In the movie, Brigadoon, two American hunters in Scotland stumble upon a village that only appears once every century for a day. This is so that the village would never be changed or destroyed by the outside world. October last year I felt we'd stumbled upon such a place in the mountains of north central Pennsylvania when we spent two nights in Eagles Mere, "the village that time forgot," on our way home from my niece's wedding in Connecticut. I did a post about it called Endless Mountains. It was a gorgeous Autumn late afternoon when we arrived that Sunday last year. The next day, however, it rained. We did not let that deter us from hiking in a nearby State Park. I knew, though, I needed to come back and explore the lake itself in Eagles Mere. I'd tried to get my family together for a week last summer, but schedules and rental availability kept that from happening. So this past Columbus Day weekend we were all able to gather at a house within a short walk of the lake. Our little home away from home was named Pine Cone Cottage. . . .
It was all I'd hoped it would be. Our bedroom was just off the kitchen with a bathroom. Upstairs there were four more bedrooms and two more bathrooms. The dining room had a 10-person table. The kitchen had a counter table for four where we had just 2-on-2 time together. It was perfect for our family of eight, Olivia, and two dogs. Everyone arrived by 11:00 Friday night. We'd attempted a fire in the large stone fireplace, but the ensuing smoke because the wood was too damp kept Ken and me busy airing out the house before everyone arrived. The rest of the weekend was so warm we did not need a fire so we did not bother with it again. Here is a map of the Lake and the Village. Our cottage is the X in the top right-hand corner. There is also a timeline of important events in the life of the Village. . . .
The path hugged the lake. I was like an excited kid walking along with Gabriel, stopping to take photos whenever he'd hold still long enough. . . .
The foliage was near peak in color. . . .
Laurel Path circles the lake, but we got off half way and walked up the hill to the village. This is their Village Green. . . .
Our destination was the "Town Party" held yearly on the Saturday of Columbus Day weekend. This photo is from last year of the shopping "district". In the parking area below this building and to the right were several vendors. . . .
There was also a guitarist that Olivia played along with. . . .
The guys went to look at the old cars on display just down the street. . . .
We walked back to the cottage along the sidewalk this time. Olivia held Gabriel's leash. . . .
This carving of a bear was across the street from our cottage captured Olivia's attention. . . .
The next morning Ken and I drove the mile to the Village because I wanted to walk the rest of Laurel Path back to the cottage. But first I toured the little museum they have there. . . .
English Businessman, George Lewis, bought the mountaintop (elevation 2200 feet) in 1794 and began making glass from the sand in the lake. A small community grew up around it. By the 1850s people outside the area began visiting the lake. By the 1880's Resort Inns were being built. By the 1940's there were 10 hotels and inns along with summer cottages circling the lake. Now there are only two small Inns in operation--Eagles Mere and Crestmont, if you don't want to rent a whole house. The Village is quite small--in 2010 the full-time population was only 120, but in the summer it swells to 1,800.
The path on this side of the lake was entirely different. Much of the path was lined on either side with Rhododendron and Laurel. This particular opening had a bench at the water's edge. I sat for a while wishing I had such a path I could walk every day back home. . . .
This little bridge crossed the outlet pond at the south end of the lake. Ken was pointing to a woodpecker we could hear up in the tree. . . .
We did not attempt the Fat Man's Squeeze which was a path parallel to the one we took. . . .
Here is an old postcard photo of it. . . .
There was a very old legend about a young bride who drown in the lake in the 1800's. Her husband was sitting on a flat rock along the water's edge that night when he thought he saw her in the middle of the lake bidding him to come to her. I wondered if it was this rock. He went back to his room (they were staying at one of the hotels there), sat down at the desk, and put his affairs in order. They found his body the next day. It is said that if you sit on this rock until midnight you will see two misty forms gliding across the water, hand in hand. . . .
Everyone (but us) had to leave late Sunday afternoon. Our second son and his wife were the last to leave. We took a walk down to the beach. I let Gabriel run about since no one else was around. . . .
Eagles Mere is one of those places that you feel you've "entered into another world" when you arrive and stays with you when you leave. I was struck by how quiet it was. The lake was mesmerizing. Only electric and row boats are allowed on it. In the summer I suspect the only noise you hear is the laughter of children having fun as they frolic on this beach or swim in the lake.
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1908 Countryside Magazine
Upstairs in the Museum is a model display of the train that used to carry passengers from Sonestown the rest of the way up the mountain in the late 1800's/early 1900's.
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