Home  |  Site Map  |  The Inn


RENOVATION OF THE WEDGWOOD HOUSE

(01.04.99) We began a major renovation to the Wedgwood House today. The back one-story addition circa 1940 is being torn-down as I am writing to you, and will be replaced by a 2 1/2 story structure that is Victorian in style to match the original 1870 building. We project an early spring completion date. Check back at this site for weekly construction updates including color images.

The new addition and minor renovations to select rooms in the original portion of the Inn will bring the building up to code for the Americans With Disabilities Act as well as the most strict fire safety guidelines. The main level of the addition will house a new kitchen and breakfast room/meeting facility. The second floor will be two or three new sleeping rooms. The old kitchen space will become our office -- our first real office space at the Inn! We will also have a real basement (with nine foot ceilings). We will also install a fire suppression system (That's' a sprinkler system in layman terms). The Pine Paneled Room (I), a small room with double bed on the first floor, will be lost and gone forever.

All work will be done Monday through Thursday to avoid disruption to our weekend houseguests. Midweek guests will be guided to either the Aaron Burr House or the Umpleby House. Of course we planned this construction to coincide with our slowest season to minimize guest inconvenience.

(01.11.99) Week One of the building project began with the demolition and removal of the one story 'lean-to' circa 1940 on the back of the Wedgwood House, which is circa 1870, but built on the ruins of a much older pre-Revolutionary War structure. Day 3 and two 30 yard dumpsters later, the crew began to excavate the new basement and discovered two interesting things outside plus one inside...

Once the "I" room was removed, the crawl space under the kitchen was exposed. As the earth was dug, we discovered that the foundation wall in that area was only two feet underground...so if we dug 12 feet under...the back of the building may collapse. The area was quickly shored-up and a concrete footing poured on Day 4. In snow, a steel enforced block wall was built six feet high and 20 feet across.

Under the old porch floor, a secret underground stone room was revealed. A perfectly two-foot square Pennsylvania bluestone rock about four inches thick sat atop a wood hatch. Three of us had to lift the stone off the hatch door. We lowered an eight foot ladder and climbed down...perhaps the first in 100 years to do so. It is a beautiful hand-chiseled stone chamber - about 7 feet high and 24 feet long. It also has an arched ceiling. We see a different stone in the far end of this chamber, on the end facing the Victorian gazebo -- about four-by-four in size...more on that later.

Inside, while removing the old Servants staircase, which led from the kitchen to the room above it, we revealed a second landing which created a hidden storage space. We always wondered why a 'slant' in the Wedgwood office/kitchen ceiling was up there...

So, one could come down the Servants staircase, into the then back pantry and into this underground room. *Now the ghost stories begin to make sense...* It is common knowledge that the Wedgwood House was part of the Philadelphia-Quaker Underground Railroad. Organized in the early 1800's, a secret string of homes served as a safe-haven for blacks escaping the southern slave trade. The goal was to hide these people from bounty hunters who were legally permitted to look for "stolen and lost property" north of the Mason-Dixon Line. Hiding from house-to house by Quakers and other Abolitionists, the underground railroad tried to move former slaves north to Canada and freedom.

The 'scratching' sounds reported by guests is said to be that of a 12 year old girl named Sarah, who has been separated from her parents. The sounds come from that servants staircases' hidden room... The difference in the underground stone wall probably continues the next 10 feet to the hatch door in the Gazebo floor, just as the local legends say. From there, down the embankment to Aquetong Springs and the Delaware Canal and onto the next 'friendly' barge to Lumberville - the next stop on the Underground Railroad, 7 miles north of New Hope...

And that is only Week #1!!! We plan on preserving the underground room. If the structural engineer says its safe, we hope to incorporate the space in our House tours. Our local historical society will also connect us with an African-American Heritage group to assist by possibly linking our stop on the Underground Railroad with references in letters written by former slaves who escaped through our area.

We especially hope to reunite Sarah with her family... -- Luckily the back of the House gets southern and western light because the crew was often working in 20 degree weather. In addition it snowed all day Friday! Next week you will meet the 'crew'.

(01.18.99) Week 3 begins with readying the foundation to be poured. Mark Hendrixan operates his bulldozer gracefully and oh-so-close to the main section of the Wedgwood House. Brian and his mason crew of 4 build the forms and prepare them for a "Foundation inspection" by the new (tough) Building Inspector, "Ray". Paul Raywood, neighbor, avocational historian and builder, is the General Contractor. Architect Richard Brown is telling Ray right now about our 'ever-so-slight foundation plan changes due to the discovery of the historic stone and brick tunnels. We pass inspection! And Ray accepts our wish to preserve the underground passageways even though doing so slightly increases the footprint of the basement... Two cement trucks arrive as scheduled later in the day and the footings are now poured. The balance of this week will be consumed by building the cinder block walls...the basic outline of the new addition is taking shape at last. Dinie, Paul and I review and finalize window and door selections because there is a 6 to 8 week lead time for delivery. (01.25.99) Dinie, Jessica and I are flying to Las Vegas for the Inn Expo '99, then on to Florida to visit family and 'Uncle Walt' in Orlando. Mark will dig-out the Bilco door (exterior door to the basement) and Brian will continue to build the foundation walls and a passive drainage system. Perhaps the carpenters will begin framing...??? Images of the different construction phases should be on-line soon too. Happy Ground Hog Day on 0202! If Pauxatawny Phil shows up in our yard, he better be wearing a construction helmet!

(02.01.99) Week 5: Masonry work is completed this week. The drain is installed, and all cinder block walls are erected. The basement floor is just stone in case rain/snow pours in. Mark uses his excavating equipment to move some of the earth off-site. Lots is used to back-fill around the new foundation and to level the backyard a bit ( so if there is a tented event tables and chairs won't fall over!) No more dump trucks and bulldozers, yeah!

(02.08.99) Week 6: The carpenters are back! Steel beams in the basement are installed and huge floor beams (TJI) are also. The balance of the week the crew of 4 men erect the perimeter walls and the space for all our tall windows and 2 sets of 6 foot French doors are blocked-out in the Gathering Room and Kitchen. As we can know 'see' how this addition will look on the first floor, our excitement grows. Cleanup begins at 3pm and all workers depart at 4pm...as the first of our guests' arrive for the long Presidents'/Valentines' Day Weekend.

(02.15 and 02.22) Paul Raywood's carpenter crew, under the direction of Richard, are now framing the first and second floor. Richard and his four assistants - Ron, Anthony, Todd and Keith understand that 'this is not a 'construction site', but a going B&B concern. Every now & then they need a reminder not to shout, etc., but generally we reward their good (quiet, neat) behavior with goodies from the Inn kitchen! Dinie and I decided to add another kitchen window, but otherwise we are following the architect's drawings...so far anyway!

(03.01 and 03.08) Week 9 coincides with the first day of March and it is a cold and windy day. The carpentry crew is completing the 'framing' of the 2nd floor. The masons are completing the prep work in the basement (bolstering the Underground Tunnel, cutting a door into the old basement which connects to the new one, and creating a ceiling over the 'bump-out' in the basement.) They also finished the radon prevention system (we have none) in the basement floor.

Week 9: The cold and windy weather continues; it is 15 degrees below normal. The carpenters are now 'rafting'; that is constructing the Skeleton of the roof. Very high work, made even more dangerous by the high winds and cold weather. The 'pour' occurs; the cement truck poured the concrete and all the basement floors and ceiling over the 'bump-out' are now 'curing' (hardening).

On Thursday at 4pm a 'treeing' ritual took place. An evergreen branch was nailed to the highest point of the roof rafters to recognize the 'rafting' portion of the carpentry was now complete -- and no one fell off the roof! Paul Raywood supplied champagne for all onlookers, but it was too cold for the naked nymphs to dance around the new addition... Late Thursday the carpenter crew began 'sheathing' the roof rafters (nailing plywood to the 2 by 10's)...the roofers should be working next week...

Changes to the original plans include: 1) making the balcony in the new suite (H-I) larger to fit a table and 2 chairs; 2) adding a French door to another new room (K) which will lead out onto a private Victorian porch, and; 3) adding a dormer and porch to the 3rd floor storage area. This marks the 'about halfway mark' of the construction... the goal is to be in by Memorial Day! Let's see...

One other memorable occurrence this week: a prospective guest (couple) who chose not to stay with us Hit the Porte Co-Chere of the Wedgwood House with their vehicle as they departed -- and didn't stop to inform us. One of the 3 brick and wood support columns of this circa 1870 'car port' came crashing down about 9:30 pm on Friday evening (0305). It had to do extensive damage to their vehicle. Sooo, if anyone sees a car with white paint on it's damaged fenders...

(03.15 and (03.22) Cold March weather continues. Our largest snow of the winter dropped 5 to 6 inches of the white stuff last night. No work today. Richard and Keith stopped by to shovel the snow off the newly 'sheathed' but not yet roofed roof... Puddles of water are on every floor, but the carpenters and plumber (Frank Olsen) are back at work Tuesday. Frank is rough plumbing for the kitchen, Bathrooms and in-room Whirlpool bathtubs. The carpenters are completing the roof sheathing, and papering. 50 and 60 degree weather returns and all the snow is gone by Thursday. The masons arrive to install the basement (Bilco) door and wrap-up their last coating around the foundation. Frank is plumbing (we also placed our order for 5 (FIVE!) 2-person whirlpool tubs. The carpenters are working on very high scaffolding to construct the deep eaves and soffits to match the Wedgwood House detail. Due to cold weather, They are priming the trim (white face boards, red molding) in the new (warm) basement and then cutting and nailing in place. Paul and I decide to prime (blue) all the siding too when the time comes 'cause it looks finished as it gets nailed in place. Larry Geist came along too early in this week to spray his foam insulation in the attic storage area. The Sprinkler guy also stopped by for some last 'field measurements'. And the Roofers (3) began on the 24th too. Perhaps another time we'll tell you how we manage to have a 12 person meeting going on plus a relo exec in for 14 nights and the usual overnight 'get-a-way' guests too! Next week: More plumbing and roofing? Carpenters begin interior walls? Windows? Electricians to begin?

(03.29) A chance of rain on Monday did not stop the roofers from beginning on time today. although the skies looked threatening and it rained nearby, it was dry in New Hope and the 2 member crew continued apace all week. They still need more time to complete their roofing next week.

The carpenters completed the eaves and soffit work staying just ahead of the roofers. They also stapled 'Tyveck' (a white vinyl sheet) around the entire new addition as a weather and vapor barrier between the plywood and the wood siding. The building went from a plywood wood look to a bright white look in one day...

Frank Olsen also completed roughing in plumbing t/o the new addition. He now awaits the whirlpool tubs arrival...

Wednesday was an exciting day: 18 insulated and historically correct Marvin windows arrived by truck from Nieces' ...and within minutes of unloading that truck, another arrived with our order from Bath-Tec: 5 2-person whirlpool tubs! More unloading to do!

Anthony and Keith immediately began to install the newly arrived windows...and with the assistance of Todd, Ron and Richard, used the pump jacks and scaffolding to raise the 2 double windows and 2 tubs to the second floor. Quite a sight.

The two person crew is also here to begin the installation of the Fire Suppression System (an orange pipe, sprinkler system.). Beginning in the basement, they are not in anyone's way...yet. They brought their own Boom Box to compliment (!) the carpenters'...

Paul S. from Custom Cooling got the Heating/Cooling contract and did a walk-thru too w/ me and Paul Raywood. That begins to be installed too very soon.

Electrician Fred Vocke also did a walk-thru (on Wed) with Paul and I. He and his crew will begin on next Monday.

Lots of guests this week...many off for Spring Break... Passover and Good Friday... We are off to Uncle Ron and Aunt Meryl's for Passover Seder. Tomorrow to Nanna Faiths' for the second Seder...All crews are working the entire week through Friday afternoon.

Insurance paperwork notarized and sent back to Adjuster...check is in the mail to repair the Port CoChere column mention previously. Not a high priority of mine at the moment; don't wish to distract the completion of the addition...

Next week; some base and high face boards (blue) get nailed up? Tubs get installed? Roofers roofing, Sprinkler guys a sprinkling, carpenters installing doors, electricians running wires? All complete before Memorial Day??? I hope that is not an April Fools joke...

- P.S. Our Building Inspector (Ray) was replaced by 'Russ'...who OK'd the Sprinkler paperwork as specked out by Ray...Pual R. had a good meeting w/ him...we won't see him on the job 'till the Rough-in Inspection...

(04.05) This has been a productive week indeed. Electrician Fred Vocke and his assistant Aaron began to do their thing. The HVAC guys also began running their ducts and installing the central a/c and heating units. The roofers have been steadily completing the new roof, and should have the 'ridge cap' installed by the end of the week. The Sprinkler guys are near completion of their system too. The carpentry crew took delivery of a truckload of wood siding from Neices at the beginning of the week. Two people have been working steadily on priming (both sides) w/ Wedgwood blue tinted primer paint. Other carpenters installed the second floor balcony Doors and built the verandah and roof on the East side of the building. now the roofers can complete that section of roof plus the one above it too.

Plumber Frank Olsen has been quietly working solo on all the various new plumbing details. He had to move Wedgwood's kitchen sink Wednesday morning...but Dinie convinced him to re-hook it 16 inches out into the existing kitchen (new office) until (if we ever) leave. We also ordered 5 'waterfall' faucet sets from Bath-Tec Whirlpool Co. this week. Holicong Security came out to review the new addition to incorporate it into our existing Fire Alarm system. The telephone people (Lucent Technologies) were also contacted to do their internal wiring. Mark Hendrixsen returned w/ his Bulldozer to rough grade the back yard and back-fill the foundation. Bill Long will finish grade next week (Long's Landscaping).

Forgot to mention that a roofer fell last week, from a ladder to the second floor roof...on his next to last day at his job. The Emergency crews arrived and took him out by stretcher, but he was fine and released from the ER a few hours later...

It is our intention to use the new 'dining room' this weekend to serve tea...a 'Hard Hat' affair to remember???

(04.12) Lots of 'small things' came together this week to make big impressions. The very full 3rd 30 yard dumpster was hauled away early Monday morning. Bill Duffy (Long's Landscaping) came in right behind with his bobcat (type of tractor) to finish grade the backyard. Later in the week over 30 yards of soil was then spread over the area in preparation for the arrival of the sod next week...

The carpentry crew completed the installation of the siding on the west gable matching the detail of the existing building...corner boards, window cap trim, face boards, and so on. The Magnolia tree is in full bloom right in front of this section, and it all looks so great. As the carpenters packed -up on Friday at 5pm, Bill stayed on longer to backfill the foundation under their scaffold, and to create a bed along the base of the West gable with azaleas and petunias. Rain that night and a cloudy Saturday gave all the new plantings and transplants a good start.

The Sprinkler system was completed and filled with water and tested... no leaks!

Fred and his electricians continued to run their wires. The roofers worked in a mist on Friday to complete their work, but a little more must be done because we had a leak over the new porch roof on Friday night... Frank also completed additional rough plumbing. Heating and Air conditioning guys also ran much of their ducts and pipes.

Lyle Rickert, and old acquaintance from the Carriage Company and an accomplished musician, joined Raywood's carpentry crew to paint the siding and do general cleanup too. He will work full-time with the Mule Boats soon, so he is filling in while his time is available. He dreams of the color 'blue'.

Besides the siding, carpenters completed the porch on the east side, including porch posts, brackets, trim, and soffits. The porch is now seamlessly 16 feet longer... They also broke through the old window of the 'H' room to make it a door, and created a hallway to allow 2nd floor access from the original section of the building to the new. The 'GH' suite, aka the '2 Room Suite' is now just one room...we took several photos before we cleared out the H of GH...Soon we'll lose use of the large bathroom to complete the connecting hallway.

Tea in the new addition worked so well last Saturday, that we repeated it on the 24th, again to the delight of houseguests. During the Tea, we have available a photo album of the construction as well as a set of drawings and a printout of this webpage to interest guests in the project and our newest accommodations.

Next week we will be studding-out closets and fireplaces, constructing an exterior handicap ramp and ...more siding. Painter John Bray will be making his debut on site as will Holicong Alarm Company. Bill is due back to dig some trenches for the new telephone system. And Dinie and i are getting ready to host a Hard Hat Open House on Wednesday and Sunday afternoons (04/21 & 04/25) in honor of our 17th anniversary at the Inn. And Paul Raywood will have figured-out the staircase too!

(04.19) A lot of things came together just in time for our 'Hard Hat Open House' on Wednesday afternoon. A rainy Monday prevented Bill from laying the truck load of sod that was delivered this morning. But he did spend a good portion of the day in the rain preparing the soil and trenching the ground with a ditch-digger in order to bury downspouts and telephone and electric wires. Tuesday he buried the pipes (conduits) in a mist.

Plumber Frank and Electrician Fred continued to complete their work as did the HVAC guys. Carpenters built the parlour pocket doors, framed in all the closets and fireplaces, and did extensive work in the old 'H' room...

At 1 pm all the trades were all over the building as we prepped for the Open House, which was scheduled to begin at 3pm. Richard supervised the 1st floor cleanup and everyone either worked on the 2nd or 3rd floor or on the exterior of the building. A sheet of plywood atop a table saw served as our buffet table, and a great time was had by all!

About 50 people came to tour the new work we've been doing. A photo album and blueprints were also displayed. A great article appeared in Thursday's Intel which featured the underground tunnel. Danny Whittaker (L'ville Station) picked up Jessica along w/ his 2 boys and brought her back to the Inn so we could chat with late arriving visitors.

John Bray the painter is now on the scene and concentrated on the downstairs (priming windows and French doors) to give a good impression. Bill must have spread 5 tons of stone 5 minutes before guests began to arrive. And the green 'carpet' of grass he laid in the back and side yards looks fantastic. He also mowed the other sections of lawn to make a good impression. Thank you all for your special efforts and contributions.

Next week: Holicong will complete the alarm wiring, Tel folks will come to wire that and electric and tel wires will be run underground. Carpenters should also install the steps...

As a rainy Friday ended, all the basement lights were completed and are working...

(04.26) the 'high' from the Opening has been replaced by the banging of hammers as work resumes in earnest. The Sprinkler guys are done and have filled the tank with water...the Smoke alarm guys from Holicong also roughed in all their wires for their hard wired system too. Electricians complete their rough in too: Andy from UL does an Electrical Inspection...and we pass!

Roofers also complete their work on schedule, but will have to return to do some additional, add-on work above the Lavendar Room...

The Telephone guys from Lucent (C.W.A.) are now in the buildings wiring for the new telephone system...another group is working on running underground cables between Wedgwood House and Umpleby House, and the Carriage house and our Home... Bill Duffy dug the trenches, and 'Howard' and his crew of one ran the wires, and the Four Guys from Lucent run the internal wires...a real Union job...

The carpenters site the ramp on the west side, cut in for the p-taks and prepare for the delivery of the steps by sheetrocking the tower and building the landings...

John Bray and Sam continue to paint the exterior, windows and doors...and the week ends with brass door levers installed on the new exterior (red) doors...

(05.03) As Frank completes his plumbing work, the New Hope Building Inspector ( now it is 'Russ') does a Rough Plumbing' inspection on Tuesday... and we pass again! As he walks around. Russ offers Richard a heads-up on some needed 'fire-stops' for the next carpentry inspection.

The steps arrive early Tuesday, and Richard and his crew immediately begin to install them in the newly sheetrocked staircase tower...and the work...no more need to climb ladders between floors, or go out windows from the original section to the new! Paul Raywood calls for a Rough Inspection for Thursday as the carpenters and HVAC guys from Custom Cooling race to complete their work before the inspector returns.

Paul and I accompany the Inspector (Russ) as we do an extensive tour of the construction site from the basement up...and we pass again!!! Congrats to Paul and Richard and all the men for making things happen on time and correct the first time...

Friday the closing up of the interior walls begin (left open for the inspection...) with the first insulation installed. Dinie, Paul and I also toured the conversion of a big dairy barn to BnB use at Chimney Hill and came away with many ideas Not to do..and one in particular we should be doing: a rigid sound insulation on top of the regular insulation that is then sheetrocked over... Also, the porch off the 2 French Doors was begun. Holes dug, footings poured and mahogany decking nailed in place... 8 foot long and 22 feet across. Looks great.

Joshua Halperin has joined the Wedgwood staff and came in from 3 to 5 on Friday to assist me in cleaning up the interior and exterior for the weekend.

(05.10) Electricians return to complete work now that the staircase is in and all framed-out. Some decisions are made on the kitchen thanks to visits to the site from Mike at the Normandy and Lynn and Skip from Philadelphia. Short order cook/innkeeper and off-prem caterers respectfully, they all had important perspectives on the design of the kitchen space. As a result, we'll have a tile floor set in concrete with a floor drain; a new door installed off the dining room which will allow food to go out one door and dirty dishes to return in another door; settled on a commercial grade dishwasher and its placement as well as the basic layout of double sinks and refridg and stove.

Paul gave all subcontractors a call to check their work because the insulation is quickly being installed...and sheetrockers are due in Monday the 17th...

The G room was used for the last time this past weekend. Richard and Keith and Anthony, Ron and Jan broke through today ripping and tearing out the sections of the old plaster walls in the H room and the old GH bathroom...and around the Servants' staircase and Dumb Waiter. No spirits flying about....yet. Dinie had packed out the G room earlier... and Frank cut-off the water to the tub and pedestal sink..

Lucent guys are nearing completion of their work. They activated the Door Bell/intercom feature on 'Wedg and 'Ump...John added a new worker to his crew...besides Sam we now have the first woman on the construction site...name to be posted soon.

There is no more scaffolding on the west side of the new addition and its all painted out now...and the newly planted azaleas are a-bloom and it all looks like it all belongs and was always there...

(05.17) Minor carpentry projects are completed to stay ahead of the long awaited Sheetrockers... Another team of carpenters begin tearing down the wall in the old GH bathroom to construct the new hallway connecting the old and new parts of the Inn from the second floor. This gets torn down, old plumbing removed and new walls framed in too. Newt week, Fred (electrician) and Frank (plumber) will come back to do their work in this space...Johnny (HVAC) too along with Holicong (alarm) and the Fire Sprinkler guys too.

6 'rockers arrive (some on stilts!) soon after the rock was delivered. They work most of Tuesday and all of Wednesday...and run out of rock... completing their job on Thursday. As they pull out the Spackling team arrive and whip through taping the joints... They may come over the weekend to apply coat # 2...

John, Natalie and Sam continue to paint the exterior. They are also painting all new windows and power washed all the buildings and brick walkways too.

As rain fell on Wednesday, the carpenters moved outside, constructing back steps and the side ramp for handicap accessibility. Ron built 2 mock handrail details and Dinie & I agree to a style and color combos too. John will come in on Saturday to prime some of the posts of the ramp as well as some of the wood decking.

Mike from Inn Style comes out to measure for carpeting in the Wedgwood hallways as well as the new bedrooms...and orders the pattern and colors as per Dinie and i...finally!

We served Tea outside last weekend because of dust from the soundboard. Now its dusty due to sheet rock dirt... We'll probably serve off the porch again...

Did we mention the Friday (fire) incident? Ron was on a 8' ladder using a router to cut open light outlets when a router motor sparked a bit of dust and insulation and started a fire... luckily Ron is a Frenchtown Fire captain and kept his wits about him...no damage...

(05.24) A race to get out early on Friday (the start of Memorial Day Weekend) kept the pace fast this week.

Sheetrock crews came and went quickly and with no notice, applying a total of 3 layers of joint compound (spackle) and a finish sanding plus a finish sponging... With some anxiety due to lateness of arrival for last touch-up work, Josh and his friend Brian were able to spend 3 hours each cleaning up the addition and the old GH space while Dinie and I were checking in guests for the long weekend.

All week the carpenters worked in 3 different zones: Framing and floor work in the old GH spaces; (electricians, plumber and HVAC guys too); constructing and finishing the handicap ramp on the eastern side of the building (Bill Duffy too); and building the porch roof for the new rear porch, complete with 4 new turned posts. Richard also came in on Saturday and completed another six foot section of the ramp railing.

The paint crew pre-primed all the wood used in these projects. They especially sealed all the detail on the very Victorian hand rail which is on the ramp, the rear porch as well as on the balcony off the new 2 Room Suite. Paul, Sam and Natalie also restored and painted most of the remaining west side of the House up to the 2 story Bay Window. John and Sam also came in on Saturday and power-rolled the primer while no one else was inside (making dust). They will continue priming the newly finished 'rock walls next week.

Next week the DW and Viking stove should come in, the tile man begins on Tuesday just ahead of delivery date... The hardwood floor will also be in by Wednesday. Raywoods' crew will install the 650 + square feet in the Dining/Meeting Room and trim same in time to receive the 12 tables Jeff from the Front Porch made for us...soooo we can be as ready as possible for the 45 person Pfizer Pharm. meeting we are hosting for the 5 days beginning (late) Sunday the 6th of June....oooops: cutting this a little too close!

We not only served Tea again on the new side porch/ramp area, Dinie also served Breakfast there. And i took a 5 minute 'rest' on the new rear porch late Friday night...on a rocking chair watching the full moon drift by to the delicious smell of the mock orange tree...Jessica and her girlfriend Julianne also colored Sunday morning on this porch before spending a Long day at the newly opened Village II Swim and Tennis Club. And lastly a note to say Jessica has been enjoying the company of 6 year old Amanda in the CH and Ian (10) in the Spiral Stair Case Room. Guests at the inn with their families, they have played in the backyard, at the Swim Club and ...on the new rear porch!!!

(05.31) While we had a busy Memorial Day (3n) Weekend, we did not complete the new addition by this date...which was a very optimistic goal to begin with. This weeks' race was to have the breakfast/meeting room ready for the Pfizer Mid-Atlantic Regional Meeting which is scheduled to begin Sunday night 06.06.

John and his painting crew primed all trim; doors were hung for noise abatement and the hardwood floor was laid too. First 'lost' at the distributor, Paul got Neice Lumber to go to Phily and find the flooring, and they did and it was onsite Tuesday and nailed-in on Wednesday and Thursday. Friday the last of the baseboard and window trim was completed; The painters worked on Saturday and Sunday so the space would be ready for breakfast on Monday...

Jeff and Dan of the Paint you own Pottery store came in Sunday night around 8 pm to assemble the 12 wood tables they designed for us. They were working as 3 of the Pfizer District Managers came in to pre-set the room for the 4 day confab beginning on Monday. Since I was checking-in the 5 late arriving Pfizer staff, I cleaned-up and arranged the new room through Midnight. Earlier that day (in 90 degree heat) i borrowed 40 folding chairs and some tables from the 'Little Shul' for the new meeting/breakfast room. Slate blue fabric, they were perfect for a Wedgwood blue feel to the space.

Richard, Jim and Ron also worked on Saturday to ready the space and tidy-up the exterior in time for the 'Pfizer 45' to arrive...

Sunday night ends hitting the bed at 2am (Monday)...in time for a 3am tele call (looking for her spouse, but he is not scheduled to arrive for 2 more days(!?). Another guest, due to arrive Sunday night, arrived at 6am....and the angry spouse arrived at 6:15 looking for her spouse!

(06.07) We are up and Dinie is at the Inn to greet the spouse and get breakfast for 10 Pfizer and 22 'regular' guests in the new space...and we did it! The biz meeting broke-up into 2 groups of 12; one group met in the Umpleby parlour and the other at Aaron Burr House. Both were pre-arranged with flip-charts, extra chairs etc. A light breakfast at 9 was followed by a 10am break...and the catered lunch by Villa Vito arrived at 11 for the Noon event. Due to extreme heat and humidity, a window ac unit was installed because the Central air was not yet complete in the meeting/eating space...Altho the group was scheduled to have a casual lunch outside, we were prepared for them indoors...and not one ate outside!

As they went back to meeting and a 2:30 break, the contractors were concentrating on work inside but away from them...Tuesday was a special challenge as another 22 Pfizer folk arrived ... never saw the parking lot so filled! While we had a few 'real houseguests' in, most all our rooms were booked to this group, plus 13 at Logan Inn and 5 at the Fox/Hound. Dinner at Oddete's a smash! A reporter from the Courier Times tries to interview me a a few Pfizer folks, and promises to return with a photographer...not much time to devote to Tony. The group goes off to Canoe and won't be back till dinnertime.

The heat is 99 degrees on Wednesday too, but the ac's are doing fine. Lucent was to have had our tele system installed last week, and are now back to complete their job... some carpenters go home early, frustrated by the # of cars/people and inability to work/move their vehicles. Havanna's do the next 2 lunches...sandwhiches and a friut and cold drink. The heat lets up on Thursday...the reporter returns and his photog takes some pictures...and the groups meet till 5pm!!!

Exhausted, Dinie and i pick-up Jes at the Clubhouse together and have a quiet meal at home...exilarated that the new space 'works' and that we pulled it off!

The front page of the Business section of the Courier has a very positive story about inns and meetings with a great pix of neighbor and Pfizer staffer Noreen Daniels and quotes by me, Peter Suiss, and DM Paul Johnson too. A nice reward after a long week...

(06.14) No rest for the weary: after THE busiest week ever at the Inn,

The weekend included a 3am return home from Cousin Mike and his new bride, Ami (Blema and Joe Hoffman/Aunt Tutsie-Uncle Sam). And my Mom, Shirley Glassman, who flew up to attend, came back with us to spend 4 days in New Hope. I picked-up Jessica from Juliane's new home in the country...her brother Wyatt had a surprise asthma attack during the night and Jes and Juli did not have a good sleep... Then off to Shul School for graduation/last day of school for the year. Gramma Shirley came along too.

Monday all contractors were in full swing to complete trim to stay ahead of the painters... Johnny fired up the first floor central air...too late for the meeting, but glad its up and running. Picture rail detail on the second floor is completed too. In the middle of all this, Jes comes home early from the Clubhouse...she did not eat her lunch (PIZZA) so Miss Sue thought she must be sick! She also complained of a sore throat...which WE thought was a mimic of Wyatt's troubled breathing...

But Jes was sick on Tuesday too and Dr. Moore confirmed Strep Throat AND Scarlet Fever (rash). First dose of Medicine and she was feeling better...but i wasn't... Big field trip for the P-3 Clubhouse Class on Wednesday--to the Wedgwood followed by a Canal Boat excursion with Paul Raywood...Jes stays home on Wed to rest but we keep the trip as planned and Jes, Dinie and I meet the class at the Inn at 10:30am. 15 4 year olds and 8 parents tour the Inn and our basement to view the Tunnel!!! A picnic lunch follows in the rear Gazebo and off in 6 cars to the Canal Boats. the Contractors are glad to get rid of us! Dinie and I and Jes and all her classmates have a fun trip until Jesse B. and Amanda are stung by Bumble bees while trying to use the port-a-johns midway through the trip...but they are O.K.

We go home to rest. I go directly to sleep with Jes. She wakes up fine: but now i'm definitely sick. My 8pm Doc app't confirms that i have Strep too. Med is prescribed along with orders for 2 days of complete rest (Ha!). P.S. Adults get Strep when they are run-down...

Locks and door knobs are ordered with Pat from Neices' and the contractors leave early on Friday... John Bray comes in on Saturday to paint the trim on the new stairway while its quiet and no one is using it...

(06.20) All the pieces of this construction project are coming together very nicely, in large part because of the professionalism of the tradesmen and the project management skills of Paul and Richard. In the middle of trying to tie all the loose ends together, Cindy and Michael from the travel site 'Cruisin'' America show up to interview us and to publish their critique on their webpage. We meet at 10:30pm and spend 2 hours together. Mike gives me several diskettes of images for our own use. They wrote a very favorable account of their stay...

Frank the plumber switches the inn over to the new system, and all goes well. cheryl Raywood begins her decorative painting magic and the sleeping rooms come alive with color. Jan begins to trim out all the fireplace units...Tile guy is moving, but slowly. waiting on the TV/VCRs i ordered, plus the 3 shower rods Frank special ordered...

(06.27) The real '2 minute drill' to complete the "rooms" has begun. The carpet guys show-up...3 of them...and the new Miligan patterns are outstanding; great job Dinie! The painters are just ahead of them...and then they do the 40 foot hallway connecting to the existing hall and steps, and it is all tied-in just like that. They are done in 1 1/2 days.

The ac guys have to find the missing Ptac unit...Frank has to rec those shower rods. The 2 walnut Canopy beds arrive and we store away in the barn for safekeeping. Next day the mattresses and boxsprings arrive and they go right upstairs. Sam the painter works till 2 am and sleeps over; Natalie does the same Wednesday night...John and Mary added Celeste to the crew too. They are all working very closely and long days too to get us open for the big 3 n July 4th w/e.

Franks' order is lost!!! Paul and Frank try all major suppliers but no luck...Frank makes 2 shower rods for the corner showers out of copper tubing ...and they look great!!! Tv/Vcrs won't be in till next week. The Alarm guys won't be back to install the fire alarm till next week... Jan is out all week due to a shoulder injury from waterskiing...and Keith is out with a fever. Paul and Richard keep everyone focused on the goal: to open the sleeping rooms! Jim, Ron and Anthony pick-up the slack.

Thursday: the ac's are on! The ceiling fans installed! the tile guy is done! 3 beds are assembled 'cause the majority of interior painting is completed. Dinie returns from County Linen Center (Innstyle) with 24 custom shades to install...and curtain rods and lace to hang. And, 3 bathrooms to decorate (tp holder/towel bar/light fixtures, etc.). Dinie keeps pulling 'stuff' out of the barn and our home that she has been storing for the last 4 months (or 2 days!).

All trades are assisting us but Mary, John and Richard are outstanding in their dedication to get any job done, at any time of the day or night too. John finishes very late Thursday night, and all the paint crew takes Friday off. Richard, Ron, Anthony and Keith are in on Friday along with Chad and Fred Vocke's oldest son to complete the electric hook-ups and installation of all the antique brass light fixtures Dinie purchased. Fred drops by and finds 3 outlets inadvertently covered over by the sheetrockers/spacklers... and he does so without making a single speck of dirt! Now all outlets are working. Jessica is placing a spa oil packet on each step "to give the new construction a nice smell". In the closets too. An apprentice innkeeper.

Since all the new rooms are booked for the 3 nights, we continue working after Richard and the electricians depart. The first room is occupied (K) around 6 pm...and they love their room! Andy and Lynn stop by with friends, so does Julie and her family and Janet and hers too. A pouring rain begins as Bill Duffy and his 2 fellow landscapers complete their planting/mulch/river stone magic...

The last dumpster was hauled away today. The last scaffolding came down off the west side too. All 3 houses are full for the long w/e. Not yet completely done, but eminently presentable, the new addition is 'working' in both design and in practice. And all is well at the Inn, exactly 6 months after this adventure began.


Home  |  Site Map  |  The Inn