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Eagles Mere Innkeepers Preserve the Past

  • By
  • January 15, 2018
Richard Lobach Eagles Mere Inn innkeeper

Hospitality at its Finest

Innkeepers Geniality Abound

culinary Eagles Mere Inn
Richard and Tammy Lobach have brought their years of culinary and hospitality experience to their positions as innkeepers at The Eagles Mere Inn. Photos and text by Joan Mead-Matsui, journalist, travel writer, and photographer.

When you walk in the doors of the Eagles Mere Inn, you’ll likely smell a sweet aroma coming from the kitchen. Shortbread cookies, warm cider, and aromatic teas are seasonal treats in the works throughout the year that is available for guests to sample. Consider your first whiff of delightful sweets as an indication of what’s to come during your stay at the inn.

Eagles Mere Inn country retreat
Innkeeper, Tammy Lobach isn’t shy about asking guests to taste test new recipes. In the meantime, while you wait for your “small plate” or entree to arrive, you can dream of what’s cooking in the kitchen. 

Creating a Favorable Experience Is Key

 

Staging allows innkeepers Richard and Tammy Lobach to create an ideal atmosphere for their guests.

“We’re all about the experience. We’re trying to make our guests’ experiences a bit more current. But the house has a history. We’re giving the inn a fresh facelift. We love the history of Eagles Mere and we are incorporating that into this building.” ~ Richard Lobach, Eagles Mere Inn innkeeper

 

Richard Lobach Eagles Mere Inn innkeeper
Richard Lobach embraces Eagles Mere history and the inn’s collection of memorabilia displayed throughout the inn. The medal he’s shown holding will hang in the Water Carnival Room to represent happenings at Eagles Mere water carnivals held in the 1920s. 

Be Prepared to Embrace History

 

What are guests looking for in a bed and breakfast experience? One guest reserved a room for one night and stayed a week. Richard attributes her change of heart to an abundance of peacefulness and a slowed pace that visitors seek when they choose The Eagles Mere Inn.

Eagles Mere is quiet during the winter months and Richard is candid with guests who seem disappointed to learn the borough doesn’t offer shopping outlets and nightlife.

“I tell prospective guests, If you’re looking to be entertained, you won’t find that in Eagles Mere,” Richard says. 

 

What you will find are an inn and a village brimming with history and activities centered on family.

“We’re bringing the history of the town into the inn,” Richard explained.

He found his way into the hospitality industry as a bellhop right out of high school and has worked for several large hospitality corporations. His positions entailed taking over bankrupted, foreclosed, and underperforming hotels. But the hours were demanding and five years ago, Richard required surgery to repair a back problem and realized he had to change his lifestyle.

“I got a job at a bed & breakfast in New Hope, PA and when the position was eliminated, I (answered an ad and) came to the Eagles Mere Inn.”

Richard and Tammy, Allentown, PA natives, have been married for 32 and have two daughters.

“We went from seeing each other 30 hours a week to seeing, living and working together 24/7. I think with 32 years of marriage, we got that part. We learn from each other and sometimes we are able to listen to each other. Sometimes not,” he quipped.

Richard’s extensive background in hospitality management and Tammy’s many years in food preparation have enabled them to run the inn and stay on top of their evolving business as innkeepers.

Eagles Mere Inn culinary
Tammy has worked on and off in the hospitality industry for years. 

Although they use seasonal chefs, during the off-season, Richard and Tammy assume a variety of roles. Tammy is shown in the recently renovated kitchen at The Eagles Mere Inn. Her day typically begins around 5 a.m.

“I started out in the J.C. Penney restaurant and I cooked my way through college,” Tammy noted.

Breakfast is available bright and early for “first on the scene” guests who are eager to begin their day. Featured breakfasts range from sweet or savory options to a buffet when visitors total 10 or more.

“What kind of things do you like for breakfast?” was one of the first questions Tammy asked upon my arrival at the inn, followed by “Do you prefer sweet or savory?”

Eagles Mere Inn breakfast
“Made to order to your liking” is one of the extraordinary aspects of dining at The Eagles Mere Inn. A fried egg served over strips of crispy bacon and greens is a delightful mix of savory and healthy. Baked peach oatmeal, eggs, and a “Country Bake,” (everybody’s favorite) a gluten-free selection that’s prepared with eggs, potatoes, and cheese are among the breakfast options. 

In addition to her breakfast and dessert contributions, Tammy makes several treks each week to markets to buy fresh produce and other staples.

“I do all of the shopping and I try to buy fresh produce whenever possible. Whatever is in the store that looks really great, that’s what I serve,” Tammy says. “It’s great to have that flexibility because we are not a corporate property. I can go to a farmers’ market and buy vegetables and put them into a dish.”

The Eagles Mere Inn can accommodate up to 140 patrons in its three dining venues: A.C. Little Drinkery, On the Rocks patio and the 1887 Chop House, a more formal dining space.

“The inn is a continuously growing and product improvement plan. Take-outs, eat-in…you can do it all at The Eagles Mere Inn,” ~ Richard Lobach

More interesting facts about The Eagles Mere Inn:

(courtesy of Richard and Tammy Labach)

  • The guest rooms (17) were numbered when they first arrived at the inn but researching historical Eagles Mere documents helped them to assign a name to each room and the dining options.
  • In the Raymond room, they have “Raymond” memorabilia, a teacup that’s stored in a shadow box and pictures to go along with the former Raymond Hotel.
  • Some of the renovations have included new carpeting in 80 percent of the rooms, all new mattresses, water filtration systems, water softeners, air conditioning, remodeled tavern and front porch, and a fresh coat of paint.

 

Don’t miss my companion story joanmatsuitravelwriter.com/eagles-mere-inn
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Eagles Mere Inn – a Romantic Dose of History

  • By
  • January 10, 2018
romantic Eagles Mere Inn

A World of its Own

The Eagles Mere Inn

Eagles Mere, Pennsylvania

Eagles Mere Inn romantic evenings
Dusk falls on the fairy-tale-like Eagles Mere Inn. All photos by Joan Mead-Matsui, travel writer, photographer, and videographer. 
What draws someone to a particular location varies from person to person but The Eagles Mere Inn, a Sullivan County landmark, is a favorite among folks who yearn for a peaceful country setting.

 

After several visits to Eagles Mere, Pennsylvania over the course of 20 years, I can’t understand how anyone could forget the timeless beauty of “the town that time forgot.” In 2017, I had an opportunity to experience Eagles Mere as a guest at The Eagles Mere Inn.

“..Let’s Not Forget…The Town That Time Forgot..”

The inn is far enough from the busy Route 42, the main road through the borough, yet only a short walk to the center of town and Eagles Mere Lake – two prominent hubs for year-round activities.

Eagles Mere is a family-centered hamlet that was founded in the early 1800s as a glass factory. By the late 19th century, the town had evolved as a mountain resort community renowned for its grand turn-of-the-century Victorian summer homes or “cottages.” The population grows from 120 full-time residents during the off-season but as summer arrives that number can grow to more than 3,000.

Eagles Mere Inn

 

Romantic Eagles Mere Inn

The Eagles Mere Inn was built in 1887 and each guest room highlights historic places, events, and people prominent in the borough’s history. 

historic Eagles Mere InnThe Lewis Glass Suite is named after the George Lewis Glassworks Era from 1804 to 1830. Located on the second floor of the inn, this two-room suite features a painted iron and brass queen bed, five delightfully large windows, sitting room with a sliding door partition, love-seat sleeper couch, 24″ smart television, comfortable chairs, and a private bath with a shower.  All but two rooms have a television but you can certainly bring a book to read, a journal, and/or a drawing pad and pencils as a much-needed break from electronics. Eagles Mere is a haven for environmental preservationists and birdwatchers so be sure to tuck a pair of binoculars in your suitcase. All four seasons afford opportunities to catch a close-up glimpse of the wildlife that roams on hundreds of acres of nearby land. 

Lewis Glass suite Eagles Mere Inn

Eyelet, handmade quilts, and soft cotton linens are all part of the appeal. Each guest room has a signature style that’s in keeping with the era and name given to each accommodation.

By day, the light floods in and in the evening, the sitting area is a comfortable retreat after an activity driven day. 

historic Eagles Mere Inn comfort
Open your windows and allow the sheer curtains to sway with a delightful country breeze. Guest rooms are air-conditioned in case you decide fresh air is not your bag. 
romantic Eagles Mere Inn
Each guestroom has its own color palette and furnishings that reflect a simpler time.

The Whirlpool Room, standard king and queen rooms, junior suites, deluxe suites, select king rooms and standard full rooms are your lodging options. Accommodations range from $129 to $199 and a hearty country breakfast is included in the room rate.

Romantics can explore Eagles Mere for the entire month of February thanks to a special Valentine’s Day offer. Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a “romantic weekend package” when you book a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday stay. That package includes the room, breakfast, 3-course dinner, wine, roses, and chocolate.

Call the Inn (570)-525-3273 to book your stay.

Dining

The Eagles Mere Inn home-cooked meals
Ordering from the small plate menu allows guests to sample a bit of this and a taste of that.

Taste testing is a fantastic opportunity to sample and share a variety of menu items. Sometimes, choosing one entree is daunting if you can’t decide what suits your taste buds.

romantic Eagles Mere Inn
A.C. Little Drinkery at Eagles Mere Inn pub appeals to a wide range of tastes.

Romantic Eagles Mere Inn

A.C.Little’s Drinkery, located on the inn’s lower level is pub-style and casual and an ideal setting to relax or catch your favorite sporting event on television. Dinner is available from the inn’s small plate menu and you can find your perfect brew from among the selections from local wineries and micro-breweries. A current menu is available at this link. The same menu is also available for diners who choose to have dinner in the dining room located next to the lobby.

romantic quaint Eagles Mere Inn
Be a part of The Eagles Mere Inn history. Sign the guest book located in the lobby.

Book Your Event

Couples planning to marry or individuals looking for an intimate, picturesque venue can also reserve the beautifully manicured grounds for parties and events of all kinds. Eagles Mere offers many scenic vistas and locations for photo ops.

romantic Eagles Mere Inn
Vintage quilts and antiques at Eagles Mere Inn

Nearby Activities

What do snow and ice bring to Eagles Mere?

The famous toboggan slide has entertained residents and visitors since 1904. Created by the volunteer fire company, the slide is especially fun for thrill seekers. Sledders have been known to race down the hill at speeds up to 45 mph, according to townspeople, also known as “cottagers” who own second homes. Eagles Mere provides the setting for anyone with an affinity for winter. Details can be found here.

Eagles Mere Lake covers 114 acres and is surrounded by hundreds of acres of forest. Inn guests receive complimentary lake passes that can be used to swim at the beach or paddle their way around the lake in the innkeeper’s two kayaks.

Golfers can get in a round of golf during their stay at The Eagles Mere Inn. Reservations and an overnight stay are all you’ll need to enjoy the inn’s membership benefits at the Eagles Mere Country Club. Learn more about the club’s rich history that dates back to 1911.

Eagles Mere is a treat to visit. We all need a healthy dose of yesteryear and history to fully appreciate life today. Specialty shops, a noteworthy bookstore, the old-fashioned sweet shop, museums, an enchanting selection of country inns, cottages, and rentals; and a private golf club are a few of the reasons why Eagles Mere continues to draw thousands during peak tourist season.

quaint historical Eagles Mere

When you want to venture out of town, on the outskirts, you’ll find spectacular waterfalls and plenty of nature on hiking trails.

During the winter months, one might see Eagles Mere as a ghost town but rest assured, that’s merely an assumption and not entirely true. Don’t let that stop you from planning a romantic fall, winter, or early spring getaway.

Follow this link for more information about Eagles Mere.

 

The Eagles Mere Inn is located at 29 Mary Ave., Eagles Mere, PA. You can reach out to the innkeepers at 570-525-3273 or visit eaglesmereinn.com/inn.

Read the companion story: joanmatsuitravelwriter.com/eagles-mere-innkeepers-preserve-the-past

My stay was comped but my opinions are my own.

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Anthracite Heritage Art and Culture Eckley Miners' Village Exhibits Lifestyle Museums Northeastern Pennsylvania

Anthracite Heritage – Eckley Miners’ Village

Anthracite Heritage

Eckley Miners’ Village Anthracite Heritage

We celebrated Patchtown Days and Slavic Fest 2016

by Mike Korb

Pat and I went to Eckley Miners’ Village for their annual “Patchtown Days,” a genuine commemoration of Anthracite Heritage. We had an opportunity to experience Slavic Fest 2016, a celebration of the customs and traditions of the Slavic peoples who emigrated to the anthracite coal region. Traditional music, food, living history, and crafts were all part of the lineup.  Pat’s family is Slovak. Her maiden name was Trubisky, before that maybe “Trubecki” in the Carpathians where her great grandparents came from in the 1870s.

We were at Eckley for a fun and eventful morning.  In the middle of the main street. we saw a play about prejudice against the Slavs presented by Eckley Players, a group of volunteers who dress in 1870s garb; Pat  ate “loksa”, a potato/flour pancake cooked on a coal stove in a Slavic summer kitchen; we talked to some University of Maryland archaeology students on a dig on Eckley’s Back Street;  we listened to Slavic music;  Pat fed a therapy donkey and decided not to buy a corn straw broom; people ate haluski, pierogi, halupki while I had hot dogs and watched them.  Seems like it was a great day for a good time in a relaxed setting.

Pat Korb at Eckley Miners’ Village

 

The National Trust for Historic Preservation defines heritage tourism as “traveling to experience the places, artifacts, and activities that authentically represent the stories and people of the past.”

Eckley Miners’ Village is heritage tourism.  

Most of all, it tells the story of anthracite heritage and people through the preservation and exploration of the site. It is helped by these cultural festivals. http://eckleyminersvillage.com Next year’s Patchtown Days will be a celebration of Irish culture.

Eckley Miners’ Village was founded in 1854. But it is a village frozen in time.  Consequently, you see a company town that housed miners and their families, a doctor, a company store, and churches. The town also had the coal mine and the “breaker” where the mined coal was sized for market.  These often were the only places immigrant families could afford to live.  In the early 1900s, Pennsylvania had more company towns, which were known as “coal patches,” than any other state in the nation.

Eckley survives, a relic of anthracite mining heritage, because of a movie.  The 1968  motion picture “The Molly Maguires,” starring Sean Connery, Richard Harris, and Samantha Eggar scenes were mostly filmed there.  The homes and streets were restored to circa 1870 and a prop breaker and other period structures were erected for the movie. You’ll want to  rent or buy the movie, a lost American film classic, at Amazon or Netflix. (http://www.movies.com/molly-maguires/m47145)   I’ll write more about the “Mollies” in Anthracite Heritage in future posts.

In 1971, the village of Eckley was bought “lock, stock, and barrel” by Hazleton (nine miles west of Eckley) businessmen.  They donated it to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission to transform the quiet village into the country’s first mining-town museum. http://www.phmc.state.pa.us/portal/communities/pa-heritage/jewel-in-crown-old-king-coal-eckley-miners-village.html

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission has active support by the Eckley Miners’ Village Associates, a non-profit community-based organization. Eckley is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.  Take a guided tour at 11 a.m. or 2 p.m., Monday-Saturday (at 2 p.m. on Sunday).  Treat yourself to a nice quiet stroll through history. Haunted Halloween Lantern Tours and Christmas at Eckley are two of the special events offered throughout the year.  

1940s WWII Weekend

Consider attending the 1940s WWII Weekend August 6 and 7, which will include a Swing Dance to a live band on Saturday evening at the Freeland Public Park Pavilion, four miles north of Eckley at 401 Front St., Freeland. 

Photo courtesy of Eckley Miners’ Village

 

Anthracite Heritage
View of the Eckley Miners’ Village from the mining engineer house…Photos by Mike Korb

 

Eckley’s 1940 anthracite mining engineer’s  reflects the  home front  in the region, the subject of the weekend.  It seems like it was an interesting time in Northeastern PA.  

In 1940, more than half the US homes were heated with coal – 88 percent in Pennsylvania.  However, anthracite production and employment were cut in half from 1918 and the biggest company had filed for bankruptcy in 1937.  Although the war years brought production back, labor shortages with increased production  caused problems . Some results were labor problems and collusion between companies.  The push for more coal caused much of the extensive environmental derogation that  led to many of today’s abandoned mine land problems.

You can see a good  film in the public domain about the 1940s in anthracite online at http://www.buyoutfootage.com/pages/titles/pd_na_428.php#.V3EEIsuV91s

I don’t dance, but I DO plan to visit the WWII Weekend.


3 other Anthracite Heritage festivals you won’t want to miss:

 

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Art and Culture Exhibits Museums Northeastern Pennsylvania

Anthracite Heritage Tourism

anthracite heritage tourism

Anthracite Heritage Tourism

“Sights and Sites You’ve Likely Not Seen but Should Have!”

by Mike Korb

Over 60 percent of the world’s anthracite coal is deposited in Northeastern Pennsylvania (NEPA).  During the 19th century, anthracite coal was the fuel that ignited the Industrial Revolution. When you take an anthracite heritage tour, there is lots to see and lots to learn about in the anthracite coal region of Pennsylvania – 484 square miles in nine counties, between Harrisburg and Forest City. When you travel the 150-mile trip up Interstate 81 and across US Route 6 and make one of the many eye-opening side trips through the coalfields, you will ride along a ridge, looking into deep valleys, over steep hills, along streams and rivers, and find yourself surrounded by spectacular scenery. You’ll see cities, mountains, unique small towns, and hear and learn distinctive stories and traditions. And those are just a few of the characteristics of anthracite heritage tourism that are something unlike anything else – Sights and Sites You’ve Likely Not Seen but Should Have! 

The story of the anthracite coalfields is a legacy of labor history, ethnic diversity, and pride, creating a working-class culture that made America great. One-hundred years ago in this scenic area, 180,000 hard-working miners were producing the coal that created modern America.  It’s a real believe-it-or-not experience when you read and hear the work these guys did when you see it yourself on a journey into an underground mine. I’m inviting you to come and explore NEPA to enjoy the one of a kind anthracite heritage tourism, recreation, sights, stories and adventures waiting for you here in the coal regions.

I’m Mike Korb, a mining engineering graduate of the Missouri School of Mines in Rolla Missouri. I’ve been working in the mining industry for more than 50 years in management, executive, professional, supervisory, consulting, and technical jobs; worked in bituminous coal, iron ore, limestone, industrial sand, copper and slag mining operations and more than 20 years in the anthracite coal fields here in NEPA. The past eight years I worked for Pennsylvania in Abandoned Mine Reclamation until May 13, when I became a “mining, reclamation, management, heritage development consultant,” retired.  Always before now when I called myself a “consultant ” it was because I was looking for a job. Now I don’t want to work full time anymore but I don’t want to stop working either. I want to continue being an advocate for mining and coal, responsible environmental management, economic development on previously mined lands and heritage development and preservation.

Right now I’m working to start a group to promote and facilitate tourism of the heritage, history, culture and natural beauty of the entire anthracite region and to educate and apprise about the features and events that demonstrate them. Joan has graciously offered to allow me to blog on her Visit Northeastern Pennsylvania page and I plan to talk with you about what that organization is doing and about the great attractions and events that are related to anthracite mining heritage, at least until she gives me “the hook.” I’m working on the name of it, which likely will be the Anthracite Heritage Alliance (AHA).

 anthracite heritage tourism

I was an immigrant to the anthracite region more than 40 years ago.  I moved to Hazleton on Valentine’s Day 1974.  My good wife Pat (some call her St. Pat for being married to me for nearly 50 years) and I had looked at houses in Jim Thorpe, Lansford, Palmerton, Pottsville, Nesquehoning, Coaldale, and Lehighton, to name a few, and I think probably every town in a 25-mile radius of Tamaqua, where I was working at the anthracite mining operation Bethlehem Steel bought from the Fauzio Brothers.

When we first looked at the region, it looked like a pretty dreary place, with lots of gray landscapes, but we discovered the people were amazing friends and neighbors and it was a great place to learn about the industrial revolution, labor history, and immigrant communities. We found it a remarkable place to live. We moved away for nearly ten years for a job on the west coast but came back because it’s such a good place to be.  It’s also somewhere you’ll want to visit.  The area has some fantastic mining heritage tourist attractions, including two state anthracite heritage museums and three underground mine tours, and the Molly Maguires; and hundreds of potentially great ones. I’ve taken dozens of groups on heritage and mining tours here and haven’t touched the coal dust on more than a fraction of them. One tour I led a couple years ago was called “Sights and Sites You’ve Likely Not Seen but Should Have!” You don’t want to miss what you can see and experience on these tours.  We have big open pit mining operations, magnificent architecture, churches, museums, ethnic food, iron furnaces; and historical sites – places that literally changed American history, economics, labor.

We were the “old country” for people who moved to Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, California, and their grandchildren.  How many people in the United States had a “grandfather who worked in the mines?”  And wouldn’t it be neat to show the kids where grandpa worked or a place where grandma made her home?  You can do both of those and lots more in NEPA.

AHA will develop a strong partnership network focusing on shared anthracite heritage issues, in Lackawanna, Luzerne, Schuylkill, Carbon, Columbia and Northumberland Counties – across the entire anthracite coal region, and help address legacy mining issues.  The partnership network will attempt to include all of the mining, historical, environmental, cultural, heritage, stories and tourism aspects of the anthracite region, and I hope to tell about its growth, the “Sights and Sites You’ve Likely Not Seen but Should Have!” and the anthracite heritage tourism places and events you should visit in NEPA. I can also help answer questions about places you want to know.waver

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