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Roadside America, Shartlesville

4.5
#56 of 355 in Museums in Pennsylvania
Specialty Museum · Museum
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Roadside America was an indoor miniature village and railway covering 8,000 square feet (740 m2). Created by Laurence Gieringer in 1935, it was first displayed to the public in his Hamburg, Pennsylvania, home. The miniature village's popularity increased after stories were published about it in local newspapers, which prompted Gieringer to move it to a recently-closed local amusement park called Carsonia Park. This location, which supported more visitors, was open from 1938 to about 1940. To accommodate growing interest and build a larger display, Geringer then purchased land at what would be the miniature village's final location, a former dance hall in Shartlesville, Pennsylvania off of Interstate 78, approximately 20 mi (32 km) west of the Lehigh Valley, where the display reopened in 1953.
After being closed since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Roadside America announced on November 21, 2020, that they were closing permanently after trying, unsuccessfully, to find a buyer for the past three years, and that they would be auctioning off the display.
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Roadside America reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
320 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • First visit was 1967 and it was amazing. We talked with the owner and he explained it was an ongoing project which would never be finished. He was doing for his son who loved trains. His son was in... 
    First visit was 1967 and it was amazing. We talked with the owner and he explained it was an ongoing project which would never be finished. He was doing for his son who loved trains. His son was in...  more »
  • Despite passing this quite frequently, I never stop often enough. This is the kind of old-school, low-tech roadside entertainment that is sadly becoming harder to find these days. While it's easy to.....  more
    Despite passing this quite frequently, I never stop often enough. This is the kind of old-school, low-tech roadside entertainment that is sadly becoming harder to find these days. While it's easy to.....  more »
Google
  • Great place. Wonderful history. Needs repairs every now and again. Would also be nice if they added on or had a new exhibit. It's been the same for 15 years.
  • What better way to break up a long monotonous drive than a stop at the largest tiny town you've ever seen. Really a worthwhile stop if you are trying to stretch your legs. Fairly affordable yet definitely spectacular.

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