By Jo Ellen Litz with nominations and votes by the people of Lebanon County.
Survey results posted July 28, 2007.
WGAL TV8 would love your suggestions. Click here to add your picture of a Lebanon County Seven Wonders.
Special thanks to the Patriot News for running an article on the 7 Wonders of the Mid State. This article started the wheels turning for creating the 7 Wonders of Lebanon County as well as "The List" that follows. Residents across PA are welcome to submit nominations for their county too. Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, and Schuylkill County did.
Yes, you can still suggest additions for "The List." It will be nice to have a comprehensive list of what you value all together in one place. Email JoEllenLitz15@comcast.net .
Feel free to utilize "The List" to promote Lebanon County.
FYI: Middle Creek Wildlife Refuge and St. Anthony's Wilderness were tied for 7th place.
"The List" of Nominations and honorable mentions:
A navigable river on maps since the 1700's, the Swatara Creek: Water source, recreation, geology, history, scenic beauty. The Swatara is now a 60-mile long Water Trail recognized both statewide and nationally as part of the Captain John Smith Water Trail.
Appalachian Trail Bridge, a lenticular structure span.
Annville just gets prettier and prettier, while in downtown ____ it ain't not. Allen Theatre, Victorian mansions, churches, Kettering's Corner, florist, Batdorf, Brandt's Flour Mill in Annville has been in operation since the 1800's.... The Annville train station.
Area behind "Pa's Place" in Jonestown, had something to do with the Under Ground Railroad, BBs Grocery
Bed and Breakfast Inns: Strawberry Patch, Swatara Creek Inn, Tulpehocken Manor…
Bethlehem Steel--Babe Ruth lived and played here
Blue Mountain: a bird flyway, fossils, hunting
Bordner cabin & Aycrigg's Falls in Swatara State Park
Brazenhill, the former Worrilow Mansion
Camp Bashore Boy Scout Camp; “Old Black Joe’s” hut (now a replica) is the site where this runaway slave lived alone on Camp Bashore property (then the Fahler farm) until the ripe old age of 112.
Chow chow, Corn pie, Dippy eggs, Hot Dogs from the William Penn
Coleman's Park: Glider swings, Music in the Park, tennis courts, mini golf, baseball, fireworks, envirothons, picnics, swimming pool…. Robert Coleman was PA's first millionaire.
Cornwall: Iron Furnace, Open Pit, Miner's Village, Alden Mansion, home of architect Stanford White's first house....
Downtown Lebanon architecture such as the Samler Building; Stoy Museum, Cumberland St.--home of the Historical Society, and home of Lebanon's first courthouse; Washington Tavern; Council of the Arts at 8th & Cumberland Sts.... People travel to Europe to see the kind of architecture that we have downtown.
Farmer's Market: Buy Fresh, Buy Local, restaurants, Sushi, Smitty's Candy, Keener Poultry, Grumbine Flowers.... Council on the Arts, 8th & Cumberland Sts.
Farms--Century farms, preserved farms, Rich soil
Fort Indiantown Gap: Since 1930. One of 15 air to ground bombing & gunnery ranges in US & the Army's only artillery range in PA. PA National Guard Military Museum. National Cemetery and amphitheater. Regal Frittalary butterfly habitat, largest habitat east of the Mississippi. Civil War re-enactment
Fire Departments--all volunteers are our heroes!
Fort Zeller, off Route 419 in Newmanstown
4H Fair at the EXPO each July: Animals, rodeo, tractors, demolition derby, hot air balloons, acrobats, food, music, rides….
Fredericksburg--Eggs, Wings, and Chicken Things at the Hinklefest; Since the early 1930's, beginning with Cobel Grimes, then Senator Clarence Manbeck, the cut-up chicken capital of the world (Bell and Evans provides organic chicken with no antibiotics or preservatives).
GLRA, in addition to a landfill, an educational campus demonstrating wind, solar, and methane energy; recycling; composting; pioneering wetlands to treat effluent; a walking path along the Union Canal tow path, complete with a lock; wildlife; farm land; run by a board representing each municipality in Lebanon County; and more. GLRA has won numerous environmental awards from EPA and the PA Governor's Environmental Excellence program.
Harper's Tavern, a former stagecoach stop; ghost tales.
Heisey's Diner: The smell of bacon wafting over the fields.
Historic churches: St. Luke's Church, 22 South 6th; Tabor UCC, 124 S 10th; Salem Lutheran Church, 119 N 8th; St. Mark's UCC, 426 N. 8th; Assumption Blessed Virgin Mary (St. Mary's) at 8th & Cumberland…and their stained glass windows. Bindnagle's in Palmyra, built in 1803/04 with a congregation dating to 1745. Zion's Children's Church, built in 1875, is currently named "Fredericksburg Baptist Church."
Historic Schaefferstown / Fountain Park: firepans unearthed by archaeology for stills in the basement of the Alexander Schaeffer farm that predates the stills found in Mt. Vernon; Wooden (oak) water pipes (1st Water system in the US), Thomas R. Brendle Museum, Gemberling-Rex House from the 1750's, Michters Distillery, Krall Log Barn (being dismantled and preserved), Cherry Festival, Apple Butter Festival....
3400 registered historic sites in Lebanon County
Hole # 1 on Monroe Valley golf course, the view through the mountain gap is simply beautiful.
Hole #10 at Iron Valley Golf Course, looking out over the Lebanon Valley is awesome.
Home of Opera Fudge; Wertz's appeared on "Dirtiest Jobs." Where else can you watch them make caramel corn in the window every day (718 Cumberland St.-Rt422- in downtown Lebanon), and have handmade chocolates made in the back room? Jean's chocolate art. (Van Winkle's makes opera fudge too--312 Guilford St., Lebanon PA 17042.) Lebanon used to have an opera house, really, and on the way, people would stop by the local candy store to buy fudge to eat at the opera. So, they started to call it opera fudge.
John Worrilow, a walking talking history book. Former Mayor of the City of Lebanon.
Kleinfeltersville, which is the longest spelling of a Post Office in the Country
Lebanon Bologna made by Weaver's, Seltzer's (Dirtiest Jobs), Baum's and Kutztown Bologna! Lee Laudermilch also makes his own brand of Lebanon Bologna.
Lebanon Community Theatre - an all-volunteer community theater producing six local live theatrical productions each year, plus holding a one-act play writing contest, and offering $1,000 scholarships to young college students who have been active with LCT. See their web site at www.lct.cc. LCT remains a viable live theater in tough times when many live theaters are failing.
Lebanon Valley College founded in 1866, Suzanne Arnold Art Gallery.
LV Rail Trail ---- Almost 30 miles will connect to the Conewago trail in Lancaster as well as Schuylkill County. Bridges, spurs to the “Jigger shop,” Governor Dick, Horse Shoe Trail, Union Canal Tunnel Park. Working on Wengert Memorial Park, Allwein Pocket Park, a culvert under Tunnel Hill Road through Long Lane, and then north across and alongside the 60-mile long Swatara Water Trail to Swatara State Park where there are fossil pits and the Bordner Cabin.
Legend of the Blue-Eyed Six--the first case where someone was murdered for life insurance; a movie by the Kreider Brothers is out on DVD.
Lick Memorial, Cedar Hill Cemetery
Light's Fort at 11th and Maple streets--(1742)
Limestone Springs Trout Hatchery. Take the kids, or grandkids, and catch a big one.
Log House on Chestnut St, in Lebanon
Meier House, original in EVERY way, from the 1600's!! In Myerstown.
MiddleCreek Wildlife Refuge--part of Project 70. Try to visit when the snow geese rest on their migration; Tundra Swans. One mile south of Kleinfeltersville on 5000 acres of land.
Miller's Restaurant, Jonestown--Home of the 10-cent cup of coffee
Mt. Gretna: The bucolic century old hillside resort, a truly unique example of a whole community of cottage architecture in a wooded setting, a hot spot in the county since 1892! The history & how it adds spice & uniqueness to our community. The Lake, Jigger Shop, Chautauqua Play House, Timbers, hard-wood forest, Dinosaur rock, Governor Dick & tower, oldest mini golf in US...
Mt. Lebanon Campmeeting-amphitheater for a chapel/tabernacle and small cottages for guests
Limestone Quarries: Calcite, Avon Heights; Richland's Millardsville Quarry; Annville's Millard Quarry; Smith's Quarry.
Pig stomach; Pork and Sauerkraut; Potato filling, Potpie
Quentin Riding Club: Nestled in the lush PA "Dutch" farmlands are the estates of families whose forbearers owned the mines, ore pits and furnaces that produced artillery, shot and stoves for Washington's army. Some of the mansions of the founders' families are gone or were converted to other uses, and their orchards, pastures and croplands have yielded to suburban sprawl. But one parcel has become a unique recreation center, Quentin Riding Club, where the Colemans imported America's first Hackney horses, the fine carriage animals that moved England's aristocracy in the mid-nineteenth century. Mountain spring water was piped to each stall and to hand-hewn stone watering troughs. There were blacksmith shops, carriage sheds, isolation barns for mares in foal, tack rooms, grooms' offices and small animal shelters, all surrounding an 18-room home occupied by the manager and including a detached office building for the business staff of the Estates. Local businessmen purchased the facility for their prize steeds in 1934 and later enrolled social members to help defray the operating costs.
Railroad Stations--Cornwall; Lebanon, Reading--on North 8th Street and Chestnut Street; Annville; Palmyra on North Railroad Street;
Rhine of the Tulpehocken.
Richland: the only town in the country that has a Railroad crossing that cuts it's town in half and intersects the town square. Listed in Ripley's Believe It or Not books, and it was also a Jeopardy question.
Roadside vegetable stands - few visitors can believe that people leave their produce unprotected on the side of the road and trust buyers to put their money in the coffee can.
Route 419 Scenic Byway--rolling farm fields
St. Anthony's Wilderness (one of the largest gameland areas in the state), once a railroad, and runs eastward 20 miles from the Susquehanna River, Dauphin County, to the Lebanon Reservoir, Schuylkill County. Also called Stony Creek Trail. On the western Lebanon County boundary shared with Dauphin County is Yellow Spring tower, and the eastern boundary shared with Schuylkill County contains Box Car Rocks, or Chinese Wall, also known as Point of Rocks. Drive through once each year--when the leaves turn color.
Schwalm's in Cleona
Shuey's pretzels with their brick oven, a great little place at 7th Avenue and East Lehman Street. Worth waiting in line.
One time largest outdoor swimming pool in the state at the Gibble property
The caring people of Lebanon County.
The language is also a wonder for people who are not native to the county.
Trails: Heritage Trail; Bike Trail; Appalachian Trail; Horseshoe Trail; Swatara Water Trail
Twin Grove Park, antique carousel and other amusement rides, arcade, camp grounds, swimming.
Union Canal remnants, from the Tunnel to locks, Stover's Dam, Ebenezer Lake, and Water Works.
YMCA, 105 years strong
What do we share with our neighbors in south-central PA? National Rankings for Living in the Midstate (Patriot News):
Best cities for retirees: Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine;
Top overall cities by Boomtowns, Inc., magazine;
Top 50 Smart Places to Live: Kiplinger’s;
Best Mid-size City in the East for Entrepreneurs: www.Entrepreneur.com ;
Ultimate Hockey Experiences in North America: www.ESPN.com ;
Best Cities for relocating families: www.CareerJournal.com ;
Least Stressful Place to Live in the Nation: Sperling’s www.BestPlaces.net .
America's Minor League capital--Senators, Bears, Barnstormers....Street & Smith's Sportbusiness Journal
9th Best small-metro area in US for Military Retirees to live in--Military.com and USAA on proximity to bases, VA Hospitals, crime and unemployment rates, housing prices and presence of colleges and universities (2010).
Berks County--our neighbor to the east offers many tourist attractions too:
Spring Mill Park on the Tulpehocken Creek
Blue Marsh Dam
Historical Society & Museum
Boyerstown Auto Museum
Hawk Mountain Sanctuary.
Schuylkill County--our neighbor to the north:
Sweet Arrow Lake
Echo Valley Campground
Swatara State Park
Schuylkill County Fair
Stone Mountain Winery
Renninger's Farm Market
10th place ties: Schuykill Courthouse, Historical Society, Buddy's Log Cabin, Conrad Richter, Appalachian Trail, Locust Lake, and Tuscarora State Park
All Schuylkill County nominations include:
Ashland Coal Mine
Pioneer Coal Tunnel
Chicken Pot Pie
Kettle Bean Soup
Swatara State Park
Sweet Arrow Lake Park
Echo Valley Campground
Tuscarora State Park
Pine Grove Theater
Schuylkill County Council
Schuylkill County Fair
Schuylkill County Historical Society
Benjamin Creek Winery
Greater Pottsville Winery
Long Trout Winery
Stone Mountain Winery
Buddy's Log Cabin
Boyer Mansion, Outwood
High Ridge Industrial
Indianhead painted rocks
The Old Forge
Renninger's Farm Market