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Eagles Mere

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Eagles Mere is a remarkably well-preserved turn-of-the-twentieth-century resort community built around a 250-acre spring-fed mountain lake. The lake was once known as Lewis Lake for English immigrant George Lewis, who established a glass factory here in 1803, which closed in 1829 when he returned to England. J. Richter Jones, a Philadelphia judge, later bought the property, hoping to develop a resort, but his death during the Civil War disrupted those plans. His wife, however, is credited with changing the area's name to Eagles Mere. The town's life as a resort began in earnest in 1885, when a syndicate of mostly Lycoming County businessmen acquired land around the lake and hired Embley S. Chase, a civil engineer from Wilkes-Barre, to lay out lots, develop an infrastructure, and manage the budding resort. Eagles Mere's promoters advertised the site's natural beauty, salubrious air, pure water, and the comfort and leisure of their hotels and cottages. Changing vacation patterns after World War II contributed to the decline and demolition of the town's five large hotels. Today there are two smaller hotels, a handful of shops, five churches, and scores of cottages. Most of those cottages, built between 1885 and 1940, are in the Shingle Style, which complements their natural settings. As early as 1877 promoters prohibited construction of houses within one hundred feet of the lake, a restriction that remains in force and preserves the lake's forested environs.

Three streets encircle kidney-shaped Eagles Mere Lake. Eagles Mere Avenue, where the larger cottages are found, is the community's main street. The intersection of Pennsylvania and Eagles Mere avenues marks the small commercial center and village green.

Writing Credits

Author: 
George E. Thomas

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