The new year will bring new and exciting projects to our many and unique Heritage Areas across Pennsylvania. Read more below about what’s happening in the Oil Region National Heritage Area at Oil Creek Memorial Landing.
DISCOVER THE STORY OF IMMIGRANTS ACROSS PA ROUTE 6
At the tip of Cape Cod on US Route 6 stands a monument for the first landing spot of the Pilgrims as they came to America, indicating that the story of US Route 6 is the story of people coming to this country to escape persecution, exercise their freedoms and explore their opportunities.
Throughout the PA Route 6 Heritage Corridor, there are stories of how immigrants, whether as individuals or groups, made their mark in their new home country. Here are six examples:
1. Meadville (Crawford County): Gideon Sundback, a Swedish-American electrical engineer commonly credited with the development of the zipper, worked for companies that evolved into Talon, Inc. located in Meadville PA. The high demand for “hookless fasteners” created favorable conditions for the Talon Company, and so became Meadville’s most crucial industry. At the height of the zipper’s popularity, the Meadville zipper factories employed 5,000 workers—out of a town with fewer than 19,000 people. The Company suffered financial difficulties after it was sold in 1978, and eventually ended up bankrupt. Gideon Sundback is buried in Meadville at Greendale Cemetery and was honored in 2006 by inclusion in the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
2. Mount Jewett (McKean County): This small village in the Pennsylvania Wilds has a distinct Swedish heritage: even their park bench says “Välkommen”. First settled by Swedish immigrants, today’s residents celebrate their Swedish heritage with a town-wide event featuring authentic Swedish food, dance and music every August. The historic Nebo Chapel built in 1887 is an octagonal shaped church, patterned after Ersta Kyrka at Danviken near Stockholm Sweden. www.mtjewettpa.com
3. Oleona (Potter County): Named for Ole Bornemann Bull, the famous Norwegian violinist who toured the United States in the 1850s, Oleona is part of the large tract of land purchased by Ole Bull in an attempt to develop a series of Norwegian settlements. He began construction of a “home” at what now is called Ole Bull Vista in Ole Bull State Park. He never finished this large, wooden cabin. After a year of severe hardships, the majority of the colony disbanded and moved west into Michigan and Wisconsin. More history and interpretation is available at the Ole Bull State Park website: http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/findapark/olebull/index.htm?tab=Maps
4. French Azilum (Bradford County): Located on a bend in the Susquehanna River near Towanda, Pennsylvania, Azilum provided refuge for a group of French exiles in the autumn of 1793. Some of the refugees, loyal to the King, left France to escape the horrors of the Revolution; others fled the colony of Santo Domingo (Haiti) to escape the carnage wrought by the mulatto and slave uprisings inspired by the radical French Assembly. The French refugees even believed that it was possible that the Queen of France, Marie Antoinette and her two children may also use the Azilum as their new home. In the plans of the old town there was even a house built for the queen. Today, the site provides interpretation of its history and the farming life. http://www.frenchazilum.com/history.php
5. Olyphant (Lackawanna County): Originally established by Welsh, Irish and English immigrants who came to work in industries supporting the production or transportation of coal; this town became the destination for Eastern Europeans hoping to earn an American wage. Today, a walking tour of the town’s nine places of worship reflect the ideals and traditions of those workers.
6. White Mills (Wayne County): Christian Dorflinger, a French immigrant, moved his glass making factory to the town of White Mills including the plant and homes for the workers. Dorflinger’s cut glass is known worldwide. Today, tours of the Dorflinger Glass Museum and the worker’s cabins are available and work continues on interpreting the rich history and heritage of the glassmaking industry. www.dorflinger.org
The PA Route 6 Alliance encourages travelers to explore the rich history of the Route 6 Heritage Corridor, one of Pennsylvania’s twelve designated Heritage Areas. For more information, visit their website at www.paroute6.com.
The abundant farms and forests along the northern tier are the perfect backdrop for a growing trend in culinary travel. More visitors are seeking out the cafes and restaurants that specialize in menus rich in locally grown food sources and the PA Route 6 Corridor is blessed with many of these eating establishments.
Known as “farm to table”, the chefs at these places are creating high quality meals with the produce, poultry and meats from sources close to home. “Farm to Table” is considered to be more nutritional as goods do not need to be transported long distances, better for the earth, and a boost to the local economy.
This is not a new concept for places like the Settler’s Inn in Hawley (MM 368). Their menu has featured locally grown meals for years; it even lists the source of the produce or meat. Now a traveler across Route 6 can have a different dining experience at variety of places. Some other farm to table restaurants along Route 6 include: Tioga Bistro in Tunkhannock (MM 311) and both the Patisserie and the Delmonico Room at the Hotel Fauchere in Milford (MM394).
One trend emerging in the farm to table movement is the pairing of foods with beverage and spirits. A good example is Voodoo Brewery (MM23) in Meadville PA . Known for their award winning brews, the folks at Voodoo take their culinary delights to the next level with organic/ local meat, poultry and produce. It is recommended to try the Margarita Pizza made from the “spent grain” they use for the brewing process, and topped with fresh mozzarella and basil.
Another trend that is happening along Route 6 is the appearance of food trucks specializing in sandwiches made with locally grown produce, such as the Farm on Pine Creek food truck, which can be seen along Route 6 just west of Galeton (MM 195).
This trend of farm to table dining has a great impact on the future of the PA Route 6 Corridor. The restaurants obtain the items needed for their recipes at farmer’s market like the Four Season Farm Market in Meshoppen (MM 302), Mansfield Grower’s Market (MM234) and Goodell Gardens Farmer’s Market in Edinboro (MM21N) and dairy farms like Milky Way Farm ( MM251) in Troy. By buying local, the restaurants are supporting the working farmer and helping sustain the economy of the northern tier.
BY PETER CAMERON, STAFF WRITER / PUBLISHED: SEPTEMBER 6, 2016
James and Joan Kryzanowski bike the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Trail as often as four times per week.
“It just gives us a such a wonderful feeling,” said the 60-year-old Mrs. Kryzanowski, who has lived in Scranton her entire life. “It’s very therapeutic.”
The slim and tan couple have always been very active, but since the Scranton portion of the trail opened, they use it so frequently they often recognize fellow regulars. Recently, they were pleasantly surprised to pass a couple using motorized wheelchairs on the paved path.
“It’s a big asset,” said Mr. Kryzanowski, 62, as he and his wife sat on their bikes on a trail section near Elm Street in South Scranton.
The trail, while the most well-known, is just one part of the Lackawanna Heritage Valley National and State Heritage Area.
It includes educational efforts and plans to transform places like the monstrous Iron Furnaces in downtown Scranton, where the city churned out the essential metal 150 years ago, and the once-crumbling Olyphant High School, reborn as housing for seniors, some of whom had attended classes there decades ago.
The Lackawanna Heritage Valley touts itself as an organization that tells the region’s stories through restored land, historic buildings and the trail, which runs along the rail line and the Lackawanna River — the essential arteries which once brought life here.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary this month, the organization has transformed Lackawanna County and has plans to do much more.
‘Exploded like popcorn’
The idea for a heritage sites program had been kicked around for awhile within the now-defunct state Department of Community Affairs.
In the early 1990s, Midvalley native and the deputy secretary of the department Ray Angeli and his staff shifted the idea from a tourist program to a development one, which the area could use to promote and improve itself.
Gov. Robert P. Casey greenlighted the project, creating the state’s heritage parks program. Now, 12 different areas like the Allegheny Ridge Heritage Area and the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor have sprouted and grown across the state.
Read the full article, HERE.
Wednesday, 17 August, 2016 Uniontown, PA – The National Road Heritage Corridor (NRHC) announces plans for its 11th Annual Frontier Dinner, to be held on Friday, September 9th at the Christian Klay Winery, just off the Historic National Road in Chalk Hill, PA.
To purchase tickets, click HERE
“We moved the dinner into September this year and are hoping for a beautiful, early Fall evening that will, of course include, a delectable menu of locally sourced food prepared by Chef Joe Carei, guaranteed to delight every foodie from vegetarians to those who enjoy a taste of the wild!” said Sandy Mansmann, the NRHC Board Chair. “A 5 course gourmet meal, the Christian Klay Winery’s historic barn, free flowing wine and beer, a nice cigar (if you care to indulge), great acoustic music
by Shelly McCombie, historic whiskey tasting with the 1st Virginia Regiment at their Bloody Dirk 18th Century Tavern and a bonfire – all in a setting that will leave you speechless. It can’t get much better than that!”
Donna Holdorf, the executive director of the NRHC explained, “The Frontier Dinner is the National Road Heritage Corridor’s signature event and its only major, annual fund raiser. As a non-profit engaged in education and community development, every dollar we raise is important to help us fulfill that mission. It’s an enjoyable night and a great way to support the NRHC’s work. We have many “Friends of the Road” that come out every year.” Holdorf stated that the NRHC is pleased this year to have several sponsors supporting the event including: First Niagara Bank, and Somerset Trust. “We are gathering quite an eclectic selection of auction items – something for everyone for sure including an amazing sword honed by board member Clay Kilgore who is a third
“The NRHC’s Frontier Dinner continues to be one of my favorite events”, commented Chef Joe. “The NRHC is committed to a focus on ‘farm to table’ resources from the region, as am I – a celebration of the economic backbone of Pennsylvania – agriculture. From the fruit and vegetables, to the cheese and breads, entrees to dessert, everything served that evening will be PA grown or raised.” Guests can also indulge in a tasting of the Ridge Runner Distilleries selection of spirits and a fine cigar from Leaning House Cigars if they so desire. NRHC board member and owner of the Christian Klay Winery, Sharon Klay commented, “We have several events at the winery throughout the year, but we really enjoy this one because of its focus on the Historic National Road. At the winery, we’ve made an effort to acknowledge the important history of this area by choosing names for our wines that reflect historic events such as Fort Necessity, Jumonville Glen Red, Summit Mist, Stone House Red, Chestnut Ridge Sunset and Washington Tavern Red.” The evening begins at 6:00 p.m. with the starters and dinner begins at 6:45 p.m. and, of course, includes wine & beer. All tickets must be purchased in advance and this year there will be reserved seating.
“The Frontier Dinner is an annual event which raises funds that are reinvested in the region as the NRHC works to accomplish its mission,” commented NRHC past board chair Ben Moyer. “Our guests always have a great time, from the food and the wine, to the bidding wars over much sought after Silent and Chinese Auction items, to sitting around the bonfire and devouring a gooey s’more! It’s truly a great way to celebrate the end of summer.”
Advanced ticket purchase is required
To purchase tickets, click HERE. For more info call 724-437-9877 or email
Celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service this August by taking a trip across US Route 6 in Pennsylvania, a designated National Recreational Trail.
The National Park Service has been inviting travelers to “find your park” in celebration of the centennial for the National Park Service in 2016. Their goal is to create a “movement to spread the word about the amazing places managed by the NPS, the inspirational stories that the national parks tell, our country’s natural resources, and our diverse cultural heritage.”
According to the NPS website, “Find Your Park is about more than just national parks! It’s about the National Park Service working in your community through educational programs, community assistance projects, and more. It’s about state parks, local parks, trails, museums, historic sites, and the many ways that the American public can connect with history and culture, enjoy nature, and make new discoveries.”
Along the PA Route 6 Heritage Corridor, travelers can “Do 6” sites or areas that celebrate the goals and work of the NPS. Make sure to visit everyone of them. From west to east they are:
1.) The Oil Heritage Region is a national and state designated heritage area, celebrating the discovery of oil in northwestern PA with historical and recreational sites throughout Venango and Crawford Counties. Visit the Drake Well Museum, take a ride on the Oil Creek & Titusville Railroad or explore Titusville, nicknamed “the Queen City.” www.oilregion.org
2.) North Country Trail runs from New York to North Dakota and intersects Route 6 in the Allegheny National Forest between Ludlow and Kane. The trail links scenic, natural, historic, and cultural areas across seven states allowing visitors to experience a variety of northern landscapes. https://northcountrytrail.org/trail/states/pennsylvania
3.) Steamtown National Park Site is a tribute to the steam locomotive and the people who worked on them located in Scranton. Learn the history of this mode of transportation, explore the roundhouse and maybe take a train ride. https://www.nps.gov/STEA/index.htm
4.) Lackawanna Valley Heritage Area is a national and state designated heritage area, celebrating the raw materials and industries from northeastern Pennsylvania that helped fuel the growth of America. Take a ride down into a coal mine, hike the Lackawanna Heritage Trail, or experience an ethnic smorgasbord of the area’s many immigrants. http://www.lhva.org/
5.) Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River offers lots of water based recreation on the last major undammed river in the eastern United States. Joseph Brandt, John Roebling, and Zane Grey have all left a mark on this area, visit the sites that honor these man. https://www.nps.gov/UPDE/index.htm
6.) Delaware Water Gap National Recreational Area covers 40 miles of the Middle Delaware National Scenic and Recreational River. The northern part of the area is accessible from Milford and includes hiking and biking trails, waterfalls and spectacular views. https://www.nps.gov/dewa/planyourvisit/index.htm
For more information on the National Parks 100th Anniversary, go to https://www.nps.gov/subjects/centennial/. For more information other parks and public lands across PA Route 6, go to www.paroute6.com
EASTON (July 27) – The Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor is seeking volunteer educators for its annual Tales of the Towpath student field trips at the Freemansburg Canal Education Center in Freemansburg, Northampton County. Field trips take place on weekdays from September 19 through October 14.
Docents provide hands-on lessons to fourth-grade students from the Bethlehem Area School District who are learning about life along the Lehigh Canal through the D&L’s Tales of the Towpath classroom curriculum. Volunteers receive complete training and are provided with resource materials and 19th-century costumes. Lessons focus on the everyday life of a canal locktender’s family.
Volunteers are not required to work the full four weeks. For more information, contact D&L Director of Education, Dennis Scholl, at 610-923-3548 x225 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
UncoveringPA – Jim Cheney, July 8th 2016
Pennsylvania has been home to many world-changing events over the years, from the Declaration of Independence, to the discovery of the polio vaccine, to the creation of the Big Mac. However, you could argue that few, if any, of these had as large an impact as what occurred in northwestern Pennsylvania in late August of 1859.
Oil was known to exist in northwestern Pennsylvania for hundreds of years. Over that time, Native Americans had been collecting oil from seeps in the ground along Oil Creek and passed that knowledge onto settlers to the area. Oil had even been discovered in the drilling of salt water wells. However, prior to the summer of 1859, no one had actually drilled with the purpose of finding oil. That is until Colonel Edwin Drake struck oil on a small parcel of land just south of Titusville, Pennsylvania.
Within days, oil prospectors lined the banks of Oil Creek searching for oil and creating the world’s first oil boom. This oil boom drew tens of thousands of people to the area around Drake’s Well, made many millionaires (and even more destitute), and changed both the world and northwestern Pennsylvania forever.
Today, the Oil Heritage Region works to preserve this world-changing area, and offers a chance to visitors to explore the region’s small towns, museums, and outdoor beauty, each of which offers a unique look at the region’s history.
To read the full article based of UncoveringPA’s travel experience to the region, click here.
EASTON (June 16, 2016) – On June 25, 2016, Lincoln Steward, a supporter of the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor from Nazareth, will ride 284 miles in 24 hours. The ride was inspired by Steward’s goal of raising awareness of the D&L Trail as an important regional resource.
Steward will ride from his home and begin his ride in Easton at the D&L Forks of the Delaware Trailhead on June 25. He will finish at the same place at noon or earlier on June 26. Steward stated, “Besides my own personal limit-pushing, goal-achieving agenda, another one of the big reasons for this ride is to help raise awareness about the valuable asset we possess in the D&L Trail. I feel it would be advantageous for municipalities to do anything they can to help maintain the trails, and re-connect the sections where there are gaps that the trail does not exist.”
In addition to highlighting the D&L Trail as a regional asset, Steward aims to emphasize how beneficial the D&L Trail is to local businesses. Steward stated, “It amazes me how many restaurants, coffee shops, brew pubs, ice cream stands, convenience stores, and public parks are easily accessible just a short distance from, if not right adjacent to the trail.”
A full itinerary of his trip can be found below, however the best time to cover Steward’s ride will be on June 25 at 11:30 am, at the D&L Forks of the Delaware Trailhead. GPS directions to the trailhead, located on Route 611 where the Delaware and Lehigh Rivers meet in Easton, can be found here: https://www.google.com/maps/dir//40.687671000%2C-75.205653000
Itinerary for Lincoln Steward’s 284-Mile Trip on the D&L Trail:
Start in Easton……..12:00p
Easton to Bristol……59 miles…5 hours…5:00 pm
Bristol to Easton……59 miles…5 hours…10:00 pm
Easton to Jim Thorpe…48 miles…4 hours…2:00am
Jim Thorpe to Glen Summit…35 miles…3 hours….5:00 am
Glen Summit to Jim Thorpe…35 miles…3 hours….8:00 am
Jim Thorpe to Easton…48 miles…4 hours…12:00 pm
Total…………………………………284 miles…24 hours