You might be from Meadville, PA if you have ever admired the grandeur of the Baldwin-Reynolds house, indulged in the David Mead Inn’s “Famous Saturday Night Buffet,” or knew someone who worked for Dad’s Dog Food. Now it’s time to plug in your mind’s Meadville Trivia Machine under the category of “history,” and take this slightly humorous yet enlightening quiz. Answers are below the questions, and a scoring key is located below the answers, so no peeking and keep track of your responses if you wish to play along.
Q U E S T I O N S
1. Meadville’s 1490 AM initially signed on in 1947. What do WMGW’s call letters represent?
a. W-Meadville General Whereabouts
b. W-Mead Grand Wireless (Network)
c. W-Mary Gene Winslow, named after the founder’s daughter
d. W-Main Grange Wranglers
2. What year was the first film shown at Meadville’s popular Academy Theater?
3. Henry Baldwin designed the Baldwin-Reynolds mansion in 1842 after he supposedly fell in love with a beautiful property he saw in another state. That property was called:
a. Hunter Hill
b. Pretty Penny Valley
c. Maison de Conchon
d. Famous Farmette
4. In 1867, Meadville’s real-life version of “The Beverly Hillbillies” built:
a. Allegheny College
b. Roueche House
c. Conneaut Lake Park
d. Tarr Mansion
5. As of the late 1700s, who enjoyed spending their summers in the area that is now known as Meadville?
a. Ulysses S. Grant and his troops
b. Prospectors searching for gold in French Creek
c. the Senecas
d. A notorious group of highwaymen
6. When counties within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania were being created, the original county seat for Erie was located in:
d. London, Ontario
7. What was the name of Meadville’s first newspaper?
a. Crawford Weekly Messenger
b. Meadville Tribune
c. Crawford County Courier
d. General Mead’s Military Newsletter
8. As of 2017, how many years old is Diamond Park’s Shippen Fountain?
Shippen Fountain June 2017
9. 1956 was the last year the __________ ___________ came to Meadville.
a. famous Eskimo
b. big top
c. Aluminum siding salesmen
d. picture show
10. In the early 1900s, as Conneaut Lake Park grew, ___________ _________ gradually ceased to exist.
a. gray unicorns
b. Market House
c. Oakwood Park
d. Meadville Falcons (hockey team)
11. Speaking of Conneaut Lake Park, what was its original name?
a. Shoreline Thrill Company
b. Blue Streak Amusement Line
c. Exposition Park
d. Trolley Trek Place
12. In the late 1800s, Meadville’s trolley line ended at Ponce de Leon mineral springs. In 1887 water from that location ended up being used in the making of “extra fine quality” __________ ________.
a. ginger ale
b. Pennsylvania vodka
c. Meadville elixir
d. headache spirits
13. An early 20th century brochure offering historical details about Conneaut Lake states that it is the home of a:
a. friendly group of miniature people around six inches tall
b. notorious bank robber
c. sea serpent
d. gaggle of prankish mermaids
14. In the 1800s, Meadville attorneys were known to specialize in:
a. Religious law
b. Public relations management
c. Patent law
d. Divorce filings
15. Meadville’s ____________ ______________ is the oldest structure of its type in continuous use in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
a. Blacksmith Shop
b. Post Office
c. Market House
d. Public Bathouse
16. Meadville’s sister city is:
a. Bang Pla, Thailand
b. Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
c. Winslow, Arizona, USA
d. Fismes, France
17. Prior to David Mead’s 1788 arrival in Meadville, it was a native American settlement named:
a. Rolling Stone Summit
d. Singing Waters
18. Which Meadville landmark was built by community bond issue in 1957?
a. Little Caesar’s at Park Ave. and North St.
b. Chestnut Street Trolley Company
c. Academy Theater
d. David Mead Inn
19. Which famous person slept in Meadville three-and-a-half decades before it was founded?
b. George Washington
c. Rod Serling
d. Queen Elizabeth
20. The Crawford County Fair’s major musical act in 1989 was:
a. Young Miley Cyrus
c. Andy Griffith and Barney Fife Duet
d. Randy Travis
A N S W E R S
1. c. W – Mary Gene Winslow, named after the founder’s daughter. “WMGW first went on the air back in 1947, as the very first radio station in all of Crawford County, founded by Meadville physician Dr. Harry C. Winslow,” according to wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WMGW
2. b. 1896 – “The first ‘flicker,’ as early movies were called, was shown at the Academy in 1896.” ~ “A Concise History of the City of Meadville,” Anne W. Stewart, 1993
3. a. Hunter Hill-“…Baldwin, upon visiting his son, fell in love with a house in Tennessee known as ‘Hunter Hill,’ drawing plans of this house to bring with him back to Meadville, where in 1842 he and his wife settled on a 24 1/2 acre estate on Terrace Street.” http://baldwinreynolds.org/museum-history/
4. d. Tarr Mansion, Diamond Square – “James and Elizabeth Tarr are considered to be one of the first oil barons in our nation’s history. Finding oil on their farm near Titusville allowed struggling farmers of a simple background to become our very own mix of “Downton Abbey” and “The Beverly Hillbillies,” as stated at http://www.crawfordhistorical.org/chs/support/tarr-mansion-meadville
Tarr Mansion’s restoration project by the Crawford County Historical Society.
5. c. The Senecas – “Cornplanter’s Senecas summered here to fish and raise corn,” according to, “A Concise History of the City of Meadville,” Anne W. Stewart, 1993.
6. b. Meadville – “…Erie, Crawford, Mercer, Venango and Warren were united in one organization for governmental purposes, with the general title of Crawford County, under an act passed April 9, 1801. The county seat was at Meadville,” is stated on page 137 of “The History of Erie County,” 1884, Warner, Beers & Co.
7. a. Crawford Weekly Messenger, which was started in 1805. “Mr. (Thomas) Atkinson edited and published his paper until 1833. At first he was obliged to pack his paper along winding Indian paths, on horseback, more than two hundred miles, one hundred thirty miles of which distance past by but three or four houses,” as stated at https://www.yoset.org/history/1876/newspapers.html
8. c. 151. This beautiful fountain was a gift to the city of Meadville’s Diamond Park in 1863 to help inspire the town to beautify the area.
9. b. big top. Meadville’s Redevelopment Authority was formed the following year, in 1957.
10. c. Oakwood Park, which was a popular resort capable of attracting 20,000 people for big events as 1900 rolled in. “By 1920 all of the structures with the exception of the Dance Pavilion had been torn down,” at Oakwood Park according to http://crawfordpahistory.blogspot.com/2016/07/oakwood-park-meadville-pa.html
11. c. Exposition Park (details at same link as above). Trolley lines were extended to Exposition Park, from Meadville, in 1907.
12. a. ginger ale. According to the Crawford Messenger, “…these ‘sparkling waters’ were held in high regard by the Indians and early settlers of the area. Henry Johnson took to bottling the waters and around 1887 was touted as ‘showing commendable business enterprise’ … It was available plain or carbonated and was used in the making of an ‘extra fine quality’ ginger ale.”
13. c. sea serpent. “The brochure explains in scant detail how numerous parties described seeing what looked like a ‘great section of a telegraph pole’ moving across the surface of the water and then disappearing once their steamer neared it,” according to http://crawfordpahistory.blogspot.com/2016/07/7-peculiar-tales-from-conneaut-lake.html
14. c. Patent Law. “For Meadville men problem-solving was a way of life, patent filing a common occurrence,” as stated at
15. c. Market House – This local commerce site has been a popular spot for many reasons for many years. “Following the Civil War, once grass was in Diamond Park, animals would graze there then be brought to the Market House and be put up for auction,” according to https://sites.google.com/a/allegheny.edu/meadville/history
Meadville’s Market House December 2016
16. d. Fismes, France – “Fismes (pronounced “Feem”) is a small village 68 miles NE of Paris with a population of 5,418. Fismes and the City of Meadville have developed a Sister-City relationship originating from WWI and the actions taken by soldiers from the Meadville and Crawford County area,” according to http://www.cityofmeadville.org/index.asp?SEC=7C93792F-14EB-43A8-B6A6-50B7EA82A3C3&Type=B_BASIC
17. b. Cussewago, which was founded by Chief Custaloga, aka Packanke, chief of the Lenni-Lenapes. They were also referred to as the Delaware tribe.
18. d. David Mead Inn, 455 Chestnut St., which has evolved into its present use as Juniper Village.
19. b. George Washington – 35 years prior to its founding, young George Washington bunked down in an area that is presently part of Meadville on Dec. 8, 1753. He was 21 at the time.
20. d. Randy Travis. Advance reserve ticket prices were $15 for racetrack, $12 for grandstand. Payment was by either bank check or Postal Money Order via snail mail well ahead of time. The brochure states, “NO PERSONAL CHECKS,” a stern warning which implied an additional financial step to get advance tickets for this popular rising musical star. Historically speaking, there was not yet any such thing as Paypal or other instantaneous internet payment systems. Or internet, for that matter.
photo ad from 1989 Crawford County Fair brochure
S C O R I N G K E Y
16-20 Madsville for Meadville – You love local history so much it’s part of your life, and you’re a walking, talking Meadvilliesseur to your Crawford County core. You’d probably rather linger near Mead’s log cabin replica or hang around Hank’s frozen custard stand than chill at a big cold-natured ice cream chain. If enthusiasm is contagious, then you are a walking epidemic, passing Cussewago passion to any and all who will listen. No matter where you go, a generous piece of your history-loving heart will always beat for Meadville, Pennsylvania.
10-15 Meadville History Maximizer – Your local roots have a deep foothold, and you are well informed on Meadville’s past and present. You might have strolled past the historic Tarr Mansion on your way to junior high school, and admired the sparkling waters flowing from Shippen fountain. There’s a powerful chance you know right where “Fairyland Forest” was, and as you grew older, you might have found it difficult to refrain from riding the Blue Streak multiple times whenever you visited Conneaut Lake Park.
4-9 Historic Meadville Muller – Knowing enough about the past to get by is always a good thing, so your knowledge provides a solid foundation for enjoyable contemplation and potential expansion. It’s possible you might have found yourself admiring the architecture of Allegheny College’s majestic structures, and wondering what Meadville was like a hundred years ago at some point. It’s also entirely possible that you have lingered an extra moment or two in front of the huge photograph inside of the downtown mall, contemplating the throngs of people packed at the Meadville train station to hear a politician’s speech. (Hint, if you haven’t seen this picture, it’s still there).
0-3 Meadville Matriculator – Local museums matter greatly, and can open one’s eyes and offer historical perspectives, especially when you regard them as fresh, exciting presents you get to open one at a time. The good news is that there are a variety of museums and historical places within a stone’s throw away from each other in Meadville. The better news is that you only need to walk around to see smatterings of history in modern day sights, buildings and places. As you collect and gather history fragments, weave them together and create your own colorful tapestry of now vs then to find dazzling clarity in your vividly magnificent Meadville visualizations, which won’t be murky any longer.
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Christine Lorraine, aka “xtinethewriter,” worked as Editor for Brown-Thompson Newspapers 1987-1991, and worked as a TV sales executive 1996-2003 throughout the Erie, Meadville and Pittsburgh regions. She was elected and served a four-year term as Majority Inspector of Elections in Millcreek Township’s 5th Ward 2009-2013. She has published over 4,000 location photographs on Google which have been observed by 300,000,000 Googlers, and is the author of the ongoing “Xtine’s 20 Questions” series.