Monday, March 14, 2011
Millheim & Rebersburg, PA
Last Saturday we succumbed to cabin fever - and so an outing was devised. We chose to travel northeast to avoid the clouds approaching from the southwest. We ended up in the village of Millheim, PA and had lunch at the Elk Creek Cafe & Aleworks on Main Street, also known as Rte. 45. The cafe is only a bit over 3 years old and is known for having live entertainment and home-brewed ales. Their slogan: Eat Fresh • Drink Local • Hear Great Music ... it's a Valley Thing!
The cafe is known as a supporter of all that is "local," including food, drink, music AND art. They offer 15 different locally microbrewed ales - all of which have fascinating names such as Winkleblink Ale; Poe Paddy Porter; Brookie Brown Ale; and Great Blue Heron Pale Ale. You'll find more info and tasty descriptions here. For the menu listings, look here - note they have vegan dishes, too. Their House Potato Chips and their regular french fries are marvelous!
The Cafe is painted a soft, warm yellow (inside & out) and decorated with hand-painted, stylized fish representing the local trout. The fish actually remind me of the Celtic Salmon frequently decorating Irish themed objects of every sort. There is a large raised platform stage and many sound speakers placed strategically throughout making sure everyone everywhere will have a surround-sound experience. Alas, we were there for lunch so we missed out on the music - but certainly did not miss seeing the wonderful watercolor paintings that lined 2 walls of the Cafe. The artist this month is Judith Bogert - a local from Spring Mills, PA, of course! Her floral representations are lovely, her tea cups and lace doilies amazingly detailed.
The clientele at the Cafe was a thorough mix of folks - many local folks as well as travelers passing through on their way to State College (south) or Lewistown (north) or further. We saw groups of women, young families, couples, teens, and old timers all enjoying themselves as much as we were. It's a "happening place" and the owner and staff are wonderfully friendly as well as good at what they do.
On the side of the Elk Creek Cafe building is this wonderful mural depicting the town. Since the one and only stop light is at this corner, anyone traveling south gets to see the colorfully cheerful welcome to the town. Note the quilt blocks that surround the mural. There's also a long wash line with clothes hanging from it that trails to the very back of the building. It's amazing!
Down the street a bit is the Millheim Hotel and Restaurant (limited restaurant hours). Across the street is OIP (Original Italian Pizza) and a soon-to-be-opened art gallery with loft studios above.
The Millheim Hotel
There's a funeral parlor, many churches, some wonderful old Victorian homes, and so much more - as well as the beautiful Elk Creek, which was filled to overflowing due to our rains and snow melt of the past week or so.
We drove on to Rebersburg, a tad west and a tad north. It's a tiny village in Amish Country - the only business in town was an Amish General Store, which had plenty of visitors on Saturday afternoon.
An old church bore an old Chevrolet sign - an odd happenstance, to be sure. I liked and photographed the church windows...Frank photographed the sign.
The Clover Farm Store was no longer open and was For Sale. Many years ago when we lived upstate in Athens, PA near the NY state border, there was a Clover Farm where our kids used to love to go to pick out their quarter candy, etc. This sign brought back all sorts of happy memories of our 16 years on the dike of the Susquehanna River.
We passed a large number of small farms in the valley - many of which we Amish. It's pretty easy to distinguish the difference other than the lack of motorized vehicles. There are no electric lines criss-crossing the roadway to their homes. All the farms appear to be thriving, yet we know that our local farmers are struggling to keep their farms. Dairy farmers are particularly hard pressed and many have sold off their herds because they cannot afford the feed when milk prices are so low.
This appeared to be a Maple Syrup and Orchard shop, not currently open. It was quite attractive, as you can see.
We returned home through Centre Hall, PA and I saw an interesting store, The Beaten Path - Studio & Shop, located across the street from the Post Office. They sell art, antiques, jewelry, collectibles and "useful things." I know I'll be going back to visit there in the near future!