Big time birthday for a Perry County town

It's a
welcome mat of beauty surrounding this western Perry county community. It's a
town named after mill owner James Blaine, 250 years ago. The “e” in
Blain has since disappeared, but not the small town feel enjoyed by the
borough's 305 residents.

“Dad likes
to set on the porch. And people will go by and they'll wave. They'll blow the
horn,” said his daughter Joan Stone.

Her dad is
96 year old Ken Morrow, a retired farmer who says he loves living where some
people call “out in the sticks.”

“It is
out, but, I guess you have to be kind of used to that,” said Morrow. But,
I don't think we'd trade it for city life, no time.”

In its
earliest days, Blain's early economy was built around mills, tanneries, farms
and the railroad, with small businesses lining downtown's dirt streets. Today,
farming is still big in Sherman's Valley, and mom and pop stores remain a vital
part of Blain's commerce. It's a place where one's faith and old glory are
always in season. It's where the lions club and Heritage Days are a big deal.
And, downtown traffic is safe enough for four legged residents. Looking ahead
for Blain, Mayor Don Smith says blending the town's past with its future is a

want to try our utmost best to bring it (Blain) back, similar to what it was,
as far as the buildings and the upkeep,” said Smith.

One of those
believing in Blain's future is the new owner of the town's landmark Blain
Hotel, Janel Beaston.

“It's a
very close knit community and anybody would do anything for you,” said
Beaston. “Everybody knows each other. If you need something, you go ask
your neighbor to help.”

And for
anyone visiting Blain for the first time, life-long resident Joan Stone had
this advice: “Relax. Enjoy the scenery and smell the roses.”

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