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In the summer of 1931 the Rambler’s Rest, a restaurant, grocery store, and gas station, was opened by Alex Robb – a newly arrived local resident who had come with his wife from Pittsburgh. The facility was located on the Harlansburg Road at the intersection with Studebaker Road. A few years later Robb opened a camping site, with cottages and a picnic area, on adjacent property along the Slippery Rock Creek. Robb was actually sued by the P&LE Railroad and the YMCA (Camp Rentz) in early 1935 over questions of actual ownership of the camping area. The entire area became known as Rambler’s Rest. (c1955) (Photo courtesy of Mike Dean) Full Size
The sign for the Rambler’s Rest along the Harlansburg Road. (c1955) (Photo courtesy of Mike Dean) Full Size
Alex Robb subsequently sold the restaurant property to Robert J. Andrews, who in turn sold it to Eugene and Lois Hunt in 1951. The camping area remained a separate entity and possibly owned the cottage owners themselves. The Hunt family, who lived with their four children in the adjoining house, operated the Rambler’s Rest until they sold it to Bruce and Harriet Jamison in 1960 – who later sold it to John and Marilyn Strawhecker. (c1955) (Photo courtesy of Mike Dean) Full Size
Patricia Hunt (Dean) in front of the Rambler’s Rest, which was owned by her parents during the 1950’s. Owner John Strawhecker closed the Rambler’s Rest down at the end of 1991 and sold the contents at a public auction in early February 1992. He soon sold the property and building and in March 1995 it became home to the 108 Leather Shop, which sold leather jackets and western wear. A fire on the evening of Sunday, November 3, 1996, resulted in extensive damage and the building was subsequently razed. (c1955) (Photo courtesy of Mike Dean) Full Size
Lois Studebaker Hunt (1909-1989) working in the restaurant of the Rambler’s Rest. Lois and her husband Eugene (1907-1971), a longtime machinist at the Cooper-Bessemer Company in Grove City, owned the restaurant until they sold it in September 1960. (c1955) (Photo courtesy of Mike Dean) Full Size
Lois and H. Eugene Hunt owned the Rambler’s Rest from 1951-1960. (c1958) (Photo courtesy of Mike Dean)
H. Eugene Hunt was a longtime machinist at the Cooper-Bessemer Company in Grove City. (1944) (Photo courtesy of Mike Dean)
Harriet Jamison (shown above), and her husband Bruce, purchased the Rambler’s Rest from the Hunt’s in September 1960. They later sold it to John and Marilyn Strawhecker. (c1962) (Photo courtesy of Mike Dean)
A view of the cabins and campground behind the Rambler’s Rest restaurant and store. (Jan 1959) (Photo courtesy of Mike Dean)
The dance hall located at the campground site along the Slippery Rock Creek. (Jan 1959) (Photo courtesy of Mike Dean)
The cabins and dance hall are pictured here. The bridge over the Slippery Rock Creek can be seen in top right of photo. (Jan 1959) (Photo courtesy of Mike Dean)
does anyone remember the rest area on route 422 near where the new slippery rock township building is located ? did it have a name ?
I remember it! I grew up in Portersville and remember passing it when my parents drove to New Castle. In fact my dad stopped and had a picnic lunch with me there when I was about 9 yrs old one day when he brought home his new black Ford truck. I don’t recall a name though….
Della Willig #
Does anyone have any recipes from the Ramblets Rest?
My grandparents were Bruce and Harriet Jamison – owners in the 1960’s. No recipes were saved.
Carol Andrews Stonebrook #
My parents were Robert James and Lena Andrews. I was a child when I left Slippery Rock but have many memories of the restaurant and the picnic area below restaurant. My older brothers helped my parents with food preparation in the restaurant. My brother who is 5 years older and myself were too young to help our parents. Our father had a auto repair business next to restaurant in the 40’s and 50’s. The picnic area was very busy during the summer which also had a dance hall. Our parents were very active. We all eventually moved to Florida. One brother was in the Air Force moved to Florida after 4 yrs. of service. The oldest brother moved to Florida and with our father opened a gas station and auto paint and repair service. Subsequently, other brother joined their father with auto business. Our mother never left the business as she was a full time book keeper with auto shop.
We left the area when I was 6 yrs. old. However, I do remember the Bar-b-que sandwich ingredients. This sandwich was a specialty of the restaurant.
Sam mineo #
My grandfather Bill Frengel built those cottages and we grew up on the Slippery Rock Creek.
I’m curious if anyone knows more about the property that the dance hall was on? When was the dance hall built and when did they tear it down? Also, what year were the cabins built?
Peter Frengel #
I am Sam Mineo’s cousin, and our grandfather, William Frengel, built at least one of the cottages… He owned the properties with his brothers, Joe and Eugene. I’m not sure when the Dancehall was built, but they used to have live music out there all the time and my great uncle Joe would play guitar and mandolin. They were all first-generation Italian immigrants and built themselves a wonderful life with these vacation cottages back when that was still possible for working class Americans. The Dancehall was torn down in either the late 1960s or early 1970s. We have many wonderful family memories out there… Catching crayfish, jumping off the old steel bridge with the rickety wooden slats, my grandparents and their siblings making amazing food, playing horseshoes, and going to Rambler’s Rest for breakfast or in the afternoons for ice cream and pop.
Brian Graham #
My dad grew up on the farm directly across jamison run and 108. He said when he was a kid they called it the “Finnish Camp”. Anyone ever heard that term?
Brian Graham #
Also, I remember as a kid….we used to walk there from “the farm” as we call it and get hot chocolate. They had booths and pictures of the farms in the area from airplane views. I was no more than 8 or 9. There was that old bridge behind there we used to swim and jump off of. Excellent swimming hole.
Does anyone have any old photos of the dance hall and property that they would be willing to part with? I live in one of the cabins and would love to have some old photos to hang in the house.