Field Trip!

A while back I found a very interesting post over at Tea Time With Melody Q about a museum in Western Pennsylvania that I had never heard of. The Coolspring Power Museum looked like a very interesting place, and Xyra and I made tentative plans to get together the next time she and her husband had a trip there. A few weeks ago I got an e-mail from her letting me know that they were definitely coming, I was so excited!

So, who to take?  Big decision!  My usual go-to girl for these kinds of things is Cassandra, she loves going places.  Shivan hadn’t been here very long though, and I thought perhaps a day out with me would be just the thing that she needed to help her settle in to her new surroundings.  We headed out early in the morning, arriving around 10:30.  I didn’t know which of her girls Xyra was bringing, so I was excited to see that she’d brought Kirsten along!  Kirsten and Shivan hit it off right away, they had a great time.

I’m going to let Shivan take over from here, she’s really a good story teller.  Take it away Shivan!

Hi guys, it’s Shivan here!  I’m going to tell you about the trip I took with mom to The Coolspring Power Museum.  We had a nice drive out, did hit some construction traffic, but it didn’t delay us too much.  It was hot outside though, the humidity was really high due to the fact that this side of the state has had ridiculous amounts of rain.  Mom doesn’t do too well with humidity, I thought she was going to melt!  We had a lot of fun checking out all the different engines they had on the grounds.  They had different kinds, sizes, shapes, colors, it was very interesting.  They were used for all sorts of things, starting in the 1800’s, from pumping natural gas to water, helping with farm operations, some even were used to generate electricity.  They had some cool tiny ones too.  Xyra’s husband Franz and a couple of friends were working with a little one that had actually been sold as a toy, Xyra laughed as she told us about the instructions for using it–it said to “disconnect mom’s gas stove and hook it up to that line.”  I wonder how many kitchens ended up scorched back in those days from wreckless kids!

Here is Kirsten and I in front of the biggest one they have on the grounds called “The Snow”.  It would have been used to pump natural gas, there was a super cool picture of a room full of them all working together!

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Two more pictures so you can get an idea of just how big this engine was, look how little we both look beside it!
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Unfortunately we didn’t get to see it running, Xyra said that it is pretty awesome when it is on.
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Here we are with a much more averaged size engine, there were lots of them this size and bigger, but not huge like the Snow. Mom and I were both amazed at how many there were! Mom thought it was very interesting to learn just how many of them were manufactured in Western Pennsylvania–Butler, Grove City, Erie and Oil City were all represented as were many other towns in the area. There were some foreign made ones too.

These were the more valuable engines in this building. Xyra explained that most of them were very rare, and that the building even had climate control in it to help preserve them. Some of them were so well restored they looked brand new.
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Check out these cool little ones! Some would have been made as toys this size, but most of these were prototypes that would have been sent to the patent office for approval. I wonder if we could have electrified our little house with one this size??
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We wandered around the grounds for quite a while, there was so much to see! Eventually mom’s bad knee started bothering her, so we found a nice spot on a bench under a tree and the four of us sat and chatted about all sorts of things: blogs, books, American Girl–we all had so much in common. I was very happy to get to meet another girl close to my age too.

Finally it was time for us to head home. There was some bad weather in the forecast for our area (more rain, ugh!) and mom wanted to try and get most of the way home before it hit. She doesn’t like driving in the rain at all. Before we headed out, both Xyra and mom wanted to be sure to get one last picture of the two of us together:
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Thank you so much to Xyra and Kirsten for inviting us and being such great hosts and guides!  We had a really great time checking everything out, hopefully we will get to go back.  Xyra also sent me home with a present to share with the girls:

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A Snakes and Ladder game and a combo Checkers/TicTac Toe game. Cool! We’ll have lots of fun with these, thank you!

She also sent us home with some more information on the museum in case we want to come back.
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I was tired after we got home, and I settled down in dad’s recliner since he wasn’t home yet.
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Hi Mom!  I see you with that camera!

Then I got really tired, so I took my boots off and put on my slippers. It was lights out!
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I hope you enjoyed hearing about our trip! We had a great time and I can’t wait for the next adventure.

Curious about the Coolspring Power Museum? You can check it out here: Easiest way to find it on a map–follow interstate 80 in Pennsylvania, you will find the town of Brookville on the map in the Western part of the state. Coolspring is just south of there, located mid-way between Brookville and Punxsutawney–yeah, that place where the groundhog lives!