A Blog Along The Lincoln Highway

All of this is about a public TV project about one of America’s great roads, and we’re hoping you might enjoy reading about some of our behind-the-scenes work. I’m Rick Sebak, and I write most of the tales. Bob Lubomski is our cameraman. And Glenn Syska has been traveling with us recently. He made the video blog entries in 2008. Back in 2007, Jarrett Buba did all that. A RIDE ALONG THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY first aired on PBS on October 29, 2008 at 8 PM. Check with your local PBS station to find out about repeat broadcasts. Or go for the DVD at www.shopwqed.org.

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3 States And 7 Counties!

August 15th, 2008 ·

We stop one more time before we get to our appointment at the Lincoln Motor Court. Along Route 30 in Pennsylvania, there are just too many things to see and do as you motor along.dsc00483sh.jpg

We pull off the right side of the road at the area where the official blue sign now says LOOKOUT POINT MT. ARARAT. There’s an amazing view from here. A low stone wall and a guard rail let you know that it’s surely safer to stay in the gravel, but if you step over both barriers, you can peer over the edge of the hill and see some of the ruins of the amazing Ship Hotel that was here from the early 1930s till 2001 when it burned to the ground.dsc00490sh.jpg Bob and Glenn had to get a shot of the concrete and crumbly remains of its foundation about 15 or 20 feet down.
The Grand View Ship Hotel was a landmark work of roadside architecture, a big ship-shaped building that was built on the side of this mountain. You had to stop and take a look, although for many years you could also spend the night here because it was a hotel. On the prow of the ship there was lettering that let you know you could see 3 States and 7 Counties!pash15.jpg

Bob and I had stopped here last fall when we drove out this way to get some shots of the Lincoln Highway with beautiful foliage. And we have to stop again today. It’s such a glorious summer day. The view is still wonderful, although it’s sliced by several tall thin burnt trees.dsc00485sh.jpg

Back in 1992 when I was shooting stuff for our program called The Pennsylvania Road Show, I asked Brian Butko to come out here with us and talk a bit about the Ship Hotel because I had read an article he wrote about it for PITTSBURGH magazine. That’s when I met Brian (back when he had a blue Camaro convertible) and that’s the day I first learned about the Lincoln Highway.

When we stopped that day, the ship had a brown wooden exterior, a sort of shell over the old white ship structure, and the Ship Hotel was called Noah’s Ark at that time. I guess that’s why it still says Mount Ararat on the blue sign. I’ll have to ask Brian.

Back then Brian was working on his first book, a guide to the Lincoln Highway in Pennsylvania, and now, some 16 years later, he tells me that his next book will be about the history of the Grand View Ship Hotel.dsc00493sh.jpg

Tags: Road Diary

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Eric Lowry // Aug 26, 2008 at 10:07 am

    Awesome guys! Very interesting travels.

    My parents came from this area (Shanksville, PA) which you likely passed close to. We drove route 30 many, many, many times and actually ate at and viewed the scenery from the Ship Hotel long ago (I’m a mere kid of 42).

    My father has extensively researched the area with respect to Forbes Road with which you are undoubtedly familiar as Lincoln Highway follows closely to Forbes Road for many miles.

    Good luck and happy trekking.

    Eric Lowry

  • 2 Joseph Grycuk // Apr 5, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    What Counties and what states can you actually see

  • 3 Rick // May 14, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    JOSEPH: I checked with Brian Butko (who’s still working on that book about the Ship Hotel) and he says there was no official list of what you could see from the Ship, but he had one list that he found and the three states are Pennsylvania, Maryland, and way in the distance, West Virginia. The 7 counties are maybe a harder set to define. I looked at several maps and decided they must be: Bedford, Somerset and Fulton Counties in PA, then Garrett & Allegany in MD, and finally out by the horizon on a clear day Mineral and Hampshire counties in WV. Brian said that the list he remembers had 5 counties in PA: Bedford, Somerset and Fulton but also Blairand Huntingdon off to the North (which I find hard to believe.) Then that list includes just Allegany in MD and Hampshire in WV.

  • 4 Joe // Oct 6, 2009 at 9:25 am

    Hi…so glad someone asked this question. I am forty one and took my two little ones (five and seven) along the lincoln highway instead of the Turnpike from Cranberry to Bedford Fall Foliage. They asked me what the states and counties were and I told them I would research it. Thanks for the heads up. We enjoyed the ride more than the festival!!

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