2022: Sad to report that Old Sled Works closed on December 31, 2022.
Thanks Shannon for the link
2019 Update! Jimmy is still going strong at the Sled Works, collecting all sort of antique automobiles, vintage scooters, player pianos and more for your viewing pleasure – stop by and tell him Mod Betty sent you!
Original 2010 Post:
Located just a few miles from the Red Rabbit drive-in, The Old Sled Works in Duncannon PA is a perfect place to spend a vintage afternoon while digesting your bunny burger. Over 125 antique and craft dealers, an old time arcade and soda fountain, sled museum and more are housed in the factory building that once produced Lightning Guider sleds.
We loved looking around at all the cool old vintage and retro stuff, and no I don’t think I ever had the No Cal Shape!
Retro Roadhusband enjoyed playing pinball in the vintage arcade, while I thrilled at all the old timey graphics, signs and ephemera.
At Jimmy’s Old-Time Arcade, we have over 50 classic electro-mechanical games from the 1920’s-1970’s that used to be common at sea-side resorts, amusement parks, boardwalk playlands and other roadside attractions. You’ll find vintage cranes, pinballs, shooting galleries, bowlers, movie machines, postcard vendors, etc. Some are even from famous locations like Coney Island and Palisades Park.
Unfortunately Jimmy’s Soda Fountain was closed when we were there, but it sure looked cool!
This authentic 1950’s fountain was the last operating drugstore counter in Harrisburg, PA. From Bennett’s Rexall Pharmacy, it was moved in 1994 to the Old Sled Works where it comes alive most weekends. Select from a few food items and the best milkshakes and floats prepared using vintage equipment. When was the last time you had a real fountain soda? Enjoy your meal while watching several Philco Predicta TV’s usually showing The 3 Stooges.
I also was totally smitten with the petite vintage airstream trailer right next to Jimmy’s – and peering in the window made me want to live in it immediately.
Before leaving with your purchases, don’t forget to pick up a glass bottle of Catawissa soda / tonic. They are only 1 of 8 bottlers left in the US that still wash and reuse bottles. As the sign indicates, they use “orphan” bottles which are returnable bottles from defunct beverage companies. They also make Moxie – talk about a vintage beverage!
You can also climb their forest fire tower for a beautiful view of the Susquehanna river. Formerly known as the Dauphin Water Gap Tower it was a fixture along Rout 22 west of Harrisburg for more than 50 years.
Closed and neglected for the past 30 years, this 110′ tower was right in the path of a highway project and was destined for the scrap yard, but the folks from the Old Sled Works moved it to their parking lot to the site in 1999 and refurbished it for visitors.
So if you want to check out some of the many wonderful things that made the past so swell, a visit to the Old Sled Works in Duncannon is certainly in order!
wendyveeMay 22, 2010 at 1:38 pm
Did you throw any ducks off of the tower? 🙂
Mod Betty / Retro RoadmapMay 22, 2010 at 1:42 pm
Unfortunately for us the tower wasn’t open when we visited- between that and the soda fountain being closed we’re totally due for a re-visit.
What is the deal with the ducks anyways? Between them and the mystery Bunny Dust I feel like that area is a big old heap o’ secret animals! Speaking of which, there was a giant chicken for sale down the street, I’ll have to post it so it can be added to the Roadside Galore Fiberglass Rooster Conspiracy, and add it to my “strange animals of the Duncannon area” list!
BeckyMay 3, 2011 at 2:22 pm
First time reader of your blog (saw the website on a car @ Sledfest this past weekend) & I just have to say…amazing! I am going on a roadtrip this summer and your site will def. help me to find some neato stops along the way. I’m actually from Duncannon, PA & still live there with my husband. My great grandfather used to work in this sled factory when it was still making sleds. My husband & I frequent the Old Sled Work’s often, as evident in the last picture; that is our truck 🙂
Mod Betty / RetroRoadmap.comMay 3, 2011 at 4:35 pm
Becky! Thanks for swinging by RetroRoadmap – and that was in fact the “Retro-Roadmobile” you saw at the Sled Fest. Glad the sticker worked liked I hope it would! Duncannon seems like such a neat little place, we have to travel there more often. WendyVee from RoadsideWonders.net said there’s a tea room (The Garden Seat) down the road apiece – do you know if it’s still open?
Let us know where you’re going on your road trip, and if I can help with any suggestions I’ll send’em your way. Have fun and safe travels!
BeckyMay 4, 2011 at 11:13 am
Hello again! Unfortunately, the The Garden Seat tea room is no longer open. It was run by an elderly couple and I believe it was the husband that passed away. His widow couldn’t handle it by herself, so they closed. Perhaps in the future their children will reopen it? I always wanted to go there but I just never got the chance.
I’ll be going to Bar Harbor, ME this summer. Not sure of the exact route yet, but I know a major portion is on 95N. Thanks 🙂
roadsidewondersMay 4, 2011 at 12:30 pm
Thanks for the info on The Garden Seat, Becky. I wasn’t sure if they were still kicking or not.
I’ve never been inside; but I was always curious about it … it always looks like a little storybook cottage 🙂
Matt SmallwoodApril 12, 2012 at 12:46 pm
The wax soda jerk is kinda spooky. If I walked up to him I MIGHT think he was real. LOL!!
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