Dutch Haven: The Place That Made Shoo Fly Pie Famous

Visitors have been coming to Lancaster County by traveling Route 30 for literally hundreds of years. But for over 60 years, a very special building has signaled their arrival in Amish Country. It’s been around long enough that folks tell their grandchildren about it. It has a claim on being the area’s oldest visitor landmark. Most importantly, it’s the “place that made shoo-fly pie famous.” That building is the landmark Dutch Haven windmill, with its revolving arms still beckoning travelers to stop and come inside.

Tourism first started to grow in Lancaster in the 1940’s, and since many visitors came from New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia, they drove right by Dutch Haven, and stopped in to have some of the legendary pie. And who knows? Maybe Doris Day or Dinah Shore had even stopped by prior to their recording of the song “Shoo-Fly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy,” a song also recorded by Stan Kenton and Guy Lombardo.

Today, the store specializes in Amish furniture and over 10,000 unique gift items and collectibles. Fortunately, the walls on the inside of the windmill still contain many of the original decorations and paintings from the “old days.” The paintings were by an artist named Vince DeHaven, his last name being an odd coincidence to say the least! Other reminders of Dutch Haven’s past remain as well, including the old mailbox painted with Pennsylvania Dutch designs. You’ll also see the big barrel, informing visitors that “genuine Amish style root beer” is available. Now filling what were once restaurant dining areas, are rooms bursting with over 10,000 items. You’ll find one of the best selections of primitive Amish pine furniture — corner cupboards, pie safes, chests, and shelves are all available. Gift and decorating items range from Amish woodcrafts to jams and jellies, potholders to copper crafts, and T-shirts to stunning pottery.

Many people make Dutch Haven a stop on their regular visits to Amish Country. One man said he took his first shoo-fly pie home and ate the entire pie in one sitting! Another visitor tasted the sample and asked what it was. They were told that it was shoo-fly pie.  The visitor responded in shock, “Why it can’t be. I don’t like shoo-fly pie!”  With Dutch Haven’s ship-a-pie, you can send a pie to yourself or a friend virtually anywhere in the USA. They hold up quite well, and taste like they’re hot out of the oven after a little warming in the microwave.

Dutch Haven had closed for a short time in 2023, but it is back open in 2024, so if you’ve heard that it closed, that is Old News! Dutch Haven is open 6 days a week, 10am to 6pm, Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays. Fridays 10am to 7pm. Saturdays, 9am to 7pm. Sundays, 9am to 6pm. Closed Wednesdays. For more information, about this Lancaster County landmark, call (717) 687-0111, or go shopping and send a pie online at www.dutchhaven.com.