County, Pennsylvania, has a rich and storied history dating back to the
French and Indian War. It is best known around here, however, as President
Washington's headquarters during the Whisky Rebellion of 1794. What was
the Whisky Rebellion, you ask? The first of a long stream of mini-revolutions
in the early days of the United States - amazingly, an effective one.
The Excise Act was eventually repealed, although a national tax system
went into effect during the Civil War and today we have national taxes
on liquor, tobacco, gasoline, and income despite a heritage of revolt
against such impositions. As the old saying goes, the only sure things
in life are death and taxes!
Events on Memorial Day Weekend, July 4 Weekend, and Labor Day Weekend
- stay tuned for details and plan to visit me during our 200th anniversary
Right here in Schellsburg,
there's a terrific walking tour of the town's 18th and 19th century buildings.
83% of the buildings in town predate the 20th century and many of them
have been restored by their current owners. My house isn't listed on the
tour, but it dates from 1859 and was the first house in town to have a
parlor stove - a mark of the esteem in which the Lutheran congregation
held their pastor!
A good portion of
Schellsburg is devoted to Shawnee
State Park. With a 450 acre man-made lake with restrictions on motorized
boats, the park offers swimming, fishing, kayaking, and canoeing as well
as picnic sites, walking, hiking, and biking trails. The campsites for
trailers and tents are spacious and inexpensive. This is a gem among gems
in the area!
We even have a winery
in the outlying area of Schellsburg. The Helixville Winery folks make
Chamborcin, Fredonia, Riesling (I'll have to try this soon; I love Riesling!),
Catawba (an excellent sweet white wine with nice fruity depth), and Niagara
wines with more coming as the grape vines mature.
Sites West of Schellsburg
- A half mile after
the traffic light in town on U.S. 3o, you will come to the Schellsburg
cemetery and the Old Log Church on
the left. Built in 1806 as the first building of the German Reformed
Church of Schellsburg, the Old Log Church is quite literally the mother
church of the United Church of Schellsburg. I was privileged to participate
in the bicentennial celebration over June 24 and 25 this year; the pictures
at the left are from the dedication of the new tombstone for our town
founder, John Schell.
- Continuing away
from Schellsburg, in .5 mile on the left you will see the entrance to
Living Waters Camp and Conference Center, a ministry
of the Penn West Conference of the United Church of Christ.
- Also headed that
way out of Schellsburg, a mile past Living Waters, you can stop in at
the Bison Corral, which will be on your left. Rich
and Ann Darrow own this unique range, which spans both sides of the
highway. They have a gift shop on site as well as the Guest House for
- See the WEST
page for more sights and activities.
- You can find a
great deal of information about Bedford and the surrounding area at
the Bedford County Visitor's
Bedford Village is our local recreation of frontier times here on
the edge of civilization. We aren't the edge of civilization now, but
in the late 1700's and early 1800's, this was the frontier,
and even just before the Civil War, this area was more like what you'd
see on Little House on the Prairie than anything else.
- The Fort Bedford
Museum celebrates Fort Bedford, a structure built by the British in
1758 to protect the Forbes Road, which connected Philadelphia to Fort
Duquesne, what is now Pittsburgh.
- The Bedford
County Fair runs from the 20th to the 27th of July in 2008. For
the racing enthusiast, there are tractor pulls and stock car races along
with the requisite demolition derbies along the way. Animal shows and
craft shows are on tap every day and you know from Charlotte's Web
what food is like at the fair!
and handicrafts serve as the backdrop to the color of the leaves during
the Bedford Fall Foliage Festival annually over the first two weekends
of October (October 4-5 and 11-12 this year). About half of my congregation
is involved in some way in the many activities around downtown Bedford
those two weekends, including me. I work in the Schellsburg Lions Club
trailer selling buffalo burgers, sausage, and hotdogs with other side
- The most unusual
attraction in Bedford County is Gravity
Hill, a marvel of nature that has to be seen to be believed. There
actually is an explanation for it, but I'm not telling even
when you come to visit!
- Bedford County
has an array of orchards to visit any time of the year. Fall is best,
of course, because the fruit is in season, but many of the orchards
have farm stands during the summer, too. You may even be eating Bedford
County apples and pears from your local supermarket - we ship all over
the country and the world from here!
- For my golfing
friends, you have a choice of 6 courses in the county and one just over
the border into Maryland, which happens to be a Jack Nicklaus Signature
Course (which I presume means it's not a good course for duffers!).
- Campers can choose
from several different campgrounds in the area, including Shawnee State
Park (link above), the Friendship Village Campground and RV Park, and
the Shawnee Sleepy Hollow Campground.