idyllic ~ by guest blogger Courtney Accurti, Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs (PSAB)

idyllic  / i ·dyl ·lic /  adjective: suitable for or suggestive of an idyll (i.e. unspoiled, sylvan, pastoral, arcadian); charmingly simple or rustic

There is a bedroom community in the State College area, Millheim Borough, a small town nestled in the heart of Penns Valley with its main street running along State Route 45. It’s an idyllic community where people greet each other on the street and assist with beautification and improvement projects, often surrounding its historic area.


Depicting the area and lifestyle of the borough is a mural painted on the side of the Elk Creek Cafe, a bar and restaurant that brews its own beer and serves locally-sourced food. The artist who created the mural held town meetings to solicit suggestions and recommendations. But the participation did not stop there. The local artist encouraged residents and business owners to pick up brushes to paint sections that had been outlined in a paint-by-numbers fashion. The resulting mural is a reflection of the community’s lifestyle, values, and hands-on contributions.


Just 30 miles from the metropolitan area of State College, Millheim evokes a sense of nostalgia. A small park in the center of town grasps your attention in springtime as the beds of petunia’s bloom brightly in the forefront of a gazebo and youth can be found playing baseball in the fields behind the borough hall. It’s a town where the streets are dotted with Victorian era homes and small business owners include restaurateurs, a butcher, and a barber.

This quaint, yet modern community will charm you with its cordial residents, historic treasures, and scenic beauty. Millheim has been able to use its people, infrastructure, and natural resources to create a livable community. What assets  does you town  have that it can use to its benefit?