BY JOHN HORNER, CTHS FOUNDING MEMBER / AUGUST 2020
As one travels south from Gettysburg on what is now Business Route 15 (Emmitsburg Road), just beyond the extreme south end of the Gettysburg National Military Park, known as South Cavalry Field, on a hill overlooking a flat that soon becomes the Village of Greenmount, stands a building (now a private residence) which was once a local business enterprise known far and wide as the Panorama Inn.
The building was erected, circa 1931, by a party by the name of Stein on a lot subdivided off the adjoining Smith Farm. It was subsequently purchased by Lloyd Rothaupt Jr.
It did a good business in food, spirits and live entertainment for those living in the area as well as tourists and others traveling on US Route 15, before the construction in 1963 of the Route 15 bypass, which drove many local businesses out of business.
We have a newspaper advertisement from 1937 which announces ”The Taneytown Ramblers will furnish music at the Panorama Inn on Friday Night, Dec. 17, Tuesday Night, Dec. 21 and Friday Night Dec.24.”
Proprietor Lloyd Rothaupt Jr. was the son of Lloyd Sr., and Ruth Rothaupt, who owned and operated a grist and sawmill on Lower Marsh Creek, just above Natural Dam. It is believed the mill was originally water-powered, as the vestiges of a mill race are still visible, and then, at some point, converted to steam-engine power. Others in the family were son Harry and daughter Eva. For reasons unknown at this time, Lloyd Sr. and Ruth Rothaupt decided to part company, the children by this time were adults and had gone their separate ways, while their mother remained at the mill property, operating the mill with the help of a neighbor Charley Wenschoff. She later opened a small neighborhood grocery store where I, and others, could purchase penny candy. The Horner Farm never had grain processed there, that I can remember of, but we did have our saw logs milled into lumber on that site.
Ruth Rothaupt was a “loner.” She had very little interaction with events and people in the neighborhood. As far back as I can remember, which now spans 80-plus years, I don’t remember my father, J. Bush Horner, or his good friend and neighbor, John Fleck, ever speaking of her more than to mention her name or that of Rothaupt’s Mill. My only contact with her was the rare occasion when we went to her store.
Her son, Lloyd Jr. also owned a car and truck repair business in Round Top, on the corner of Taneytown Road, and what is now Sachs Road, in Cumberland Township, in a building which became Hull’s Electric Service after World War II and, as of this writing, appears to be vacant and for lease. I can remember when the field just to the south of the garage building was studded with junk cars and trucks.
Lloyd would continue his garage business and tending to the Panorama Inn, while his brother, Harry, would build the Battlefield Tavern, just behind the Battlefield Hotel, on the point of Baltimore Street and Steinwehr Avenue, in Gettysburg, the location ultimately of the Fuji-Ya Restaurant, the Steak House Bar and Grill and now O’Rourke’s Eatery. A neon sign mounted atop the inn could be seen from as far away as Harney, Md.
Lloyd and Harry’s sister, Eva Rothaupt Pape, became a very astute businesswoman. She successfully owned and operated a large fruit farm in the upper part of Adams County and later established Pape’s Convalescent Home on the Lincoln Highway west of Gettysburg. The Eva Rothaupt Pape Student Loan Fund was established in May of 1987, according to terms of her will, and is still current. The inn closed in 1964 upon the death of Lloyd Rothaupt Jr.
The Panorama Inn, Rothaupt’s Garage and Pape’s Convalescent Home were all in Cumberland Township. Rothaupt’s Mill was just across Marsh Creek in Freedom Township.
John Horner is a founding member of the Cumberland Historical Society.