Later, W.O. Smith, owner of the local newspaper and a U.S. Congressman, kept the event alive. Through radio and television, the town and the event have become famous throughout the world!

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