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Roadside America, Shartlesville

#58 of 356 in Museums in Pennsylvania
Specialty Museum · Museum
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 the home of Mr Laurence Gieringer in Hamburg, Pennsylvania. Word got out about the exciting miniature village after a story was published in the local newspapers, and due to its popularity, Mr. Gieringer moved the display to a recently closed local amusement park called Carsonia Park, where more people could come to see his spectacular miniature village. The display stayed there for a very short time, from 1938 to about 1940 when Mr. Geringer purchased land at the current site of Roadside America to build a larger display in order to accommodate the growing interest. In 1953 the exhibit reopened at the current location, a former dance hall in Shartlesville, Pennsylvania, Exit 23 on Interstate 78, approximately 20 miles west of the Lehigh Valley.

On November 21, 2020, it was announced that Roadside America would permanently close after trying to find a buyer for the past three years. It had been closed to visitors since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Roadside America will auction off all pieces of the display.
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Roadside America reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
320 reviews
  • 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 »
  • 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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