Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Our Trip to Volant

Volant is a cute little tourist trap in western Pennsylvania, just north of New Castle. It is centered around a grist mill built in 1812 that operates now as an antique and gift shop. It is being restored after a fashion, and the upstairs floors now showcase some of the original machinery used at the mill.

Volant became a popular shopping district at the turn of the last century due to the New Castle-Franklin Railroad. There was also a brick company, lumber mill, and oil field developed in the vicinity and the area prospered until WW1. After the Great Depression Volant started it's long slide into obscurity. The mill closed in the 1960s and the trains stopped running in 1975.

Now it is having a little revival as a tourist destination. There are a great many cute shops that line the streets. We went this day for their Independence Day Celebration which they have on June 26th for some reason.
Here is a picture of the Mill at the Harvest Festival. You can click here to see a list of the shops on Volant's Main Street. My favorite store is the Bulk Food and Candy Co. That's where I go to get my fix of this: Yum Yum.
This year they had a little vintage car show, and the kids liked playing in the new playground behind the grist mill.

Then we threw some rocks in Neshannock Creek.

I found a tiny freshwater mussel shell, and the boys fought over it on the way home. So I took it back. There were a lot of crayfish shells around and my first impulse was to think that there was some sort of pollution that had done them in. But maybe birds just ate them. I saw at least eight turkey vultures while we were there.

I guess it was a pretty good day. We didn't drop our car keys in the creek, anyhow.


5thsister said...

What a fun day trip! I adore little towns and playing in the creek as well.

Rebecca Anthony said...

Looks and sounds like you had a great day! I love historic towns, they have so much charm. I always find myself drawn to them where ever I live or may be visiting! Your boys are so cute. Throwing rocks in the creek and fighting over a mussel shell that was taken back in the end are all great memories with your boys!! A bag of something yummy is a huge bonus (serious sweet tooth here candy = gold much like art supplies = gold).

Kimberly said...

Oh, we just love to find little towns like this around here.

Does the mill still operate?

We bought some great flour from a mill in Napa. The Blueberry muffins I made from that flour were so delicious.

Tina said...

Looks like a wonderful day trip! I remember my parents taking us to things like this growing up. Fun memories.

Sue said...

Looks like a good day...and a place worth visiting!


Karen Lynn said...

LOL! I work at Volant Mill Winery's Cranberry location! How funny! :-D

Jo said...

It looks like it was a wonderful day!

spags said...

love that story. when we played in a local creek last week, we thought the same thing of all the crayfish shells we were finding/ and some flat out dead ones. did not make us feel good- we did find one live one though.