Why would anyone want to travel to a small town? How small you ask? I am talking only 2,063 people; give or take a few, in Brockway Pennsylvania. It may not be much, but it’s where all 2,000 of us call home. We are located in the western part of Pennsylvania, if you are coming from Pittsburgh and you follow 28 North you will literally run right into us. While on my family’s most recent vacation to St. Lucia, we met a family and the dad was a chemistry teacher from Columbus, Ohio. The topic got brought up about school; when I said that the graduating class of 2014 will only have about 60 graduates and that each year every student knows every other student in their class; he was mind blown. He teaches a grade with about 500 kids where there are not even 500 kids in Brockway’s high school grades 7-12. Although for being so small we are a very proud and close knit community. Two years ago our chemistry teacher, Mr. Tim Chelednik was nominated for teacher of the year, last year our junior british literature teacher, Mr. Ryan Devlin was awarded teacher of the year, and this year our agriculture teacher, Mr. Kyle Norman is nominated for this prestigious award. We could not be happier that we have such quintessential teachers in our little town.
Brockway has a museum located downtown by the local park and swimming pool. It has all the information and historical insight about our little town. For instance in 1821 John Smith Brockway bought land from a treasure’s sale in Indiana, Pennsylvania on which Brockway would soon be built. Later in 1822, John’s brothers James M. and Alonzo Brockway settled along Toby Creek which runs right through the middle of this small town. A. M. Clarke was the first teacher at the first school that was established in 1828. A few years later in 1836 Brockway was first laid out as a town by Dr. A. M. Clarke, but was then called Brockwayville. It was however not incorporated as a town until 1883. A good majority of citizens claim the glass plant as their profession where they manufacture and process glass bottles. It has been a thriving company since 1907. Years later in 1958 the high school that many of us go to today, was first opened. Brockway may be small but its impact is huge.
If you want to talk about celebration, no town celebrates Independence Day quite like Brockway. The population grows exponentially with many festivities. In the morning participants have a chance to enter a bike race, a 10k, a basketball 3vs3 tournament, go fishing, visit the art show, hear bands, experience the car show, watch the parade, and whiteness the incredible fireworks show to finish off the day.
Many people, especially the younger generation always complain about being bored and that there is nothing to do in this small town. They do not take into consideration everything Brockway has to offer; they just have to look around. Everyone says they cannot wait to leave this small town and move to a city. Dreams are fine and excellent to have, but something that all 2000 of us will share are the memories that we made in our small knit community where everyone knows everyone; people are always there for you and you can always find a friend. Brockway is just a town on a map that most people never see, but its home and has a great impact to all the rest of us that call it home.
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