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“Good for kids, somewhat interesting, but needs sprucing up and more history displays” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Old Bedford Village

Old Bedford Village
220 Sawblade Rd., Bedford, PA 15522
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Ranked #4 of 18 things to do in Bedford
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Attraction details
Annandale, Virginia
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
38 attraction reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
96 helpful votes 96 helpful votes
“Good for kids, somewhat interesting, but needs sprucing up and more history displays”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2011

i visited Bedford Village on June 26, 2011. I was driving through Bedford on my way home to Northern VA. I had gone by this village many times and decided to stop in. I was a little disappointed. It is comprised of log or wooden structures and is supposed to represent a 18th or early 19th century frontier town. I agree with another reviewer on this site; the village is tired and worn looking and needs some major upgrading. It does not seem that well kept up. Additional historical displays and more information about each structure would have added interest. At the end of the village, there is a Victorian house and another home that looks like it is from the later 19th century or early 20th century. They just don't fit in. The structures are supposed to represent the kind of shops and homes you would see in a western Pennsylvania frontier town, such as private residences, church, school, tavern, country store, bakery, tannery, tinsmith, pharmacy, gun and rifle shop, etc. Some of the structures have docents, others do not. Not all structures have dates on them, so you do not know if they are original or not, where they came from or the history of the families who lived in them. Some have been built specifically for the village so many have been made to look old but are really not.

Docents are dressed in 18th century clothing. The docent at one of the private residences was very friendly and helpful and talked in detail about her 18th century home to me. I asked her about the village since I had never been there before. She said that some of the structures were rescued from destruction and came from the surrounding Bedford area. However, others were built specifically for the village. I believe she said the village was about 30 years old. The young ladies at the bakery were very friendly and they sell terrific sugar cookies! The lady at the country store was pleasant too. There was a lady spinning wool at one of the residences and she was informative about the making of clothing. Some structures were unoccupied so there is not much to tell you about them except by noting the kinds of items that are housed inside. Other docents in the buildings seemed indifferent or don't talk to you at all. Some of them looked bored. They looked as tired and worn as this village! There is a lot of walking involved, so wear good walking shoes and go in good weather!

Reinactments are held during the year and other activities for kids but some do not fit the time period of the village; perhaps they have to do this to keep the village solvent. When I was there, a Wild West show was scheduled for that weekend, but I missed that; most activities were earlier in the day and I arrived in late afternoon. They do have French and Indian War reinactments which would be more in period with the structures. Kids might enjoy the village more than adults; it would give them an idea of what frontier life was like, especially to see the different kinds of trades practiced in the shops. Some structures such as the school in the round and the 18th century private residence were interesting, but I found the entire complex tired and worn looking and one needed more information about each structure to make it a real learning experience. I also would have liked to have seen all original structures on the site, not just a few old builings and the rest newly built (but built to look old). This would have made the village more authentic. The visitor's center could have housed some historical displays about frontier life and perhaps a history time line of Bedford or the western Pennsylvania area would have been a good educational tool.

There is also a very small gift shop on the grounds. The items were OK, but they could have had a much larger inventory. They were offering stagecoach rides when I was there and there were a few people riding horses about, so you have to watch where you walk!

I certainly do not think this place is worth the $10 admission for adults. There are probably other living history villages that are more interesting, educational and informative, and I guess part of my disappointment is that I would really would rather see buildings in their original location and not moved to an artificial setting but I realize that some of these buildings were rescued from destruction so perhaps putting them in a village such as this is the only way they could be preserved. I would say if you are in the Bedford area and want to spend a couple of hours on a pleasant afternoon, especially if there is a special event going on, such as a reinactment, you might make a visit, but I would not go out of my way to see this attraction.

Visited June 2011
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90 reviews from our community

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  • English first
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English first
right here
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
74 helpful votes 74 helpful votes
“needs some major work; looks extremely tired”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2010

This was likely a very nice place at one time back in the day, but is in serious need of some major work. It is extremely tired. and has not been well kept at all, While meant to look 'primative' due to the era, there's no excuse for stairs to be broken with pieces sticking up. Lots of random nails sticking out of the walls. Observed a little boy tear his shirt! The whole place just nees to be kept up better.

However, some of the costumed interpreters barely spoke! WTH! The ice cream in the tavern was ok but skip the cookies, eeeyuck, like cardboard.

If you're looking for something similar,a restored vilage, try Ambridge, closer to Pittsburgh, or Greenfield Village in Dearbon MI, or Conners Prairie in Indie, Indiana, or best yet, Williamsburg Va. All the above are considered Gems by the AAA, and bedford Village was not. Whyyy we didn't heed this, I don't know, but I truly wouldn't waste my $10 per adult here.

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beautiful Harpers Ferry WV
Top Contributor
98 reviews 98 reviews
45 attraction reviews
Reviews in 54 cities Reviews in 54 cities
124 helpful votes 124 helpful votes
“a solid 3-and-a-half stars (but that wasn't an option)”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2010

I wouldn't go out of my way to visit this place, but if you're nearby... it was OK. Only cost $25 total for Dad, Mom, and 8-year-old son. It was different (at least for us).

We came when there was some kind of WWII display going on. Apparently there was a battle reenactment in the early afternoon, but we missed it. Anyway, so here we are from the 2000s, visiting a place that was supposed to be from, um, the 1700s? Never was quite sure. And then you've got all these WWII guys traipsing about. It was all a bit discombobulating. Like, what the heck is this place trying to be?

In keeping with that theme, suddenly we came upon a stable, which included a couple of nice horses that we had fun feeding. But did that have something to do with the 1700s? Or WWII? Or the current owner just needed a place to keep his horses?

We got a couple of cookies which, like the rest of this place, weren't too expensive but not really all that exciting either.

The best part about the place was the studly young "German" guys showing off all their weaponry (no, that's not a euphemism!). They were really into all that stuff, could tell you all about it, it was quite interesting, and of course our 8-year-old (a boy, did I mention) was really thrilled. Rifles, grenades, bazookas, oh my.

So there were parts that were 4-star fun, but too many other parts that were kinda 3-star dull. Overall 3-and-a-half stars, like I said.

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Richmond, Virginia
Top Contributor
134 reviews 134 reviews
42 attraction reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
218 helpful votes 218 helpful votes
“Old Beford Village, Historic—Enjoyable—Beautiful”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2009

Just one more great thing to do in Bedford County, Pennsylvania, Old Bedford Village reeks of history. It is a living history village dedicated to preserving and interpreting PA's history, especially early rural architecture, arifacts, and folk life. Some of the buildings date to the 1700s.
On the weekend of August 15th/16th, we traveled to Old Bedford Village to participate in their annual French & Indian War re-enactment. It was great fun to visually see Great Britian clash with the French and their Indian allies. Scattered through the village were camps from all sides. We took over 275 digital photos, creating a long and lasting memory book for our Flickr account.
This is another must see living history museum in Pennsylvania. Similar in concept to the Landis Valley Museum in Lancaster County, both bring history to life. Both take our 21st century hearts and souls back hundreds of years in very authentic ways. We recommend this museum highly and wish more could experience this place that overwhelmingly creates a vivid place and a time in our history.

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