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Bear Creek

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Bear Creek's lakeside setting belies its origins as an industrial village—the personal fiefdom of Albert Lewis, “the Lumber and Ice King of Luzerne County,” whose ice-cutting operations used the lake as a production site, shipping ice cakes via railcar to distant cities. Lewis's own house (1 Coach Road), set on a hill above the dam, was rebuilt in 1923 by Wilkes-Barre architects Innes and Levy after a devastating fire. Today, the Tudor Revival house serves as an inn. Across PA 115 at 25 Chapel Road is the exquisite Shingle Style Episcopal Grace Chapel (1884, P. R. Raife, builder) with a bell-shaped tower, built as a monument to Lewis's first wife, whose Tiffany Studios–designed grave marker stands nearby. Innes and Levy also designed a French Norman compound in the woods for son Hugh Lewis at 1100 Ten Mile Road (1929). By midcentury, with the advent of mechanical refrigeration, Bear Creek village had become a bedroom suburb; Peter Bohlin's career began here with the design of his parents’ house at 600 White Haven Road (1965), an articulated wood-clad mass opening toward the surrounding forest.

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas

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