Being here in Bedford is like stepping into a simpler way of life. Bedford is a beautiful small town in Pennsylvania's
Allegheny mountains and a wonderful place to vacation away from everyday big city life, traffic, hi-rises and congestion.
It is a town with no parking meters and its downtown streets are lined with century-old buildings used now as antique, craft,
and gift shops, all within walking distance from each other. There are places to swim, boat, fish, hike, bike, and camp,
located within minutes of Bedford. For example, Shawnee State Park with its beautiful mountain lake, offers all these
activities, just 20 minutes from Downtown Bedford.
Bedford is filled with history and historic houses. The
"Espy House" on 123 E. Pitt Street, built in 1771, served as President George Washington's headquarters during
the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794. It is one block from our shop and its ground level is a candy shop now.
Whiskey Rebellion in a few words: It was a rebellion against federal tax on whiskey. The "Whiskey Boys"
who rebelled were not alcohol consumers, but farmers who preferred to convert their grain into whiskey that was easier to
transport. Responding to the crisis, President George Washington called for the enlistment of an army and he actively
assumed his presidential role as Commander in Chief of the armed forces, personally riding with Secretary of the Treasury
Alexander Hamilton and a 12,000-man force. This is the only time a U.S. President has commanded his troops in the field.
He suppressed the Whiskey Rebellion "without one shot having to be fired." The few "Whiskey Boys"
who were caught were allowed to sign an oath to obey the law, and were let go free. Two were imprisoned, but they were
later pardoned by President Washington... Must have been much simpler and easier to solve problems in the good old days...
Bedford also has many other historic buildings. The courthouse, built in 1828, is the oldest in the state in continuous
use. The only movie theater in Bedford, Pitt Theater, in a beautiful stone building on 134 E. Pitt Street, is the longest
continually run (since 1939) theater in Pennsylvania. Another historic building is Jean Bonnet Tavern (6048 Lincoln
Hwy), a stone farmhouse built in 1762 which served as a stagecoach stop. It was there that the farmers held their gatherings
during the Whiskey Rebellion.
Accommodations and restaurants are plentiful in Bedford. The historic
Bedford Springs Resort, two miles south of our shop, is a wonderful place. The resort was originally built by Dr. John
Anderson, a local doctor who in 1798 purchased a 2,200 acre property on the site of curative mineral springs. Construction
began in 1804 and was completed in 1806. More recently, in 2007, it was renovated at a cost of $120 million and is currently
named Omni Bedford Springs Resort & Spa. Even though it is an upscale resort and spa, accommodations are not much
more expensive than Washington DC area and New York hotels. And you'll be staying where several US Presidents--William
Henry Harrison, James K. Polk, Zachary Taylor, James Buchanan (who used the resort as his "Summer White House"),
William Taft, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan and other presidents have stayed, as well as many other famous persons such
as author Nathaniel Hawthorne, pioneer auto-manufacturer Henry Ford... Check the hotel's website www.omnihotels.com/hotels/bedford-springs for its very interesting history.
Town House Motel is an alternative if you want a convenient place to sleep in Downtown
Bedford, walking distance from our shop, at approximately $45 a night. There are also several Bed & Breakfasts in
town, privately-owned motels, and chain hotels/motels (from Fairfield Marriott at approx. $100 per night to approximately
$40 per night inexpensive and yet very clean motels) within a mile or two drive from Downtown Bedford.
are visiting on a Friday, the Bedford County Visitors Bureau on 131 S. Juliana Street offers free very interesting guided
walking tours of Downtown Bedford (from the third week of May thru end-October) that start at 3:30 pm on Fridays and last
till about 5 pm.
And when you visit Bedford, please make sure to wear comfortable shoes.