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Merwinsburg Hotel gets a spring cleaning

  • ELSA KERSCHNER/TIMES NEWS Sterling Burger was raking leaves and branches from a flower bed.
    ELSA KERSCHNER/TIMES NEWS Sterling Burger was raking leaves and branches from a flower bed.
Published June 18. 2012 05:03PM

During the Revolutionary War era, around 1775, Jacob Merwine purchased several hundred acres of land and built a log house on what is now Merwinsburg Road.

Peter, his oldest son and heir, was born in 1783. Peter's first-born son, John, inherited it and ran the by then well-known hostelry. With no formal education he acted as the local lawyer for the West End. He made sure his children had educational opportunities.

The first structure at the present site was built in 1804, and was modified over the years. In 1875 John's daughter, Emma Virginia, who married Alexander Gould, took possession of the property.

In the 1960s the Goulds still operated the business as a boarding house.

The property next went to the Shiffer family until they decided to sell it.

Now it is owned by Chestnuthill Township along with 50 acres of land, which cost $560,000. It has one-half mile of access to the Pohopoco Creek. It may benefit the Chestnuthill Township Historical Society.

The heating system and roof were repaired in September-October 2011. Swales were put in and planted to grass to keep the water away from the foundation. Those were the major things that had to be done to prevent more deterioration.

On May 12 members of the society went to do the spring cleaning on the lawn and gardens.

Kathy Getz, a historical society member, said she hopes it will eventually be open for tours.

The Monroe County Historical Association has the original sign which the local Society would like to have copied and placed where the original was.

While members of the Society were working, talk turned to the possibility of ghosts. According to the book, "Pocono Ghosts," eerie music is heard at times and Bob Ely said people may be seen through upstairs windows.

However, members said it is unlikely ghosts will be included in any future use of the hotel.

An exciting moment during the cleanup occurred when a swarm of bees was found in a tree to the rear of the hotel.

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