The Bedford Coffee Pot in Bedford County is a unique 18 foot-tall “novelty structure” built along what was known at the time as the Lincoln Highway, America’s first coast-to-coast highway.
Constructed in 1927 by David Koontz as a gimmick to entice motorists to stop at his service station for food and fuel, the Bedford Coffee Pot was one of hundreds of “roadside giants” than once stood alongside the Lincoln Highway.
Although it started out as simply a place to grab coffee and a sandwich, by 1937 it had become a bar with a hotel behind it.
The Bedford Coffee Pot changed ownership several times, and by the 1990s it had fallen into a state of severe disrepair.
In 2003 the Bedford County Fair Association purchased the structure for $1.00, and in 2004 the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor (a non-profit preservation group) spent $80,000 to move the Bedford Coffee Pot across the Lincoln Highway (Route 30 as it is known now) to the fairgrounds entrance and restore the structure.
Today it once again serves as a roadside beacon to motorists, coming full circle from where it started nearly 100 years ago.
Visiting the Bedford Coffee Pot
Since the Bedford Coffee Pot is literally roadside (with parking at the entrance to the Bedford Fairgrounds), just about anyone can enjoy this kitchy throwback to the early days of motor travel.
Also know as the Koontz Coffee Pot, in tribute to it’s original builder, a historical marker next to the door gives a brief history of the structure.
While there are no regular hours to see the inside of the structure, by looking through the windows you can see that as of 2020 it is being used by the “Coffee Pot Quilters” as a place to meet and make quilts.
In a typical (non-COVID) year, the building is open to visitors during the Bedford Fall Foliage Festival in October.
For lovers of Americana, travel history, and of course coffee, the Bedford Coffee Pot is a must-see!
How to Find the Bedford Coffee Pot
The Bedford Coffee Pot is located at the entrance to the Bedford Fairgrounds at GPS coordinates 40.02303, -78.51759, just west of downtown Bedford and Dunkle’s Gulf Station.
By its very nature, the Bedford Coffee Pot is hard to miss.
No matter the season, the Bedford Coffee Pot is a roadside curiosity worth stopping for!
Dunkle’s Gulf Station is another fantastic Lincoln Highway roadside attraction, located a half-mile east of the Bedford Coffee Pot in downtown Bedford.
The Fort Bedford Museum explains the history of Bedford County on the site of a British fort originally built in 1758.
Old Bedford Village in Bedford County is a living history museum that gives you a glimpse into what life was like in western Pennsylvania from 1700 until 1899.
Shawnee State Park in Bedford County opened to the public in 1951, and has been a magnet for tourists ever since!
At the heart of the park is 451-acre Shawnee Lake, used by fishermen, boaters, swimmers, and bird watchers alike.
The historic 1806 Old Log Church along the Lincoln Highway near Schellsburg is the oldest standing church in Bedford County.
The Grand View Ship Hotel in Bedford County was, in its prime, one of the most famous attractions along the Lincoln Highway.
The Jean Bonnet Tavern in Bedford County not only serves up delicious food and beverages in a colonial American setting, but it is rumored to be the most haunted restaurant in Pennsylvania!
If transportation history interests you, then the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike in nearby Breezewood is a destination you’ll DEFINITELY want to visit!
This 13 mile stretch of abandoned road (now a bike path) features two lengthy tunnels and is an eerie remnant of America’s first superhighway.
You can read my detailed write-up on the Abandoned PA Turnpike, which includes maps, GPS coordinates, and more than 50 photos, by CLICKING HERE.
If you enjoy all things Lincoln Highway, be sure to visit the Lincoln Highway Experience in Latrobe, a museum dedicated to telling the story of the first transcontinental automobile route linking the east and west coasts of the United States.
Bedford County is home to a number of excellent roadside vistas, and The 7 Best Scenic Overlooks in the Buchanan State Forest will introduce you to some of them.
19 Must-See Destinations in Bedford County will show you even more great places to visit near the Bedford Coffee Pot.
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