The History of Glen Summit Springs

B. H. Carpenter, 1936

The Early Settlers at Glen Summit Springs

In the latter part of the 19th century or the early part of the 20th, John Conety owned what is now Indian Springs and about twenty-five (25) acres around the springs at Glen Summit, and his home, which was near the spring located on the road then known as Lauraton Road, later the Wilkes-Barre and White Haven Turnpike. This was one of the roads running out of the valley and was used as a thoroughfare to New York, Philadelphia and other points east and south. John Conety lived in a log cabin located near the spring and kept a roadhouse for the accommodation of the travelers, where they could get what they wished of food and drink. Later, the log cabin was torn down. On the death of John Conety, the land reverted to his son, Richard Conety, Sr., who built a home near the spring. In 1880, Richard Conety, Sr., sold the land, spring and house to Mr. H.H. Derr of Wilkes-Barre, who bought this property for the purpose of having a convenient place to hunt and fish, which he did about once a week during the season. Dr. Derr at this time rented the property to Richard Conety, Sr., who continued to live there. Mr. Derr held the property for two or three years, then sold it to the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company. Mr. Derr was always sure of a mess of speckled beauties, whether the fishing was good or not, as Mr. Conety had a live-fish box which was always well stocked. When Richard Conety, Sr. sold the property, he bought 116 acres of the land from George A. Carey where the Glen Summit Colony is now located. Afterward he sold 104 acres of this to the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company through Mr. J. E. Patterson for the purpose of a hotel, restaurant and a summer colony. Soon after 1880, Richard Conety, Sr., moved his new home to Kirby Avenue. (This property was later sold to Miss Elizabeth Sharpe.) In 1882, the Lehigh Valley Railroad organized the Glen Summit Hotel and Land Company, and bought more adjoining land, and soon afterward began to sell off lots and build the hotel. At that time the Glen Summit Hotel and Land Company started to build there were no trees on that part of the mountain. The ground was covered with scrub oak and other wild brush. The following is quoted from the Glen Summit Hotel circular published in 1905:

"Glen Summit Springs lies two thousand feet above the sea, on the crest of Nescopeck Mountain in the hill country of Northeastern Pennsylvania. "Moosehead, or, in the Algonquin tongue, Nescopeck Mountain, is one of the most easterly spurs of the Blue Ridge - itself a continuation of the Allegheny Range. "The Allegheny, or Appalachian Mountains, are the diminished descendents of the once mighty Laurentians, which extended along the eastern coast of the North American Continent."

The best view of the mountains and valleys from Glen Summit Springs is towards the west, nearly all the cottages being built facing that direction so that they command a view of the mountains and valleys, which extend over a vast district, and the beautiful sunsets for which Glen Summit Springs is noted. The peak of one mountain on the west side of the West Branch of the Susquehanna River, about sixty miles away, can be seen on a very clear day. Though the view from many cottages has been cut off by the growth of the trees and is greatly missed, yet Glen Summit Springs is so much more beautiful than it was when the scrub oak predominated that most of the cottages can find no fault. As has been previously stated, Mr. H. H. Derr was the first Wilkes-Barrean to appreciate the beauty and possibilities of the region which is now know as Glen Summit Springs. According to the records in Luzerne County Courthouse, Mr. Derr was taxed in1881 for 434 acres of land at $1.50 per acre and $50.00 on the house at Fountain Lake which he purchased of Richard Conety, Sr.

The Founders

"When Nature demands a respite from the turmoil and strife of ths work-a-day world, what glad release from care and crowded street, to bar thy city door and fare away to the hills."

The founders of Glen Summit Springs made a wise selection when they chose this wooded mountainside, with its tonic air and pure, cold spring water, as the site of our healthful summer resort. It might be interesting to go back over the past to see who were really responsible for the Glen Summit Colony. First - John Conety, who found a wonderful spring and located his home and way-house there, although amidst the forest and miles away from any habitation. Second - Mr. H. H. Derr, who bought 400 acres of land thought it the best place in the locality for fishing, hunting and a day in the wilds. Third - Mr. J. E. Patterson who, having much trouble with his sleeping in the valley, came to Mountain Top, where he found he could sleep very comfortably, so he looked about for a location for his a home. Mr. Patterson was well acquainted with the woods, having come from a wooded part of New York State. In wandering about the mountain, Mr. Patterson evidently came in contact with Mr. Derr, and found out about his possessions at Glen Summit Springs, so Mr. Patterson conceived the idea of locating a hotel and restaurant where trains might stop for lunch instead of their stopping at White Haven, as they were then doing, and he thought this a fine location for a summer colony where he might have a home. Fourth - Mr. John Welles Hollenback who, it seems deserved the most credit. Although a very busy man, Mr. Hollenback gave a great deal of time and talent to working out this project. Mr. Hollenback was on the Board of Directors of the Hotel and Land Company, and always attended the meetings, and was appointed and worked on most of the committees. Besides the valuable time and ideas which he gave, he also gave large sums of money, and without his assistance it is doubtful if The Glen Summit Colony would now be in existence.

The First Builders of Homes

It has been difficult to determine who were the first builders of homes at Glen Summit Springs, and it what order or date they were built. Neither the minutes of the Glen Summit Hotel and Land Company, The Glen Summit Association or the Glen Summit Company have the dates of the building of homes. At the Recorder's Office at the Court House were found records giving dates of leases and dates of recording the leases of lots, but nothing further. In a vault in the basement of the Court House were found hundreds of old assessment books from the dates of the first assessments on homes for taxing purpose were secured by Benjamin H. Carpenter. As assessments are usually made in the early part of the year, it is possible that the homes were built the year previous to the date of assessment. As soon of the assessment books were missing, it was impossible to get the exact date of some of the assessments. Mr. Joseph Emmett Patterson was born in New York State on August 22, 1838. He was in several lines if business in Wilkes-Barre and, being of a rather nervous temperament, could not rest or sleep well in the valley. At one time he spent a few nights in the hotel at Mountain Top and slept so well and felt so rested that he looked for a location for a home. Mr. Patterson, being a native of a wooded locality in New York State, felt perfectly at home as he wandered over the mountain range. Consequently, it is not surprising that on coming upon the glen, the spring and streams, he should conceive the idea of locating a hotel and restaurant where the trains might stop for lunch instead of a White Haven restaurant, as had been the practice. This idea was conveyed to the director of the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company, who became interested, formed the Glen Summit Hotel and Land Company. Mr. Patterson, in selecting a name for this location, consulted his wife, Mrs. Julia Burnet Patterson, and to her credit for the selection of the most appropriate name, "Glen Summit Springs," is given.

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