Roadside America

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Roadside America
Established 1935
Location Shartlesville, Pennsylvania
Collection size Railroad model trains and other model structures
Roadside America in 2009
Interior View of Display
Mr. Geringer's Grand Daughter looking at a model house in the museum

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[edit]

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.


Coordinates: 40°30′46″N 76°07′17″W / 40.51285°N 76.12134°W / 40.51285; -76.12134