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Volant Mills

Opened in 1812, Volant Mills is located in Western Pennsylvania Amish country along the Neshannock Creek in Volant. The historic grist mill has been the economic center of this small town in Lawrence County for over two centuries. Now owned by a community non-profit organization, Volant Mills features shops where customers can buy handcrafted goods. There is currently a restoration effort underway to restore the historic waterwheel and other water powered turbines, making this a working mill again.

Sources and Links:
Volant Community Development Corp. - Volant Mills
Visit Lawrence County Pennsylvania - Volant Mills - Volant Mills
Volant Shops - Volant Village Shops

How to Get There:

Sinclair Gas Station - Warren Center

Sometimes, cruising along the back roads, you'll find something neat that you didn't expect to see. During one of my trips around northern Pennsylvania, I found a piece of Americana on one of these back roads. Located in Bradford County in the small community of Warren Center, there is a replica of an older Sinclair Gas station that has been restored to vintage condition. The signage, building and the gas pumps all look pristine. This link to a bygone era is worth celebrating as well, as there is an annual cruise-in every September where you can have your classic car photographed in front of the gas station.

Sources and Links:
Welcome to Warren Township - Warren Township Annual Cruise In
Waymarking - Sinclair - Warren Center, PA 

How to Get There:


COLLEGEVILLE - Founded 1896.  Home to Ursinus College, Collegeville gets its name as a result of the location of Ursinus's two predecessors, Freeland Seminary and Pennsylvania Female College.  Collegeville is the third name for the area surrounding the college.  It was first named Perkiomen Bridge after the completion of the still standing bridge in 1799.  In 1848, the village was renamed Freeland after the Freeland Seminary of Perkiomen Bridge was established by Henry Hunsicker. (1)

In 1869, a train station in the Freeland area was named Collegeville.  Finally in 1896, the town of Collegeville was incorporated on June 9th. (1)

The current Collegeville marker is a result of the restoration efforts of the Keystone Marker Trust.  In 2013, the Borough of Collegeville and the Keystone Marker Trust installed three new replica Keystone Town Markers.  Prior to the replacements, two markers had been removed/gone missing and one other was badly damaged.

Sources & Links:
(1) "Colle…


GRATERFORD - Founded 1756. Named for Jacob Kreater, an early settler.  The Montgomery County village was originally called Grater's Ford (at least into the 1870's) but would be later changed to its current spelling sometime after.


ZIEGLERSVILLE - Founded 1804.  Montgomery County Village named after Andrew Ziegler.

Overhanging Rock

In suburban Philadelphia, there is a rather unique traffic obstacle along PA Route 320 (South Gulph Road).  A rock outcropping, known as Hanging or Overhanging Rock, jutes out into the northbound lane of the highway.   It sticks out into the travel lane enough that a 7'0" low clearance warning sign is ahead of it and numerous small vans and delivery trucks have to swerve around it.

So why is this rock here?  Wouldn't PennDOT have removed the rock by now?  Well, there's a story behind it and why it is still here - and it involves George Washington.

Overhanging Rock is the site of Washington's Continental Army's last encampment before taking up winter quarters at Valley Forge in 1777.  The encampment lasted roughly six days, December 13th-19th. (1)  It is the historical significance of the rock's location that led to different battles over the rock well over a century later.

Fast forward 140 years to 1917, though in its infancy, the automobile era was well …

Green Lane

GREEN LANE - Founded 1749.  Simply named after the green foliage on the trees that lined the road.  Nearby, Green Lane Park is a popular year-round destination.