Ligonier Valley Vignettes, My Writing, Pennsylvania History

Ligonier Valley Vignettes: A Visit to Washington Furnace Inn

Washington Furnace Inn
Photo by David Zajdel
Bad Boy Blues Band at Washington Furnace Inn
Photo by Jennifer Sopko

After wanting to visit the historic Washington Furnace Inn ever since its new owners reopened the defunct roadhouse last year, I finally took the opportunity to do do so when the Bad Boy Blues Band performed there last Sunday afternoon.  While reporting for the Latrobe Bulletin, I had the opportunity to speak with the new owners Brad Heberling and Rod Beck, when the business partners approached the Ligonier Township governing boards a few years ago with their idea to open a new restaurant and bar in the Ligonier Valley.  I followed up with some research and even contacted the daughter of one of the former owners for some information on the inn.

Washington Furnace Inn
Photo by Jennifer Sopko

Named after a nearby 19th century iron furnace, Washington Furnace Inn is located on the Lincoln Highway (Route 30) in Laughlintown, Pennsylvania, only a few miles east of Ligonier.  The inn is not only a cool roadside attraction that harkens back to the days when hungry, thirsty and tired travelers needed a place to pull their cars into, grab a bite to eat and maybe rent a room for the night after a long day of driving along the highways; its also located on the famed Lincoln Highway, America’s first transcontinental highway, which ran right through the center of Ligonier and is celebrating its centennial in 2013.

You can find out more about the Washington Furnace Inn and the Lincoln Highway in my new book: Ligonier Valley Vignettes: Tales from the Laurel Highlands!


4 thoughts on “Ligonier Valley Vignettes: A Visit to Washington Furnace Inn”

    1. Hi Marty, the Washington Furnace Inn was established in 1931 as a roadhouse and filling station along the Lincoln Highway. You can find a section on in it my 2013 book Ligonier Valley Vignettes: Tales From the Laurel Highlands.

  1. My grandparents, Max and Heddie Shermer, purchased the Washington Furnace Inn around 1949 and probably sold it in 1952. Max had retired and probable wanted to spend time on the other side of the bar. So they moved from Pittsburgh. In the 1930’s they had a cabin in Ligonier. The dining room had a wonderful juke box. Heddie made sandwiches. The Greyhound Bus Line made the Inn a temporary stop for the convenience of Heddie to and from Pittsburgh. I have been back once, and expect to return in late September of this year. By the way, after they sold there was a murder at the Inn.

    1. Hi Henry! Thank s for sharing some of your family’s history with the Washington Furnace Inn. I wrote about it in my Ligonier Valley Vignettes book. I haven’t been back there in a bit myself and I think there have been a couple more ownership changes.

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