On The Road: Montrose

By Jenna Hanchard

August 1, 2011 Updated May 20, 2013 at 3:39 PM EDT

Montrose, PA (WBNG Binghamton) Action News is taking you on a trip this summer, showing you some fun things to do not far from home. This week, we head south of the New York - Pennsylvania border to Montrose.

With less than 2,000 people, it's a small town that's chock full of history.

"There are so many historic buildings in Montrose," says Betty Smith, of the Susquehanna County Historical Society.

A trip down Lake Avenue reveals the beautiful 19th century architecture, mere blocks away from homes that served a vital role in the evolution of our country.

"It was a place where once probably in the 1830's that escaped slaves started coming to Montrose, and they were welcomed here," says Smith. "The stops were very secret, so we only know a few of them. We know that the hotel across the street was a stop at one time."

But don't think Montrose is a borough of times past -- this quaint quarry town has a lot more to offer.

"It's a great place to walk and there are some nice restaurants, antique shops... There is also a great place to buy chocolate, Leopold's."

"It's a high end product you don't expect to find when you're just walking the streets of small town Pennsylvania," says Tom Follert, of Leopold's Chocolates.

Leopold Schreiber has been making candy and chocolates for more than 40 years. The Northern Tier candy man has recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation, from around the world.

"We make all of our candy centers our caramels our toffees, jellies, creams all of the truffles ... they're made in fresh small batches so you never get a bad one,' Follert says.

Leopold's Chocolates even put some of their chocolate profits back into the community.

"We put on a Chocolate and Wine Festival here in Montrose, it's the third Saturday in May every year and this year we raised $20,000 to raise money for the local library and hospital," Follert says.

Who says you can't have desert before your meal? Head on over to the Summer House Grill just off South Main Street. You can smell the fresh food cooking in the kitchen.

"What we hear most of all when people come here is 'Ughhh this is what food used to taste like,'" Kim Glemboski, of the Summer House Grill, says.

The restaurant only gets food from local farms that are agriculturally sustainable. That means there's no chemical pesticides, no growth hormones ... just food!

"To know the people that grow your food there's an intrinsic value in that because you can just feel the passion that they pour into it and a lot of people that come here say that," Glemboski says.

"The atmosphere and the ambience, it's so nice to have a place like this in Montrose that you can come to for lunch or dinner or bring a guest from out of town," Fran Calafut of Montrose says.

When the Summer House Grill fills you up, why not relax at Salt Springs State Park?

"The waterfalls are wonderful there are three waterfalls you can climb up,your kids can climb up kids can play in the stream down there," Toby Anderson, of the Friends of Salt Springs Park says. "There are trails for people who just like hiking around... We have built cottages which are for rent."

Back in 1994, the Commonwealth handed the grounds over to the Friends of Salt Springs Take Park, a private non profit group. Since then the group has been working hard to preserve the land.

"It just boggles my mind to think that if you stood here 300 years ago it would look pretty much like this, and not much different," Anderson says. "100 years from now I hope this park looks just the way it does today."

And like the rest of Montrose, it's the people who work to make what what it was... and what it is today.

Next week, On The Road takes you to Chenango County.