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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.

My Jane and I have been traveling to Grove City as often as Jane’s work will permit lately.  The last time we were visiting we left a little earlier then usual for home and stepped back in time to the beginning of our lives together. (Tying to grasp the passage of forty-two years of shared adventures takes a whole lot of work!)

Mercer County is home to Grove City and Grove City is home to a college bearing the same name. Mercer2  My Jane graduated from Grove City College as did her Dad. On campus there is a building named “Hicks Hall”, My Jane’s maiden name, and a “Crawford Hall”, My Jane’s Mom’s maiden name. The family isn’t related to either of the benefactors. “Crawford Hall” is probably named after that guy who was burned at the stake from Crawford County. None of My Jane’s family was every burned at the stake. Her Grandmother lived on a farm outside of town and worked at the J.C. Penny’s store for about one hundred years. Barb, My Jane’s sister, insisted that her house be on the blog so we took a picture of the campus from Barb and Steve’s front yard. Mercer7  We are pretty certain “Hicks Hall” is behind us somewhere!

My Jane’s favorite spot in Grove City is the Prime Outlets. She knows where every one of the stores is located and visits them often. Mercer3  (I took this photo during my morning aerobics before the stores opened which explains the absence of My Jane in the photo.)

The County Seat is about ten miles away from Grove City just north of interstate 80. Of course we had to stop at one of My Jane’s familiar antique shops, Mercer5 Courthouse Square Dry Goods Co., across the street from the courthouse. I had plenty of time to walk around taking photos of the courthouse (the third courthouse building as I learned later) while My Jane shopped for antiques.Mercer11Mercer4

Mercer was named after George Washington’s friend Brigadier General Hugh Mercer. Mercer was a physician before he became a soldier and was killed at the battle of Princeton. Mercer County was created in 1800.

When the ‘overlooking’ was complete at Courthouse Square Dry Goods Co. we stumbled upon “Debi’s Bakery at the Diamond” just before closing time. Mercer15  When Mark, the owner, heard what we were up to he gave us a tour of the place that has had a varied career, something like my own. Before the bakery moved into the premises two years ago this structure had been, at various times, a furniture store, a boarding house and a funeral home. The walls are adorned with historic photos of Mercer’s past which Mark knowledgably explained. Mark is better then Wikipedia when it comes to information about this county seat. Kiley and Chelsea even took a minute away from preparing our Lipari hot dogs to pose for a photo. Mercer10  We had our dogs in hoagie buns because they had run out of regular hot dog buns so I ordered two dogs in my bun which made for a large delicious hot dog meal. Mercer9  My Jane sure looks like she is having a good time.

After enjoying our hot dogs we got into the car and headed west to the largest community in the county, Hermitage. Part II of this “Time Travel” episode is all about this community where My Jane grew up and we first met and our lives changed forever.

See you next time.

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