George W. Sears – “Nessmuk”December 2, 1821 – May 1, 1890
Born in industrial Massachusetts in the 1800s, George Washington Sears adopted Wellsboro, Pennsylvania as his home literally in “his 27th year, coming home to a place he’d never been before.” The forests and mountains of Pennsylvania’s northern tier solidified his distaste for the industrial landscape and gave him a place to practice – and share – the outdoors life he had come to love.
He adopted the pen name “Nessmuk” in honor of the Nipmuk tribe mentor of the same name who introduced him to a life in the outdoors. Under the name, George wrote poetry for The Atlantic and articles for Forest and Stream, decrying the damage to Penn’s Woods being done by the logging and tanning industries. His prophetic work resonates today.
For a comprehensive look at the life and work of Nessmuk, read Brent Erb’s thesis on Pennsylvania Nature Writers and their influence on American culture on the Resources page of the website.