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.
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!