4 – Touring historic Pennsylvania

Touring historic Pennsylvania - red covered bridge

One of my VERY favourite things about touring in the states are the quaint old historic towns. Give me the choice of a visit to Washington, DC or a local quiet downtown road loaded with little brick buildings, and it’s no contest. I’m a small town girl and LOVE quiet meandering streets loaded with history. So we chose local.

After our breakfast, Karen and I broke free of her beautiful home (what a chore!) and set out to discover nearby areas. Always ask a local I say. Karen knew what would appeal to me so off we went!

Once again, I realized my vast collection of photos on any given topic, so today I’m going to take you on a tour of historic Pennsylvania and surrounding areas. You’ll LOVE it!

Touring historic Pennsylvania - red covered bridge

I knew when we approached the covered bridge first thing, I was in for quite a day.


“You don’t have these?”


That was all she needed to hear. We pulled off to the side and brought out the cameras.

Touring historic Pennsylvania - red covered bridge

Touring historic Pennsylvania - red covered bridge

Touring historic Pennsylvania - red covered bridge / Funky Junk Interiors


That smile? It was disbelief! I wanted to giggle the whole time I was on this trip!

See, 4 years ago I dreamed of doing something that would grant me the opportunity to travel and see the states. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that could actually happen.

Never say never. I feel so blessed!

Touring historic Pennsylvania - Gettysburg battlefield

I think I actually squealed when we passed every road sign sighting a new town. And Gettysburg was definitely on that list.

I’ve heard so much about the area from Miss Mustard Seed’s posts so it felt surreal to actually BE there.

Touring historic Pennsylvania - Gettysburg battlefield

Touring historic Pennsylvania - Gettysburg battlefield

At first we drove through the battlefield, but I couldn’t stop myself… I NEEDED PICTURES.

Touring historic Pennsylvania

Anyone know what these rocks on the ground symbolize?

Touring historic Pennsylvania - Gettysburg battlefield

Touring historic Pennsylvania - Gettysburg battlefield

This was one of the actual Gettysburg battlefields. The view was stunning. I could have meandered there for hours, just taking it all in.

But there was much more to see.

Touring historic Pennsylvania - Gettysburg battlefield

Touring historic Pennsylvania - Gettysburg battlefield

Downtown Gettysbury is AMAZING. I fell in love with this colourful train station.

Touring historic Pennsylvania - Gettysburg battlefield

Touring historic Pennsylvania - old brick buildings

If you’re a local here, you’ll notice a mix of New Oxford in these photos too.

Columns, details, old signs, bricks…sigh… I’ll take a front porch just like this one please.

Touring historic Pennsylvania - entrance sign

Touring historic Pennsylvania  - old brick buildings

What I loved about this town was the fact that homes became stores. At times it was tricky trying to figure out if you were in a residential or shopping area.

Touring historic Pennsylvania - Gettysburg battlefield

We found a quaint coffee shop in New Oxford, so we stopped in for a quick bite. Karen chose well.

Touring historic Pennsylvania - Gettysburg battlefield

The building was beautiful!

And then we took a walk through a lovely residential area.

Touring historic Pennsylvania - Gettysburg battlefield

What a statement! Don’t you adore that fence? Is there a name for the way it’s built/stacked?

I’m also totally swooning over the dark trim on the cream brick. Striking!

And then my favourite sighting…

Touring historic Pennsylvania - beautiful old brick and blue house

Rusty red bricks against the weathered vivid blue paint.. what a cool combination.

Touring historic Pennsylvania - beautiful old brick and blue house

The shutters.. the mouldings… the blue…

Touring historic Pennsylvania - beautiful old brick and blue house


I heard you gasp too. Nice to be in good company, isn’t it?

Next up… Part 5 – junkin’ with Karen and a dropping in on a famous blogger… stay tuned!

Hometalk gets Funky Junked at Lucketts

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38 thoughts on “4 – Touring historic Pennsylvania

  1. Not sure about an actual name for the fence, but I’ve always know them as Gettysburg fences. I’m from Pa, so I’ve visited many times.

  2. I’m so glad you had a nice visit in Pa. I have lived close to Gettysbrgh for 7 years but seeing the towns through your eyes makes me appreciate it more. I love all the old buildings. I hope you had a chance to go through some of the antique stores in New Oxford. I have gotten some pretty cool salvaged pieces in those stores. I can’t wait to read your next post.

  3. Our east coast is dotted with these cute little towns, but Pennsylvania has the most! Even in the big cities like Philly, you’ll find the beautiful old homes and cute coffee shops. (And I’m not at all biased because my husband grew up in PA and I went to college there.) Glad you loved it as much as we do!

  4. Thanks for sharing your trip to Pa. I live about 30 miles from Pittsburgh Pa. Yes, we have a lot of those covered bridges here… aren’t they neat?

  5. It all looks lovely. I’m so glad that you are sharing this adventure with me.



  6. Love Gettysburg and New Oxford. I have been in the quaint coffee shop! I live in York and visit New Oxford a lot. My friend (second Mom lives down the street from the coffee shop. I’m glad you visited our neck of the woods.

  7. Hi,

    I grew up in the area and agree it is absolutely quaint and amazing and beautiful! Have lived in Toronto for the past three years, and your post really brought joy to my day to remember home.

    Thanks so much!

  8. What a beautiful tour of PA and Gettysburg. Knowing that this is Karen’s stomping grounds, makes it that much more special. Looks like you two are becoming great friends and I know you both are thankful for the time you spent together…love you both! Thanks so much for sharing.

  9. Amazing. Love the old brick and porches and the covered bridge too! The picture you took of the blue door is pretty enough to be framed and hung on the wall. My husband and I drove through Pennsylvania last year on our way to Maine and while we weren’t in Gettysburg we drove through many little towns with homes and buildings that were very similar. It was a treat just to drive through and enjoy the scenery. Very pretty state and nice people too!

  10. Wow, wonderful photos Donna! Thank you for sharing them… I would love to visit Gettysburg one day. I see that in a few short weeks, it will be the 150th anniversary – and a large reenactment is planned. That would be a sight to see. I was trying to find out what those rocks signified; but I could find anything specific about them.

    Those homes and buildings are amazing (love the train station) – give me small town history over big cities any day too!

    Can’t wait to see and read more.

  11. Hi Donna!
    So glad you got to visit a part of U.S. History. I love Gettysburg!

    I have some of the same photos that your took while I visited there.

    Thank you for reminding what a wonderful history that a small part of the U.S. has!


  12. Glad you liked our little neck of the woods. My daughter and her family live in New Oxford, we live one town over in Hanover. We go to the coffee shop frequently and also like The Pub in Gettysburg.

  13. I love those shops in New Oxford! I’ve found some great stuff there. I live about 90 minutes away.

    Also – as someone commented previously, those fences are all over the battlefield. They are built so that they could be easily moved by farmers – there aren’t any posts in the ground – and could be built without tools and hardware. That was one of those lessons I learned during one of my own trips to beautiful Gettysburg!

  14. I so wanted to do all this when I was in Leesburg a few years ago but didn’t have time. Love the photos of you on the bridge!
    Now that I’ve seen photos of the area, it’s a must do trip.
    Just amazing to soak up all the history around you.
    How fun to have Karen for local tour guide to show you the sites.
    Looks like you two had a grand adventure!

  15. New Oxford is so great isn’t it. The coffee shop is wonderful. When in New Oxford you must stay at the Higinbotham’s Bed and Breakfast and Tea Room! James and Mary Jo are awesome!

  16. Wow – Donna, your photos are really, really, fantastic. Really makes me want to take another road trip – right away! My kids are just about old enough to enjoy this kind of thing. I LOVE the pictures of you and Karen on the bridge – and I can’t wait to hear/see about you getting to go to Marian’s house!!
    See you around the mulberry bush!

  17. We just discovered PA this year, sad since we are from OH (NW). Isn’t it wonderful!, can’t wait to go back.

  18. Hi Donna! I found some interesting information about the battlefield rocks here http://www.nps.gov/gett/naturescience/geologicformations.htm
    As for the fence, it is a split rail fence or a stacked rail fence. There are a lot of interesting fences in this area, particularly around battlefields. Some are done in a zig zag pattern and we always wonder how long it took to originally make them all those years ago. The history is fascinating! Like some of the dry stacked rock walls. Can you imagine lugging all those rocks into place and the fact that they have stayed together for so long? You can tell that I’m into the old architecture and history of these things πŸ™‚
    I’m glad that you had such a wonderful time while visiting our area! I enjoyed our meeting and hope to see you again somewhere, some time soon! Take care. Hugs, Leena
    PS Gorgeous photos!!

  19. Donna- are you still in town? Love seeing the different places you have traveled- New Oxford is one of my favorite towns. Did you get to East Berlin? There’s also a great flea market a little further up but I can’t remember what day (or town :-(). If you ever pop into Herndon, VA. let me know… Come for lunch! All welcome πŸ™‚

  20. Donna – this post was a true delight to read and look through your photos. The most fun was to view everything through all your enthusiasm and excitement of a first time visitor to the area. I shared this with my sister and we are now talking about making a trip to the area next year about this same time.

    We’re originally from Upstate New York so have travelled thru PA many times over the years to and from first Florida, and now Georgia. Gettysburg was a destination when children were young – for that essential History Lesson. But all of this becomes new again and wanting to go back after reading your experiences. Thank you for sharing – and for being such an upbeat gal! You deserve all your blessings!!

    • Oh I so agree! It does turn new again if enough time has gone by. Which is an excellent reminder that we ought to do a bit of travelling in BC too. My son has so much to discover right in his own backyard.

  21. I’m glad you enjoyed my favorite, historic town. We live near Chambersburg, which also has many historic stone homes, and brick is the most common building material. Gettysburg is only 40 minutes from us, and we frequent the town often. There is a lot to see! We have lived in many parts of the country, and traveled a lot, but we always like coming home to southern PA.

  22. Pennsylvania is truly one of my very favorite of states…I remember Gettysburg so well…We took our son there and toured the battlefields…the feeling you have when you are driving through the area is amazing….then driving through Lancaster and Bucks County made you just leave all of your cares away, taking in all of the beauty of the land…

    My dad was born in Iowa (an Iowa farm boy) and I so remember all of the beautiful covered bridges.

    So glad that you had a great experience….we always love the “road less traveled”…

  23. I swear you could do a travel blog….you take such appreciation in the details. Your pics are wonderful.I do believe you need to come to the states. For a little longer stay and more travel…I bet their is a top blogger you could stay with each week..Hope you frame the pic of you guys in bed at MMS…thanks for the views

  24. Strangely, you were just about to go to Lucketts and your American adventure as I was arriving in your part of the world from Scotland with the same amount of excitement.

    Been following your blog and also ‘The Imagination Corporation’ for some time now and was over-the-moon to realise I would actually pass through your own home town on a road trip from Calgary to Vancouver Island.

    I was delighted to have been given a tour of Dan’s workshop (and house!). And I do regret not trying to contact you to say hello but it was hard enough to walk up to Dan’s place as a complete stranger and introduce myself.

    I loved your Country and the whole trip was one awesome adventure (I have so many photos to look at from our trip, it will take me weeks to get through them.)

    Thanks for sharing everything, your enthusiasm for the beauty in old and rusty things has inspired me. I thought I was alone in my love of junk ’til I came across you and your many friends.

  25. I was looking through your website and found these pix of Gettysburg. I was born and raised in the area and never appreciated any of this “old stuff” until I was older and wiser. πŸ˜‰ I encourage anyone who is in love with rusty/old/chippy to visit south-central PA. We have a ton of farm land and beautiful old barns too. It’s nothing for me to run down the road and pick up an old barn shutter for $10 to use on the porch. I love to go “junkin” on Saturdays. $50 gets me a trunk load! Donna, if you’re ever in the area, look me up and I’ll be happy to be your guide for the day! πŸ™‚

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