The Bridges of Washington County

Quick Escapes Pittsburgh | 2001

In her book Quick Escapes Pittsburgh, published in 2001 by Globe Pequot Press, Michelle Pilecki writes:

” DAY 1
….. Evening
LODGING:   Head back to farm country along PA 844 and get away from the madding crowd at Weatherbury Farm (724-587-3763;

BREAKFAST:  Stoke up on a farm breakfast of fresh eggs, baked goods, and more, served buffet-style at 8:30 A.M.

Weatherbury is a real working farm — it has been at least since 1860 and possibly much earlier, though the the buildings are mainly from the 1920s — primarily raising cattle and sheep. And to turn a profit, the farm grows its own feed: timothy grass, alfalfa and clover. Folks wanting a full farm stay can pitch right in and get at least a taste of the modern farm experience with the Tudor family, who even provide a booklet about Weatherbury Farm, which includes farm lingo.

After breakfast, start with the daily tour. Yes, you can feed the animals — the shaggy-coated Scottish Highland cattle like carrots and apples. All the animals have literary names (Weatherbury itself is named for Thomas Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd): The Hereford cattle are Shakespearean characters, the Southdown sheep Dickensian, bantam chickens from Lewis Carroll, guinea fowl for Tudor royalty, Indian runner ducks for Native Americans, and the billy goat, of course, is Gruff. And while most farms don’t have a resident blacksmith, this one does, operated by son Nigel (stop by and visit the forge).

If you’re strictly on vacation, just lounge by the pool (in season, of course), play lawn games put together puzzles in the music room, learn more about farming from the variety of videos and books on hand, or just hang out and check out the farm (do observe the safety rules, though; this is a real farm, not a theme park).”