Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Sunday my husband and I went to Emlenton Mill, an old grist mill that is in the process of being restored and renovated. We specifically went to try out the creamery inside the mill for a taste of their ice cream. Well let me tell you it was wonderful! I had a Rocky Mountain Raspberry and my husband had Blackberry . . . one word—DELICIOUS!

While there we had an opportunity to speak with the manager, Julie, and talk about the history of the mill, what the owners, the Newbury family, have accomplished as well as future plans for the mill. I am really excited to see all of their plans come to fruition especially in these times of economic stress. This restoration not only preserves history and part of Pennsylvania heritage, but it has the possibility to revitalize this small community once again to become a wonderful place to bring your family for vacation and learn a small part of American history and Pennsylvania culture, not to mention their coal and oil industries.

I have hopes that Emlenton's residents and business owners have an eye for the future and want to see their community growing once again boasting it's beautiful scenic landscapes, lovely victorian homes, and its historical buildings and culture. There are so many small communities in our country that were rich in heritage that have gone by the wayside—its such a shame.

I grew up in a thriving fishing community, a very historical area and I watched it start to deteriorate when the malls began to build up out side the city. But the chamber and landlords of the empty stores got together and did something miraculous! They got some grant money to restore their much needed brick sidewalks and beautified the park and spruced up everywhere. The landlords also did renovations and offered three months free rent to potential new specialty shop businesses. They had a wonderful stationery shop, wooden toy store, Irish goods shop just to name only a few of the many little shops. Local artists also participated and collectively rented a store front for a gallery. It worked! This was more than 25 years ago and today it is still thriving and has become one of the finest tourist communities in the United States.

The key to this type of success? Is the community itself, and their willingness to work together to save their town or city. It takes strength, courage and love of their country. There is no room for narrow mindedness—our country wouldn't have survived and become the greatest nation if our forefathers had not been united, displayed a strong in faith in God, had courage to take a risk and give up everything they had. Look around we still have liberty, justice and freedom!  

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