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.
For those of you who have been anticipating today’s blog you have been waiting a long time. I have a valid reason for the delay! Since, the last epistle my family descended on My Jane and Me for a ‘reunion’ over the Labor Day weekend. Our daughter, Sarah’s, family, all four brothers and sisters with spouses, niece Kelly and her husband, and my Uncle Ed spent part or all of the weekend with us. There was some sort of ‘theme’ gift giving that resulted in my ownership of some new footwear and a Christmas Tree ornament. I wonder how I ended up with all that hot dog stuff? After the weekend my brother-in-law, Jeff and I traveled to Boston to watch the Red Sox lose to the Blue Jays in ten innings before wandering through the Catskills for a visit to The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. Immediately following that adventure we traveled to Grove City so My Jane could go to PNC Park with her siblings and Mother as a treat from her Dad. We had a blast but I am ‘sooo’ tired!!
Now, back to the hot dog quest around Pennsylvania. When we last shared our adventure we were traveling west on Route 6 from Coudersport. We arrived in Smethport, McKean County, in time for dinner at the Courtyard Family Restaurant across the street from the courthouse.
The county is named in honor of former Pennsylvania Governor and Declaration of Independence signer Thomas McKean. The county is home of Kinzua Bridge State Park. The park is noted as the site of the Kinzua Bridge spanning Kinzua Creek. The original bridge built-in 1882 was replaced in 1900 and destroyed in 2003 by a tornado. At the time it was built, the original (c. 1882) Kinzua Bridge was the highest, at 301 feet (92 m), and longest, at 2,053 feet (626m), railway bridge in the world.
During dinner Holly treated us great and gave us directions to a sign about the towns invention of Wooly Willy (Do you remember those?). I played with that face for hours. Holly thought the sign was near her house. Of course, after we ate our goal was to find the sign. We found the Smethport sign but no sign about Wooly Willy. Then like magic there was Holly walking down the street. We continued our conversation with her and she sent us to a gas station for more information. It turns out the sign was across the street from the Courtyard Family Restaurant on the courthouse lawn.
Smethport is also known as the town that had the first automatic bowling alley pin setters and the origin of The Bucktail Regiment during the Civil War. These guys all had a buck tail attached to their hats and thus the nickname. The town has some awesome mansions planted in it and there are tours for those who like walking through huge old houses built by millionaires!
See you next time.