Gnoza Knows It | Where is Potlicker Flats?


I got a note from someone who said "Hey Al, I loved the pieces on Girty's Notch and Intercourse, Lancaster County. Got another place name in Central Pa for you, Potlicker Flats. Please find out more."

At first, I thought the person was pulling old Al's leg. But nope! Potlicker Flats does exist.

It's in Mifflin County. Just north of Milroy. Where is Milroy? Well it's apparently just south of Potlicker Flats.

I drove up Route 22/322 toward Penn State and eventually found the area I thought was Potlicker Flats. A nice postman confirmed that I had arrived and he directed me toward the only sign that had the area's name.

It was a homemade sign behind a dumpster. No where else did I find a sign that referred to Potlicker Flats.

I called the Mifflin County Historical Society to find out how the name originated. I thought it might refer to a Potlicker family.


According to the historical society, there is one persistent story among longtime residents that tells this: the travelers, and even the locals, cooked their vegetables and stews in iron pots. In those early days nothing was left to waste after cooking, they even licked the pot to get every last drop...Potlicker! The "flats" refer to the even, flat ground running up to the mountains. So the people that lived there were poorer, "pot lickers," the name stuck. Those locals say it has nothing to do with the southern term, "pot liquor," the juice remaining in the pot after cooking.

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