Posts Tagged ‘Sleepy Hollow’

Three Sleepy Hollow Tavern updates

July 17, 2008

I have three updates on Sleepy Hollow Tavern near Ligonier, Pennsylvania, a 1939 roadside landmark along the Lincoln Highway that burned in February.

An article in today’s Tribune Review reports that the contractor demolishing and rebuilding the place has found numerous treasures including a couple huge safes. Fred Haeflein says one of the safes is a 100-year-old, 1,000-pound combo-lock model, hand-painted with gold lining and braided metal on the outside. Other items include a popcorn machine, brass lighting fixtures, a Corona metal beer cooler, and objects that hung on the walls such as antique skis, golf clubs, and “various Lincoln Highway road signs.”

The Trib also recently reported that Ligonier filmmaker Andrea Niapas, who produced a 2007 docudrama of Amelia Earhart’s last flight, is documenting Haeflein as he dismantles and rebuilds the tavern. She sometimes stands atop construction vehicles to get better footage of the building’s selective demolition.

Finally, Clinton Piper wrote to say that his mother volunteers to compile obituaries for a local database and was searching the Latrobe Bulletin on microfilm when she came across some interesting references to two buildings on the Sleepy Hollow site:
1. Overland Inn burned prior to 1926
2. Gas station destroyed by fire 10/18/26

A later gas station at the site is pictured in my PA LH book (shown above) but little is known about it.

More Sleepy Hollow Tavern history recalled

February 26, 2008

The Pittsburgh Tribune Review ran another article today recounting some history of Sleepy Hollow Tavern. Former workers, owners, and customers offer a variety of fond recollections. As Julie Donovan, public relations director for the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau, said, “It seemed no matter who owned it, it was always busy. It was definitely a Laurel Highlands landmark, and I hate to see it go.”


Above: A photo that was on the wall of Sleepy Hollow when I first visited in 1989 shows the 1930s sandwich stand and gas pumps.

Although a descendant of former owners says it was always Sleepy Hollow, my recollection from a 1989 visit is that that’s correct for the restaurant but not the land around it. The area was known as Kelley’s Hollow; co-owner Joe Neiman’s habit of dozing in his rocking chair in the 1930s led to jokes about Sleepy Hollow, which was used to name the tavern that opened in 1940.


Click the screen shot above for the full Trib article.

Fire Destroys LH Landmark near Ligonier, PA

February 24, 2008

US 30 eastbound was closed for 8 hours overnight as fire destroyed the Hollow Tavern in Unity Twp, Westmoreland County, just west of Ligonier, and about 40 miles east of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Built 1939-40 as a restaurant and hotel along the Lincoln Highway in the Loyalhana Gorge, it was perhaps best known for a small concrete causeway across the water. The 2-lane LH ran past its door, but when westbound lanes were moved to the other side of the water in the 1950s, half their customer base disappeared. They fought for, and won, the small access crossover.
PA Sleepy Hollow

The location, popular for its view, had housed a gas station and sandwich stand since the 1920s. The area was known as Kelley’s Hollow but acquired the Sleepy Hollow moniker from one of the owners’ habit of dozing in his rocking chair. The building resembled a big log cabin, and its old wood construction made fighting the fire difficult. Click HERE for no-narrator 1-minute video of the blaze from KDKA-TV (after a 15-second commercial).


Also, click on the image above for a brief text report from WTAE-TV.