Fred Rogers

Return to Buttermilk Falls

“In talking to others, I have come to believe that for most of us some lonely spot, some private nook, some glen or streamside-scene has impressed us so deeply that even today its memory recalls a mood of lost enchantment.”

Edwin Way Teale
The Lost Woods

For the late Fred Rogers Buttermilk Falls was a place of childhood enchantment. Buttermilk Falls was once owned by Fred McFeely, Mr. Rogers maternal grandfather. As a child Mr. Rogers often visited his grandfather’s farm near Clyde, PA. After Sunday dinners and on summer vacations he would walk the grounds with his grandfather sharing in special times. Many ideas and expressions used in the children’s television program ‘Mr. Rogers Neighborhood’ were originally conceived at Buttermilk Falls

In the late 1970’s Mr. Rogers revisited Buttermilk Falls to film a segment for the PBS series entitled “Old Friends…New Friends”. Two character actors portrayed Mr. Rogers and his grandfather in the program which focused on what different generations can learn from each other.

We have posted photographs on this website of Buttermilk Falls from the Fred McFeely collection. The photos show the family cottage and grounds during Fred McFeely’s time there. Fred Rogers vividly recalled his days at Buttermilk Falls. In a 1996 Indiana Gazette interview he remembered climbing on the stone walls at the site and crawling behind the falls to look through the cascading water. Remnants of the stone walls are still visible and the water still flows over a 45 foot cascading waterfall.

Much has changed at Buttermilk Falls since Fred McFeely’s and his famous grandson’s visits. However, when visiting the site today it is not hard to imagine how a young boy, who grew up to influence millions of people on public television, could recall in later years the special significance this place held for him. Even today Buttermilk Falls is a place of enchantment and magic.

Return to Buttermilk Falls