I have taught a few students from Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. After a conversation with one of those students I came to the tentative conclusion that it must be a nice place to live. It sounded like a charming Victorian Pennsylvania town. And it was close to Penn State.
If my memory serves me correctly, I used to stop at a Holiday Inn off of Route 80 near Bellefonte during my seminary years in the late 1980s and early 1990s. I usually pulled my 1981 Skylark into the motel when I was too sleepy to finish the drive from Deerfield, IL to Montville, NJ. I remember being frustrated because my room did not have a remote control for the television set.
If I wasn’t in such a hurry to get home to see my parents and siblings in New Jersey I might have taken the time to drive into downtown Bellefonte. After reading about Jonathan Eburne‘s failed attempt to open a bookstore in the town, I wish I had been more curious and adventuresome in those days.
Here is a taste of Eburne’s Los Angeles Review of Books essay on the struggle to cultivate intellectual community in Bellefonte. It’s a great piece about place:
Paul M. says
Oddly enough, I'm moving out to a walk up apartment in Bellefonte this summer.
There's a strong element of town-gown tension to this story that doesn't surface in his piece. Working class locals are less enthused with the cultural aspirations of PSU folks who can better afford the risk.
John Fea says
Nice insights, Paul. Thanks.
Aaron Cowan says
As a non-sequitur aside, my only experience with Bellefonte is as my standard dinner spot when driving across the state. I discovered once that a restaurant there, The Hofbrau, has (believe it or not) amazing pizza…I end up there about once a year!