On a Roadside in America

IMG_2747

A family of a father, mother and a boy was taking a drive through Pennsylvania.  As they were going along, the suddenly engine stopped.  Fortunately, they were able to get safely off the road.  The father tried to start the car, but nothing happened.  They looked around and saw nothing around them.  The father stepped out of the car.  He walked back and forth and back and forth.

“Would you like to see my world?”

Startled, he turned and saw a man standing nearby.

“Come and see my world.”  The man urged them.

Not knowing what to do, the family went with the man.  After a short walk, they found themselves on a dirt road.  A band of cowboys on horseback came behind them and continued on.  They saw tracks beneath them, and a horn sounded.  They stepped off the tracks, and the trolley pulled up.

“Get on.”

IMG_2777

They boarded the trolley, and they began to roll along.  They saw Amish and farmers working in the fields.  They entered into a town, and they saw the many people strolling down the streets.  They arrived at the train station.

IMG_2758

“Hurry!  The train is almost here.”

They stepped off the trolley, and a steam train pulled up.

“All aboard!”  The conductor shouted.

They stepped aboard the train, and the train pulled away.  They rolled through the town, and they were out in the farmland.  They rode by waterfalls and over bridges and through tunnels.

IMG_2795

“This is amazing.”  The father was very amused.  “This cannot be real.”

But it is real.

Welcome to Roadside America in Shartlesville, Pennsylvania.  Roadside America is a miniature village that was built by Laurence Gieringer with early help from his brother.  Each structure in the village was hand-built by Laurence himself, and he laid out the tracks for each of the trains, and he even designed the flowing waterfalls, the rivers and working fountains using real water, and he created the night scene.  Originally built in his home, he continued to build on to his village adding more buildings and trains.  The village grew in popularity and won a contest sponsored by a local newspaper where it won first place to a point where he was encouraged to go public.  It was opened to the public in 1953 in its current location in the structure it is currently in.  He continued to work on the village until his death in 1963, and the village has remained unchanged since then.

IMG_2784

Today, you can visit Roadside America.  The village is a display of 200 years of American history from the 1760’s to the 1960’s.  You can see the village full of model trains going around through the towns and farmlands.  You can see the old trolleys roll down the streets.  It has remained unchanged since 1963.  The village is owned by Laurence Gieringer’s descendants who intend to keep it the way he left it.

IMG_2772

Roadside America is located at 109 Roadside Drive in Shartlesville, Pennsylvania.  It is just off Interstate 78 / U.S. 22 between Allentown and Harrisburg.  Admission is just $8.00 for adults, $5.00 for children 6 to 11, $7.00 for seniors 65 and those in military service. 5 and under are free.  There is plenty of parking.  Plus, you can visit the Dutch Gifthaus next door to find some good gifts.  You can get more information at https://www.roadsideamerica.co/.

IMG_2790

Roadside America is a roadside attraction worth going off the road for.  It is a roadside attraction about the history of America.  It is a roadside attraction that is the work of one man, and it is a roadside attraction that remains unchanged.  Most important of all, it is a roadside attraction with lots and lots of trains.

IMG_2824

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “On a Roadside in America

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s