10 Pennsylvania Roadside Oddities You Have to See to Believe

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You might think that you have to travel Route 66 through the western states to see giant roadside oddities. However, I’ve logged thousands of miles traveling all over the state, and I can assure you that there are some crazy things sitting along the state’s roadways.

And, while there are dozens of other strange roadside attractions in PA that I have yet to visit, I thought I’d take a minute and share the 10 strangest that I’ve come across so far. As I continue my travels, I’m sure I’ll pull over for many, many more great roadside oddities in Pennsylvania. So, look for a future update to this list!

For now, here are the 10 strangest Pennsylvania roadside oddities I’ve come across so far:

The Haines Shoe House in York County

The Haines Shoe House is one of the strangest roadside attractions in PA.
The giant Haines Shoe House sites just west of York, PA.

Without a doubt, one of the strangest and most popular roadside attractions in PA has to be the Haines Shoe House. Located along Route 30 west of York, the Shoe House has been drawing curious stares since it was completed in 1949.

The Shoe House was built as an advertisement for a local shoe company and never served as more than a temporary residence.

Today, it is open for tours, which offer the chance to learn more about this amazing oddity.

Flying Saucer in Butler County

The Flying Saucer in Mars, Pennsylvania.
Can you name your town Mars and not have a flying saucer in it?

A miniature flying saucer might seem out of place in western Pennsylvania, but when the town’s name is Mars, it almost seems logical. That’s right, in a small park in the center of Mars, Pennsylvania, is a small UFO statue.

The flying saucer stands three feet tall and is six feet around. But what it lacks in imposing height or intergalactic history, it certainly makes up for in humorous curiosity.

While visiting the town, take a few minutes to walk around and notice some of the humorous Mars stores, such as “Mars Travel” or “Mars National Bank.”

The Flying Saucer in Mars, Pennsylvania, is located at 100 Pittsburgh St., Mars, PA 16046.

The Reading Pagoda in Berks County

The Reading Pagoda is an odd roadside attraction in PA's Berks County.
The Reading Pagoda is a beautiful and odd spot in eastern PA.

Located high atop a hillside above Reading, Pennsylvania is a curious sight. The Reading Pagoda is a Japanese-style pagoda that was built at the beginning of the 20th century and was planned to be one part of a resort that would site on the top of Mount Penn. However, the rest of the resort never came to be.

While the Reading Pagoda can be seen from throughout the valley below, you can also drive right up to it and enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding area.

Visiting in the evening offers the chance to see this amazing spot lit up at night.

Sherman Memorial Lighthouse in Forest County

Visiting the Sherman Memorial Lighthouse in Tionesta, Pennsylvania.
Towering above the small borough of Tionesta, the Sherman Memorial Lighthouse serves no significant purpose.

Located in the middle of Forest County, is one of Pennsylvania’s most unusual roadside buildings: the Sherman Memorial Lighthouse. Its location along the Allegheny River might give you the impression that it serves a purpose, but it doesn’t. In fact, the lighthouse is located roughly 60 miles from the closest navigable body of water, Lake Erie.

The 75-foot tall lighthouse was completed in 2004 and was built by local Jack Sherman as a memorial to his family and to hold his large collection of miniature lighthouses.

The lighthouse is open to visitors several times a year, and, I’ve been told that the view from the top is fantastic.

Fiberglass Punxsutawney Phils in Jefferson County

There are 32 Punxsutawney Phil statues in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.
There are 32 Punxsutawney Phil statues in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.

Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, is known worldwide for its fantastic Groundhog Day celebration. To celebrate this heritage, the borough commissioned  32 larger-than-life Punxsutawney Phils to be painted by local artists and placed around town.

The statues range from comical to serious, but each shows off an aspect of Punxsutawney’s heritage. While in town, don’t miss Phil’s home, which is located next to the library.

The Punxsutawney Phil statues are located all around the borough. Visit their website for information on the location of all 32.

The Statue of Liberty in Dauphin County

The Statue of Liberty in the Susquehanna River near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
The Statue of Liberty in the Susquehanna River near Harrisburg.

This replica of the Statue of Liberty sits in the middle of the Susquehanna River, just north of Harrisburg, along route 322/22 (It is also visible from Route 11/15 on the western shore of the river). The fact that it doesn’t cause daily accidents along this busy highway is quite remarkable, as it seems more drivers look at it than the road while passing by.

The statue is actually the second one at that location. The first was made of plywood and Venetian blinds and was put in place in 1986 by a secretive group of local citizens. After it was washed away by a flood six years later, the second, larger, statue was put in place in 1997.

Giant Zippo Lighter in McKean County

Visiting the Zippo Museum in Bradford County, PA.
The awesome entrance to the Zippo/Case Museum features a giant Zippo lighter.

Until I visited the area, I had no idea that Zippo Lighters are made in Bradford, Pennsylvania. And, even though I’ve never owned one, I took the time to visit their museum on the outskirts of town.

However, what’s atop their building is nearly as interesting as what’s inside. You see, atop the entrance to the Zippo museum and gift shop is a giant Zippo lighter.

While I couldn’t find any information about the history of the giant Zippo lighter, it’s worth seeing, as is the free museum inside. The lighter is located at 1932 Zippo Drive, Bradford, PA 16701.

Fireman’s Drinking Fountain in Lehigh County

The Fireman's Drinking Fountain in Slatington, Pennsylvania
The Fireman’s Drinking Fountain is one of the most unique statues I’ve seen anywhere.

Located in the town of Slatington, a few miles north of Allentown, PA, is one of the coolest statues I’ve ever come across. Had the Fireman’s Drinking Fountain been a normal statue, it wouldn’t draw much attention; however, the bright paint color makes this statue very unique. Of course, as the name implies, it also isn’t just a statue.

When it was built in 1909 it was designed to recognize the volunteer firefighters of the town. The 12-foot tall statue was placed atop a drinking fountain that provided water for the community in later years. 

The Fireman’s Drinking Fountain can be found at 560 Main Street, Slatington, PA 18080.

Decker Chapel in Elk County

Decker Chapel in Saint Marys, PA
Decker Chapel in Saint Marys may be the smallest church in the USA.

Located on the outskirts of Saint Marys, Pennsylvania, Decker Chapel bills itself as the smallest church in America. Whether this is true or not, I have no idea. However, at 12 feet by 18 feet, the chapel is quite small. Inside, there is a small altar, but little else, which isn’t exactly surprising given the size.

Decker Chapel was built in 1856 by Michael Decker and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is located on Million Dollar Highway at the following coordinates: 41.400856, -78.560403.

Stinson the Dinosaur in Carbon County

Stinson the Dinosaur in the Poconos
Stinson the Dinosaur has a much more noble purpose than many roadside oddities in Pennsylvania.

Located outside an old warehouse on a backroad in Carbon County is Stinson the Dinosaur. At 9 feet tall and 15 feet long, Stinson isn’t the biggest roadside oddity on the list. However, what he lacks in size, he makes up for in purpose. You see, Stinson was created to raise awareness and money for strokes (as well as small business awareness for some reason).

Stinson’s bright red color stands out from the grey building behind it, making it a must-see roadside oddity when in Carbon County.

Stinson even has his own website, where you can find out more about him and buy your own mini Stinson the Dinosaur.

Stinson the Dinosaur is located at 2525 Interchange Road, Lehighton, PA 18235, or you can find him online at StinsonTheDinosaur.com

Do you have a favorite roadside oddity in Pennsylvania? Let me know in the comments below!

Willing to get out of the car? Experience other PA oddities such as Fonthill Castle, Gravity Hill, Columcille Megalith Park, and Ringing Rocks County Park.

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82 thoughts on “10 Pennsylvania Roadside Oddities You Have to See to Believe”

  1. This is a nice article. Just slightly inaccurate on the fireman statue, however—It’s where I grew up. The fountain part wasn’t added until 1979, when it was knocked down by a car. They added the water fountains during the rebuilding. Before that, it was, in fact, just a statue. There’s an identical one in the cemetery just up the hill from it.

  2. How about the cowboy holding the giant hamburger outside of the Cadet restaurant on 422, just barely East of Kittanning.

    • The cow is located close to Reedsville along the road on the left if you are coming from Rt. 322. I pass it on Wednesdays going to Bellville to set up for market.

  3. I find very unique in the town of Elysburg Pa along PA-54 in front of Vic’s Transmission stands Turbo Man and his Dog Roverdrive. both made of transmissions and parts

  4. I get to pass the Coke statute all the time. There was a story in the Patriot News years ago about it. If I remember correctly, the house owner loved Coke (of course). She had an entire room of Coke memorabilia and collectables. When her tree died, she had it carved into a huge bottle of her favorite beverage! It is now rotting badly at the bottom. How long will it still be there?

    • I’ve driven past it many times, Karen, and it is very cool. I just haven’t ever had a chance to grab a photo. There are also some cool things along I-81 between Harrisburg and the Maryland border.

  5. I also wanted to say the “Big Cow” from Kersey, PA that has now been moved! I am from Saint Marys, PS and love Decker’s Chapel!

  6. There’s a place at the corner of State St. and Rising Sun Rd. in MIllersburg, PA that has a tree carved for (what I’m assuming is) their favorite baseball team -the Cardinals. It’s a large baseball bat with a cardinal on top. YOu can see it on Google Maps satellite image.

  7. I too am from St. Marys, Pa and have had the pleasure of growing up around Deckers Chapel and the Kersey Cow, along with the Ground Hog in Punxsutawney Pa. I now live in Harrisburg Pa and have seen the Coke tree and the Statue of Liberty. Have you checked out the painted cows in different places around Harrisburg and City Island? They sure are different and I think you may like them Jim.

  8. I remember when the coke tree was being carved. I was the mailman there. I know why they did it. But never thought they’d do that.

  9. Jim the man that wrote about the firemans statue in Slatington was not correct . I happen to be part of Hose co #1 that erected the statue in 1909 and the fountains were in working order for man and beast. but some were around ww2 the fountain parts were taken off and melted down for the war .When the statue was hit by a hit and run driver in 1980 myself and 6 others on the statue restoration committee began the task of putting our statue back to its original look in 1909. We used old photos and had a firm remold the fountain parts from aluminum , Many people and organizations were involved in the restoration. Thanks and have a good day.

  10. There is a brand new carving in front of a private residence in Cochranton on PA 173 heading into town from US 322. It is out of a large tree that was taken down and is carved into a long-bearded wizard (Gandalf? Dumbledore?) and at the top of his staff is a cardinal, the HS mascot. Also, Pittsburgh has many dinosaur statues around the city, including Ketchupsaurus in Heinz Plaza.

  11. Decker’s Chapel in St. Mary’s is currently closed to the public. You can drive past and see it. But the foundation has taken a beating from the last couple rough winters and the building is tipping. It looks like they are in the process of repairs.

  12. I’m not sure of the exact location, but somewhere towards Pittsburgh I believe its in Kittanning or close by it there is a phone booth in old phone booth with a model in it or a mannequin and the man who put it there dresses it up in different costume. story goes that his wife was always on the phone so he ended up divorcing her and put the phone booth and a mannequin out there to represent her as soon as I find out what exactly what the road is I will post it

  13. The only one of these I’ve seen is the Statue of Liberty in the Susquehanna — thanks to having a kid who went to “We are….Penn State”. We Philly types don’t get to the rest of the state enough. We’re more oriented to the I 95 northeast corridor than the PA Turnpike.

  14. The maniquin in the phone booth is in Summerville, PA on 28 south headed toward Pittsburgh… I always look for it every time I travel through there.

    • Not so much an oddity when you consider G.W.’s early military service with the British Army…I have not been to Waterford and know not of this statue to which you refer. But, G.W. did serve as a militia officer with the British on its excursion with Braddock in W. Pa. in the early stages of the French and Indian War.

      • Washington’s first visit to western PA was leading his own expedition to present-day Waterford. In fact, he didn’t hook up with Braddock until his third trip out west. While the statue might make sense, it is the only one that features Washington in a British uniform, so it certainly makes it, at the very least, unique.

      • There’s a giant statue of a banana split in downtown Latrobe which is the birthplace of the banana split. Also a bronze statue of Fred Rodgers sitting park bench in in the middle of town. He was born in Latrobe

  15. That Fireman statue is not unique. Its famous and replicas appear all over the place. There’s one in front of the fire museum in York, Pa.

  16. The coke bottle by the Dauphin library fell down fall of 2015 . Always thought that was so cool to see each time I went to the Library

  17. The quirkiest attraction I have seen in Pennsylvania is the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. But, I will to keep my eyes open for these roadside attractions as they are pretty cool, especially Punxsutawney Phil! I am surprised there isn’t a random Bill Murray statue in the town to celebrate the cult hit, “Groundhog’s Day.”

  18. There is the random dragon on 11/15 near liverpool pa. Drive by it everyday, always wondered why it was there. Out front of lumberjack restaurant.

  19. Somewhere on the Kylertown Drifting Highway, there is a big Yogi Bear statue In front of somebody’s home. Dont know why it’s there but it is.

  20. It’s not there anymore​. But there used to be a ship on a side of a mountain. If I remember right. Someone can correct me. Near Before pa. Was really cool to see. And I think there is also a tea/coffee pot. To check out in PA too. Can’t remember where

  21. Maybe someone can help me out here, I remember traveling between Oil City and Warren (probably on 62 N), and there was a building that had a gorilla on the roof. It has been many years since I’ve driven that, and I was a child then. I think the building was one story and yellow. I am fairly certain that the gorilla had nothing to do with the product or the name. I could be wrong about that. Don’t know if it’s still there or long gone. Thanks in advance for the help!

  22. Schaefer’s auto art in Erie, Pa on Hershey road. Giant spider made out of a Volkswagen bug, bubble bee made out of a cement mixer, two headed car and more!

  23. Check out the GAP Clock tower in GAP PA. It’s about a mile on PA route 41 from US 30 East. It used to stand atop the building that now houses the GAP cheese shop, which is right next door.

  24. The giant Amishman outside Hershyfarm smorgasbord and motel in Ronks PA. It used to stand outside Zins Diner, which is now the Park Ave Diner in Denver PA.

  25. You all just made me so homesick !!! I was born in York, in the house next to the Pfaltzgraff pottery showroom (both long gone). The house, showroom, and a gas station (on rt. 30 west of York) were all owned by the Pfaltzgraff family. My Dad ran the gas station, and Mom worked in the showroom. (The house was rented) She took a break on March 16,1942 and gave birth to me! The pottery is the longest continuous operating pottery in the US. I still enjoy and make Shoofly and Montgomery pie ! I remember well “the shoe house” but never knew the name or history of it. Thanks for the info.


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