Allen Court Cottage


DSC_0970Allen Court Cottages were built by the Allen family between 1910 and 1912. They began renting the cottages in 1912. Each cottage was named: Bert Allen’s cottages in 1935 included Morning Mist, Sun Tan, Moon Glow, Apache, Ormand and the Camache.

There were 12 structures in the original “court,” as well as a convenience store, changing house, house for summer help and nine cottages. A 12-unit motel, formerly known as Clark’s Motel, was added later, and a doughnut shop was build across the street from the court.

Eight of the original 12 cottages continue to be rented. The changing house, once located on the beach, was in 1940 moved to the south side to protect it from erosion. It still stands.

Edgar H. Allen, a founding member of the business, remained active until 1983, when he turned it over to his daughter, Vicki. She ran the business like her father until her death in 2010.

Her husband, Hyler, and their son, Jesse, keep Allen Court Cottage and Motel as a family-friend operation on the east end of The Strip.

Allen’s General Store is part of this landscape and continues to provide the general grocery and personal care items vacationers either run out of or forget to bring!

Ad from the late 1950s:


Our guests remember:

Pirl Beach

I spent the summer of 1942 in Pirl Beach (at age 16) and worked part time for the manager pulling weeds and such. Also swam every day. My Pittsburgh relatives had reserved a cottage there for many years. My aunt and cousins stayed. My uncle commuted weekly in his Buick. The Pirl Beach manager used a Model T Ford truck for his chores.

Ken Ford

Memories of Ford's

Most of my summer childhood memories are at Ford’s! My parents met there right at the picnic table. We vacationed there every summer along with my grandparents and great aunt and uncle until they passed away. We made amazing friends there that we still vacation with on Putnam Drive!! I could never thank the Payne’s enough for my childhood memories. Playing Indians in the huge back yard, solving make-believe mysteries, playing release and listening to everyone playing penny poker when my sister and I should have been sleeping. I now bring my son to Geneva every summer. He is the 5th generation at Geneva!

Sara Turner Campos

Chestnut Grove

My extended family and I vacationed at Chestnut Grove from 1948-1964. Being from McKeesport, it was a dream come true to go there every summer. I currently live in Michigan but go back occasionally. Not too long ago, I found a post card of some of the cottages where the swings and horseshoe pit were and a local artist is making me a 24×36 painting of it. I can't wait to see it! So many wonderful memories and so few things left as reminders. It is nice to know that others still remember and care.

Michelle Turner ( a Chestnut Grove Kid)


We vacationed every summer at Idle-A-While in the late '50s and early '60s, partially because my aunt was the receptionist there. I often got to ring the bell summoning guests to breakfast, lunch and dinner in the dining room, which was staffed by co-eds from various universities. Evenings were spent playing bingo, fascination and other games on the strip or bridge and poker back at Idle-A-While. Great memories.
John Bloom

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