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Mercer County Fun Facts
Have you ever wondered what makes Mercer County, PA such a fun escape plan? Read on to learn more facts about Mercer County.

Largest

World’s largest Shoe store.
Reyers’s, Downtown Sharon

World’s largest candy store
700 pound chocolate rabbit, 400 pound chocolate turtle. Daffin’s Candies, Sharon.

World’s largest off price ladies fashion store.
The Winner

North America's largest wood carving.

Slovak Folk Crafts, Grove City, PA

Oldest & Largest
Continuous operating Forge in the Country. Wendell August, Grove City, PA

One of the largest outlets in U.S.
Top 20 outlet malls with over 130 shops. Grove City Premium Outlets

World’s largest switch engine.
Engine 604, Greenville

Largest specialty shoppe in one location.
30,000 sq. ft. factory & 4000 sq. ft. chocolate. Philadelphia Candies, Hermitage, PA

Engineering Trivia
The Shenango Dam near Sharpsville is a concrete gravity dam with an uncontrolled center spillway. The roadway crossing the top of the dam, over the spillway is nearly 68 feet above the streambed. The dam has a top length of 720 feet with a base width of nearly 66 feet.

Inventions
First Parachute invented in the Greenville area of Mercer County by Stephan Banic

Free Admission
Only Free Golf Course in the World. Buhland, Sharon. Santa’s Christmasland and Easter Bunny Lane. Kraynak’s, Hermitage

Most Unusual
Ducks walk on the backs of fish. The Pymatuning Spillway located in Linesville, PA.


History Fun Facts

Gibson House (or the Mark Twain Manor):
The house has been rumored to be a stop on the URR.  In the basement, there is evidence of a small room with fixtures to chain fugitive slaves—much like the Johnston Tavern—to keep the slaves from the eyes of neighbors and strangers.

Alf Landon birthplace: historical marker (Tam O’Shanter Golf Course):
Less than one block east of the intersection sits the birthplace (private residence with marker on front porch) of politician and U.S. Senator Alf Landon, who ran against Franklin Roosevelt in the presidential race of 1936.

Avenue of Flags
Hillcrest Memorial Park is home to the “Avenue of Flags,” one of the largest display of American flags in the world, dedicated to the honor of the American hostages held in Iran in 1979-80.  Also in Hillcrest is a new memorial dedicated to those who lost their lives in the War on Terror.

Buhl Farm Park
Perhaps the greatest legacy left by the Buhls was Buhl Farm Park. In 1911, Mr. Buhl announced his plan to turn 300 acres of farmland into a playground and donate it to the people of the Shenango Valley.  The park opened in 1914 and to this day follows much of the original blueprint, including beautiful Lake Julia, a “Casino” for dances and entertainment, picnic shelters, and 75,000 trees and shrubs.  Later additions include a stone gatehouse (1936), the Julia Forker Buhl Memorial Garden (1936), and a Performing Arts Center (1981).  Another remarkable feature of Buhl Park is the 9-hole Buhland Golf Course (Dum-Dum to locals), believed to be the only free golf course in the United States.

National Register
The Jonas Pierce Mansion, also on the National Register, is located around the corner at 18 East Shenango Street.  Pierce’s father, noted industrialist James Pierce, lived in an opulent 30-room mansion, now demolished, near the intersection of Shenango and Mercer Avenues.  President George W. Bush is a direct descendant of James Pierce. 

Camp Reynolds:
Route 18 in Clark, Reynolds Industrial Park Road (also known as Kidd’s Mill Road).  The current industrial area near the intersection was the site of a 3300-acre U.S. Army facility from 1942-45, as noted on the historical marker south of here.  During World War II, about one million U.S. troops passed through Camp Reynolds.  At its peak capacity, 75,000 soldiers billeted here at any one time.  A race riot occurred here during that time and is chronicled in Studs Turkel’s award-winning oral history, The Good War.  In addition, it was an internment camp for over 1800 German prisoners of war from 1944-46.

Kidd’s Mill Covered Bridge and Bigler Home:
Kidd’s Mill Covered Bridge was built in 1868 and restored in 1990, Kidd’s Mill is the last historic covered bridge in Mercer County and the only remaining bridge in Pennsylvania with an all-wood truss design. 

Freedom Road Cemetery:
This cemetery is located on the right across from the main gate at Stoneboro Fairgrounds.  The cemetery is all that remains of Liberia, a fugitive slave town established by the Travis family, free African-Americans.  For years, this community offered sanctuary to weary travelers.  It was also the site of frequent raids by slave catchers.  After the Fugitive Slave Act of 1849/50, most of the population fled to Canada to become legal free citizens.  A few stayed in this area, one an entrepreneur who sold cigars and whiskey to his neighbors.  Another person who stayed was “Auntie Strange.”  She was a runaway who was persistent enough to flee the South twice.  The first time she was captured, beaten, and her fingers on the left hand chopped off.  The second time, she gained her freedom.

Custaloga Town Boy Scout Reservation:
George Washington probably traveled the Indian trails through what is now Mercer County-paths now known as US 19 and PA 62. On the northern boarder of Mercer County is the Custaloga town Boy Scout Reservation, with an Indian Graveyard said to be the burial plave of Seneca Chief Guyasutha or Custaloga, who met with George Washington when he traveled through the area in 1753.

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