Mountain View Inn and Charles Moore Wible

Mountain View: Laurel Ridge

Historic Mountain View Inn Razed

[Mountain View Hotel colored postcard]

In the wake of the bankruptcy & closing of Mountain View, the new owner has razed the original section of the hotel. So much for national historic site protection:-P

Charles M. Wible

When I was young, I always enjoyed listening to my father, Thomas E. [Tim] Wible, tell stories about our family history. The most memorable ones were about his father, Charles M. [Shorty] Wible, and the hotel he built in 1924, Mountain View Inn. It was named for the first view of the beautiful Laurel Ridge east of Greensburg on the Lincoln Highway.

Even though Mountain View was out in the middle of nowhere, Shorty hoped the traffic on the nation's first coast-to-coast paved highway would support the Inn until prohibition was repealed. Unfortunately, prohibition outlasted Shorty's bankroll, and he was forced to sell out. Now that the Inn has been designated a national historic site, its early history must be preserved.

Mountain View Hotel

A few years ago I read an article in the Greensburg Tribune-Review about the 75th anniversary of Mountain View Inn. However, I questioned the accuracy of the story's timeline.

Since the current owners may not have been totally aware of the history of the Inn before they took over ownership in 1940, I took it upon myself to learn what I could about its early history. I started by doing a title search of the property, since my own knowledge of its history only was what my father had told me. After finding all the relevant land deeds at the Westmoreland County Court House, I realized that my late father did not know as much of Mountain View's history as I thought he had.

The first notable discovery was the original amount of land which the hotel was built: 108 acres. Another was the fact that my grandfather had a partner: on the deeds is the name of M. E. Strickler of Wilkensburg. After talking with my father's cousin, Peggy Ingram Kennedy Masika, I learned that he was known as Elmer and had a sister Cora Storer.

Another bit of history that I am sure my father did not know was that Shorty and Elmer sold or traded the hotel and 12 acres of land for a car dealership in Greensburg in 1927 to a William P. Pfeil [pronounced "fowl"], who incorporated the hotel in 1928 with wife Laura of Unity Township.

He eventually sold the pool and remaining land to someone, who in 1948 sold the pool and remaining 13 acres to the Boohers.

Mountain View: Laurel Ridge

Mountain View Inn Hearthstone Mountain View Inn Hearth

Another story was about Shorty taking six-year-old Tim to the construction site, where he enjoyed playing in the foundation pit. One day, a rock caught his attention. He was so excited by the shape of this stone that he showed it to his father. After seeing his son's pleasure with his heart-shaped prize, he promised he would find a special place for the unique stone.

And now, nearly eighty years later, that same stone can be viewed in its special location, as the heart of the hearth in the fireplace at Mountain View Inn.

So it can be said that Mountain View was built with a heart of stone.

back to Wible Family History

Mountain View: Laurel Ridge