Ditch Mother Nature for a day to learn about the region’s oil, coal, and lumber heritage. Share a hot coffee and a plate of “smothered and covered” ham and eggs with local oil-rig employees at Kennedy Street Cafe (11 Kennedy St.; 814-362-6040) in industrial Bradford, which produces paraffin-rich Pennsylvania crude. Head twelve miles southwest by car to the forest-ranger station at the intersection of Routes 321 and 59 to pick up a self-guided audio tour of the adjacent Old Powerhouse Museum (814-362-4613), where you can learn more about today’s controversial practice of fracking. Just down the street, the 15,000-square-foot Zippo/Case Factory and Museum houses an array of collectible pinup and World War II–era Zippo lighters. Head 25 miles east to the leafy, gilded-era Smethport mansion district built by turn-of-the-century oil, lumber, and coal tycoons. Highlights include the woodwork at timber magnate C.D. Comes’s Queen Anne mansion (608 W. King St.) and the lavish Italianate palace built by State Senator Byron Delano Hamlin. Return to Bradford for an early dinner of local fried smelt ($7) and the signature portobello and filet mignon ($15) at elegant Option House, an early twentieth-century trading center adorned with stone tablet cartouches, egg-and-dart ceiling molding, and a Tudor oak mantle meticulously restored by native restaurateur Sam Sylvester.
The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan
Embrace the Outdoors in the Pennsylvania WildsShareThis
5. Oddball Day
Published on Nov 4, 2010 as a web exclusive.