The grove of pines from which Pine Grove Township derived its name was located some twenty miles away in the valley on the south side of the Mahantongo Mountain east of Klingers Gap. The famous botanist, John Bartram, wrote one of the earliest descriptions of the stand of pines. The name was probably chosen to distinguish from Bethel to the south in Berks County.The lands that now comprise Pine Grove Township belonged to Lancaster County until 1754, when Berks County was organized. Up to that time, these lands along the northern side of the Blue Mountain were known as Blue Mountain Hollow. It was organized as Pine Grove Township from Bethel Township in 1771. In 1811, when Schuylkill County was organized, the township was one of the original ones. Settlement on the north side of the Blue Mountain began in 1753, when Frederick Schnoke bought land for two bushels of wheat. Over the next twenty years, settlers occasionally crossed over the mountain to the south to evade the marauding Indians. By 1770, George Felty settlednear Mifflin, or Suedburg, as it was spelled for many years until the Lebanon and Tremont Railroad designated its station as Suedberg.The early settlers were mostly employed in the lumber industry, the principal industry for many years. The region was dotted with sawmills, later allowed to decay, as the cleared lands moved into agricultural use. It is believed that one of the earliest sawmills was built by Baltzer Smith on a branch of the Swatara Creek about a mile south of Pine Grove. Gristmills, distilleries, iron forges, furnaces, and taverns began to sprout up around the area. In 1770-71, Jacob Gunkle purchased a large tract from the sons of William Penn and built a powder mill at the entrance to present day Swopes Valley. Although it exploded two or three times, it operated for over a century.