Pennsylvania is full of beautiful landscapes and exciting cities like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. It boasts being the home of the writing of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. It’s also home to some of America’s best coffee shops and artisans. In fact, the state’s love affair with coffee production goes back to the early twentieth century when a resident of Bedford, Pennsylvania built the world’s largest coffee pot.
The Uncanny Story Behind the World’s Largest Coffee Pot
They just don’t make coffee pots like they used to. Just ask the folks in Bedford Pennsylvania whose love affair with a two story coffee pot has lasted over eighty years.
Once known as Koontz Coffee Pot, the highway attraction has been a landmark of Bedford Fairgrounds since 1927. David Koontz, a gas station owner, erected the luncheonette novelty to draw in motorist to his station. Travelers would stop for a cup of coffee and a sandwich then fill their cars at Koontz’s station across the street.
Since its construction, The Coffee Pot has fit right in with the rest of Pennsylvania’s whacky roadside attractions which include the giant donut, the giant ice cream cone, and the giant soda cups. But while most of these attractions have come and gone over the years, The Coffee Pot is still standing.
Of course, the pot’s history hasn’t been all fun and games. When a nearby highway was built in the 1940’s, less and less visitors stopped through Bedford, forcing Koontz to close up shop. For the next two decades the pot was owned by a number of different businesses who modified the structure into such things as a bus station, a 70’s honky-tonk bar, and a diner. Then in 1980, The Coffee Pot was closed indefinitely.
After twenty years of neglect, the pot’s windows were boarded up, its carpet was torn to shreds, and its outside paint was chipped and faded. Its demolition seemed inevitable when something miraculous happened: property owners in the area decided to donate the rickety building to the local heritage foundation. The foundation’s board members met to vote on the fate of the old pot, and it was decided The Coffee Pot would added to a list of Most Endangered Historic Properties.
In 2003, enough money was raised to reconstruct The Coffee Pot and move it across the street. The town was so proud of its revitalized structure they marked it with a ceremony; now The Coffee Pot is used as a museum and considered by Bedford County residents as an important piece of local history.