Grand View Point
Before there was the Grand View Ship Hotel, however, there was simply the Grand View.
Rising 2464 feet above sea level, you can see not only Pennsylvania but also the mountains of Maryland and West Virginia from the lookout point.
By the early 1920s this lookout point was already a spot for travelers to pull off and enjoy the view. It wasn’t long after that Herbert Paulson, a Dutch immigrant, got the inspiration to build the first permanent structure at Grand View — calling it Grand View Park.
While the first structure was pretty much just a snack stand, Paulson wasn’t done.
He enlarged the stand, calling it Grand View Point Inn and building it in a castle theme. Across the street, tucked against the hillside, he built a gas station as well. It was the perfect place for travelers to fill up their cars, enjoy the view, and rest for the night.
This is an aerial view of the later version of the ship where you can see how the ship and the gas station was situated.
Building the inn was no easy task as three steel I-beams were put under the road and anchored to the mountain. In addition, 18 pilings helped to support the building, making it look as if it was hanging off of the hillside.
The original building had 4 floors with three of them below the level of the road. The first floor featured a dining room, gift shop, and a lookout deck; the second and third were overnight accommodations; and the fourth was vehicle storage.
Although this version of the hotel was impressive, the best was still yet to come.