June 5, 2014

Zider Store History Progresses



Ligonier Valley residents, especially those in Laughlintown, want to know.

So do many others traveling along the Lincoln Highway—Rt. 30—through Laughlintown.

All have watched the building, known by locals as the Zider Store, morph from red-trimmed blue to dark-green trimmed country green. Other changes, both inside and out, are bringing the long-abandoned structure into code, enabling it to once again become a hub of activity at the corner of the Highway and Nature Run Road.

140509 IMG_4723E

And still, everyone wants to know What will be done with Zider’s Store? Will it be an office building? An antique store? Many community residents stress they don’t want another antique store…

Kathy and Chuck Moore, who’ve owned The Country Cupboard in Ligonier for 12 years, have known the answer since Easter. In early July they will open a country store, The Country Cupboard and Nature Run Wood Work, an extension of their Ligonier store (which will remain in business) but with a more varied inventory.

Contributed photo

Contributed photo

“We want a nostalgic feel, like the country stores I see in Vermont,” Kathy said. “I like the look and feel of old wooden floors and ceilings.”

In addition to the jams, jellies, candles, and other items she stocks in the Ligonier store, the Laughlintown store will carry a few antiques and handcrafted furniture made by Chuck. It will also sell textiles, made on old looms by Family Heirloom Weavers in Red Lion, Pennsylvania. Eventually the couple expects to sell candy and pop cooled in a vintage refrigerator. The Moore’s expect their new location to attract tourists and Lincoln Highway travelers. She views its inventory “from local and tourist eyes.”

The Moores are leasing Zider Store from (more…)


January 7, 2014

Pittsburgh’s 1/7/2014 Cold Snap is Vostok’s Heat Wave

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONSMovicons2-hugsandkisses(3)

Hugs for Sandy, Jordan and Alexis




NOTE: Perhaps I should have titled this post as LAUGHLINTOWN’S 1/7/2014 Cold Snap. From the Tribune-Review 1/8/2014 front page:

  • …before Tuesday morning was over, Laughlintown would realize its 15 minutes of fame when the National Weather Service proclaimed it the coldest spot in Southwestern Pennsylvania during a blast of frigid weather that sent temperatures across the nation plunging to levels not seen in two decades.
  • 39 degrees with the wind chill, according to the weather service,…Other places in Southwestern Pennsylvania were cold…but none were as frosty as Laughlintown, the sleepy, unincorporated village in Ligonier Township about 20 miles southeast of Greensburg and perched at the base of Laurel Mountain.

And, it must be noted, the sleepier borough of Laurel Mountain, our home site, is but a mile from the iconic Original Pie Shoppe, where the Trib reported a pre-dawn…ice, snow and minus-17 temperatures.

  • “It was so cold you felt like your eyeballs were going to freeze,” said (Sherry) Davis, a cashier at the shop (where) About 3:30 a.m., the temperature inside was just 46 degrees and, though the heat was on overnight, some pipes froze.

Although Some hardy souls just made the trip to stop at the post office for their mail my husband, Monte, who looks forward to doing that  each day, decided it was too cold (although he did take a short walk through the Borough). But going to the Laughlintown Post Office wasn’t easy. It was so cold the post office door was frozen solid. (Read more and view photos in the Trib report )


The media warned us for days about record-breaking chilly weather—Be prepared: Brief yet brutal cold arrives in Western PennsylvaniaThe National Weather Service in Moon issued a wind chill warning from 1 p.m. Monday through 10 a.m. Wednesday. Temperatures could drop as low as 8 to 15 degrees below zero Monday night, the coldest Pittsburgh has experienced in at least five years. Combined with wind gusts of up to 20 mph, the air could feel as cold as 25 to 40 degrees below zero. *

Perhaps any person living at Russia’s Vostok research base or in one of the many pockets within the heart of Antarctica would consider the coming weather a heat wave. At Vostok the official planetary record low temperature, minus 128.6o Fahrenheit (F) occurred on July 21, 1983. That record was broken on August 10, 2010, when, In the pockets of Antarctica, the temperature plunged to minus 135.8o F.

I watched the weather yesterday, Monday January 6, 2014.  My husband Monte noted that at 1:00 a. m. the temperature was 47o F. At 9:00 a. m it reached 28o F, and pretty much remained there until early evening when it slowly slid lower. Still, it remained in the 20s when I last looked at 11:00 p. m.

The wind didn’t seem two bad here except for two gusts around midnight. A cat curled up on my lap arose and looked out the window when it heard the gusts throoshing along our driveway.

  • It was so cold the dogs were wearing cats and the rats were bribing the alley cats for a snuggle.**

My friend Fred and my sister Lee called before I went to bed. It was 20o F. in Huntsville, Alabama. “The heat pump doesn’t work well in this cold,” he said. Later I wondered: But was it snowing? I hadn’t thought to ask Fred. Below is an undated picture he sent me:

Yes, it does indeed snow in Huntsville, Al. (Pix sent to me from Fred)

Yes, it does indeed snow in Huntsville, Al. (Pix sent to me from Fred)

My sister said two feet of snow had fallen in a very few hours. She planned on staying inside during the cold blast.

She called again this morning.

“There’s a (more…)

December 31, 2013

January 2014 Welcome Message



NOTE: February 1, 2014, is the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ first #1 hit, “I Want To Hold Your Hand.” Enjoy the day by reading Submarines, the Beatles, Sloops, and Apples.

I’d like to thank all my readers for helping make this online magazine a success in 2013. Subscribers doubled; one post, Groundhog Day—Children’s Stories & Poems , received 2072 visits in one day, and the 1000th post was published.

When visiting beaches along the New England coast I often build a sand castle. I like to think that all the negativities of the past are held within the walls of the castle, and when the incoming tide washes my work away it carries with it the negativities, allowing me to rise anew, cleansed and fresh, filled with positivities.

This is how I envision each New Year. And so today is the first day of a new year…the first day of 2014…the first day of the rest of my life. My 2013 sand castle is being washed away by the tide and the gentle rain falling as I write this. Tomorrow a gentle snow will cover the gloomy browns with a sparkling white blanket.

The following quote is applicable: I probably shouldn’t be making any new resolutions for 2014…because I’m still working on last year’s resolutions.

I’m not making any resolutions this year because they don’t stick. Instead, I am setting major goals for my writing, clearing out “stuff,” and a special craft project. By breaking down these projects into mini-bite sized short-term goals I hope to reach the ultimate goal—completion of the first draft of my novel, cutting the “stuff” down by half, and completing the dolls—before the passing of 2014.

Farewell, 2013, I’m sorry to see parts of you go—especially the 32-day travel experience along the New England coast. But fade out you must…as I must welcome the New Year.

NOTE: As I write this I think about Russell and Shirley Livengood, who I met them at the Diamond Café just before Christmas. Russell had just retired from a job in the Midwest, and the couple was closing on a home in Ligonier. We planned on meeting for coffee after the New Year. Then, on Dec. 28 Russell died.

We just don’t know what life is going to serve us in 2014. Our prayers are with Shirley this day.

May you all have a blessed New Year.    Carolyn Cornell Holland

December 21, 2013

Zider Store (Laughlintown, PA) Reroofed



This autumn the Progress Fund purchased the Laughlintown, Pennsylvania, structure known as the Old Zider Store.


The first major task they accomplished was replacing the roof, gutters, and downspouts. Zider’s Store is located on the Lincoln Highway (Rt. 30) east of Ligonier in the Ligonier Valley.

Below are photos of the reroofing in progress.

Oct. 28, 2013

Oct. 28, 2013

Oct. 28, 2013

Oct. 28, 2013


July 7, 2013

Zider’s Store in Laughlintown, PA. Part 2


Part 2

Read Zider’s Store in Laughlintown, PA? Part 1


On December 28, 1975, 29-year-old John Mudd was murdered in the basement of his Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, home. His wife Arlene Mudd and their five-year-old son, John Mudd, Jr., were in the living room.

Suspect Steven G. Slutzker lived across the street from John Mudd. He escaped a homicide charge even though he attempted to hire a man to kill John Mudd a week before the crime was committed. He was also having an affair with John Mudd’s wife, Arlene Mudd. A judge decided there simply wasn’t sufficient evidence to go to trial.

In November 1990 John Mudd Jr. recovered repressed memories. He recalled seeing his father’s body in the basement and then seeing Slutzker running away from the Mudd home. Based on this testimony Slutzker was arrested. Upon being convicted of John Mudd’s murder in January 1992 he was sentenced to life in prison.

The Wilkinsburg story contains all the elements of a good murder story.



In 1989 Steven Slutzker fulfilled a lifelong dream by opening Scituate Harbor, a 18th century furniture dealership based in Scituate, Massachusetts. Both his name and the name of his wife, Joyce Slutzker, are listed on a flyer for the Pittsburgh store.



The Slutzkers rented (more…)

July 4, 2013

Zider’s Store in Laughlintown, PA? Part 1


Part 1

During my decade of living in Laurel Mountain Borough, Pennsylvania, I’ve often heard two questions about the red-trimmed blue building on the corner of the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor (Rt. 30) and Nature Run Road.


What is to become of what was once the community center of Laughlintown—why can’t someone purchase it and bring it to life?

feuerwerk-0053_gif_pagespeed_ce_r7Dyf2bXXuMany local residents celebrating July 4th will have another reason to set off fireworks.

Zider Store has found a purchaser.

The Progress Fund of Greensburg (PA) purchased the structure on June 25. It expects to rehabilitate the building and lease it to a small business, which will enhance the existing businesses—including the Pie Shoppe, Ligonier Country Inn, the Compass Inn, and the antique shops.


During my ten years living in Laughlintown’s Postal Service area I’ve heard the statement: The building is deteriorating so badly that it will be in an unrecoverable ruinous state before too long.

A sad state for a structure that was once the social center of town: a general store and the post office.

It’s been vacant most of the time since 1978, when the property was taken over by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. For a short time Frances L. Scaife operated an (more…)

July 22, 2008


What better way is there to celebrate summer than to hike the entire Lincoln Highway (route 30 through Pennsylvania), which extends from New York City to San Francisco.

One man did that a few years ago. I caught up with him as he entered Laughlintown, PA., after descending Laurel Mountain. After interviewing him, the story of his adventures was published in two parts in the Lincoln Highway Journal. Below is the first segment.

Andy Olson yearned to take a long walk—somewhere. But where?

“I was in college, age 20-21 and was driving on the Highway when I heard a Woody Guthrie song, ‘Hard Travelin’,” he said: (more…)

February 24, 2008


To read the latest posts in the Beanery Online Literary Magazine, click on


Click on to view photo illustrations of this article.

I don’t organize the trip, I’m just pony driving. You get where you’re supposed to get when you are supposed to and not a minute sooner. (Lee Horselogger)

Just after 2:30 p.m., this afternoon (Saturday, Feb. 23) my neighbor Amy and her preteen daughter Emma passed a horse-drawn wagon traveling the Lincoln Highway—Route 30—the road that connects New York City with San Francisco.

The troupe was half way between Latrobe and Greensburg, PA.

Lee Horselogger’s presence in Laughlintown, PA, (more…)

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