The story was that "Red Eyes" dates back to the lumbering era when "Parsons sawmill was located in the fields between the Canal and Bald Eagle Creek, on the right side of Route 220, going toward Mill Hall from Flemington.
The sawmill provided employment for townsmen, among whom were three by the name of John Bottorf.
"For identification, one was characteristically named 'Long John' because he was long. Another was 'Shortie John,' because he was short. And the third was named 'Red Eye JOhn,' because he had a red eye.
John Bottorf's red eye was due to an impairment received at birth. Th lower lid drooped exposing a rather large mass of blood red tissue.
"John was a lad of fine character, a good and honest worker. Every time 'Red Eye' was used to identify him, his friends were stirred to anger. As time passed the connotation between 'Red Eye' and anger became a real thing. It was a fighting term." The young men of Flemington tended to be pugnacious and "woe" could mean anything from a good thrashing to being dumped into the Canal by Flemington Red-Eyes.
This article appeared in Lock Haven Express for the Bicentennial.
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