A delightful and authentic visit to the Pennsylvania Wilds! The secluded large rustic lodge consists of two side by side wings (buildings) connected by a deck walkway. Each wing has three levels. There are 28 rooms in all, each having lovely views of the surrounding forest. Multiple living room areas accommodate comfortable reading and relaxation spaces as well as venues for crafts, cards, board games and group exchanges. Libraries invite browsing. Expansive decks at the second level of each wing encourage similar activities outside.
There is a fully-equipped large kitchen with an adjacent large dining area; a kitchenette is also available for additional food preparation. Many cooks can comfortably work together without concern for “spoiling the broth.” (Guests are, of course, responsible for their own food. Recommendations for catering services and local restaurants will be available. (It should be noted, however, that restaurants and grocery stores are at least nine miles away.)
Although the lodge is rustic it is well-appointed with comfort features such as hot water baseboard heat fueled by natural gas from wells on the property. Some floors are oak hardwood; others are carpeted. Creative touches introduced by the owner-builder throughout the buildings surprise and delight guests.
A large barn (unheated) is available for indoor activities such as active game playing, dancing, dramatic performances, presentations to groups, yoga, tai chi, or whatever activity requires a large open space. The barn, like the lodge, has large decks for enjoying the woodland landscape.
There is a pond on the property and trails for walking through the 150 acres of fields and forests. Guests particularly enjoy the photographic opportunities and nature study. Outdoor activities are available including campfires and games such as croquet and volleyball.
The setting is suitable for gatherings, parties, retreats, reunions, weddings, workshops, receptions, and all kinds of music and social events. There is plenty of parking space for large events.
International guests are welcome. Rides from and to Erie or Franklin, PA airports can be arranged.
Keywords: Lodge Retreat
Margaret retired from a long career in education in 1992. She is a professor emerita from Syracuse University and served there in many capacities, including Associate Dean of the School of Education. Her doctorate in educational psychology was awarded by the University of Florida. She and husband John co-authored a widely- used college textbook, Becoming a Teacher of Young Children. She was a primary teacher early in her career in the schools of Jamestown, New York and a faculty member and teacher at Antioch College in their experimental elementary school. In her retirement Margaret enjoys photography, pastel drawing, cartooning, memoir writing. She especially enjoys photographing the many native wild flowers found in the Pennsylvania woods and fields. John’s background includes growing up in Oregon; Air Force years; college at Reed in Portland, OR; teaching and administrative posts at Syracuse University, Penn State, and Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena CA., and earning a Ph.D. in psychology and education from Syracuse University. His career focused heavily on evaluation research in education, business, and organizational settings and on management consulting. He has also been very involved in developing museum exhibits featuring his father’s invention, the DOBRO guitar. In their retirement, John and Margaret traveled to Slovakia several times and throughout Europe. John continues to write (plays, poetry, and memoir stories) and to develop and deliver a variety of personal development workshops. John had done many things of interest across his career; however, it was somewhat of a surprise when his previously underused talent for conceptualizing space and creating functional and appealing buildings blossomed in his retirement and resulted in the construction of the large lodge now being offered for vacation rentals.
John and Margaret Dopyera built their large retirement home in northwestern Pennsylvania during the early 1990s on land they had owned for many years. Margaret purchased the 150 acres from an uncle in 1970. Her ancestors were early settlers in the Grand Valley area. Margaret’s great-grandfather, Orange Robinson, had given the land the Dopyeras now own to Margaret’s grandmother, Cassie, at the occasion of her marriage to Archie Smith in 1900. Since the 1920s when the original family home burned there had been no dwelling. Only an apple tree and hearty daffodils continued to mark the spot where the Smith family had lived. The Dopyera’s newly-constructed home, listed herein for vacation rentals, is on another portion of the property. Margaret grew up on a nearby farm in this area, still very rural. She attended the neighborhood one room school and the consolidated high school in Youngsville, fifteen miles away. Part of the reason for buying and building on property in northwestern Pennsylvania had to do with the appeal of maintaining Margaret’s family roots. That, however, is just a small part of the story. The major reason was the quiet beauty of the land with its tall, majestic deciduous and hemlock trees, the wonderful freshness of the air and the abundance of clean water.
The Dopyera property offers the now-rare opportunity to vacation in a beautiful natural setting, remote from traffic, fast food, and the 'hurry' of modern life. It has the positive features of a camping trip yet the rustic accommodations are comfortable and well-appointed.