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 County of Washington was created on March 28, 1781, from part of Westmoreland County. Both the county and the county seat were named for American Revolutionary War leader George Washington, who later (as most of you know) would become the first President of the United States. Washington is the first county in the U.S. to be named in honor of Washington (not Washington DC).
My Jane and I made Washington, the city, in Washington, the county, our headquarters while we visited Southwestern Pennsylvania’s four counties. This would be very confusing if we were in Washington, the State, named after Washington, the President. That would just be too convoluted. Fortunately the state we were in was only confusion. A wonderful staff at our hotel was very helpful providing directions and suggestions removing some of our confusion as we continued our adventures. A huge thank you goes out to Janet and Melinda for all their assistance during our stay at The Ramada, Washington, the city.
Williamsport in Lycoming County is the home of Little League. Washington, the city, in Washington, the county, is home to PONY Baseball and Softball. Basically, PONY is an organization for youth older than little league age but younger than professional ball players. The name “PONY” was created by the children of Washington, the city, and originally meant, ‘Protect Our Neighborhood Youth’. ‘Neighborhood’ was later changed to ‘Nation’ probably by some adults.
Remember when we talked about the Whiskey Rebellion back in Bedford? Well, Washington, the county, was the center for the rebellion in 1791, under the leadership of David Bradford. Washington, the President, had to lead an army in the direction of Washington, the county, to end the rebellion. This was pretty intense stuff for the new republic to handle.
Thanks to my friend Terry “Shorty’s Lunch, Hot Dogs” was our destination and Melinda and Janet directed us down the street to this fun eatery. My Jane and I perused the menu and gave our order to Nicole (our camera-shy server) who yelled the order to Steve and John at the grill. The sandwiches arrived almost immediately. This was a fun place to eat. I imagine the place was once a smoky dark place to hang out. Now it is only a dark place to hang out. Frieda one of the other serves was willing to have her photo taken. She slid right into the booth and shared with us that she moved from Texas to be with her daughter and granddaughter only one month ago. She says the folks at Shorty’s are very nice. Thanks to all the folks at Shorty’s for providing us with a great eating and entertaining experience. Love the hot dogs!
Shorty’s is only two blocks from the courthouse which is only two blocks from Washington (the school) and Jefferson University established 1781.
Did you know that 15 Presidents of the United States have visited Washington (the school) and Jefferson before during or after they were in office? Me either! Here is the list of visitors: James Monroe (1817); Andrew Jackson (several stops 1820s and 1830s); John Quincy Adams (1843)l Ulysses S. Grant (several stops 1860s and 1870s)l William Henry Harrison; James K Polk; Zachary Taylor; Benjamin Harrison (1876, 1892); William Howard Taft (1916); Warren G. Harding (1922); Franklin D. Roosevelt (1932); Harry S. Truman (1953); John F. Kennedy (1962); Bill Clinton 1992, 2008); Barack Obama (2008). Wow! I don’t think any Presidents visited my Alma mater; Yankton College. You might have noticed that neither Washington, the President, nor Jefferson visited the school.
There is another University in Washington, the county, named California. How a placed named California is situated in Pennsylvania escapes me! Maybe some folks heard that to get to California out by the Pacific Ocean they had to cross over some big mountains. I guess after crossing the Allegheny Mountains the folks must have believed they had arrived. I bet they were shocked at how far they had to travel to reach the beach! Anyway, the school was started by the community of the same name as a school for kindergarten through college. The school changed hands a couple of times before becoming a ‘Normal’ School then Teachers College and finally in 1983 became part of the State System of Higher Education and adopted the name California University of Pennsylvania. I think I spent more time on campuses of higher education during this trip then I did in my college years! The schools mascot is a Vulcan. How cool is that?
The highlight of our stop in California (not the state with the beaches) was DQ! Jane had a small twist cone and I had a small Jurassic Park Smash Blizzard. We are so easy to amuse!
See you next time.