Film of S.S. Grand View Ship Hotel, 1972

The S.S. Grand View Ship Hotel was perhaps the best-known, most-visited landmark along the 3,300+ miles of Lincoln Highway. The famous roadside attraction was 17 miles west of Bedford, Pennsylvania, but unfortunately burned in 2001. With my Lincoln Highway Companion book ready for the editors, I’m starting on my next book, a fun look at the Ship. I first wrote about the Ship in 1989 and have been gathering information, recollections, and photos since then.

People took lots of snapshots there, and though they probably took movies, few of those surface, so it’s exciting to see this rare film from 1972! (Total time 3:32) Roger Shaulis shoots out the back window as they speed east on the Lincoln Highway through the Seven Mile Stretch, passing coal trucks. About 45 seconds in, they arrive at the Ship and go to the deck for the view and some goofing. The family jumps on the Turnpike for the final minute, passing through three tunnels on their way to New Jersey.

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35 thoughts on “Film of S.S. Grand View Ship Hotel, 1972

  1. I sure liked the way the New Jersey sign was shown right when S & G said New Jersey. Were they drinking bottles of beer on the side of the road? That’d be a DUI today, or at least a ticket. And, beer to a baby? Ah yes, a different time.

    I never got a chance to see the Ship. Sure wish I could have.

    Looking forward to your new book.

  2. Yeah looks like beer – or cough syrup!

    I was at the Ship many times – never appreciated it, thinking it would always be there when coming around the bend….

    The Ship Hotel book will have tons of great old photos.

    Say RoadDog, I just added your blog to my Blogroll – so readers can “Keep on Down that Two Lane Highway”

  3. My boyfriend remembers going to the Ship Hotel when he was a child. He was lucky enough to go inside it and really experience it. I had a hard time grasping a “ship” built into the side of the mountain, but with with the you tube film of ’72, it makes more sence to me now. Too bad I missed it.
    Thanks for sharing!

  4. This home movie captures what stopping at the Grand View overlook was all about. Loved it! Nowadays, the view is still spectacular….but it’s not the same! When you come down from the mountain, you’re supposed to look back to see the ship on the hill! I can’t wait to buy the new book when it comes out!

  5. My Great Grandfather was Herbert Paulson, the original owner,designer etc. of the ship. When i was a child it was run by my Grandmother and her brother…so whenI went to Grams house it was “The Ship”.
    My mother Clara gardner was born in one of the upstairs rooms . My grandmother and Uncle lived at the ship.
    I have wonderful memories of the ship on holidays, the Lions Club, many repeat visitors who as children we knew as Mr. and Mrs.
    My Aunt’s fried chicken and waffles with gravy were like none other…
    There used to be goats over the wall along with BIG snakes,,,
    This video will be priceless to us….Thank-you for sharing.

  6. To Julie:
    You were truly blessed to have gone to Grandma’s and it be the ship. I went every summer with my grandparents to the Grand view Point Hotel on their famous “few day drive on Route 30″. That was first stop on our trip and the last stop on the way back home. I miss those days and my grand parents. I will miss the ship as well. Donna

  7. Just discovered this (my LH forums from last year all arrived in one package–I live in Scotland now). What a WONDERFUL film. I sat here going, “Look, look, they’re going thru a toll plaza on the turnpike!” and my husband said, “you know, this really could be grounds for divorce.”

    heh.

    So glad I found this blog!

    cheers, Elizabeth

  8. Today my 16 yr. old son brought me home a large picture of the ship he bought at the mall. He said he bought it for me because of the stories I told him about the ship this summer when we passed by on our way to the beach. I immediately googled the ship and came up with this great video. I have pictures there in 1975 as a young mom on the deck with two children 2yrs and two months. The music took me back to that time. We would stop there and then stop on the next bend and get candy at the house on the curve on our way to Shawnee. I too am glad to have found this blog…thanx for the memories…rosie

    • Hi! The candy shop was named “Lada’s” and I always remember my mom and dad stopping there for her white chocolate. I grew up only a few miles from there in Central City. So sad that we have to grow up and grow old…

      • When I was growing up in the 60′s and 70′s, we just called it “The Ship’s Hotel” I was from Freeport (30 miles north of Pittsburgh) and we would travel to Gettysburg, Lancaster or Washington DC every summer. I couldn’t wait to get down the mountain for the goat milk fudge. I will never forget that taste. I would give anything for that today. Thank you for this blog and all of the memories it brought back to me.

  9. My childhood memories brought to life! My Mother was raised on a farm in Bedford and several times a year we would travel the Lincoln from Pittsburgh. I have so many fond memories, the beautiful mountains and scenery, the little towns you travel through, the Pied Piper tooting his horn at Storyland, but none better than the Ship on the Mountain. I couldn’t wait to get there each and every trip. I still travel the Lincoln, I was 11 in 1972, they say you always go back home and I feel like home is traveling the mountains along the Lincoln for me. I stop and visit the mountain, leave flowers for my former ship, and happily travel east through the mountains and back again. I love it.

  10. I used to travel route 30 as a child from central Ohio to Gettysburg. I loved going by the “ship”. I must say I don`t remember stopping there as a child, my Dad didn’t like to stop very often.
    My husband and I stopped there 28 years ago, while I was pregnant with our son and I had to use the restroom. I did not know they were pay toilets, and I had to look up my husband for a dime.
    Those were the days, good memories!

  11. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, the “Ship Hotel” We went there with my parents and grandparents several times growing up. Being inside is a bit foggy in my head, as I was born in 1972, but I remember a few things. When I turned 16, and after the Ship was closed, my friends and I would drive out there from Johnstown, just to look around. Thank you so much for keeping the memory alive. I miss it, and wish someone would rebuild history.

  12. Brian,
    Thanks for letting me finally get a feel for what was there. I did not get to explore the Lincoln until around 1999 after reading your book on the PA portions. My wife would read aloud as we drove and we both wished we had done it much earlier.

  13. What an awesome place! My fiancee (this, back in 1985) and I traveled from New Jersey to Ohio along that stretch, and a humongous ship nailed to the side of a mountain was the last thing you’d expect to see after rounding the bend there, but it was a most welcome sight! The last time we drove through was just before Christmas (also in 1985), snow all over, and it was closed at the time, but we naturally stopped and took a bunch of pics and took in that incredible view. I didn’t know until today it’s gone, dang it! But we’ve got our pics and memories, and that helps. Julie, you are one blessed lady to have been raised “on board” the Ship of the Alleghenies!

  14. Great to see that people like my video. The early 70’s were definitely a different time (feeding beer to a baby?). Sorry you-tube disabled the music; since it was an 8mm camera, it did not record audio so I added “Born to be Wild” by Steppenwolf and “America” by Simon and Garfunkel just to make it more interesting.

  15. Going through snapshot albums I found a postcard of the Ship from our 1971 trip to DC from NE Ohio, googled and found your historical work Brian, Thanks so much! This movie is a wonderful relic.
    I loved the curves, rises and falls of the mountain drive and the Ship was such a surprise! My mom was good enough to make the Grand View Ship Hotel a “pit stop”. I am sure she enjoyed seeing our delight.
    Is there now a model ship/ plaques on the site?

  16. I grew up in Johnstown, Pa. Sunday drives for ice cream were the special treat we 3 kids loved. A stop at the “ship Hotel” for ice cream was so exciting. They sold waffles with chicken and gravy, a staple in Penna. afteer Thanksgiving and Christmas in the 40′s and 50′s I moved away after married, but returned with my family. Summers in New Paris with the Kimmels, Pappy Wood and Muzzie, were special. Their daught Jean rode her horse to the ship. Stabled the horse across the street and went to work. Best part of my story, in 55 I went to work at the Bedford Springs Hotel as a PBX operator and met a handsome bell hop. Married 55 years and return to HOME every summer. Miss the ship & candy store on curve. Thanks for the memories!!

    • Peggy, my family would go to the Ship on Sunday afternoons and get ice cream as well. We would go for “rides” quite often with no specific destination. This was in the 1960′s…what a wonderful memory of a simpler time.

  17. My husband and i loved the ship so much ! We lived in pgh and had family in Bedford . We first visited in 1988 and continued each summer. By 1995 we were visiting with our daughter. I was so sad to learn it had been destroyed by fire. I am grateful to have the few pics we did take…..

  18. Maryellen, thanks for your post. : ) In my previous reply I talked about Jean Kimmel working there. This am I looked at the fire info. There was Jean Blackburn, holding a plate & post card from her memories of workin there. I loved & admired her for her love of horses. (I am still owner, rider, of. a foxtrotter.)

    The day we drove around the curve from the west & we saw the “Ship Hotel” the 1st time, it was like a dream! Our parents had never told us about it. They STOPPED for a 5 cent ice cream & view. All my life I loved the mountains, view, sunset, & sunrises. Dad took me hunting for rabbit & squirrel for supper. (I bet I could still gut and skin them) Never thought I’d move away from my home. But in the late 50′s, we had to go where jobs were. Every summer we come to rent at Hidden Valley for 2 to 4 weeks.

  19. Yes Peggy I have many fond memories of the Ship. I think the ice cream cones were a whole dime (horrors!) when we went, but the experience and the scenery were just so wonderful, we went there often. Wish we had stayed overnight!

  20. Hi Maryellen, Years ago, we were in Melbourne, FL.at a potluck church dinner, A woman stood up & said, “Who is here from Johnstown, PA?” (About 200 folks were there.) Running towards each other, I hugged her & said, “How did you know?” The Gobs you brought to the dinner. (Lunch cakes sold in the 40′s & still sold in Johnstown, I can give ya more info on GOBs is anyone curious.

    I always thought we’d retire in PA but moved to NC to be near our kids & 6 grandchildren. We have told our grandchildren about the “Ship in the mountains. (We always took our 2 kids to see it on vacations.) By reading this site I have learned the candy stop on the curve had been a shot factory in the older days. Bye 4 now.

  21. I’m back. Gobs is a nickname for sailors, term used in the 40′s. Kolbs Bakery had trucks that came to our home in Geistown each week. Sold us bread, gobs, & other sweets. The boy scouts went to Kolbs for a donation. They said, we will give you the recipe for gobs. You can have your Mothers write the recipe out & sell it for 5 cents each. Our paper boy was also a scout & we bought the recipe. I soon learned to NEVER put the top on till the icing was all divided among the 30 or so gobs. Harrris-Boyer bought out Kolbs.Bakery. Our children still ask for a gob cake on birthday. I now use a chocolate cake mix.plus 1 cup more flour. We all prefer choc rather than banana, pumpkin, van. peanut butter, etc.

    I think the indian name for my Pennsylvania is, “Land of 1000 hills”

  22. I grew up in Beaverdale, PA and my uncle (Andy Katchur) was a cook at the Ship Hotel. He lived on the ship so we would go up usually on Sunday afternoons to visit him and of course have some fudge and ice cream. I was about 7-8 at the time and it was a special place. He would make all of us kids root beer floats…delish!! It was a special place.

  23. I grew up outside of Erie, PA, but my family was based in Bedford County. I still remember the climb up Route 30 west of Bedford, past Storyland & Lada’s Candies, ‘the sweetest spot on the moutain’. By nowadays standards, that section of 30 was basicly backroad. I’ll never forget after rounding one of the curves you saw what looked like a ship marooned on the side of the moutain. That was always a great place to stop. I’m sorry to hear that it burned down.

  24. My mother was a waitress at the Ship for years and Walt Paulson would call her when he needed an extra sometimes. I still live just above where the ship was located and really miss the old girl.

  25. Ahhh,, the ship! Grew up on the other side of the 7 mile stretch. And still own the property I grew up on. The Candy shop belonged to my Great Uncle Stuart and Aunt Lada. Little trivia, remember the old cars parked between the road and the candy shop? Uncle Stuart got tired of cars running off the road on the curve, and hitting the place. So he parked old clunkers out there to take the brunt.

    And the Candy shop had some other secrets beyond the candy. Uncle Stuart collected revolutionary and civil war weapons (yes it was originally a shot and powder factory from then)
    And had more antique cars/trucks/motorcycles stored in the barn then you could shake a stick at.

    If you asked he’d take you for a tour.

    Loved making those trips, stop at the Ship, then the Candy shop, on our way to Shawnee.

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