3419 Oak Lane, Altoona, PA, USA
Baker Mansion Altoona Reviews
A great way to learn about Altoona History May 23, 2009
I originally thought that this would be something my mom would like to do... so I called them yesterday afternoon and left a message to call us back and my mom sent an email. Well, around 1:15PM my mom and I were leaving to head out to the Lincoln Caverns about a half hour/45 minutes away from me to explore some caves. As we were walking out the door my mom's phone rang with a 814 area code and asked if we still wanted to see the Mansion... we ended up going there at 2.
On line they said you have to make reservations ahead of time. Either by phone or email... when we were in the middle of our tour a group from Philly just showed up and started bellowing through the hall way "Hello"... and ended up joining our tour though.
The Baker Mansion is home to one of the wealthiest families to live in Altoona, the Baker Family. The mansion was built in 1841 and when I saw it from the front I immediately thought it reminded me of the Lincoln Memorial... which wasn't built until 1914. The building was built to look like a Roman Structure in Italy though.
The tour guide, Janine, was very knowedgable and was able to answer queestions we gave her and give alot of specifics about the history of the family and the town. The tour consisted of the basement, main floor and 2nd floor and the antiques were really cool. The one facinating thing is even the rugs in some rooms are the originals!
By the way... I first heard about the Baker Mansion before I moved here on Road Sides Across America where they talked about the Haunted Wedding Dress. http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/7766 This isn't something they advertise about in the tour... and I didn't ask because my mom wanted to get to the Lincoln Taverns before they closed so I didn't really ask about it... but it might be something that intrigues you!
Oh... the other cool thing I learned on this tour was that Altoona, PA has the countries oldest working gas station (so many historical facts in Altoona it's amazing)... so I googled it and found this on Wikipedia... "Reighard's gas station in Altoona, Pennsylvania claims that it dates from 1909 and is the oldest existing gas station in the United States. Early on, they were known to motorists as "filling stations". Standard Oil began erecting roadside signs of their logo to advertise their filling stations." --- it's web page is http://www.martinoilco.com/Reighards.htm and maybe I'll write a review on it in the near future! Hmmm...
Part of the I'm just a large town girl... living in a tiny town... travel blog
Part of the list things to do in Pennsylvania
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