Alta Schrock returned to her home in the Allegheny Mountains of Maryland in 1957 to open Penn Alps. Penn Alps is a tourist village and restaurant made up of 12 log and frame structures of early American vintage. Two of the houses date back to the American Revolution. They were moved here and preserved where they serve today as studio space for local artisans and souvineer shops. The village is located at the Stone Arch Bridge at the Castleman River.
The buildings are well preserved and renovated to their original appearance. It is truely like walking back into an early American village. The houses were moved here and restored from their original locations.
The area just east of Grantsville was called Little Crossings by George Washington. It became a busy commerce center when this stone arch bridge was built in 1813. At the time the C&O Canal was being expanded and it was thought it would continue past Cumberland. This bridge with the stone arch was built to accomodate the boats on the canal. However th canal never reached this far west. At the time of its construction the Stone Arch bridge with its span of 80 feet was the largest single arch constructed bridge in the world. As it was being built many thought it would collapse under its own weight when the scaffolding was removed. However it remains standing and sturdy today. It was a major crossing point for west bound traffic. Covered wagons on their way west crossed this bridge daily. The bridge remained in use for vehicular traffic until 1933. Today is has been restored and is a popular stopping point for tourists and visitors.
After spending a few hours in Cumberland, MD take a drive west on the original Rt 40, The National Road. This will take you to Grantsville in Garrett County. Pictured here is the bridge across The Castleman River just east of Grantsville.
Penn Alps Restaurant on the Castleman River is built in a historic log cabin. It is considered to be the last log hospitality house on the National Pike still serving travelors. The restaurant has six dining rooms and they were once a part of the original stage coach stop at Little Crossings. The food is based on German recipies. It offers daily home made soups, a salad bar and buffets on the weekend.
Restaurant is located at the Penn Alps Artisan Village. I was hesitant to eat lunch here only because food is not usually good at tourist attractions, but this was an exception.
Favorite Dish: Save room for a slice of warm fresh made pie.
48 Reviews and Opinions
The slow pace, friendly people, scenic beauty, abundant snow in winter!
Fondest memory: Visiting Penn Alps artisan village on Rt. 40 (Main St.) just East of town. I could walk through the village and go from cabin to cabin seeing real potters, wood carvers, weavers, glass blowers, etc., and buy their work if I wanted!