Monday, July 14, 2008
the farm - then and now

The picture above, I have posted before....This was how the front of the house at Huckleberry Hill Farm looked back in the mid-to-late 30's....before there was even any landscaping....! Below, how it looks now. It is called "The French Manor" and it is more than a Bed & Breakfast place....And by the way....some of their facts about the building of The Farm which they state on their Website are totally wrong....There were no 500 Artisans from Germany and Italy when this home was built....ALL the workers and "artisans" were local people.....
About a year and a half ago I was looking up something on Go*gle regarding The Pocono's, and I came across the picture above....I almost couldn't believe it...In fact, it took me three passes to recognize our home.....Huckleberry Hill now a B&B? Wow! I found this truly amazing! And here below, is a picture I posted before, of my mother and Alice Grauer picking Huckleberry's near the backside of the can see the Patio in the background...... And below, amazingly....What it looks like today....A slightly different angle, but still, the same Patio, taken from The French Manor website......In truth...the outside doesn't really look that different, at all. They have kept the integrity of the building exactly as it was---using the same stone, etc., which makes me feel really good...I'm glad that The Logans, who now own the property, (And have owned it for over 17 years...) felt so strongly about this.....It shows that they have a lot of respect for what was created all those years ago.....This picture below is from their website....Kind of extraordinary to see it look almost the same, isn't it?And then, above.....another of my "archival" views of the House and Patio which I have posted before. The other side of the Patio from where my mother and Hattie G. were picking Huckleberry's.....And then, Below---- "The French Manor" view....Again, not the same angle but surely the same House and Patio, but with a staircase that wasn't there originally....There were two staircases at either end of the Patio when my parents built this house, and in the picture below, it appears that they added this one just to the side going down the front of the Patio......I don't know this to be a fact, but I am assuming they removed that side staircase just barely seen in the Archival picture just above this one.....It is kind of amazing to see my photograph and then theirs....It could be the same time period, except for that staircase. Here below are some pictures of the interior, as it was back when it was our home, and now, in 2008, as The French Manor...... This is Marion Singer Kessler.....(Her father took this picture and many of the others, too)....You can see one of the Fireplaces that this huge Living Room/Dining Room had....This one, designed by my mother, as it happens....Then, below, pretty much the same angle only this is how the room looks now....It is basically a huge Dining Room...... And below, another angle of The French Manor Dining Room.....
And below, another picture from 'back in the day' with some of my parents friends sitting in front of the other fireplace at the other end of the room.....It was wintertime.....The Christmas Holidays...... You can just see the corner of the Fireplace in this picture--way up on the right side of the photo---This Fireplace at this end of the room was no doubt "working" that day...The couple sitting on the couch over on the right were Rae and Mitchell Kessler.....The Singers and the Kesslers were great friends of my parents and Marion Singer and Dick Kessler (over in that picture on the side) were classmates of my sister Robin....Marion and Dick married, which was a lovely thing for all concerned..... Above is Oscar Schisgall....Sitting in front of the Fireplace facing the other people above.....Oscar was a wonderful writer and one of his sons, Dick, was a contemporary of mine. We went all through school together in Great Kensington School, which was the Grade School, then Great Neck High, which was the Junior High and High School, as well as Sunday School at Temple Bethel....all of our family's were very very close.....Here below is another "Winter" picture of the gang from Great Neck....... That's Oscar Schisgall way over on the left....Elsie Rudin, Jack Rudin's wife...(He was the first Rabbi of Temple Bethel in Great Neck, and FYI: their son, Steve and I went all through school together along with Dick Schisgall)....Next to Elsie Rudin is Dick's Mom and Oscar's wife, Mrs. Schisgall...and I cannot remember the names of the next couple, and then, 'Jen The Hen', my mother...and then The 'Good' Dr. Bill Kaplan...(Remember him?) and then, my father, 'Daddy Joe'.......And those "artisans" that The French Manor" speaks of on their Website were brought over by Mr. Kress much much later, in the late 1940's and early 1950's, to restore all sorts of paintings in the Kress collection----He was the man who bought Huckleberry Hill Farm from Daddy Joe.....(There were some other later owners of Huckleberry Hill---the history is on The French Manor website.....). One more picture of some of the friends of my parents---The Winter Vacation Group....My mother is right in the center of the top row of is nice to see her smiling..... This picture was taken out on The Patio, overlooking the valley below.....After I became aware of The French Manor, I was surprised and amazed, as I said! I had a lovely talk on the phone with Bridget Logan Weber, one of the daughters of the owners---(She and her sister pretty much run The French Manor now), and she couldn't have been nicer. We talked about all the rooms and what they were and she filled me in on what they are now.....Someone asked if I wanted to see The French Manor now...(Above....their winter photo.....)....well, in truth, I have no desire whatsoever to see The Farm as it is now, except in pictures. I enjoy remembering it as it was----starting with the Ground Breaking (1930's) to the very last time I stayed there in 1945-46...Being there now would, I think, make me very very sad......But I am glad to know that the House and grounds still exist and are being enjoyed so much by so very many people. I know how much love and care went into the building of this place, and it is good to know that it is still 'alive and well', though for a different purpose. That it is still enjoyed as a place of relaxation and fun says a lot for The Logans dedication to their public and to the further life of Huckleberry Hill Farm, know known now as "The French Manor"......

More To Come.........

Links to this post:


Blogger Mar
had this to say:

What a delight to see the "then" and "now" pictures, Naomi!! I am glad the new owners have kept (most of) the original. I think it is better you keep the farm as a dear memory, I understand it could make you sad to see changes in the inner architecture/design. What lovely memories and what a wonderful place!

Monday, July 14, 2008 at 1:55:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

What wonderful pictures! Just fascinating!


Monday, July 14, 2008 at 3:42:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Oh Naomi...! This is just almost too incredible for words!!! How absolutely amazing to discover all this, and to be able to see all those pictures.

I understand that you don't want to go back, I wouldn't either, I would prefer the memories I had of the way it was when it was special to me.

Interstingly enough, we walked through our old home for the last time on the weekend before handing it over to the new owners. I think your post really struck a chord with me given that we did this just yesterday!

A really, truly wonderful post! Thanks for sharing something so special!!

Monday, July 14, 2008 at 4:21:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Naomi, I bet that was a surprise when you found the listing and pictures for "The French Manor"....It must have been fun talking to the new owners and telling them about your days at the house...

I can understand why you wouldn't want to go back. Your memories of the house are meant to be of the days that you were there. I remember going back to my old high school, and seeing all of the changes. They were changes that were better, but it just wasn't the know what I mean...

It looks like a bed and breakfast I would like to stay in. Have a good week, Naomi.

Monday, July 14, 2008 at 4:34:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

The place looks sooo romantic and idyllic. I love it! I think being there or just looking the pictures can make one feel inspired or something like that.

Monday, July 14, 2008 at 5:40:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Hi Naomi.

Great memories and I suppose jarring revelations about how things change.

Have you tried to contact the current proprietors about your connection to the farm and to set the record straight? I'm sure that having the real history available would be more interesting -- more human, if you will -- than something created from whole cloth.


Monday, July 14, 2008 at 5:57:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

How incredible to come across those "now photo's"!! And that first one being the exact same angle of the outside that you had !!! I wonder what the chances were of that happening!

Fantastic pictures as always Naomi!! You never cease to amaze me~

Monday, July 14, 2008 at 7:45:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

WOW! What a wonderful story and how great that someone has taken as good a care of the Farm as when you were young. I love it when people keep the integrity of a building and make only changes that enhance it but don't take away from the original. How great that you were able to find the photos...

BTW...I'm having a contest at my place - please come play!!!

Monday, July 14, 2008 at 9:50:00 AM PDT 

Blogger Eve
had this to say:

Was your home in the book "The Good Life"? It looks just like one I saw in there. I don't have the book with me, (I sold it for a small fortune on eBay. LOL) but this home looks so familiar to me.

Monday, July 14, 2008 at 3:06:00 PM PDT 

Blogger Eve
had this to say:

I got the name of the book wrong. I looked it up. This is the book I was referring to:

By Slim Aarons

Monday, July 14, 2008 at 3:26:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Well I'll be dipped! Nice piece of history you got there, Young Lady.

Monday, July 14, 2008 at 3:42:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

This is so memorable and I totally agreed with you about remembering as it was true when it comes to remember all the good times and throw out the bad ya.

Have a lovely day my dear friend.

Monday, July 14, 2008 at 6:20:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Your "past and present" pictures are delightful. What a lovely place it was.... and still is! I'd love to indulge myself with a couple of nights B&B at "The French Manor"! Nice to know that the place is still giving pleasure to people.
Your pictures of the family gatherings are super, very nice memories, and I think I would not like to go back either... keep the memories as they are!

Monday, July 14, 2008 at 6:23:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Naomi: after reading your post and then leaving a comment, I just had to go to The French Manor website to have a peek... it looks like a spendid place! Lucky people who get to spend a few days there!

Monday, July 14, 2008 at 6:29:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

How serendipitous to have found your old home that way - and to have so many before and after photos. I am glad the old homestead is still recognizable. I can certainly understand YOU not wanting to go back there, but I would now love to visit, especially knowing your connection.

Monday, July 14, 2008 at 6:42:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Another wonderful post. It must have been really exciting for you to talk to the new owners (and them to talk to you!).

I did go look at their website and it is a site to behold. When you talked to them, were they willing to correct the information on their website? Or let it be?

I agree - I wouldn't want to go back and see The Farm now. Memories are best left untouched and remembered just the way they were.

Hugs from Anne

Monday, July 14, 2008 at 6:53:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

That is amazing that you found the website and all the "now" pictures. It is understandable that you wouldn't want to go back. I think your memories should stay intact the way they are :)

Monday, July 14, 2008 at 11:09:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

It's fun to see the history vs. the present. I did that when I went back to my birth state in 2004. It was weird to see things that my father had built, creations that outlasted him. That's kind of a weird thought, isn't it? That the earth has been here longer and will be here longer than humans.

I love your memories of the farm. But I also love that you talked to the daughter of the present owners and that she was so nice to you. That's pretty special, indeed.

Monday, July 14, 2008 at 11:45:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

How wonderful to find those photos Naomi! Amazing how it looks the same, especially since we know part of the buildings history. Amazing.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008 at 12:06:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I imagine this represents the true meaning of ambivalence, on the one hand it is there and kept up and reminds you of happy things and on the other hand it is all so foreign. It was truly a beautiful place though, and I'm glad you have some happy memories from there and that you found a picture of your mother smiling.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008 at 12:55:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Hi Naomi! I can finally leave a comment.......don't know what was up with my computer and your site....weird.

Abundance......thats the word that comes to mind.....the farm is so full of stories.....the lives, the interactions.....the personal stories......the emotions.....all in abundance.

I can understand why you don't want to return.....I have been thinking about whether or not one can go "back" really ever....and I don't think you can. Given that your memorable connection to this wonderful place encapsulates the stories which are near to your own heart, returning to the setting would somehow tarnish them.

ps. loved your birthday pics too.....beautiful women one and all.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008 at 7:28:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

What a neat story and I can so relate to your not wanting to go there to see it inside.

I grew up on an 80 acre farm with a very simple farmhouse (two littler houses pulled together which was common in those days) and when my parents sold it, I was almost 18.

Missing it, I dreamed for years that I had bought it back. Then one year we drove up the dead-end road and the home had been totally remodeled and a road went beyond to a housing development of 10 acre homesites and nice homes. I asked the owner of the house where I grew up if I could have a rock from the fallen down rock wall and he said sure. He invited me in when I told him I had grown up there. I said no thanks. I didn't want to see it. After that I never dreamed again about rebuying it.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008 at 7:40:00 AM PDT 

Blogger PI
had this to say:

It was a great family house. I wonder if the present owners showed any interest in seeing your old photos when you spoke to them. All they would have to do is click onto your web- site . But you may like to remain anon and I understand that as I understand you not wishing to return.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008 at 8:43:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Wonderful post, Naomi! Huckleberry Hill Farm is really a gorgeous place! Google and Internet are truly amazing. It was fantastic that you see this photo on Internet and can show to us the older photos side by side with the news one! I am also glad the new owners have kept your house beautiful as it was!
Congratulations! Great post, Naomi!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008 at 10:14:00 AM PDT 

Blogger srp
had this to say:

It was and is, gorgeous... yes! I would bet that the current owners would be tickled pink to be able to talk to you and see your pictures, especially since your parents were the ones who built it. Perhaps they have a scrapbook or display case documenting part of the history and to talk to you would be amazing!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008 at 11:53:00 AM PDT 

Anonymous Anonymous
had this to say:

Oh, Naomi how special it is to know that a place that holds so many memories, still exists. Thank you for sharing. Pat from NY.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008 at 3:16:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Oh my God, that is FASCINATING! I wondered if the Kress that your dad sold the place to was the Kress from the chain of stores and I see from the website that he was. I would love to visit this place, especially with you giving a guided tour, but I understand why that would be too sad for you.

Can you see your old bedroom in the photos? Can you imagine sleeping there again as part of a hotel? Wild.

Did you ever see the movie "I Married a Nazi," based on Oscar Schisgall's book "Swastika?"

Tuesday, July 15, 2008 at 3:18:00 PM PDT 

Blogger VV
had this to say:

I agree with R. Sherman, you should contact the current owners and share your photos and accurate history of the place with them. I think they would really appreciate it.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008 at 6:29:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

This was like being in a time travel machine, going back and forth. I like the way you put this post together Naomi.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008 at 7:23:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

They should be very happy to talk to you, Naomi, and learn the true history of the home!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008 at 8:59:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

It must be wonderful to know that so many people are making memories there too.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008 at 9:30:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I love it when you do posts like this!!!! The memories are wonderful! And what glorious home!!!!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008 at 8:27:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Fabulous photos! It is great to look back in time!

Garden pics over at mine. xx

Wednesday, July 16, 2008 at 10:20:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

The then and now pix are fun. I don't think I would want to return either.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008 at 3:25:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I love seeing the then and now photos.
What a fantastic place it was and still is.
It is wonderful how preserved the home and grounds are. I am so glad that the current owners are keeping the place in pristine condition and allowing others to enjoy it.
I can't help but wish that your mom & dad would have been in a loving and nurturing marriage, so that your childhood years would have been filled with more happy memories. I know you loved Huckleberry Hill Farm, and I am glad for every good moment you enjoyed there.
It is so beautiful!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008 at 3:55:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Wow, that was eerie. I'm glad it's still there but makes me feel sad that times have changed so much. If I were to look at the house I grew up in, all I will see is a sewage plant standing in its place. The town took it via eminent domain. I still dream about it.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008 at 4:22:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

The "Then and Now" pics sort of made me sad in a nostalgic kind of way. The pictures are fantastic!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008 at 6:35:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I often thought I wanted to see inside my childhood homw. I saw it from the outside about 15 years ago and it looked almost exactly the same. I had heard of changes inside.
But now that you mention it, I agree that I have no need to see it. It would probably just be strange and wrong to see all those "memories" I hold in my head and in photos looking any different than the way I will always picture them.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008 at 7:41:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

How amazing Naomi! I'm so glad that this lovely home is still pretty much as it was back then and being enjoyed by so many as a B&B! I love the name Huckleberry Hill too!

Thanks for showing these wonderful pictures. I'm going to check out the website now!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008 at 1:44:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Wow, to see the "then and now" photos is remarkable! I'm so glad that your home is being so well taken care of and so many are able to enjoy it's beauty.

I think I'd be tempted to go see it though! ;)

Have a wonderful weekend my friend!

Friday, July 18, 2008 at 12:46:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I expect you have mixed emotions viewing the pictures "now" of your home so many years ago. Think you have the right attitude, recognizing the structural quality has been valued and preserved, just as you have your treasured memories in memory and pictures. Thanks for sharing all here.

Saturday, July 19, 2008 at 11:21:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I can totally understand the mixed emotions, Naomi. You had a magnificent home - and now that it is a well-cared for Bed & Breakfast, there is both nostalgia and sadness. I am glad someone is taking care of it though, and it didn't fall into disrepair.

Monday, July 21, 2008 at 7:49:00 AM PDT 

Anonymous Anonymous
had this to say:

Oh, WOW....did I ever enjoy this post!
I went to the French Manor site (remember I asked you if it was designed from something from France, because it reminded me so much of many I've seen there) and I have to say....this was a very nice example of something that, like fine wine, aged gracefully and only got better.
I thought the place was just stunning and it really IS perfect for a B&B, with the spectacular inside and those grounds.
I'm wondering if that ceiling in the dining room now is original? Did you father have that done? Stunning!
Ooooh, I'd love to visit The French Manor.....and it warmed my soul to see somebody bought it and loved it enough to keep it the way it should be. I would have hated to think perhaps it was razed for some modern condos! You should be very proud of your beautiful old home, with so many memories. It would make me feel so good...that time has been SO kind to that place. And thanks for the follow-up about you speaking to the current owners, as that was on my question list for

Monday, July 21, 2008 at 9:48:00 AM PDT 

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Name: OldOldLady Of The Hills
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