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Independence National Historical Park

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One of the most popular tourist attractions in Philadelphia is Independence National Historical Park.  Celebrating both the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, Independence National Historical Park is home to Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, and numerous other historic sites.   Independence Hall, where both the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were debated and signed, is the centerpiece of the park.  Built in 1753 as the Pennsylvania State House as part of the Colonial Capital, Independence Hall was home to the Second Continental Congress (Declaration of  Independence) and the Constitutional Convention.  Tours of the building are free; however, the only way to see the interior is through a park guided tour.  The tour includes the Pennsylvania Assembly Hall which is where both the Declaration and the Constitution were signed.Additionally, the tour also includes what was once the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.  Guided tours begin about every 15 minutes.  Typically …

Belle Vernon

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BELLE VERNON- Founded 1813.  The town was laid out by Noah Speer - whose family the nearby town Speers is named after.  Belle Vernon - originally named "Bellevernon" is French for "Beautiful Green".Speer's son, Louis, would found and lay out the town of North Belle Vernon in 1872.  The neighboring town of Speers was laid out in 1860.

Irving Cliff

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Rising some 300 feet above historic downtown Honesdale, Pennsylvania, Irving Cliff at Gibbons Memorial Park in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. A view of the Lackawaxen River as it meets Dyberry Creek, historic buildings and even the Moosic Mountains in the far distance can be seen from the perch upon this ledge. A recent trip brought me through Honesdale, and upon looking for any points of interest that were worth exploring and being a sucker for scenic vistas and local history, a visit to see the view from Irving Cliff was a must-do.
Irving Cliff was named after Washington Irving, author of "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." Irving visited Honesdale in 1841 at the invitation of his friend Philip Hone (the first president of the Delaware and Hudson Canal, a former mayor of New York City, and the namesake of Honesdale Borough) on a trip the Delaware and Hudson Canal from Kingston, New York to Honesdale. This beautiful blending of rock, lake and stream elici…

Greencastle

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GREENCASTLE - Founded 1750. Named for Greencastle in North of Ireland (County Donegal, Northern Island) where many of the first settlers to Greencastle came from. Greencastle is located at the intersection of the old Baltimore and Carlisle Pikes, and is home to the the oldest continuously operating drug store in the United States, Carl's Drug Store, which opened in 1825.
Sources and Links: Our History - Greencastle Borough

The Red Caboose - Elizabeth

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For the past 40 years, a hot dog stand that looks a lot like a red caboose along Route 51 in Forward Township (Southeastern Allegheny County) has been a lunch time treat for many in the Monongahela Valley.  The Red Caboose - family operated since 1980 - serves hot dogs, kielbasa, and french fries.  Plus popular toppings like cheese, chili, sauerkraut and gravy.
The menu is simple - and so are the prices.  Most items are under $3 - making it an extremely affordable meal.   The Red Caboose is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10:30 am to 4:00 pm.   Seating is all outdoor or in your car.  And if you come during the peak lunch time hours - the line will stretch out the door!  It's definitely worth it though.
The Red Caboose is Cash Only so be sure to stop at the ATM before you go.  Oh, and don't forget your appetite!
(Top photo courtesy the Red Caboose)





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King's Covered Bridge

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Just south of the Barronvale Covered Bridge sits King's Covered Bridge.  This bridge also crosses Laurel Hill Creek and sits just off of PA Route 653.  King's Covered Bridge dates to 1906 and received a massive restoration in 2009. 
The 127 foot long Burr Arch Truss was a privately owned bridge by the King family.  The bridge, which had not seen vehicular traffic since the 1930s, served as a livestock barn for the King family until 2002.  It was in 2002 when the Southern Alleghenies Conservancy took over the bridge and in 2008 handed it over to Middlecreek Township.  With the assistance of various grants and federal highway administration funding, restoration of the bridge began in 2008 and was completed the next year.  The cost to stabilize and restore the bridge was $1.035 million dollars.

The restored bridge is absolutely beautiful.
Bridge Specs: Number: 38-56-06Built: 1906Design: Burr Arch TrussLength: 127 feetCrosses: Laurel Hill CreekAll photos taken by post author - Decembe…

Perryopolis

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Fayette County's Perryopolis has a unique history.  The town's history can be traced to George Washington and his purchase 1644 acres of land in 1769.  Washington found the area perfect for a grist mill which was constructed and began operation in 1776.  Over a decade later in 1789, Washington leased portions of his land and the mill to Colonel Israel Shreve.  When both Washington and Shreve died in 1799, the land would be subdivided and sold.

Originally known as New Boston, the layout of Perryopolis would take shape in 1814.  Renamed Perryopolis after War of 1812 hero, Oliver Hazard Perry, the town's layout is in the shape of a wagon wheel.   The hub of the layout is known as Washington Square which to this day remains the center of town.
Perryopolis would grow as the main town and marketplace for a number of the local farmers and grist mills in the early-mid 1800s.  As the 19th century continued, coal and coke became the drivers of the local economy.  Interestingly, it was…