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Lincoln Highway

The Decline of Ligonier Beach Swimming Pool

It’s a local historic landmark that invokes strong emotions throughout the community. In 2018, Ligonier Beach swimming pool closed after a catastrophic flood and has since sat empty, its future in limbo. It was recently purchased by Ligonier Township and was opened to the public which gave me a unique opportunity to explore the property.  …

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The Loyalhanna Gorge Stone Tipple and the Ligonier Valley Railroad

If you frequent Route 30 between Ligonier and Latrobe, you are probably familiar with the old stone quarry tipple which was serviced by the Ligonier Valley Railroad.  The stone tipple was part of a quarry which sat on the north wall of the Loyalhanna Gorge. It was used to load hopper cars full of gravel …

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Abandoned Storyland Park in Schellsburg Pennsylvania

Note: Storyland is located on posted, private property and trespassing is strictly forbidden. Enjoy the trumpeter and statues that can be seen from the road from exactly that — the road. I’ve visited a lot of amusement parks over the years. While I love the historic value and unique rides that can be found at …

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Gettysburg’s Shriver House Museum Tells the Civilian Experience

We’ve all read about the horrors of the Civil War but it is often easy to forget the toll these battles took on the local citizens. Once the troops moved on, it didn’t mean that it was over for the townspeople. Instead, the armies left their injured and dead men and horses behind, along with …

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Westmoreland County’s Civil War 11th Pennsylvania Regiment

Today we are going back more than 150 years to the American Civil War, the 11th Pennsylvania Regiment, and one of the Civil War’s most famous mascots. Now, you might be wondering how the Civil War relates to Western Pennsylvania, and that I about to tell you. While many of the famous battles of the …

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Ligonier Beach: Ligonier’s Classic Swimming Pool

Fifty years ago, large, public swimming pools were common. They could often be found paired with amusement parks and even drive-ins. Over the years, these pools began closing, each one disappearing into memories. Ligonier Beach, which was a local staple, managed to survive for 93 years before closing forever last year. It always seems that …

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Wilkinsburg’s Penn-Lincoln Hotel

The first time I noticed the Penn-Lincoln Hotel in Wilkinsburg I was on a bus on my way to work. It has a fairly simple facade, but as the largest building in Wilkinsburg’s Penn Avenue business district, it was rather hard to miss. The hotel was constructed in 1927 by Pittsburgh architect Benno Janssen. Janssen …

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Kings & Queens Restaurant: A Legendary Lincoln Highway Attraction

You are traveling along the Lincoln Highway from Ligonier to Bedford. As you traverse the rolling hills and farmlands of Somerset County, you might be surprised to all of a sudden see a castle appear along the side of the road! No, you aren’t dreaming, you’ve just passed the Kings & Queens Restaurant & Pub.  …

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Blue Dell Complex in Irwin: Eat, Swim, and See a Movie

Large public swimming pools and drive-in movie theaters were very popular in the 1950s and 1960s. It wasn’t unusual for towns to have several of each. With four different drive-ins as well as a 1.5 million gallon public pool, Irwin had both.  The Blue Dell was located three miles east of McKeesport along the Lincoln …

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Laurel Mountain’s Lincoln Lodge and Swiss Chalet

I owe my love of historical and iconic attractions to my parents, in particular my dad. When I was younger we would take Route 30 up to Breezewood when we went on vacation. Whether it was attractions such as the Ship Hotel, Kings and Queens Restaurant, or Storyland, he was always receptive to my calls …

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The Penn Irwin Motel: The Vintage Motel With the Heart-Shaped Jaccuzzis

*Author Note: This article is now somewhat of a retrospective as the Penn Irwin Motel closed at the end of March 2019. The motel was demolished approximately a month later to make way for what was eventually to become yet another nondescript strip mall. Unfortunately, another piece of history lost.* When I mention heart-shaped jacuzzis, …

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