Showing posts from February, 2017

Wright's View

WRIGHT'S VIEW - This is located at a scenic view along Old US 220 near Sonestown.  Wright's View is named after former Secretary of Highways, P.D. Wright.


WASHINGTON - Founded 1768.  Named after George Washington.  Home of numerous historic buildings and museums, including the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum


PHOENIXVILLE - Founded 1849.  Named after the fabulous bird that rose out of the ashes to new life.  The town has a wealth of history dating back to the 18th Century.  The town was originally named Manavon when settled in 1732.  The Phoenixville name was adopted when the borough was incorporated in 1849.  The Phoenix Iron Works was one of the major iron and steel mills in the country for decades

Penn's Creek

PENN'S CREEK - Photo taken along PA 104 in Penn's Creek.  Penn's Creek is a tributary of the Susquehanna River and is the focal point of Penn's Valley.  Penn's Creek is the state's longest and largest limestone stream and is well known for its trout and fly fishing and other recreation activities.

Old Concord

OLD CONCORD - Founded 1826. Originally named, Concord, the tiny village is located on an old alignment of PA 18 in Washington County.

Turner's Bridge

Turner's Covered Bridge sits quietly on a gravel Harrison Township backroad between the Pennsylvania Turnpike and PA Route 31.  For over 110 years, this Burr truss design has crossed the Raystown Branch of the Juniata River.  This Bedford County owned bridge is similar to other Burr truss bridges within the county, in that the truss work is exposed.  Turner's Bridge has also been called Diehl's Bridge.

Bridge Specs:
Number: 38-05-19
Design: Burr Truss
Length: 87 feet
Crosses: Raystown Branch - Juniata River
Built: 1892

From Bedford: Follow US 30 West to PA 31 West; Go through the town of Manns Choice continuing west on PA 31; look for bridge on your right two miles west of Manns Choice.From Somerset: Follow PA 31 East into Bedford County; bridge is on left about seven miles into the county.

New Centreville

NEW CENTREVILLE - Founded 1834.  Named due to location between Gephartsburg and New Lexington.  Modern day spelling is New Centerville.  Since 1953, the local fire department hosts the Farmers & Threshermens Jubilee every September.  The Jubilee is one of the four fall festivals of the Laurel Highlands.


MONROETON - Founded 1796.  Named after President James Monroe.  What is interesting is that the town is officially known as Monroe Borough but residents refer to the town as Monroeton and the post office also is named Monroeton.


LIVERPOOL - Founded 1818.  Named for Liverpool, England.  The Staily family which settled here - named the town after where they emigrated from Liverpool, England.  Located along the Susquehanna River, Liverpool was once an important town along the Pennsylvania Canal.


LICKDALE - Founded 1782.  Originally called Union Forge, the village changed its name to Lickdale in 1884 in honor of James Lick, the famed piano maker who was born in nearby Fredericksburg.


LEECHBURG - Founded 1832.  Named after David Leech - early settler and hunter. Leech secured the contract for construction of a lock and dam along the then Pennsylvania Canal.  He also financed the construction of a railway between Pittsburgh and Kittanning that was completed in 1856.  David Leech would pass away two years later.

Bells Mills Covered Bridge

The Bells Mills Covered Bridge crosses Big Sewickley Creek just outside of the village of Yukon in Westmoreland County.  The over 150 year old Burr Truss bridge is the last remaining covered bridge in Westmoreland County.  Yes, there are still some private bridges but most of those have been built in the last 30 years; however, the Bells Mills bridge is the last of its kind within the county.  

The bridge was designed and built in 1850 by Daniel McCain.  The bridge was damaged in 1975 due to flooding along the Big Sewickley.  It was during the post-flood rebuilding of the Bells Mills Bridge that its color went from white to red.  The bridge was rededicated by Westmoreland County in 1976.  The Bells Mills Bridge was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.  The bridge was completely restored by the county in 1988.

Bridge Specs:
Number: 38-65-01
Design: Single Burr Arch
Length: 104 feet
Crosses: Big Sewickley Creek
Built: 1850


From West Newton - Follow PA 136 East …


JEFFERSON - Founded 1776.  Named after Thomas Jefferson.  This Jefferson is located in Greene County.


HICKORY - Founded 1797.  The original name for this Washington County Village was 'Hickory Tavern'.


FREDERICKTOWN - Founded 1817.  Named after settler, Frederick Wise.


HARTLETON - Founded 1793.  Named for Colonel Thomas Hartley, who owned the land that the town was laid out on.  Hartley was a lawyer who served in the Revolutionary War and served as a member of the House of Representatives in the first six Congresses.  The Union County town is home to under 300 residents

Greenwood Nursery

Established 1906.  The former Greenwood Tree Nursery would be the predecessor to Greenwood Furnace State Park.  The nursery would operate from 1906 until 1993.  Greenwood Furnace State Park was established in 1925.


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…