Story and Photo By Stephanie Kalina-Metzger
Linglestown was established in 1765 by Thomas Lingle, who hailed from Berks County. After Lingle purchased the land and laid out the town, he named it “The Town of St. Thomas,” for the Christian apostle and his namesake, but many people chose to call it “Lingle’s town.” Lingle died in 1811 and is buried at the St. Thomas United Church of Christ, which was formerly known as Wenrich’s Church Cemetery. After his death, the Linglestown moniker stuck and has been used ever since.
Many view Linglestown as a great place to raise a family. It is home to both Linglestown Middle School and Linglestown Elementary, where there are open grass fields for soccer and lacrosse teams to practice, along with a football field and two playgrounds. During warmer weather, many families can be seen making memories at Koons Park. Located off North Mountain Road, Koons Park spans 33 acres and touts three picnic pavilions, four lighted tennis courts, seven ball diamonds, a football field, lighted basketball and volleyball courts, a swimming pool and more.
Independently Owned Shops
Linglestown is one big family when it comes to small shops that work together synergistically. Visitors can buy anything from upscale pre-owned fashions and new apparel to pottery and even hardware.
Hornungs Ace Hardware on Bluebird Avenue has been in the Linglestown area since 1986 and is owned by Jason and William Hornung, Lisa Worley, and Nicole Greider. Jason said that his father, William Hornung started the store to fill a niche. “He saw a real need for a hardware store in the area, starting with a small store and eventually moving to a larger location,” he explains, adding that the best thing about running the business is being a part of the community. “There’s no better feeling than helping your neighbors day in and out,” he says.
Located in the blocks of shops before Linglestown’s roundabout is another independently owned business that has called Linglestown home for eight years. Mud Queen Pottery opened on Mother’s Day weekend in 2014. Owner Audra Doughty said that she chose Linglestown to bring more creativity and artwork to the area and to showcase other local artists’ work in her retail space. “I wanted to give them the opportunity to consign with us,” she says.
Mud Queen also offers four different class packages for all levels of experience. “There’s the introductory class, where I teach beginner students the basics of using the potter’s wheel. Classes last one hour and 30 minutes and students are taught to make two simple pots,” says Doughty. For those who are interested in a more in-depth experience, Doughty offers an eight-week course for burgeoning potters to hone their skills during longer classes which last three hours. Finally, there are one-time classes that focus on skills like macrame, mug making, wreath building and more.
Fabulous Food and Drink
Linglestown is brimming with places to enjoy a nice lunch, a delicious dinner, an adult libation, or a satisfying cuppa Joe.
One such place located at the west end of Linglestown in the Patton Place Mall is Giottis restaurant. Run by Giovanni Barone and managed by Susan Owen, Giottis is the place to go for Italian dishes like Fettuccini Alfredo and rigatoni. According to Owen, popular dishes include lasagna and seafood vodka comprised of little neck clams, sea scallops and jumbo lump crab meat, tossed in their homemade creamy vodka sauce. “People really enjoy our pasta and meatballs with our homemade marinera sauce,” says Owen, adding that Barone’s mother is responsible for the recipe.
Those who prefer to enjoy Italian specialties from the comfort of their own home can’t go wrong with a trip to Penne from Heaven, owned by Susan and Amanda Requena. The Italian grocery store located at 1019 North Mountain Road sells plump and delicious specialty ravioli and fresh pasta shipped in from Brooklyn, pre-made easy take-home dinners like meat lasagna, baked ziti and meatballs made by their Italian chef, and a variety of jarred sauces, olives, balsamic vinegars, olive oil and more.
Ducking in from the cold for a hot cup of coffee is always a treat this time of year and Geof and Pam Smith are ready and waiting at St. Thomas Roasters, with fresh coffee roasted daily using high quality beans sourced from around the world. Add to that baked oatmeal, muffins, scones, savory croissants and locally made quiche and you have a meal to enjoy at breakfast, lunch, or dinner. St. Thomas Roasters has been a mainstay in Linglestown for more than 21 years now. The cozy coffee house is open seven days a week. Smith laughs when he reflects on his old life as an AMP employee: “When they had those mass layoffs, I was AMPutated. If that hadn’t happened, I would never have had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know so many wonderful customers, staff and suppliers.”
Not far from St. Thomas Roasters is Mellow Minded Café, also open seven days a week. Owner Mike Keller strives to provide the public with healthy choices like detox smoothies, avocado toast, salads, grass fed beef burgers and more. Listed on the menu are also gluten free, dairy free and vegan selections. Keller said that his most popular items are the grilled cheese and tomato bisque soup and the turkey avocado sandwich. Like Smith, Keller also left the corporate world and said he couldn’t be happier.
For adult libations, there’s Spring Gate in the Village. You can’t miss it; just look for a historic church near the square. Owner Martin Schoffstall said they have been open for special events in Linglestown since 2016 and recently partnered with Black Rock Brewing to create a brewery and restaurant. Bobby Weaver, owner of Black Rock Brewing, said that guests can choose from Pennsylvania-made cocktails, slushies, and beer. Chef Tony Glass runs the kitchen and turns out delicious pub fare for customers to pair with their choice of drinks.
If that’s not enough to tickle your tastebuds, there’s Irgo’s Tavern. Located on the east end of town, Irgo’s serves entrees like crab cakes and fish and chips, along with sandwiches, salads, wings, and burgers. Andrea Milliken, a regular, says “Irgo’s is cozy and intimate, and the food is very good.” She adds that the staff is not just friendly, but also efficient, offering a variety of cocktail options, and “the appetizers like the nachos and the Irgo fries are fantastic!”
To end your Linglestown grub crawl, there’s Schenk’s Bakery at 1061 North Mountain Road. Schenk’s has been doing business in Linglestown since 1997. The small batch bakery offers cakes, fresh-baked cookies, cannoli, cupcakes, eclairs and cream puffs, fresh baked fruit pies and seasonal offerings. According to owner Carol Weisser, the most popular items are the strawberry filled cakes, peanut butter cakes and whoopie pies. She says that her customers are her favorite part of running the business. “All my efforts are to provide them with the best baked goods at a reasonable price,” she says.
If you feel like getting to know the history of the town a little better, you can wrap up your exploration with a self-guided walking tour. You’ll find structures that date back to the 1800s that were once taverns, hotels, cabinet makers’ shops and blacksmiths, to name a few. You can access the tour on the Lower Paxton Historical Commission’s website at https://www.lowerpaxton-pa.gov/DocumentCenter/View/258/Historical-Walking-Tour-of-Linglestown—Guide-PDF.
Have fun enjoying time in this quaint and welcoming area, where there’s a little something for everyone.