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Welcome to Quintessential Pennsylvania!  This is a shared project between myself (Adam Prince) and Doug Kerr.  After the decision to let Gribblenation go dark, Doug and I both decided to continue features that we had on the old site and new ones as well.  Quintessential Pennsylvania keeps Doug's old Pennsylvania site name but now under a blog format.

Here we will feature - road items such as covered bridges, keystone town markers, and historical bridges - but also expand into downtown walkabouts, state parks, mail pouch tobacco barns, and more!  One of my biggest influences in photography and writing was the work of the late Fred Yenerall.  His photos showcasing the quiet simplicity of Pennsylvania showed that you never know what you may just find down a back road.

We hope you enjoy Quintessential Pennsylvania.  There's still a lot of kinks to work out like design, layout, and other items.  If our past experience with Gribblenation taught us, you never know what ideas and oppo…


COLUMBUS - Founded 1800.  Like many other towns that share the name nationwide, the Warren County community of Columbus was named after Christopher Columbus.

Photo taken by Doug Kerr.


BEAVER - Founded 1778.  Named after King Beaver of the Lenni-Lenape Indian tribe.  Lenni-Lenape are known to us as the Delaware Indians and "Lenni-Lenape" means "true man" or "common people".

Photo taken by Doug Kerr.

Poole Forge

Among the picturesque countryside of Lancaster County is a historic iron forge called Poole Forge. Founded around the time of the American Revolution by a Welshman named James Old, Poole Forge produced armaments and other iron goods by various owners for a burgeoning nation from 1775 to 1852.

These days, Poole Forge is a park, has a covered bridge that was constructed over the Conestoga Creek in 1859, hosts weddings from some of the remaining original buildings and a chance to learn about early industry in this part of Pennsylvania.

Historic Poole Forge - About Us


Pennsylvania has a good number of uniquely named villages, townships, boroughs and cities. On PA 487 in Sullivan County, between Dushore and Ricketts Glen State Park is the little settlement of Mildred. It was founded in 1870 and named for one Mildred McDonald. I am finding it interesting that Mildred is a mile down the road from Bernice. I wonder if they were somehow related. Listed below is a link to old photos to show what Mildred (the town) looked like in the days of yore.

Sources & Links:

(1) Rootsweb. "Mildred, Sullivan County, PA.." Accessed on October 17, 2017.

Allegheny Aqueduct

Having spent a significant chunk of my life residing near New York State's canals, such as the famous Erie Canal and the lesser known, yet still important Champlain Canal, I've become interested and acquainted with historic canal infrastructure. During a trip I made into Pennsylvania in April 2011, I stumbled across the Allegheny Aqueduct Historic Park just outside of Reading, in the town of Gibraltar, so I had to check it out.

The Allegheny Aqueduct was built in 1824 as part of the Schuylkill Canal, which went from Schuylkill County to Philadelphia. The aqueduct was constructed to allow boats to travel across the Allegheny Creek, which could not be incorporated into the canal itself. At 112 1/2  feet long, the aqueduct features five stone arches as it crosses over the creek and was in use until 1919. These days, the aqueduct is part of a county park and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Allegheny Aqueduct Historical Park - County of Berks, Pennsyl…

Fells Church Cemetery - Fellsburg

Throughout Pennsylvania there are many small cemeteries.  Some are rural and some are in many of the old towns and villages that are throughout the state.  The Fells Church Cemetery in Rostraver Township, Westmoreland County is one of them.  Established in 1785 on the grounds of Fells Methodist Church, Fells Cemetery is the final resting place to those who fought in the American Revolution, Civil War, World War I, and World War II.  Three centuries of Pennsylvanians are buried here.

Both Fells Church and the village of Fellsburg have a long history.  Fellsburg is located within Rostraver Township which is one of the original Westmoreland County townships dating back to 1773.   Fellsburg is named after Benjamin Fell, and upon land donated by George Washington, Fells Methodist Church was built.   Known as "The Lighthouse on the Hill", the historic stone church that was built in 1834 still stands; however, the congregation moved to a new building in 1967.

Coming across the gra…

Donora - Webster Bridge

The Donora-Webster bridge was like many bridges once found in Southwestern Pennsylvania - old, narrow, and full of character.  Built around the turn of the 20th century, this bridge did more than just connect two Monongahela Valley towns, it had a unique charm that depending on who you spoke to - was either soothing or downright scary!

Growing up in Mon Valley, there are two things I recall about this bridge.  The steep incline onto the bridge from the Webster side (shown below) and the hum of the narrow open-grate bridge.  On a wet, snow or icy day, the thought of crossing the bridge would put a fright into many local drivers.  However to those that crossed the bridge daily, the unique sound of the bridge meant that they were home
Built in 1908, the five span truss bridge consisted of four shorter Parker through trusses and the main span - and also the longest at 518 feet - was a Pennsylvania through truss design.  The unique design of the bridge was one of the many features to t…