Pennsylvania spans a number of different regions, from the Mid-Atlantic to North-Eastern, with a diverse geography that includes the coastline around the Delaware gulf and the Appalachian Mountains running through the middle of the state. It is also one of the states that are home to the eleventh largest lake in the world, Lake Eerie, with around 75 miles of shoreline falling in the state. As well as being one of the most diverse states, there are some more interesting Things You Might Not Know About Pennsylvania.
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Things You Might Not Know About Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Is Known by Several Different Names
Pennsylvania has a variety of names that it is known by, the oldest of which dates back to 1802 when it earned the appellation The Keystone State. Because it was positioned in the middle of the original Thirteen Colonies that made up the early iterations of the United States, the administration of Pennsylvania took an active role in the signing of some of the most important pieces of legislation in the US’s history, including the Declaration of Independence.
Pennsylvania was also an economic keystone of the colonies, with both thriving industries and well-performing farms, including many thriving mushroom farms, that provided goods and food to the North and South. This productivity continued throughout the history of the state, resulting in many of its other nicknames including ‘The Coal State’, ‘The Oil State’, and ‘The Steel State’.
One of the other industries that have put Pennsylvania on the global map is the production of Hershey’s Chocolate. Milton S Hershey, the chocolatier and philanthropist that founded the company, was a pioneer when it came to creating confectionery and his success gave Pennsylvania one of its most popular nicknames: ‘The Chocolate State’.
Pennsylvania Has a Rich History
Because it was established early in the history of the United States, Pennsylvania has plenty of historically significant spots, although some of them are quirkier than others.
The oldest gas station in the US is in Altoona, Pennsylvania. It’s called Reighard’s and was originally opened by a blacksmith named George Hinkle in the late 1800s. When Hinkle heard about Henry Ford’s plans to introduce the Model T car, he believed that gasoline would be in demand, so he began to sell it in 1908.
The building that houses the gas station is still made from cinder blocks and concrete shingle and the walls form a living museum with pictures of the gas station throughout the years.
Pennsylvania is also home to the oldest golf course in the US – the Foxburg Golf and Country Club that can be found in Clarion County, around 55 miles north of Pittsburgh. The course has been included in the National Register of Historic Places since 2007 and is also home to the American Gold Hall of Fame.
One Of the Most Profitable Casino Operators in The World Is Based in Pennsylvania
There are some cities that have been associated with casinos for a long time, such as Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Wyomissing, Pennsylvania may not be renowned as a gaming hub, but it is home to one of the most successful casino operators in the world: Penn National Gaming.
Founded in 1982 when a few different companies came together, Penn National Gaming began investing in racetracks, but soon turned its investment power towards the casino market. They began buying up casinos all over the states, including in Biloxi, St Louis, Mississippi, and Louisiana, and by 2019 they owned 43 sites throughout North America.
It’s no surprise that the state that is home to all this casino-based activity also has a number of impressive gaming establishments of its own. The biggest is the Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs which incorporates more than 55,000 feet of gaming space with 80 table games, 2,300 slots, and live harness racing.
Although the state only legalized online gaming in 2017, PA online casinos have become as popular with online gamers as their land-based ones, with several highly rated sites featuring on time2play.com.
Pennsylvania Has Been the Birthplace of a Variety of World-Changing Inventions
With everything else that Pennsylvania has to offer, it has also been home to some of the world’s brightest innovators. Between them, residents of Pennsylvania have invented:
- The Ferris Wheel
- The movie theatre
- The slinky
- Bubble gum
- The pencil with a built-in eraser
- The odometer
- Bifocal glasses
- The revolving door
- Soda pop
With all these things, and more, hailing from Pennsylvania, the state’s historical significance extends way beyond its role in the governance and legislature.
Pennsylvania is a Commonwealth
Although this has no legal implications, Pennsylvania identifies itself as a commonwealth, alongside the states of Kentucky, Massachusetts, and Virginia. A term first coined by the British political philosopher Thomas Hobbes, this simply means that the state aims to operate for the benefit of the ‘common good’ and prioritizes the needs of its citizens above all else.
Although the classification is largely aspirational, Pennsylvania has plenty to offer for those that live in the state as well as for tourists who enjoy the variety of entertainment, cultural, historical, and recreational activities available in the state.
With so much to see and do, Pennsylvania has a truly rich and fascinating history that combines with its thoroughly modern approach to life in the 21st century to create a state that really has it all.