Roadside America

Roadside America 3

My parents took me to see this “roadside attraction” when I was about 8, and I think we went again one other time. I drove past it on Route 78 in Pennsylvania USA a month ago, and was glad to see it was still open and operating, fifty years later.  And it had probably been there 20 or 30 years before I saw it. Yes, I checked its website, and it’s been there 80 years.

The website offered these details:

  • A 6,000 square foot, fully landscaped display
  • Over 300 miniature structures
  • Up to 8 trains running, three of which you can operate yourself with push buttons
  • 4 trollies that you can run with push buttons
  • 10,000 hand-made trees
  • 4,000 miniature people engaged in everyday daily pursuits
  • Many real rivers, streams and waterways
  • Interactive animations such as a circus parade, construction workers, saw mill workers and more, that can be activated by visitors.
  • Scale is 3/8 of an inch to one foot. All trains are “O” gauge
  • 600 miniature light bulbs


The display is constructed with

  • 21,500 feet of electrical wiring
  • 17,700 board feet of lumber
  • 6,000 feet of building paper
  • 4,000 feet of sheet metal under the plaster work
  • 2,250 feet of railroad track
  • 648 feet of canvas for waterproofing
  • 450 feet of pipe
  • 18,000 pounds of plaster
  • 4,000 pounds of sheet iron
  • 900 pounds of nails
  • 600 pounds of rubber roofing material
  • 75 pounds of dry paint
  • 75 gallons of liquid paint
  • 225 bushels of moss
  • 25 bags of cement
  • Three barrels of screened sawdust
  • Three barrels of tar

Some private citizen created it, adding to it year after year!

I know that as an 8 year old, I was awed by it.

These photos from Google Images give an idea of the scale and the detail:

Roadside America 1


Roadside America 2

and this very tacky installation along the highway:

roadside-america amish statues


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