"Zelienople-A Town To Be Proud Of" Zelienople by VeronicaG

Zelienople Travel Guide: 7 reviews and 15 photos

Graceful Homes and Friendly People

It was always a delight to visit this charming little town when we lived in nearby Cranberry Township. Although most of the stores have changed hands since that time, some of those I used to frequent are still there.

On a recent visit to see our family living in the Pittsburgh area, we carved out some time to meet friends for lunch, take a few photos and reminisce a bit.

Zelienople sits about 28 miles North of Pittsburgh. It was established in 1802 by Baron Detmar Basse who purchased 10,000 acres on his arrival from Frankfort, Germany,

The town was named for Zelie Basse, the eldest daughter of the Baron. His "three story castle" known as The Bassenheim was destroyed by fire in 1842 and no longer exists.

After marrying Philip Louis Passavant, Zelie and her husband arrived at this small southwestern Pennsylvania town in 1807 and it's likely they moved into their new house in 1809. Detmar had a modest 2 1/2 story house erected for them as a wedding present, which remains and is open for tours on select days.

Records show that Philip Passavant opened the first store in town in the same year, eventually passing it on to his son, C.S. Passavant, after 41 years of ownership.

Basse sold half of his acreage to a religous leader, Georg Rapp, who created Harmony, a small village near Zelienople. See my Harmony tip for more on this historic settlement.

Zelienople was primarily an agricultural area in its early years, but once the railroad scheduled regular stops in the town in 1878, it expanded to include more businesses and residences*.

The antique shops often drew me here for a 'girls afternoon out' with my Mom or friends, followed by leisurely lunch at The Kaufmann House or other eatery.

My husband and I often drove up and down these pretty tree-lined streets, wistfully selecting homes we'd love to call our own. A few years ago, purchasing one of Zelienople's architectural beauties was only possible through word of mouth.

My favorite event in town is Horse Trading Days, held in the summer. Crafts, music, games and other activities make this a real family occasion. I remember cheering for the little boy of a friend of ours who was entered in a talent contest here. He made the cutest little cowboy you'd ever want to see!

*(history from wikipedia.com)

  • Last visit to Zelienople: Sep 2008
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (8)

Comments (6)

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    May 21, 2010 at 1:08 AM

    Veronica, lovely little page with brilliant photos here. I must admit that I have never heard about Zelienople before. The name of this place sounds interesting.

  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo
    May 30, 2009 at 8:08 AM

    Baldinger's sounds just the sort of store I love to visit. What a pretty little town, you really make it come alive with your memories of good times spent there with friends anfd family. leyle

  • Dabs's Profile Photo
    Jan 6, 2009 at 7:23 PM

    I'm a chocoholic but chocolate covered ants and grasshoppers is going a little too far!

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Sep 22, 2008 at 3:10 PM

    This is marvelous; just the kind of town that I so love to visit, and your introduction and comprehensive tips are excellent.

  • Maria250's Profile Photo
    Sep 16, 2008 at 12:07 PM

    So beautiful - stunning!! GREAT tip on "Baldinger's- Food From All Nations"! Really waters my mouth.

  • kyoub's Profile Photo
    Sep 10, 2008 at 4:37 AM

    What a lovely area to be from. Beautiful homes and nice photos.


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