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Reader Nominations for Coolest Small Towns

Posted by rstahl on Sunday, February 01, 2009 10:59:48 PM
America's Coolest Small Town, Huntingdon, Pennsylvania Imagine a small town set within the verdant ridges and productive valleys of the Appalachian Mountains, with unique architecture, warm, friendly people and one of the country's best small colleges. That town is Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. Huntingdon, a town of 7,000 located on the Juniata River, is nick named 'town of a thousand hills.' Locals frequently use these hills ( Piney Ridge, Stone Creek Ridge, Terrace Mountain, Tussey Mountain) to describe their location. 8,300 acre Raystown Lake has been termed the 'crown jewel' of Central Pennsylvania, providing boating, fishing, camping and hiking opportunities to over 2,000,000 visitors each year. May 2009 will mark the unveiling of over 30 miles of single track mountain biking trails at Raystown. That's cool. While located in the midst of the mountains, Huntingdon is definitely not 'backwoods.' Only a two to three hour drive separates the community from major metropolitan areas, and Penn State University is only an hour away. Juniata College's 1,400 students add to the community's cultural diversity, by attracting world class entertainers and speakers. The entrepreneurial spirit is alive with the help of the Juniata College Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and the Sill Business Incubator. One of the businesses assisted, is Ultimate Creo, operates Huntingdon's old fashioned ice cream truck. Again — cool! Unique small businesses offer customer friendly service. Sweet Annies Herb's offers herbs, gifts and a bed and breakfast located in a fine Queen Anne-style mansion. Vintage Art Glass features stained glass created by owner Leah Davis Dell. OIP, Walt,s, and Boxer's, offer informal dining in Downtown Huntingdon. Mimi's, a full service restaurant, provides a more formal dining experience in the heart of the Huntingdon Historic District. The Caf? and Standing Stone Coffee Company offer Internet 'hot spots' unique sandwiches, pastries, coffee and tea. Founded in 1767, Huntingdon is the oldest community in the Juniata Valley. The National Register Historic District features the 1815 Orbison House, 1820 Huntingdon County Jail, the 1883 Huntingdon County Courthouse, and the 1888 J.C. Blair Building, once the tallest building between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh. The Juniata River and Juniata College take their name from a native American word meaning 'Standing Stone'. The Standing Stone has stood near the junction of Standing Stone Creek and the Juniata River since before white settlers arrived. A walking tour provides background on these cool sites and more. In Huntingdon family-friendly outdoor recreation, natural beauty, small colleges and history are cool, very cool!

Posted by Route522 on Sunday, February 01, 2009 1:57:02 PM
Rock hill Furnace Pa Home of the East Broad Top Railroad A very Special Place Going to Rock hill Furnace is like going back into time cause everything @ the railroad is all there and is like time just stop because everything is all there

Posted by Nell Roquemore on Friday, January 30, 2009 3:43:52 PM
Lakeland (population 3000) is "Georgia's Historic Mural City." Its principal tourist attraction is the array of 32 murals depicting 150 local citizens as they appeared in 1925, the year the town's name was changed from "Milltown" to "Lakeland." The muralist, Ralph Waldrop, of Columbia, South Carolina, began his Lakeland work in April 1998. Each year Lakeland hosts four festivals: "Deerfest" (the first Saturday in March), "Milltown Murals Motorcade" (the last Saturday in April), "Flatlander Fall Frolic" (Labor Day weekend), and "Lighting of Lakeland" (in early December). Lakeland's name was inspired by 11,000-acre Banks Lake on its outskirts, picturesque Lake Irma two blocks from Main Street, and the beautiful Alapaha River just east of town. The town and county, Lanier, are a mecca for fishermen and hunters. Besides the usual typical Southern eating places, Lakeland has two restaurants converted from historic buildings: "Station 26" (with firehouse decor) was formerly an old gas station; the "Dogwood Cafe" was formerly the Woodmen Hall. Although Lakeland has two attractive gift shops, "The Junction" and "Southern Quail", Harvey's Supermarket, Fred's, Lakeland Drug Company, two hardware stores, and two variety stores, most clothing and big items are bought in nearby Valdosta. Farmers & Merchants Bancshares Holding Company owns seven banks, one in Lakeland, four in adjoining counties, and two near Atlanta. The town's principal industries are Patten Seed Company (selling grass sod and seed, as well as pecans and pecan trees) and Georgia Printco (with signboard and printing customers thoughout much of the country). The Louis Smith Memorial Hospital (affiliated with South Georgia Medical Center in Valdosta) has 25 beds and an excellent nursing home. The town and county have a rich heritage of folklore, documented in a locally-authored book covering 150 years of history and genealogy. Lakeland was the home of Governor E. D. Rivers (1937-1941), whose residence is still in use by his daughter, who has made it into a Rivers museum containing mementos, photographs, and newspaper clippings. Rivers' law offices are still in use in the F&M Bancshares Building. His stately mausoleum graces the local cemetery. Rivers was very important to Lakeland's history. Lakeland's newest pride is the "Jim & Mary Threatte Arts and Civic Center." The brick building, dating from 1926, was erected as the school auditorium, with a regulation basketball court as the stage. Four years ago it was cut into four pieces and moved from the old school campus to the opposite side of town and lovingly restored. In addition to the 300-seat auditorium, the building has a spacious lobby, two classrooms, and two restrooms. The versatile building has been used for "Deerfest", the funeral of Jim Threatte, banquets, dances, receptions, concerts, etc. Lakeland has three logos: "Lila" (a sketch of a miniskirted young lady), representing a local civic organization dating back to 1968, "Let's Improve Lanier's Appearance;" the Bulldog, mascot for the schools' athletic teams; and the liveoak tree. Lakeland has two parks: Flatlander Recreation Park and Roquemore Memorial Park, each of which has a fish pond. Flatlander Park has a baseball field, tennis courts, and an outdoor entertainment pavilion. Roquemore Park has a gazebo, a popular venue for weddings, photographs, Sunrise services, and Bluegrass bands. Lakeland is the only incorporated town in one of Georgia's smallest counties. When strangers arrive they often go into a store and buy a disposable camera so they can take pictures. Valdostans often bring their guests to Lakeland to see the murals. People seem to think Lakeland is a pretty cool town. (For additional information go to www.milltownmurals.com and www.lakelandlanierchamber.com)

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