Gerow determined to open successful hotel in the Valley

An early picture of the Grand Valley Hotel in the 1900s.

The Grand Valley Hotel was located on Route 27 directly across from Main Street (now Eldred Center Road.) It was originally built in 1879 and burnt down in 1883. The Gerow family rebuilt the hotel in 1884. It had 24 rooms. 

There was another building built to be a hotel by the Gerows across from Church Hill Road. Unfortunately, it was located too close to the United Brethren Church and was unable to obtain a liquor license. It never opened as a hotel. This building was torn down in the early 1990s.

The Grand Valley Hotel remained a hotel until the 1930s. After that it was turned into apartments. The hotel burned in 1970s.


Upcoming events

— Grand Valley UM Church will host a movie night tonight at 7 p.m. They will be showing “What would Jesus do?” 

— On Sunday, the Grand Valley VFD will be recognized during the Grand Valley UM Church service. Lunch will be directly after. Main course is sloppy joes.

— Every Friday, March 13 to Apr. 10, the Pleasantville Volunteer Fire Department will be having fish dinners from 5 to 7 p.m.

— A paint class will be hosted by the Grand Valley Desperados at the Grand Valley Volunteer Fire Department. It will take place on March 28 from 1 to 3 p.m. Painting supplies, snacks and drinks will be provided. The cost is $25 per person. Tickets will be available the beginning of February. Contact Connie Tenney for more information at (814) 827-9462.

— There will be a Craft Camp at Wesley Woods from April 3 at 7 p.m. to April 5 at 11 a.m. This is a women’s event for ages 18 and above or 14 and above with a guardian. Ladies are invited to bring whatever craft projects may interest them to work on or gain inspiration from others. Crochet, knit, sew, quilt, paint, draw, or scrapbook while having fireside Bible studies with other ladies during this retreat.

There will also be a Man Camp this same weekend for ages 18 and above, 14 with guardian. The weekend retreat will consist of diving into scripture while also enjoying activities including a trip to the shooting range and nerf battles. 

— The Sanford UM Church Easter egg hunt will be held Saturday, April 4, with the hunt starting promptly at 10 a.m. and a breakfast will follow. Cost is donation only. 

— Grand Valley Volunteer Fire Department will host their annual spring raffle on April 11. Doors open at 6 p.m. and raffles begin at 6:30. Tickets are now available.

— Grand Valley UM Church will be having an Easter egg hunt on April 11 at 11 a.m. 

 — Wesley Woods will be having their Easter Sunrise Service at 6:30 a.m. on April 12 with breakfast to follow in the dining hall at 8.

— On April 16 and 18, the Spring Creek Sportsman Club will have a Pa. hunting /trapper education class. The class takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday and from 8 to 1 p.m. on Saturday. Lunch is provided on Saturday. Sign up on the Pa. Game Commission website using zip code 16436. This class is free to anyone 11 years of age and up.

— Grand Valley VFD is having a pie auction on April 25 at 6 p.m. Bring a pie to be auctioned off and/or buy a pie. There will also be a silent auction and an opportunity to see your favorite fireman get a pie in the face. For any questions about this event contact Lazetta at (814) 436-7702.

— From April 26 at 2 p.m. to May 2 at 5 p.m., Wesley Woods will be having their ‘work week’. This is a chance to come and volunteer at Wesley Woods to help prepare for summer. There are projects for everyone. Come on your own or bring a group — contact the office for more information at (814) 436-7802.

— The first Grand Valley horse show of 2020 will take place on May 17 at 9:30 a.m. It is located at the Grand Valley Show Ring next to the former Pine Creek Sportsman’s Club. Cost is $4 a class. Contact Connie Tenney for more information at (814) 827-9462.



— Eldred Township supervisors will hold their 2020 regular monthly meetings and their sewer system meetings on the second Wednesday of each month starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Township Building, 2915 Newton Road, Pittsfield.

— The Grand Valley Volunteer Fire Department is in need of ambulance and fire personnel, as well as social members to help with work bees and fundraisers.

The fire department would like to remind residents to make sure their addresses are visible for emergency personnel.

The department has work bees on Tuesday nights at 6.

Monthly meetings are held on the first Thursday of every month, at 7 p.m.

— The Grand Valley Desperados next meeting is April 4, 1 p.m. at the Grand Valley Show Ring. The meeting will be a ‘work bee’ to get ready for the May horse show. Please bring a dish to share for lunch. If weather does not permit for this outdoor meeting, it will be held April 6 at the Grand Valley VFD.

The club is selling candy bars for $1 to support their 4-H year and get T-shirts. 

If anyone is interested in finding out more about the Desperados 4-H Club contact leaders, Sam Greer or Connie Tenney with any questions, at (814) 827-9462.

— The Sanford Saddles and Spurs met for their monthly meeting Sunday at the Grand Valley Church. Mackenzie Nichols did a presentation on the history of the Arabian horse. Zack Nichols did a presentation on rabbit breeds. Abby Rollan did a presentation on the history of the Morgan horse. The club discussed upcoming events and opportunities through 4-H. 

The club will be selling 12-inch subs with a bag of chips for $6. Orders are due March 22. Please contact a 4-H member to order. They talked about placing an apparel order and voted on a color. The club spent time making scrapbook pages of their horses and bunnies. They enjoyed snack and celebrated Nora Morton’s birthday with cake. The meeting ended with a walk outside. 

If anyone is interested in finding out more about the Sanford Saddles and Spurs 4-H Club, they can contact leaders Matt and Diana Maille, at (814) 436-7778. 


Church schedules

— Grand Valley United Methodist Church Sunday school is at 10 a.m.; worship is at 11; youth group is at 6 p.m. (in the parsonage basement) and is open to all children in sixth through 12th grades. Bible studies are held on Wednesdays at 6 p.m at Sarah Paden’s house.

— G&S Helping Hands meet the first Wednesday of every month at Grand Valley United Methodist Church at 4 p.m.

— Sanford Church Sunday worship is at 10 a.m. Sanford’s youth group will start back up on March 5, at 5 p.m. This youth group is open to children ages 4 to 12. For more information contact Gerri Anderson, at (814) 827-7708.



Happy birthday to...  Jason Paden (March 16)Scott Hansen (March 16)Brenda Savitz (March 18)Robin Brown (March 18) Gail Bidwell (March 18)



Have a busy day planned? This recipe just requires a little prep work and then the crock pot does the rest. 


Cowboy Beans



— 1 pound hamburger

— 12 ounces bacon

— 1 medium onion, diced

— 16-ounce can garbanzo beans

— 16-ounce can kidney beans

— 32-ounce can pork & beans

— 1 teaspoon mustard powder

— 1 cup ketchup

— 1/2 cup brown sugar



In a large skillet, brown ground beef. Drain and set aside.

Cut bacon into one inch pieces. Add to the skillet and cook 5 to 7 minutes or until cooked through, stirring frequently.

Add onions and cook an additional 4 to 5 minutes or until onions are soft and translucent.

Add ground beef and bacon mixture to a large 6 quart slow cooker.

Add pork & beans, drained kidney and garbanzo beans, ketchup, brown sugar and mustard powder.

Stir gently to combine. Place lid on slow cooker and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours, stirring as needed. 


Closing note

Everyone seems to get a little stir crazy this time of year with being stuck inside all winter. As the temperatures warm up, get outside and get some fresh air. Take a walk and pick up some of the trash along the road. Clean the muck out of your vehicle. I enjoy taking pictures of the changing seasons. See if you can find some signs of spring; flower buds, robins’ nests. There are many places in the Grand Valley area to appreciate this time of year.


Contact me

All are welcome to contribute with any local events, club news, seasonal activities, reunions, births, marriages, get-togethers, family recipes and any other Grand Valley happenings. I appreciate any and all feedback from the community.

Please submit information by noon on Thursday so I can get it into Friday’s column. Thank you. 


Alissa Savitz can be reached by phone, 814-964-7453 or by email, at

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