Roadside America is 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 local amusement park that was recently closed 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 1941 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.
The display contains;
A 7,450 square foot, fully landscaped displaying over 300 miniature structures
Up to 18 trains, trolleys and cable cars running throughout the display
10,000 hand-made trees
4,000 miniature people engaged in everyday daily pursuits
Many rivers, streams and waterways
Interactive animations such as a circus parade, construction workers, saw mill workers and more, that can be activated by visitors.
Scale is 3/8 of an inch to one foot.
All trains are "O" gauge
600 miniature light bulbs
The display is constructed with:
21,500 feet of electrical wiring
17,700 board feet of lumber
6,000 feet of building paper
4,000 feet of sheet metal under the plaster work
2,250 feet of railroad track
648 feet of canvas for waterproofing
450 feet of pipe
18,000 pounds of plaster
4,000 pounds of sheet iron
900 pounds of nails
600 pounds of rubber roofing material
75 pounds of dry paint
75 gallons of liquid paint
225 bushels of moss
25 bags of cement
Three barrels of screened sawdust
Three barrels of tar
Roadside America has remained unchanged since Gieringer died in 1963.
Roadside America Overview
This interior view of the display shows only a small portion of the massive layout.
By Mark9739 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17660840 [Cropped]
Picture of Mr. Gieringer's Granddaughter sometime in the early 1940's.
By Mark9739 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17660883
Classic Streamliners - TRAINCYCLOPEDIA
Exterior view of Roadside America in 2009.
Text: wikipedia.org. Images: Public Domain; http://www.commons.wikimedia.org (unless otherwise specified) and 17 U.S. Code § 107 fair use. References: Lewis, Robert G. The Handbook of American Railroads. New York: Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation, 1951, 2nd Edition 1956. Site Map Contact webmaster HERE.
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