America's Best History Spotlight
On this page we're going to Spotlight the lesser known historic sites and attractions that dot the history landscape across the USA and are worth a visit if you're in their area. And while they may be lesser known, some are very unique, and will be that rare find. You'll be, at times, on the ground floor, or maybe even know something others don't. It'll be fun. Visit them.
Totem Pole Playhouse, Summer Stock Theater, Caledonia, Pennsylvania
Sometimes it's the unrecognized gem of a visitor attraction you come across when you least expect it. It pops out of the woods along the roadside as you look for signs of more popular places. And for some reason, you stop. Because of a name. Because it seems different. Because it seems fun. All of those things apply as you trace your way, likely to Gettysburg National Military Park, from Interstate 81 in Chambersburg down Lincoln Highway Route 30 from the west. And there it is. The Totem Pole Playhouse, snuggled in the woods of Caledonia State Park with a summer stock program to regail even the most jaded critic. Photo above: Theater entrance to the playhouse.
Info, What's There Now, History Nearby
Totem Pole Playhouse
The Totem Pole Playhouse has been playing host to theatre goers since 1951, and each summer puts on a playbill that includes up and coming, as well as famous actors and actresses to its quaint wood building in the pines. This season, 2014, there was Melissa Gilbert, of Little House on the Prairie fame, in Steel Magnolias, the first production of the year as well as Ken Jenkins (Scrubs) and Jill Larson (All My Children) starting on July 18 in The Foreigners.
The artistic director of the theatre, in 2014, is Rowan Joseph, of Amazing Race fame and a variety of credits in the film, television, and theatre scene from New York to Los Angeles, and he's made it a point of making the Totem Pole a fun and enjoyable evening, or matinee, in the theatre woods.
The 2014 Totem Pole Playhouse Season
Steel Magnolias - May 30 to June 15
Ring of Fire - June 20 to July 13
The Foreigners - July 18 to August 3
Godspell - August 8 to August 13
The 2015 Totem Pole Playhouse Season
The Nerd - May 29 to June 14
The Will Rogers Follies - June 19 to July 12
One Slight Hitch - July 17 to August 2
Grease - August 7 to August 30
Photo above: Outside the 350 seat theatre sits this nice respite in the woods at the Totem Pole Playhouse, Caledonia, Pennsylvania.
Where Is It and How to Get There
Totem Pole Playhouse is located on Route 30, Lincoln Highway, midway between Gettysburg and Chamberburg, Pennsylvania. Street address is 9555 Golf Course Road, Fayetteville, PA 17222. It is also known as Caledonia, Pennsylvania due to the state park. From Gettysburg (Off Route 15) you travel west on Route 30 for twelve miles. From Chambersburg (Off I-81), you travel east on Route 30 for about the same distance. At Caledonia, turn south at the stop light and follow the signs.
What's There Now
Historic indoor theater with summer stock performances by famous and upcoming actors and actresses in the woods around Caledonia State Park and Micheaux State Forest.
How Much to Visit
Individual tickets to a show range from $20 (Previews) to Regular Admission of $50. You can buy a season subsciption for$171. There are discounts for children over the age of 5. No children under 5 are allowed into the shows.
Open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. There are matinee and evening performances, but not on all days.
Totem Pole Playhouse
Gettysburg National Military Park, 14 Miles east.
Caledonia State Park, including the remnants of the Caledonia Iron Works and Blacksmith Shop owned by Thaddeus Stevens and burned on the Confederate path to Gettysburg. Across Route 30 from playhouse.
Michaux State Forest surrounds Caledonia State Park. The Appalachian Trail winds through the forest and park. There is free primitive camping in Micheaux and fee campground camping at Caledonia.
Big Ed's Elephant Village, between Caledonia and Gettysburg.
Photo above: The stockade or small fort that George Washington defended at Fort Necessity.
Photos, History, and More Spotlights
Battle of Kelly's Ford, Rappahannock River, Virginia. Phelps Wildlife Management Area.