The historic Holly Inn is located in Mount Holly Springs, Pennsylvania. It lies in the Gap of the South Mountains in Cumberland County. This beloved inn nestles in the gorge that the Mountain Creek flows through, where the changes of seasons bring color and drama. Natives tell the story that the Holly Inn started as a “shack” by the mountains. By the late 1700’s the shack was transformed into a small log tavern.
In 1804, the log tavern was replaced by a stone building solidly built with sandstone from the local quarries. Only then was it called an inn. Because the surrounding landscape was peppered with holly trees, it was given the name that it still bears today, the Holly Inn.
In the late 1960’s the Inn went through extensive renovations with preservation of the original grey stone building. The restaurant is in this buiding; several heritage rooms located above the restaurant. The tavern was created by the enclosure of the porch on the building south side. The part of the original Inn that was the three story hotel was replaced in the 1960’s with a Banquet Hall and ten hotel rooms. The banquet hall has been, and continues to be the site of many memorable weddings, receptions and other social events.
The average temperature of Mount Holly Springs is 8 degrees cooler than its surrounding cities, thus the Holly Inn quickly became a popular summer resort for guests from New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, DC. The Inn developed into a hotel that comfortably accommodated as many as one hundred guests. The beauty and serenity of the mountains provide a natural setting for outdoor activities and encouraged restful visits. Guests who came to the Inn to recuperate from serious illnesses also enjoyed the benefits of the pure water that flows from the neighboring streams.
In 2003, the Holly Inn Group Inc. a group of friends and family members, acquired the Inn which had lain idle for a number of years. They made extensive and necessary renovations. These included access for guests with disabilities, a completely new deck by the mountain creek, and the restoration and furnishing of all 14 guest rooms. Each guest room is unique in its design and all have private baths. The four rooms above the most historic part of the building is coined the Heritage Section, two of which were enlarged with whirlpool installed. The large capacity Banquet Hall with a roomy dancing floor was refurbished and fully equipped for social and business functions. Special care was taken to faithfully retain the charm of the historical part of the building, a true landmark. The original 200 plus year old sandstone walls, about two feet thick were carefully restored. The renovations revealed construction methods of yesteryear, such as horse and human hair with plaster and other fascinating relics of a much earlier time.
A large stone wall, the original exterior, was rediscovered and now carefully preserved to be savored by guests in the Heritage section. Despite the many changes in the Holly Inn structure, its exterior remains the same familiar face well loved by the close knit neighborhood.
Diners can now feast on our favorite dishes like Crab soup and Crab Cakes, as well as our meat and seafood specials. The tavern offers a wide array of choices for drinks. Two large screen TVs show ongoing events.
The unique setting of the historic Inn, the charm and warmth of its atmosphere, and the natural beauty of the Gap in the South Mountains make it very inviting. Guests tend to return year after year. The members of the Holly Inn Group are pleased to be a part of this vibrant history of the Holly Inn and of Mount Holly Springs.