CountySpot Blog

The Bush House HotelThe Bush House Hotel was constructed between 1868 and 1869 by Daniel G. Bush. Mr. Bush came to Bellefonte in 1856 as a map salesman, but later decided to stay. Between 1865 and 1873 he was responsible for construction nearly twenty-seven buildings, including the Bush House, as part of a post-Civil War boom. Among the other buildings that he constructed were the nearby Bush Arcade and his own mansion which was located on Spring Street.

During the years that the Bush Hotel was in operation there was fierce competition between the Bush House, the Brockerhoff House, the Haag House, and other hotels for travelers located within the area. Because of this competition there was a man, a town notable, who was always in employ at the Bush House and he was responsible for standing at the Bellefonte train station and calling out to passengers as they disembarked, "Walk ya' to the Bush House." Thomas A. Edison stayed at the Bush House when he came to Bellefonte in connection with the electrification of the town. Two other influential people to stay in the hotel were Henry Ford and Amelia Earhart.

In 1928, the Bush House Hotel was purchased by William J. Emerich and the hotel was renamed to the Penn Belle. Unfortunately, William died in 1952 and is buried in the Union Cemetery. Gino Fornicola, a one time mayor of Bellefonte, started managing the hotel in 1961 and in 1968 became a part owner and changed the name back to the Bush House in the early 1970s. He and his family gave the structure a massive renovation and in the more recent years the building actually contained several businesses such as the Schnitzels Restaurant. Unfortunately, the Bush House burned to the ground on February 8, 2006 and was never rebuilt.

Pennsylvania Dance TheatreThe Pennsylvania Dance Theatre was founded in 1979 and has since then earned a reputation for staging intense dance theater works that are not only challenging but thought-provoking. Andre Koslowski has directed the company into its performances on national and international stages, and has brought to central Pennsylvania the type of powerful, progressive dance experience that are constantly enjoyed by audiences in cultural centers like New York and Berlin. The company’s artistic vision provides not only State College, but the world with an unflinching eye and the ability to reflect the full range of human experience.

With its dedication to explore the borders between contemporary dance and other artistic disciplines, the Pennsylvania Dance Theatre  is actively seeking out internationally renowned choreographers, set designers, composers and performers. The company believes that by working across boundaries they are creating limitless opportunities to extend the artistic possibilities of dance, and to push the discipline into exciting frontiers.

Penns CavePenns Cave is a historic landmark.  The Penn's Cave Caverns located in the Valley of Karoondinha (what is today known as Penn's Valley) were first discovered by the Seneca Indinans centuries ago.  If you are from the Penn State area you should be familiar with the famous legend of the Indian Maiden Nitanee.  Penn State's Nittany Lion is named after her.  Legend has it that Malachi Boyer, a French trapper, was Nitanee's lover.  Because of Indian custom the two were not allowed to marry, so they decided to try and runaway. When they were captured, Malachi was thrown into Penn's Cave to die. It is believed that Native Indians and early explorers used Penn's Caves dry rooms for shelter.

In 1885, Penn's Cave was opened for business as a commercial show cavern. That same year, the Penn's Cave Hotel was built.   Penn's Cave and the Penn's Cave House were placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. 

Penns Caves nestled in Central Pennsylvania's scenic Penn State Country, has expanded their business to include a wildlife park.  Over 1,500 acres have been preserved as a natural habitat for many North American animals. If you decide to take the scenic 90 minute motorized tour you will get the opportunity to see animals such as; bears, wolves, elk, deer, bobcats, bison, longhorn cattle, mustangs as well as the Penn's Cave Icon, the cougar.  The Cavern tour is a 1 hour guided motorboat tour along an underground stream.  You will see trout swimming underground, as well as many stalagmites and stalactites along the limestone corridors.  During the tour you will see Penn's Caves famous Statue of Liberty formation.

Penn's Cave will both entertain and educate their visitors about Biology, Geography, Geology and Agriculture of Central Pennsylvania. Visit Penn's Cave & Wildlife Tour today!

Penn's Cave
222 Penns Cave Road
Centre Hall, PA16828
Phone: 814.364.1664

2013 Tour Prices and Schedules:

COMBINED Cavern & Wildlife Tour Package-SAVE on BOTH TOURS! 
*Both tours must be taken on same day.
Adult $30.95 
Child 2 to 12 years $16.95 
Child 1 year and under Free 
Senior Citizen (65+) $29.95 

Cavern Tour Only Regular Rates:

Adult $16.95 
Child 2 to 12 years $8.95 
Child 1 year and under FREE 
Senior Citizen (65+) $15.95 

Cavern Schedule: 

February Weekends only - last tour at 4 11am to 5pm 
March 1 to March 31 Daily - last tour at 4 10am to 5pm 
April 1 to May 31 Daily - last tour at 5 9am to 5pm 
June 1 to August 31 Daily - last tour at 7 9am to 7pm 
September 1 to October 31 Daily - last tour at 5 9am to 5pm 
November 1 to November 30 Daily - last tour at 4 10am to 5pm 
December 1 to December 31 Weekends Only - last tour at 4  11am to 5pm 

Cave Temperatures 52° year round. Tours Depart on the Hour

Wildlife, Farm and Nature Tour Regular Rates: 

Adult $19.95 
Child 2 to 12 years $11.95 
Child 1 year and under FREE 
Senior Citizen (65+)  $18.95 

Wildlife, Farm and Nature Tour Schedule: 

April: Tours depart at 12:00, 2:00 & 4:00, Daily 
May 1 to June 30: Weekdays 12:00, 2:00 & 4:00. Weekends: hourly 11:00 - 5:00 
July 1 to August 31: Hourly 11:00 - 6:00 
September: Weekdays 12:00, 2:00 & 4:00. Weekends: hourly 11:00 - 5:00 
October: Weekdays 12:00, 2:00 & 4:00. Weekends: hourly 11:00 - 4:00 
November: Weekends only 12:00, 2:00 & 3:45

June 23rd after spending several days in the Outer Banks of North Carolina it was time to get back to exploring so we packed up and prepared to leave Dare County. On the way we checked out the Bodie Island Lighthouse and a few other things to build the Dare County Spot and then headed west to interior North Carolina. After crossing the Virginia Dare Memorial Bridge and the Alligator River Bridge at East Lake we made our first exploration of Tyrell County.

We traveled across Route 64 along the Alligator River and collected photos and information for the Tyrell County NC Spot. Our tour of Tyrell County included a visit to the county seat of Columbia where we found some cool old buildings, the Tyrell County Jail and lots more before heading towards Creswell and Washington County.

In Washington County we visited the town of Creswell and The Somerset Place Plantation on the shores of Phelps Lake. Our travels also lead us through the small village of Cherry where we found the remnants of the Cherry Colored School, founded in 1920! We also traveled through Roper NC and stumbled upon Sleepy Hollow on Kendricks Creek. Luckily it was still daylight and we escaped before any horesman appeared. We finished up our tour of Washington County by collecting photos in Plymouth. Visit the Washington County NC Spot to see our photos and information for Washington County North Carolina.

Next up on our tour of North Carolina we entered Martin County and headed through Jamesville, Williamston, Everetts, Robersonville and Parmele collecting great pictures and building information for the new Martin County NC Spot.

Pitt County NC was briefly visited as we continued along Route 64 into the town of Bethel. We toured that town for the Pitt County NC Spot but then headed straight into neighboring Edgecomb County to the towns of Princeton and Tarboro for the Edgecomb NC County Spot.

Mother Nature caught up to us as we entered into Nash County which resulted in a brief end to our photography while we waited for the summer storm to blow through. We decided to bypass Rocky Mount and continue west to Nashville. By the time we arrived in Nashville the rain stopped so we toured Nashville and collected photos for the Nash County NC Spot. We also checked out Corinth and Castilia as we continued towards our end point for this road trip, Louisburg NC.

Check out the map below to see the actual route of this CountySpot Road Trip!



The CountySpot team spent several days "relaxing" in the Outer Banks this summer and, of course, while we were there we couldn't resist the urge to do a little County Spotting! We started our Dare County NC spotting in Kitty Hawk, where we actually stayed, at a little motel called "The Bucanneer Inn Motel". This little motel is a bit hard to find using classic internet searches and we were somewhat reserved as to how the place would be, but it is a very nice place to stay while saving some money! The Buccaneer Inn offers clean rooms, good rates and a friendly staff that won't make you walk the plank!

There are so many great things to see and do in the Outer Banks. We weren't able to get to them all, but here is a bit about our travels which stretched from Duck to Brodie Island and even included Roanoke Island......

Our tour found us in Duck on a mid Saturday morning crawling along with traffic. If you want to visit Duck, be prepared to wait for it! Since the road leading into Duck is only two lanes and there is a ton of tourist activity, its a slow trip.

We visited the Wright Brothers Memorial while we toured and learned all about the first flight. The memorial and museum are must see spots if you have plans to visit the Outer Banks.

Roanoke Island and the Lost Colony interested us so much we actually went twice! The fate of the first English colony is still a mystery and the site does a great job of educating us about the first English settlement here in America. It was very interesting to learn that the first English born child, Virginia Dare, was born on Roanoke Island!

During our trip we took hundreds of great photos and explored many interesting towns and places. Learn more about Dare County and the Outer Banks at the Dare County Spot!

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