Pennsylvania

    Johnstown Flood Museum, Pennsylvania: Memories of a Man-Made Disaster

    2/09/18 •

    The Johnstown Flood Museum brings to life one of the worst man-made disasters in U.S. history — the tragic flood that devastated this industrial town on May 31, 1889. After the South Fork Dam 14 miles north of town failed during an intense rainstorm, a 35-foot-high wall of water killed over 2,200…

    Railroad Heritage at Altoona: Once the Hub of the Mighty Pennsylvania Railroad (1)

    1/30/18 •

    I love trains. And believe me, there’s no better place to enjoy railroad history than Altoona, a city in south-central Pennsylvania with a rich railroad heritage. My husband and I live just a few miles from Altoona. Around here, Altoona is known as “Railroad City” because it once was the hub of the mighty Pennsylvania

    Mascot Roller Mills and Homestead, Pennsylvania: Incredibly Well-Preserved

    11/27/14 •

    In the heart of Pennsylvania’s Amish countryside, I visited an incredibly well-preserved historic site — the Mascot Roller Mills and Homestead, outside Lancaster. Three generations of the Ressler family ran this mill from 1864 to 1977. It’s a rare example of a still-operable mill that was converted from millstones to iron roller mills. A tour…

    Bumper Bob's Seafood House, Pennsylvania: Possibly the Best

    11/15/12 •

    While camping with friends outside Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, we relished some of the best seafood I’ve ever eaten, at Bumper Bob’s Seafood House in Etters. The cream of crab soup was especially delicious. Enormous portions and excellent service made the meal even more memorable. Don’t pass up the creamy peanut butter pie; friendly owner Bob Conley…

    Enjoy the Fall Colors in the Appalachian Mountains, Pennsylvania (1)

    11/01/12 •

    Here in the Northeast, we’re accustomed to magnificent color shows every autumn. But a day trip through the Appalachian Mountains on the northern edge of Pennsylvania outdid even my wildest expectations. We began by heading north out of Reading on U.S. Highway 61, which we followed for many miles. The colors were brilliant, and the…

    Old Sled Works Antique and Craft Market, Pennsylvania (8)

    12/19/14 •

    Remember that old wooden sled you loved as a child? Well, if it was a Lightning Guider, it was built in Duncannon, the small Pennsylvania town where I grew up. The Standard Novelty Works factory produced millions of these beauties until it closed in 1990. But as I found out during a recent trip in…

    Middle Ridge United Methodist Church, Pennsylvania: Tiny Yet Picturesque (4)

    12/16/17 •

    If you’re driving on scenic U.S. Highway 6 through north-central Pennsylvania, I recommend a short side trip from Wellsboro to see the tiny and picturesque Middle Ridge United Methodist Church. Built of hemlock blocks and painted bright red, the house of worship looks like an early New England church. It originally stood a few miles…

    Old Waterworks in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania: One of America's First Municipal Pumping Systems

    5/19/14 •

    We take municipal water for granted, but it was an amazing innovation when the Old Waterworks in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania started providing water in 1754. One of America’s first municipal pumping systems, the waterworks moved spring water to a Moravian settlement above it. Moved to a stone pumphouse 6 years later, the system forced water to…

    Mr. Ed's Elephant Museum, Pennsylvania: 6,000 Elephant Curios on Parade

    9/26/12 •

    As we drove through southeastern Pennsylvania on our way to Gettysburg National Military Park, a 10-foot-tall white elephant and a sign that read “Mr. Ed’s Elephant Museum” attracted our attention. We quickly agreed it was time for an unscheduled stop! After a “greeting” from the white pachyderm, “Miss Ellie Phunt”, we went inside and were…

    Wellsboro, Pennsylvania: Have a Dickens of a Christmas (6)

    8/23/14 •

    …Wellsboro Diner, a 1930s-style eatery. The banter between the short-order cooks and the customers is as good as the food! There’s no end of things to do. And no, I don’t work at the Chamber of Commerce — I just love this town! If You Visit… Wellsboro is in north-central Pennsylvania at the junction of…

    Model Railroaders will Love the Thomas T. Taber Museum, Pennsylvania

    8/20/16 •

    Anyone who fondly remembers a Lionel train running under the family Christmas tree will love the Shempp train exhibit at the Thomas T. Taber Museum in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Many model railroaders think this collection, founded by the late LaRue Shempp, is the finest in America — and I agree. It features more than 300 trains,…

    All-Out Celebration at the Mushroom Festival, Pennsylvania

    11/16/12 •

    Where I live, the places where wild morel mushrooms grow remain closely guarded secrets. But at the annual Mushroom Festival in Kennett Square, located in far southeastern Pennsylvania, no one keeps you in the dark. This fest is an all-out celebration of all things mushroom in the “Mushroom Capital of the World”! My husband and…

    Old Lackawanna Coal Mine, Pennsylvania: Head 300 Feet Underground

    5/22/16 •

    Traveling 300 feet underground into a labyrinth of tunnels and shafts at the old Lackawanna Coal Mine in Scranton, Pennsylvania felt a bit like heading backward down a steep, dark and noisy roller coaster. During the fascinating hour-long walking tour, our guides–former miners and mining experts–described the techniques and equipment of one of the nation’s…

    Northwestern Pennsylvania's Elk Herd

    8/19/13 •

    Did you know there’s an elk herd in northwest Pennsylvania? It’s true — from 1913 to 1926, state officials brought in 177 elk from Yellowstone National Park to replace native elk wiped out by hunting. Today, an estimated 550 elk roam freely around Benezett in Elk County. In fact, it’s not unusual to encounter them…