Alan Mays

Alan Mays

Posted on 09/09/2014


Photo taken on September  9, 2014


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Allegany Mountains
Central City
real photo postcards
roadside attractions
Lincoln Highway
Route 30
funnels
steamers
telescopes
steamships
rppc
Bedford County
Somerset County
Bedford
Pa.
Pennsylvania
U.S. Route 30
programmatic architecture
S.S. Grand View Point
scenic overlooks
Ship of the Alleghenies
Grand View Ship Hotel
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Grand View Point Hotel


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Grand View Ship Hotel: A Steamer in the Allegheny Mountains, 1932

Grand View Ship Hotel: A Steamer in the Allegheny Mountains, 1932
Caption: "S. S. Grand View Point. A Steamer in the Allegany Mts. Elv. 2624 ft. 17 m. W. of Bedford, Pa. U.S. 30. 4-CEG-32."

Signs and banners: "Grand View Point Hotel. Post Cards. Souvenirs. See 3 States and 7 Counties. Visitors Welcome. Free Telescope." "Restaurant. Rooms." "S.S. Grand View Point....Open for Business."

This image of the famous Ship Hotel, which was a popular roadside attraction along the Lincoln Highway (U.S. Route 30) in western Pennsylvania until it burned to the ground in 2001, is a real photo postcard by Charles Elmer Gerkins (indicated by the initials "CEG" in the caption) that's dated April 1932 ("4-32").

In The Ship Hotel: A Grand View along the Lincoln Highway (Mechanicsburg, Pa.: Stackpole Books, 2010), author Brian Butko quotes a 1930s WPA guide to explain the reason that the building was shaped like a ship: "The S.S. Grand View Point Hotel was remodeled in 1931 to give the impression of an ocean liner, because the owner saw a resemblance between early morning mists rising from the valley and billowing ocean waves."

After enlarging the image, I discovered that two of the banners on the building (including the one hanging on the railing just above "3 States") indicate that the "S.S. Grand View Point" is "Open for Business." Since the building was remodeled to look like a ship sometime in 1931 (the smokestacks, deck, and bow-shaped front of the building were added at that time), I wonder if this photo from April 1932 shows the building just after it reopened.

See also two linen postcards that illustrate the 63-Mile View from the hotel and the Approach to the Hotel:

Grand View Ship Hotel, 63-Mile View, Lincoln Highway, West of Bedford, Pa. Grand View Ship Hotel, Approach to the Hotel, Lincoln Highway, West of Bedford, Pa.

Gerald Schmitt, * Ren.Art *, gcs005, Les's Photography AKA aligeeach and 2 other people have particularly liked this photo


Comments
PopKulture
PopKulture
Nice one! I never see the real photo views. What a classic roadside attraction.
4 years ago.
Alan Mays has replied to PopKulture
Thanks! I think I have one or two other real photo PCs of the Ship Hotel, but they seem to be getting more and more expensive anymore.
4 years ago.
Rob McMonigal
Rob McMonigal
As a child, I remember passing it multiple times. Then I remember going back as an adult, and have it no longer exist. :(

I will see if I can find my pictures of the site from a few years ago.
4 years ago.
Alan Mays has replied to Rob McMonigal
Yes, depending on the route we took to visit my grandparents, my family would pass by here, too, when I was a kid. It was a sad day when I heard the news that it had burned down.
4 years ago.