There is plenty to do in Big Valley

One of the most beautiful places in Pennsylvania is Big Valley in Mifflin County. Big Valley certainly warrants a day trip especially in the summer when the beautiful gardens are bursting with their fresh produce. To access this valley of fertile farm grounds and horse and buggy plain folks, travel East through Huntingdon on Route 22 to Mill Creek. At Mill Creek, you take Route 655 North. This route travels right through the center of Big Valley.
The first town is Allensville. The Country Village restaurant is located there where people can enjoy a Senior dinner buffet for under six dollars.
Further down the road you pass through a patchwork of beautiful farms. As you travel this time of the year you can see the Amish taking in their hay and grain with their draft horse. The traffic on the road is slowed from time to time with Amish buggies and wagons.
The next small village is Whitehall. The general store is interesting and worth a stop to see the numerous items. Outside of Whitehall is The Bake Shop. This little shop has grown from a little stand of baked goods to five buildings with everything from pickles to porch swings. When asked the hours of The Bake Shop the reply was, “We open at daybreak and close at sunset.If no one is around when you stop ring the buzzer and it will ring inside their house and someone will come.”
Their baked goods are excellent, especially their sticky buns.
As you enter Belleville in the middle of town lies the real action, the Belleville Livestock Auction. The auction is held every Wednesday. The produce auction starts at 10 a.m. and the livestock auction starts at 1 p.m. To enter the market turn on to Penn St. or State St. At daybreak, the flea markets set up with everything you can imagine. The booths total over 200. The parking lot located north of the auction is usually filled by 9 a.m., but there are other lots. The VFW runs a lot with a cost of one dollar. In the produce auction Rebecca Yoder takes the consignments for the auction. She writes out a slip with their name and what they are selling.
“I come at 7 a.m. and there is always someone waiting,” Yoder said. “July and August are usually our biggest sales but things are looking dry like last summer. When things dried up last year ther was little to sell.”
The odd assortment of chairs for auction buyers to sit in is a sight to see. There is even ‘Reserved Seating’; there are chairs with family names on them, Zook, Yoder and Stoltzfus. At 9:30 a.m. every chair is filled with standing room filled to capacity when auctioneer Dale Gibboney begins the Sale.There is a wide array of fruits,vegtables,baked goods and eggs.
At 1 p.m. the livestock sale starts with every farm animal you can name.The pens are filled with hogs,calves, cows horsess,etc.Gene Glick who owns and operates the market said more than 15,000 animals went through the auction last year.
Continuing on Rt. 655 on the outskirts of town on the left side of the road is The Donut Shop.They sell the ‘BEST’ doughnuts. They have limited hours and days of operation but when you find them open they are a treat.
Proceeding down the road towards Reedsville take Barrville road to A J Peachey & Sons,Inc. This custom butcher shop has grown since it was established in1955. It now includes a restaurant, market and a craft shop above the market. The restaurant features a breakfast buffet for under five dollars. They also have a lunch,dinner and seafood buffets.Their claims to fame are their fresh salads, homemade dinner rolls and fried chicken.During the summer they have pig roasts and soft ice cream. The market has a wonderful bakery; the cocoanut cream pie is delicious! The market has a wide variety of bulk foods, cheeses and fresh meats. Their meat cases have everything from pig stomachs to filet mignon.
Close to the junction of Rt. 655 and Rt. 322 is Dairyland Antique Center. Dairyland also has a flea market with over 100 dealers set-up every Wednesday April though November. From that intersection State College is 22 miles west on Rt.322. There are many other antique shops and craft shops too numerous to mention. A day spent in Big Valley is a treat for the senses. The sights, tastes, and smells of this beautiful valley are bountiful in the summertime.