July 2004 Harlansburg Adventure

Thursday: Downtown New Castle, US224 End, LT Animal Park, Slippery Rock Raceway
Friday: American Bantam, Stone Lamps, New Power, Route Ends, Youngstown Gardens
Saturday: Butler Freeport Trail, Todd Sanctuary, Leechburg Recycling, Leechburg-Hyde Park Bridge, Rachel Carson Homestead, Fox Chapel
Sunday: Grove City Airport, Sky Divers, Kuhariks' Pottery Studio, No Eagle Nest, Bantam Jeeps

Thursday July 22

Downtown New Castle
In downtown New Castle we had lunch at M&P Coney Island. I REALLY have to remember to NOT go there again. The Coney Island out on Wilmington Road is quite different, their coneys are good and they have a wider selection.

We then stopped at the news stand across the street for a Post-Gazette. And checked out the monuments in the center of the square. Actually, it's not really a square, it's more of an oval.

This photo is facing west, showing Washington Street behind the fountain.

The Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce uses the old railroad station. I think it's a really nifty building.

That's Gene at the left edge of the building.

There are a couple of web sites that show the beginning/end of both state and US routes. One says that the end of US224 is in Union Township at US422. I remember that when we moved here there was an "End 224" sign at route 18 in downtown New Castle. So we went looking for it ... but couldn't find it. It must have been a figment of my imagination. We did find the first PennDOT little white sign for US224 further out State Street just east of US422, close to where the web site say it begins. Here's a picture of it:

Living Treasures Animal Park
I have been avoiding LTAP, considering it just another tourist trap. However, Gene and I decided to check it out anyway. We were pleasantly surprised. It's not a metropolitan zoo, but a pleasant experience to see these animals up close and personal. We both recommend it. It's on US422 just east of New Castle.

Slippery Rock Raceway "The greatest show on dirt!"

Located on Cemetary Rd (sic) off SR108 east of Slippery Rock.
I didn't even know it existed until I bumped into it on the Internet. It's an eighth mile dirt track. The best view of it is from the cemetery.
And if you go to the top of the hill in the cemetery, you look down on the Giant Eagle Plaza, where we've been shopping for five years. Amazing what you can discover on the Internet!

Since we were in town, we took a tour of Slippery Rock Hardware.
And back to Harlansburg to pick up Beverly. We then drove to London for dinner at the Elephant and Castle. I won't show you the picture I took of Smitty at the table with my new high resolution camera. However, I will email it on request.

Friday July 23

We visited the Butler County Historical Society at #707 National City Bank Bldg 106 S Main at Jefferson. It's open 9-4 Weekdays and it's their number that's given at the Heritage Center, which we've been trying to get into for 3 years now. We had a nice conversation with Dave Allen and Sara Jane Zavadsky. We found out the Heritage center is open 1-5 Sundays during the summer. We also found out that the American Bantam Car Company factory is still standing, but very unsafe. The frame of the building is made of cast iron, which is now crystallizing, and the brick facade is structurally unsound.

Of course we had to go take a look at the building where the first Jeeps were made:

We saw Butler Memorial Park on the free map we got at the Historical Society and decided to check it out. After stumbling around and missing the park, we finally asked a mailman and got good directions. We drove 4 miles back and toured it. It's a very nice park. Missing the park was all the map's fault. Really.

Back to route 356, we stopped at Quiznos Subs for a takeout order to eat in Harlansburg. This was the first time at Quiznos for both of us. Gene was quite taken with Denise behind the counter. He told her he was De Nephew.

We returned to Harlansburg and consumed the subs, which were delicious. We said goodbye to Beverly who was waiting for Dottie Kletke to pick her up and go to Union City for their high school reunion. We headed north also.

The Stone Lamp Shop
Ever since we moved to PA, I'd been wondering about the Stone Lamp Shop. It's in a house north of Harlansburg on US19. There's a sign on the road, with an open/closed sign. Since it was showing open when we went by, we decided to stop to see what was there. Actually, I was the curious one. Smitty didn't go into the shop. But at least he was a good sport about it.

Well, this is what's in the shop. If anybody is interested in buying one of the handcrafted articles, I can tell you where to go.
New PennPower Substation
I had read over a year ago that PennPower was going to build a new substation somewhere north on US19 to cure low voltage conditions around Harlansburg. Well, this apparently is it. It's on Potter Run Road just off 19.

Route Ends

The northern end of PA60 in Sharon.
PA60 is everything from a 2 lane highway, to a freeway, to a toll road run by the PA Turnpike Commission.

PA60 is significant to me because it's the route I take to get to both the Pittsburgh International Airport and Ikea.
US62 at the Ohio/PA border on the west edge of Sharon

US422 at the PA/Ohio border.
Below is the first little white 422 sign in PA.

US224 at the PA/Ohio border

Youngstown Mill Creek MetroParks
Fellows Riverside Gardens

123 McKinley Ave; Youngstown 44509. Mahoning Rd Exit 4 off 680
It includes an All America Selection Display Garden

Saturday July 24

We took some used engine oil to the hazardous waste pickup at Hillview Manor on Rt65 south of New Castle. I also had some very old gasoline to get rid of, but Gene volunteered to take it.

Butler Freeport Community Trail
It's completed from PA28 at the Butler/Armstrong County line, north to Herman. There was a lot of activity this pleasant Saturday. We checked it out at various points along the trail.

Todd Sanctuary

The sanctuary is owned/run by the Audubon Society of Western PA and Graham Bier is the Naturalist there.


Leechburg Recycling Center
Gene's uncle Arthur Duppstadt was instrumental in the creation of this facility and recycling in Leechburg. As Gene says, it's a work of Art.

Leechburg-Hyde Park Pedestrian Bridge
A 600 foot bridge over the Kiskiminetas River.
It was originally built in 1886 as a railroad bridge, but after it got washed out twice, the railroad gave it up. It was rebuilt as a foot bridge in 1920. The current version, with it's steel grate deck, was opened in 1955. Leechburg is in Armstrong County and Hyde Park is in Westmoreland County. The bridge is officially Armstrong County Bridge No. 13, but is owned by both counties.

Rachel Carson Homestead in Springdale

Gene volunteered to Google "King of the Field" and "Queen of the Field" for Vivian.

Houses of Note
We next went to Chapel hill, looking for "Trillium Trail" and John and Teresa Heinz Kerry's driveway. I had heard many references to Trillium Trail in Chapel Hill and wanted to see it. Also, an article in the Post-Gazette said the Kerrys house is on Squaw Run Road. And there's a Trillium Lane close to Squaw Run Road. So we drove the length of Squaw Run Road and found a driveway with two stop signs in it. We figured that must be it, so I snapped a picture. We did enjoy the trip up Squaw Run Road as it goes through some very nicely wooded areas. We went over to Trillium Lane and found it was a very nicely landscaped residential area, not a picturesque natural area. Later, at the Audubon Society, we found somebody familiar with the area. She said that Squaw Run Road was usually referred to as Trillium Trail. And verified that the picture I took is the Heinz driveway. She did ask me if I was a terrorist before telling me I got a picture of the correct driveway. That made my day . . . a 66 year old white haired terrorist.

John and Teresa Heinz Kerry's driveway on Squaw Run Road in Chapel Hill.

The former home of Gene's uncle Robert Webster Duppstadt. On Willow Creek Drive off Route 8 north of Bakerstown in Richland Township.

Dinner at:
Rey Azteca Authentic Mexican Cuisine
255 New Castle Rd
Butler, PA 16001-2531

But they don't have a liquor license, so we returned through Slippery Rock to get Gene a Dos Equis beer at the Ginger Hill Inn.

Sunday July 25

We stopped at the McDonalds across from the Outlet Mall and ran into a huge crowd inside. So we quickly backed out the door, went through the take-out window, which had nobody in line, and drove up the road to eat our breakfast at the . . .

Grove City Airport

Skydive Pennsylvania was active at the other end of the field:

We headed up to Mercer to see the pottery studio Christian Kuharik is building in his back yard.

The home of
Christian and Kristen Kuharik
325 N Sassafras
Mercer, PA
And the framework for the new pottery studio in the back yard.

Unfortunately, the Kuhariks were not home. That's the chance you take dropping in unexpectedly. Gene also wanted to ask Christian about William Hines.

We stopped and hiked, but didn't find the Eagle nest allegedly on the eastern edge of Moraine SP. We'll have to go back when the leaves are off the trees. But not during hunting season.

Butler County Heritage Center
119 West New Castle Street, Butler. 724-283-8116 for info. 1-5 Sundays summer only.

Copyright © 2004 Lawrence McMillen. All rights reserved.