Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Another year has quickly come to an end, which means it's time to drop unused items and celebrate the New Year. Here in the keystone state (Pennsylvania), we seem to take the quirkiness to another level. Sure, in Tallapoosa, Georgia they drop an opossum, or East Port, Maine, a sardine. But here we get a smorgasbord full of foods and oddities.

In Dillsburg, they drop a pickle; Ickesburg, a french fry; Lebanon a 100 pound stick of bologna - and these seem like the normal ones. In Frogtown, they lower a frog; Mechanicsburg, a wrench; and in Newport, a plywood hardhat.

No matter how you celebrate, have a Happy New Year! Stay out of our way, cause we're going Outta the Way!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Tiny World Shippensburg, Pennsylvania

In Tiny World it's always Christmas, even in July you'll see lights on houses, trees in homes and wreaths on doors. Christmas all year is pretty strange, but what's even stranger in the world you're about to enter is that Tiny World is an array of buildings built by its owner for his cats to play in. Sounds normal enough until you see these tiny buildings and the detail astounds you. These cats must have their own systems in place also. There is a firehouse, a courthouse and a church, all built for the owner's lovable felines, who can't seem to get enough holiday cheer!

Happy Holidays from Outta the Way!!

(For more about Tiny World and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and the surrounding area, check out this month's zine!)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Ghosts at Farnsworth Inn Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

One of the most historic Inns in the country has quite a dark past. The Farnsworth Inn, located in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, is a ghost hunter's delight. Numerous tales of ghostly apparitions paying nighttime visits is nothing new here. The Inn played a key part in the Civil War, acting as a lookout tower for Confederate soldiers, and also as a hospital for the wounded. It is said the bullet used to kill Jennie Wade was fired from this historic building. Right in the heart of Gettysburg lies this haven for the unrested.

(Make sure to check out the Outta the Way zine this month for more about the Farnsworth Inn and other sites in Gettysburg, PA and the surrounding area!)

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Howard Tunnel

Just outside the small town of York-New Salem, Pennsylvania, along the York County Rail Trail lies the oldest continuously running railroad tunnel in the world. The Howard Tunnel, named for the young man whose idea it was to build the tunnel through a small mountain. The tunnel was built during the years of 1836-1837 and opened up in 1838. The 370 foot tunnel expanded to two rail lines in the 1870's.

On a somber note, the tunnel has seen 3 Presidential Funeral Processions. Presidents Lincoln, Harding and McKinley's bodies all have passed through the tunnel.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Rehmeyer's Hollow in Pennsylvania

Shortly after midnight on a chilly November night in 1928, one of York County's most infamous murders was about to occur. A local farming neighbor with his two teenage accomplices were about to burn a man alive. All for a book, a book of spells. Mr Rehmeyer was going to become a man that legends are built around.

Rehmeyer was a Pow Wow doctor or a witch. His neighbor Mr. Blymire was having trouble on his farm and blamed Nelson Rehmeyer for these troubles. What ensued that chilly, rainy night on November 28, 1928 was sure to change history and become one of the most prominent murders in American history.

{For directions to Rehmeyer's Hollow and more information, along with 3 other stories, check out the Outta the Way Zine, Volume 7: Southern York County. }

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Abandoned Foust Distillery York County, Pennsylvania

A few miles outside the small town of Glen Rock are the remnants of the town that could have been. The town of Foustown came to be because of the booming Faust distillery, which at one time produced 3,000 barrels of whiskey per year. The town acted as housing for the employees, a railroad station, a town square with an elaborate water fountain, as well as telephone service - extremely rare in the late 1800's.
Prohibition of the 1930's put a damper on the distillery and the small town and they have both since gave way to the ruralness the distillery and town tried to escape.

{For even more information and directions to Foustown, check out the Outta the Way Zine, Volume 7: Southern York County, Pennsylvania}

Friday, November 6, 2009

Brandywine Battlefield

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Originally uploaded by B.B. Bellezza
Not only is the Chadd's Ford area home to Devil's Road, one of the most sinister roads in Pennsylvania, but it is also the heart of the Brandywine Battlefield.

General Washington and Lafayette both had headquarters located in the area. The battle took place over a 10-square-mile area. The British had maneuvered into the Chadd's Ford area by way of Kennett Square in order to attack the City of Philadelphia.

The final conflict in the battle occurred near the Birmingham Friends Meeting House. As with all historic battlefields, and this one is no different, the whole area is said to be very active with spirits.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Devil's Road in Pennsylvania

Devil Road
Originally uploaded by B.B. Bellezza
Near the Delaware state border lies a road full of disturbing tales. Local Folklore states that at one time the devil was summoned on to this road and then let out such a piercing scream that all the trees grow in odd formations now.

The road is also thought to have a home known to hold occult practices or even possibly the inbred children of a wealth prominent family in the area. Of course, this is all speculation.

This are is quite beautiful. It has been used in the movie "The Village." There are a lot of tales involving KKK meetings, Satanists and even black truck chasing people off the road.

The latest edition of Outta the Way has more information and directions to this difficult-to-find road.

Friday, October 2, 2009


South of Centralia, lies a real abandoned town: no residents, no homes, not much sign of a town at all anymore. Brynesville was founded in 1856 and was named after the local Byrnes family. The town was used to house employees of the local coal mine that was nearby.

In 1865 homes started to be built in the area of upper Byrnesville. There wasn't much to the town other than an elementary school, which dissipated in the early 1930's. The nearby towns and Ashland and Centralia were much larger and used for shopping and church purposes.
During the 1980's, fire and gases from the Centralia mine fire spread to the town and the federal government relocated the townspeople. At the time there were 75 people and 29 houses. The last resident was moved out in 1996.
There are a few remains of the town. Most noticeably is a large wash house used by miners to clean up after work. The wash house is now overgrown with weeds and graffiti and the roof is collapsing, offering a grave reminder of a town that was started and destroyed by the coal industry.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Dessert Anyone?

At Granny's Motel and diner stands a 15 foot odd statue. A giant pioneer woman holding a pie with a large, slightly deformed looking adult child clutching her leg. The child with sideburns is clutching onto a doll baby with its head missing. It's certainly one of the strangest statues Outta the Way has encountered.
The ceramic piece previously stood at the Pot O' Gold diner in nearby Hamburg. When the diner closed, it was relocated to its current location. Hopefully they'll stay here for many years to come, continuing to frighten drivers along the highway.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Centralia, Pennsylvania

Wanna visit the real Silent Hill? The Pennsylvania town of Centralia is the inspiration for the town used in the video game Silent Hill. While visiting it's not difficult to see why.
This place is a modern-day ghost town and with only 7 people still living there and that number dwindling, it won't be long before it's abandoned.
The U.S. Government claimed eminent domain on the land as there is a fire burning under the town. You can see smoke and gases protruding out of openings in the ground. Even the main route through the town was rerouted because the macadam and asphalt split open, leaving large open seams with smoke billowing out between cracks in the graffiti-covered road.
You definitely feel eerie walking this scary stretch of road. You keep feeling like a car is going to come up behind you anytime. Also maybe it's the angle of the road or the smoke inhalation, but we all felt a little vertigo while walking this barren road through hell.
(For more information about visiting Centralia, check out Volume 5 of the Outta the Way Zine, available in our Etsy Shop.)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Miner Monuments

Located at a Minersville, Pennsylvania Turkey Hill stands a statue honoring those who have labored and risked their lives in the Anthracite Coal Mines of the area.

Located at the Rt. 901 and 209 intersection, stands a monument remembering the local miners of nearby Buck Run. It sits in the front yard of its owner, who built the whole thing at his own expense. Showing a miner exiting a a coal mine with his mule and wagon the same way it was done a century ago.
There's an extraordinary amount of detail done here: the miner's hat is even lit. There is also a large chunk of coal next to the shaft.
With the extensive work and authenticity done on these pieces of art, all Outta the Way can do is just tip our miner's hat giving approval.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Centralia/Coal Country, Pennsylvania

Volume 5 of Outta the Way is now available! You can get it on Etsy or get it in person at BUiLDiNG CHARACTER-342 N. Queen St., Rear, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
We also have limited edition mini-zines available while they last!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Horrors at Dreamland Park

The Dreamland Park, north of Reading is a defunct amusement park. Closing in the 1950's, the park is more synonymous with horrors than with children frolicking and laughing.

Along Pricetown road in Rascombmanor township lies the remains of the Dreamland Amusement Park. Opening in the 1930's by a gentleman named Ralph Kreitz, Dreamland had all the necessities for a fun time, young or old. Buildings were set up with gambling devices and card games. Also were some children's rides, a rollerskating rink, and a theatre for concerts.

Mr. Kreitz owned and operated the park until it's closing in the 1950's. The park should have just become a forgotten memory of a failed dream. However on a hot August night in 1969 a young couple was parked along nearby Skyline drive. Surely admiring the nearby Pagoda, along with the beautiful view of the city below. But things were about to take a dark, horrendous turn.

Two Pagan gang members approached the vehicle and forced themselves inside. They than forced a young Glenn Eckert (20) and his date Marilyn Sheckler (18) to drive them to a train station in Leesport, Pennsylvania. There they were confronted by two more members of the notorious motorcycle gang. The four Pagans commanded the youth into an awaiting box truck. They drove the couple along the back roads of Berks county, each taking turns brutally raping the young woman. According to the police reports at approximately 2:00 A.M. the gang took the pair to Dreamland Park and murdered them. 

After several months of searching, their bodies were discovered on October 23, 1969. The duo was found in the woods surrounding Dreamland Park. Marilyn had been bludgeoned to her death, while Glenn suffered gunshot wounds. The trial began the following Summer after the gang members began turning on each other. Two of the men were convicted of the murders. 

Today there are a few buildings lying in ruins in these woods. "No Trespassing" signs litter the area. Nearby neighbors and the new owner are weary of trespassers, and with the history surrounding the area. Could you blame them?

Sounds more like a nightmare than a Dreamland.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Crybaby Bridge of Berks County

There's a crybaby bridge located outside of Reading, Pennsylvania. Spanning over the Tulpehocken Creek, it's said you can hear baby cries from the water below. What makes this one more unique is that it's a covered bridge.

Crybaby bridges are folklore all over the world. The stories associated with them are usually of young pregnant women willing to end their humiliation by plummeting into the waters below. Other variations include a new mother aborting her child into the frigid water below. Either way the story is told, be sure to pay attention for the infantile screams from beyond.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Pagoda of Reading, Pennsylvania

The Pagoda in Reading, PA is obviously not the normal architectural design you'd expect to find in the area. Inspired by a Philippines postcard and built in 1908, it was to be used as a hotel. The hotel was denied a liquor license and never succeeded. The Pagoda was then sold to a prominent businessman in the area. One year later it was sold to the City of Reading for $1.

Before telephones and television, the Pagoda acted as a message service. The lights on the Pagoda acted as Morse code for the townspeople below, offering news and sports updates with the flashing of the lights. The Pagoda stands 72 feet high and sits 886 feet above the City of Reading.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Berks County,Pennsylvania

Volume 4 of Outta the Way is now available! We feature Berks County.

The intro:

This month will stir up the supernatural on a covered bridge, visit a miniature village, see the view that inspired it, get a taste of Japanese culture and learn how a Dreamland became a nightmare. So prepare to get outta the way, we're going outta the way!

Contact us or go to Kim's Etsy Store to get your copy!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Roadside America Shartlesville, Pennsylvania

Roadside America is one child's fascination taken to an extreme.
The airplane hangar-size building is filled with numerous trains, buildings, houses and miniature villages. Most of these piece have been hand carved from wood.
Walking inside Roadside America is quite astonishing: there's not really words to describe the feeling you get upon entering. It leaves you speechless.
The place definitely has a homey feeling and makes you feel like you're in the simpler times of Ozzie and Harriet.
For more information and more quirky "outta the way" places, be sure to check out the Outta the Way zine! (Vol. 4 is available today! Contact us to reserve a copy.)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Roadside America's Parking Lot Vol 4

A few imposing individuals protect the parking lot of Roadside America in Shartlesville, PA: A pair of Amish folk who look like they're right out of American Gothic. The Amish man's enormous hands look like he's ready to scoop you up as a snack.

The stranger thing is that these Amish giants are greeting you to a miniature village.
Also in the parking lot is an odd looking varmint-type animal looking to scavenge any leftovers the giant Amish couple may leave behind. It's hard to tell what's odder, these statues in the parking lot, or what lies inside Roadside America itself.
Check out next week's blog when we will show you what's inside of Roadside America.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Carmen and David's Creamery

What better way to cool off on a hot summer day then with some ice cream?

At Carmen and David's Ceamery on Prince Street, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, across from the Fulton Opera house, they offer some of the best ice cream we've ever had!

They specialize in different flavors and cones, as well as the normal chocolate and vanilla. All of the ice cream is made in house by David.

The shop is very comfy and even includes a fireplace. It has lots of chairs and couches to watch the passersby on the street. With their strong local ties and unique flavors (i.e. Peanut butter Cap'n Crunch), it's not difficult to tell why they get the Outta the Way approval.

25 North Prince Street, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Jerry's Market (The Blob)

In July's zine we are taking a Blob Tour. Though the Jerry's Market scene played a key part in the film, we omitted its presence from the zine as it is now part of a strip mall.

During the film Steve and Jane hid from the blob in the walk-in freeze and made a shocking realization that helped to save us all.

At the time of filming, Jerry Fahringer owned 2 markets: 1 in Phoenixville and 1 in Royersford, which was used for filming. Though difficult to identify today as it has changed such much over time. What you are looking for is New Lewis Road Plaza in Royersford. Today it is mostly the Sly Fox Restaurant and Brewery. The meat freezer Steve and Jane run into is apparently now the microbrewery. Cheers to that!

Located at Lewis Road and Oak Street in Royersford, PA.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

We're on the Savvy Grouse again

We are on the Savvy Grouse again! See our post about Centralia!

Happy Indie Day!

Looking for a way to celebrate your Independence? Well, there should be no shortage this weekend: from reenactments at Gettysburg to one of the oldest continuous fireworks shows in Lititz.

One of the bigger celebrations will take place in our own capital of Harrisburg from Friday, July 3 to Sunday July 5th. The riverfront will be crowded with various vendors, concessions and musicians. The annual Music Fest features loads of up and coming local bands as well as more established artists. Asia is headlining this year.

The 3-day festival features 6 stages and music covering all genres from rock to county to classical and everything in between.

If you are looking for a conscientious rapper with talent, we recommend E-Will. He'll be performing during the Hip Hop Hour on Sunday, July 5th at 7 p.m. Besides having something to say, as opposed to most hip hop artists these days, he's a personal friend of Outta the Way's.

Fireworks are held all 3 days of the event, so as we struggle to balance our state budget, we can see our tax dollars literally go up in smoke. Hey, at least it's free.

Music Fest runs from Friday, July 3 through Sunday July 5th; 12 noon - 10 p.m. each day.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Colonial Theatre (The Blob) Vol.3

The Colonial Theatre is one of those rare places that doesn't seem to exist anymore: a local hometown business that is still thriving.
It has the distinction of being the location of where the theatre scene in The Blob was filmed. Each July the theatre hosts Blobfest, complete with a theatre running out reenactment.

The theatre also has midnight showings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Most of the theatre's business seems to come from the art house crowds, since they run a lot of indie and foreign films here as well.
In this age of box office schlock that attracts the masses, it's nice to see a local theatre with a brain, for that Outta the Way sends a standing ovation.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Knoebels Part II

Knoebels not only offers great family fun at an affordable price, they also feature a few quirky museums and other oddities. What other amusement park do you know with a covered bridge in it.

The Mining Museum located near the back of the park gives a fun glimpse into anthrocite mining, which is very big business in the area. You'll see old mining tools, artifacts, accidental mining records and even a giant dinosaur?!

Within the Mining Museum is the Knoebels History Museum, following over 80 years of the park's history. You'll learn about the Phoenix Roller coaster, which was built in 1947, and was at that time the largest coaster in the world. Find out how it ended up at Knoebels, as well as the majority of the other rides the park offers.

At the Knoebels Carousel Museum, you'll see thousands of animals that were made for carousels throughout the years and world. Not just the usual horses, but also specialty pieces. You'll see pieces resembling roosters, dogs and other animals we don't normally associate with carousels. You'll also learn about the carvings and carvers who still carry on this tradition.

If that's not enough for you, near kiddie land lies "the world's largest baseball bat." The bat sits in front of the large steam-powered antique lathe it was made on. Nearby are also several wood carvings made from chainsaws, as well as a 200-year-old log.

All attractions are free and quirky only adding even more charm to Knoebels.

Knoebels is open daily from Memorial day through Labor Day.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Knoebels Grove Part 1

[the swings]

[a view from the ferris wheel]
Tired of long lines and overpriced amusement park tickets? Not feeling like you got your money's worth? Try a visit to Knoebels Grove. Nestled in the woods of Elysburg, PA, it's the perfect getaway for cash-strapped families.

Admission and parking are free; you only pay for what you ride. There is also an affordable campground on the property if you want to make a weekend of it. Knoebels offers the feel of an old time fair with the modern flair of the new theme parks. Featuring over 50 rides, including a carousel with a brass ring arm, an actual scary haunted house (Kim has never opened her eyes in it!) and one of the oldest and top-ranked coasters in the nation, it's not difficult to see how everyone would be pleased. From the young ones to the thrill riders, Knoebels is sure to please. And because you pay as you go, you don't feel frustrated or rushed to get your money's worth, so you can all easily go as a group.

Picnics are allowed and even encouraged with lots of picnic tables and pavilions, but the food in the park is affordable and tasty. For approximately $100, a family of 4 should have no problems making a day of it. Try doing that at Hearshy or Dorney Park.

Knoebels is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Check out next week's blog for more on Knoebels and some of the oddities they offer as well.

[taken from the train ride, which goes under this coaster]