Roadside America: The world’s greatest indoor miniature village
October 8th, 2010 posted by Kim Lilly
On a distant hill is a mountain resort called Paul Revere Tavern, which stood near Boston, Mass. and was destroyed by fire in 1849. A little while later you enter Sleepy Hollow, an American village from the 1800s. You might also run into Aunt Matilda, the town mid-wife, who was highly regarded in a village which had no doctor (she was also the first American nurse). Or, you may opt to watch the village blacksmith at work.
You will find all of these displays as you tour Roadside America in Shartlesville, Pa., located right off I-78 between Allentown and Harrisburg, about 20 minutes from Lehigh Valley. I hadn’t been to Roadside America since I was in elementary school and each time I passed it I always told myself that I’d stop next time. Well, a couple of weeks ago I finally had the opportunity and I’m glad I made the stop. It was like going back in time for me. There were plenty of things that haven’t changed a bit.
When you enter the exhibit you are handed a guide to follow along your trip through the village. There are 66 stops to view. Some of the stops have buttons that you can push to operate the exhibits. You can make the trains run or have lumberjacks cut wood, among many other things.
One thing you can’t miss seeing before you leave is the night pageant. Every 30 minutes they methodically dim all of the lights in the rooms and, using the same methodology, they turn on each of the lights throughout the exhibit. The church lights go on, the train lights go on, and the plane flies high above all to the sound of patriotic music.
But I’m not going to give everything away. Just trust me, you must go see this place. When you do, be sure to take your camera but leave the Flip at home (no video taping is allowed). And, if your looking to purchase miniature items, be sure to check out the gift shop.
Have you checked out Roadside America?