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Keister Family Band 6/15/13

June 10, 2013


The Keister Family Band has been performing for about 4 years with our current members, but we’ve been around forever!  Our members include brothers John and Jay Keister, and their sisters, Nancy Jeannerat and Dixie Wentling.  Niece Susan Ochs rounds out the 5-member band.  Jay’s son, Jake helps out on the mandolin whenever he is available.

John and Dixie keep rhythm on guitars, Nancy plays the fiddle, Jay steals the show on the banjo, and Susan keeps time on the bass fiddle.  We share the vocals and enjoy close, family harmony.

We can never remember a time when music wasn’t a big part of our lives.  Parents John and Wilda Keister played instruments and raised a musical family of 12 children.  From accordions, to fiddles, to pianos and guitars, there was always an abundance of instruments in the back room of our house in Pine City. 

2011 05 2527 Kiester

Dan Garret and Sam Berlin 6/8/13 7PM at the Mill

June 3, 2013


Dan Garret started playing guitar at the age of nine.  At age 13 he began to play the organ for his parents’ tent and church evangelistic ministry.  In 1994 Dan founded the Bluegrass group “Limited Edition” which has been performing for over fifteen years. The music is a blend of progressive driving bluegrass and solid gospel, and includes much of Dan’s original material. 

Sam Berlin is a retired computer programmer/analyst.  Sam has been involved with music all his life, singing in various choirs and men’s groups, playing in several bluegrass bands, the praise band Pathways, and enjoys jamming with friends at every opportunity. Sam plays bass and 5 string banjo and loves bluegrass and southern gospel music, praise and worship music.


Southside Stringdings 6/1/13

May 27, 2013


“The Southside Stringdings” are a home-grown Oil City duo with a sound and flavor uniquely their own.  Local singer/songwriters Dan Littler and his son Mitch Littler perform original songs and standards that capture the joys of everyday life and those of times past. Dan and Mitch have performed at various venues in the area including Pipeline Alley, Oil Heritage Days, Foxburg, local churches, bluegrass festivals and coffee houses.Southside Stringdogs

Emlenton Mill Free Saturday Night Concert Schedule

May 20, 2013


Saturday Night Music at the Mill – 2013

7PM on the Patio – Free

May 18 – Zac and Bernie   

May 25 – Susan and David Dingle.

June 1 – The Southside Stringdings

June 8 – Sam Berlin and Dan Garret

June 15 – Keister Band

June 22  – Black Joker

June 29  – In Transition 

July 6 – The Southside Stringdings

July 13 – Bill Huber Jr, Ron Shoup and Glenn Cochran, Patrick Huber

July 20 -Donald Bolt

July 27 -Fawmstock

Aug. 3 – Sweet Adelines

Aug. 10 – Isaac McNany and Mikayla

Aug. 17 -Bill Huber Jr, Ron Shoup and Glenn Cochran, Patrick Huber

Aug. 24 – Keister Band 

Aug. 31 –  In Transition

Sept. 7 – Garret Heath

Sept. 14 – Black Joker

Sept. 21 – Sam Berlin and Dan Garret

Sept. 28  – Holey Jeans  

Oct. 1  –  Joy Wilsted violins 

The 3 of Us at the Mill April 27th at 7PM

April 24, 2013


The 3 of Us in a free concert at the Emlenton Mill on Saturday 4/27/13 7PM

Family acoustic trio of brother, sister, and cousin that played together from 1994-2005 with 3 marriages and 9 kids to boot.

Performing music from artists that inspired them and music of their own in the Western PA music scene and also regionally in the north east US, The 3 of Us touched thousands of people in the 11 years that they performed together. In that time they also managed to release 2 albums of original work. Allegheny Hideaway was released in 1997 and Sketches 4 years later in 2001. Both albums received critical praise and songs from both albums did very well on the newly blossoming mp3 charts.

Three of us

The Old Emlenton Mill – Re-Opening April 27th

April 24, 2013


The Old Emlenton Mill – Re-Opening April 27th

            The Old Emlenton Mill is one of the MUST –SEE stops in Emlenton.  The historic grain mill was part of the Oil Boom of the 19th century. Its steam engine drew natural gas from a gas well on Main Street, and the water was piped in from a spring on Hill Street.  The Mill operated as a gristmill for one hundred years, from 1875 through 1975.  The Mill, in its glory days was so efficient that trains brought the grain from the Mid-West to be ground into flour and returned to the Midwest. The Mill has been recognized as an historic landmark with a plaque by the Oil Region Alliance, and restoration is continuing by the Old Emlenton Mill Foundation, a non profit corporation dedicated to promoting education, history, the arts, and scenic natural surroundings of the area.



The Mill is an interesting place to visit to see a glimpse of our past heritage and is now set up as a museum.  The museum will take you through the ins and outs of how this old gristmill actually ran.  The tour highlights some of the building’s historic machines and unique features that made this gristmill one of the finest in the country. There is a small display featuring the creative uses that farmers’ wives found for empty flour sacks, including a revolving display of quilts, aprons, toys, dresses and other items. . The Old Emlenton Mill Foundation strives to fulfill our mission by offering a variety of art classes, concerts, historic lectures, artist retreats, art shows, and historic education through the new museum.



While cycling, touring, canoeing, or just summer living, you can develop a hot, thirsty, appetite. The Emlenton Mill Creamery features sixteen flavors of hand packed ice cream, sundaes, ice cream cakes for that special occasion, espresso coffee drinks, milkshakes, floats, smoothies and Panini’s.   We also host birthday parties and showers. You can enjoy your treats on the comfortable, scenic patio overlooking the Allegheny River.


The Bunkhouse, with its rustic charms and updated amenities, is modeled after European hostels.   The bunkhouse can accommodate up to 35 people on two floors with each floor having a kitchenette, two bathrooms, two showers and a private “family” room for guests who would like a bit more privacy.  Other amenities include laundry facilities and access to the game room with pool tables, ping pong, and air hockey.   Our facility is located in the heart of some great outdoor activities, like canoeing, kayaking, biking the Allegheny Bike Trail, fishing, swimming, hiking, riding Segways and so much more.   The Bunkhouse is great for retreats. In the past, the Bunkhouse has hosted boy scouts, college groups, international song writers, Red Hatters, church groups, service organizations, and even birthday parties and family reunions.


Throughout the summer, the Old Emlenton Mill Foundation features our free Saturday Night Patio Concerts on the Creamery porch over looking the Allegheny River. The concerts showcase talent from the surrounding communities. There is something for every musical taste, from jazz to country, barbershop to gospel, and pops and show tunes. You can find the schedule on the web at



Shelly’s Kountry Kollectibles opened this past November and is a unique craft store that specializes in country home décor and carries Primitives, Americana and Country Crafts.   Shelly’s Kountry Kollectibles also features independent crafters from all over the country and even England.  With Shelly’s wide variety of merchandise you will be sure you can find something for you decorating needs or the perfect gift for someone special.  For a peek at what Shelly’s Kountry Kollectibles has, go to, or better yet, come in for a visit.



Little it Deli, the newest addition to the Mill family, will open its doors on April 27th.   Little it Deli is an Italian Delicatessen and Pizzeria that will feature a menu with homemade, expressive Italian tastes.   The menu will be focused on delicatessen items such as hoagies, ciabattas, soups, salads as well as pasta dishes, pizza and calzones.  Proprietor Julie Powell has dedicated the specialties of the house to her historic Italian relatives.  She would be glad to share their stories with you. The deli will be a full service deli that will carry Italian lunchmeats and cheeses.  Take out or eat in and you can check out the menu at


The Old Emlenton Mill it located at 201 Main Street in Emlenton.  The grand re-opening is on Saturday, April 27th.  The Mill will feature the talented local band, “The Three of Us”,  that will we doing a reunion concert at 7pm on the patio.  For more information, look us up on the web at, or call 724-867-0277.

We hope to see you at the Emlenton Mill this summer!

Mill gets Mini Grant

December 4, 2012



Seven Organizations to Receive Mini-GrantsBy Kim Harris, Project Manager 


Congratulations to the seven recipients in the second cycle of the Educational Partner Mini-Grant Program for Oil and Natural Gas History and Preservation in the Oil Region. A total of $10,290 was awarded in this most recent round of funding for various projects from interactive historic educational displays to a condition assessment for preservation of a historic monument.

These seven projects will leverage nearly $17,300 in matching funds from private sources; meaning $27,590 in projects will assist in educating the public region’s oil and natural gas history and preservation of our historic resources.

Receiving grant awards in the second cycle are:

  • Titusville Renaissance, Inc.; $625 for a “Historic Preservation Workshop”
  • Titusville Renaissance, Inc.; $690 for the “Towne Square Mural Brochure”
  • Central Elementary School; $2,000 for “School Heritage Tours”
  • Old Emlenton Mill Foundation; $2,000 for the “Emlenton Mill Interactive Information Displays”
  • Franklin Civic Operetta Association; $2,000 for “We’ve Struck Oil”
  • Historic Franklin Preservation Association; $2,000 for a “Condition Assessment for the Preservation of the Venango County Civil War Monument”
  • Titusville Alumni Association; $975 for “Tarbell Tea House”

In addition to these seven recipients, in August of this year two projects were awarded funds in the first cycle of the mini-grant program. The Venango Museum of Art, Science & Industry received $1,000 for “Free Student Tours;” and Seventh Street School (Oil City School District) received $2,000 for “Third Grade Community Day.”

The Educational Partner Mini-Grant Program is a re-granting program administered by the Oil Region Alliance.  It is financed in part by a grant from the Community Conservation Partnership Program, the Environmental Stewardship Fund, under the administration of the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation.  Recipients must provide matching funds (equal to the grant received.)

For more information on any of these projects or the Educational Mini-Grant Partnership Program, please contact Kim Harris, Project Manager at 814-677-3152, Ext. 120; or email


Emlenton Walking Tour

November 26, 2012


Walking Tour in Emlenton (from the Oil Region Alliance web site)

The quaint town of Emlenton hugs the eastern hillside of the Allegheny River, marking the downstream conclusion of the federally designated Wild and Scenic Allegheny River.  Two exits of I-80 provide direct access to the east and west banks of this community which in 2006 had 748 residents.

This southern gateway to the Oil Region National Heritage Area has a proud history beginning way before the oil and gas industries which dominated its economy and architecture for many decades.  For instance, by 1839 there were 20 iron furnaces in operation within a 16-mile radius of this center of riverine commerce.  Several major energy providers trace their roots to Emlenton, including Columbia Gas Company which began in 1882 as the Emlenton Gas Light and Fuel Company, and Quaker State Oil Refining Corporation which was formed in 1931 as a merger of numerous regional firms.  Today, Emlenton is known for its recreational outfitters, its bicycle trailhead on the smooth asphalt Allegheny Valley Trail, antique shops, a growing number of artists, and as the corporate headquarters of Farmers National Bank.

A 22-station set of colorful descriptive panels line a walking tour which takes the leisurely ambler about an hour to traverse, guided by the free walking tour brochure which is available through the Oil Region Alliance and found at the tour’s beginning point, the Crawford Center on Hill Street.  Be sure to wear comfortable shoes for this stroll, because the tour covers much of the hillside residential and Main Street retail portions of Emlenton.
The walking tour showcases interesting architectural examples of oil family homes, houses of worship, and commercial buildings past and present.  Each panel includes historic photographs, illustrations, and text regarding one or more topics, as well as a series of prior and current oil/gas logos associated with Emlenton history.

Originally installed in 2002 and 2003, some of the panels ‘aged’ rapidly in the bright sunshine in this valley.  Therefore, in the summer of 2007, a fresh set of duplicate panels were put into place by the Oil Region Alliance with its partners the Pumping Jack Museum and the Borough of Emlenton.


November 17, 2012


11/17/12 Paul and Michael put up the star on the Mill

Southside Stringdings

September 29, 2012


“The Southside Stringdings” are a home-grown Oil City duo with a sound and flavor uniquely their own.  Local singer/songwriters Dan Littler and his son Mitch Littler perform original songs and standards that capture the joys of everyday life and those of times past.

Dan and Mitch have performed at various venues in the area including Pipeline Alley, Oil Heritage Days, Foxburg, local churches, bluegrass festivals and coffee houses.