The Ganister Blue Hole

The Blue Hole in 2012, from the southwest end

The Ganister Blue Hole serves as a very physical reminder of the town’s raison d’etre: the quarrying of ganister, or limestone. After the quarries shut down, the pits gouged into the Earth filled with water. At first the Blue Hole functioned as a recreational pool. Then later it became a dumping ground. I remember from my childhood watching a car pulled from the bottom of the Blue Hole.

The Blue Hole in 2012 from the northeast end
The Blue Hole in 2012 from the northeast end

7 thoughts on “The Ganister Blue Hole”

  1. This is a beautiful photograph! I do hope you received my email in regards to sharing your photographs and stories about Ganister on the Central PA Rails to Trails/Lower Trail/Penn State Altoona mobile app project. We will give you and the supporters of your content full credit and a link to this website.

    Thanks so much,

    Julie Fether, Penn State Altoona

  2. I learned to swim in the Blue Hole on a visit to Ganister to my grandparents, Ed and Annie Guerin! I went with my Guerin cousins. The car pulled out might have been that of Charles Reiy ( not sure of spelling of his last name). He and his wife, Ella Mae Guerin and children lived in a farm above the quarry. Ella had died and he was depressed and drove over the side of the quarry. A sad family rememberance.

    1. That is sad. But it may just answer the question I’ve always had as to how that car ended up in there. I have heard good memories, too, though of dances and ice cream socials that used to be held up there back in the day. And somewhere I have photos of my relatives swimming just like you did in the water.

  3. I remember visiting the Blue Hole when my parents took me to Ganister around 1948 or 49. Or perhaps it was a bit later. It was beautiful. Our visit was to repair the headstone on my paternal grandfather’s grave which dated 1906 and I believe was not in the cemetery of the Russian Orthodox church, though I can’t be sure. DZUPIN. We had cousins we stayed with but I don’t know their names as I was very young.

      1. Yep, the Wapners/Vapnars and Jupins/Dzupins are related through Mary Jackanin. She married a man with the surname Demko and they had one child, Mary, before the man died. Mary Jackanin then went on to marry Michael Wapner. Her oldest daughter, Mary Demko, married a man named Joseph Jupin and that’s how Michael Wapner’s children were related to the Jupins.

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