The adventure below is the latest in a series sharing my quest to explore Pennsylvania by visiting each of the sixty-seven county seats and eating a hot dog while in town.
The day before we had our last (I hope) snow storm and today the thermometer was reading in the single digits again! It was another perfect day to go search for a hot dog. I felt like I was driving through a set of “Frozen” on my way to New Bloomfield in Perry County for my first stop of the day. Two creation stories exist concerning Perry County which was established March 22, 1820. One version is that the folks in what is now Perry County got tired of traveling south over the mountain to the county seat of Cumberland County; Carlisle. So, they petitioned to have their own County which was named after Oliver Hazard Perry who had recently died. The second version of this creation is that the folks on the other side of the mountain petitioned the State Legislature to make a separate county for those folks north of the mountain to keep them out of Carlisle. There probably aren’t any folks still living who can tell us which version is correct so, lets go eat a hot dog.
New Bloomfield was originally named Bloomfield. The name became problematic when the U.S. Postal Service began having delivery issues with Bloomfield in Perry County and Bloomfield in Allegheny County. One of these names had to change and the Postal Service determined the Perry County community would henceforth (that is an old term meaning ‘from now on’) be known as New Bloomfield.
My Jane and I have had experience with similar confusion in mailing addresses. I graduated from Berlin in Somerset County. We had Auntie Anne’s hot dogs in Somerset, remember? (After this photo was taken I invited my pants legs and shoe tops to a party in the hope they might meet each other.) Later My Jane and I lived in East Berlin in Adams County. We have not eaten a hot dog in Adams County on this quest yet. (Check out all that hair.) Still later My Jane and I had a party with some friends in New Berlin in Union County. There is a hot dog still waiting for us in that county as well. The point, I think there is a point, is all three of these communities were originally named Berlin. You can imagine how much confusion this created for the Postal Service. Representatives of each community had to meet with Post Office officials and play a game of ‘Rock, Scissors, Paper’ to determine what the new names for their communities would be for the rest of time!
Well, enough of that! I arrived in New Bloomfield and took a photo of the cool square and courthouse.
John is the Pharmacist everyone wants to know. He was knowledgeable, friendly and seemed to know everyone who came in to the place. Fortunately he also knew about places to eat and directed me across the street to the County Seat Restaurant. I can’t believe I hadn’t seen it myself!
Nicole the waitress and Sue the camera shy owner/cook where seated at the counter when I came in. They said they had hot dogs so I sat at the counter and ordered a dog and onion rings.
Sue and Nicole are a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law who seemed to genuinely appreciate each other. Nicole is studying part time to be a nurse. She had her study material for a Microbiology class she was taking next to the cash register. Now here is why I think Sue and Nicole appreciate each other. Nicole expects to earn her Nursing degree in three years. Sue expects to retire from the restaurant business in three years right after Nicole graduates. Yes, they appreciate each other a good deal. I believe Nicole will be a very good nurse and Sue will enjoy retirement very much.
See you next time.