My Colonial States Trip~Part 9

14 Jan

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Bill Small Red Plane

After looking over the P-61 restoration project and talking to one of the museum’s volunteers, I decided not to try to visit the Golden Age Air Museum in Bethel, PA or Jerry’s Classic Cars in Pottsville, PA since I needed to be heading south and not north. So, my next stop was to visit the Choo Choo Barn model train museum in Strasburg, PA which has a large model train display that features over 150 hand-built animated figures and vehicles and 22 operating trains. This display includes miniature replicas of such Lancaster county places as The Willows Restaurant, the Dutch Wonderland amusement park, and the Strasburg Railroad.


As it turned out, and since I was in the middle of Dutch country, Isaac’s Famous Grilled Sandwiches restaurant was right next door to the Choo Choo Barn, so I stopped in and had one of their hot Reuben sandwiches for lunch. Yumm, was that ever good!


Then I slid over to the Landis Valley Museum in Lancaster, PA where I discovered a small living history village, depicting the early 1740s German culture in that part of Pennsylvania. There was a large Mennonite cemetery adjacent to the village and I wasn’t sure if it was associated with the museum or not.


Next it was over to take a look at the Haines Shoe House located in Hallam, PA that sits all by itself, out in the middle of a field, just off Shoe House Road. Built by shoe salesman, Mahlon Haines in 1948 as a form of advertisement, Haines gave the architect a boot and said, “Build me a house like this.” And he did. Mahlon claimed that his boots were all-inclusive, or what he called from “Hoof-to-Hoof” because the company did all of the boot making process starting with the raising of the cattle to the finished product.


Then another few miles down the road I visited the Golden Plough Tavern in York, PA, but it was closed, so I worked my way back to the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, PA. As I walked up to the museum from the parking lot, there was a guy sitting under a tree, all by himself, playing a clarinet.   The museum’s exhibition covers the period from 1850 to 1876, with the major focus being on the Civil War years of 1861-1865. The collection has over 24,000 artifacts, photographs, documents and manuscripts related to those historic years in our history. When I exited the museum to look out over the scenic Susquehanna River valley, not far from where the 1863 Sporting Hill skirmish took place during the Gettysburg campaign, the guy was still playing. His music was enchanting and very restful and it really set the stage for the view from the top of the Prospect Hill where the museum is located.



—–To Be Continued—–

2 Responses to “My Colonial States Trip~Part 9”

  1. Sue Slaght January 15, 2015 at 1:54 pm #

    Loving the shoe house!


  2. Old Things R New January 14, 2015 at 10:07 am #

    Bill, i loved the shoe story. So glad you visited. The clarinet player at the CIvil War Museum was so touching, I felt like I could see and her them.


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