Yes, there really is life on Mars, and residents take full advantage of the fun opportunities their town’s name creates. A flying saucer is parked in the town square, offering an unusual photo opportunity for visitors. Alien sightings occur daily in storefront windows. Letters with a Mars, Pa., postmark are frequently mailed around the world from the local post office. And, like most small towns, community life frequently revolves around events at the Mars School District, home of the Planets.
Mars is a prime example of small town America, where people gather at the local diner and greet each other on the sidewalk. Several small businesses line the main street, offering an array of services to residents and visitors.
The town’s past dates to 1792 when the first settler arrived in the area. Mars flourished in its early years because it was located on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and on the Butler Short Line, the electric trolley route that linked Pittsburgh and Butler. Oil and coal brought a boom to the entire area, and the town’s strategic location made it a natural trade center for supplying the needs of the two industries.
Today, the area surrounding Mars is flourishing with new residential developments and commercial businesses that are setting up shop on Route 228, a main thoroughfare that passes just a half-mile from town. While you’re in Butler County, be sure to visit and take home a souvenir from Mars. This Butler County town is definitely one that you can describe as simply “out of this world.”
Watch an overview video created by Cadan McKinney for his Scout project - BSA Citizenship in Community Requirement 8.