Laurel Lodge Centennial 24 Mar 2015, 2:39 pm
The construction of Laurel Lodge spanned several years but was largely completed in 1915. So, this year we kick-off our centennial celebration. To commemorate the event, we invited descendants of Eugene and Maggie Shugart, the builders of Laurel Lodge, to join us for a weekend at the lodge. The Shugarts are a great family and have been very generous in sharing stories and photos of the early days. They have enriched us and our guests with the history of the house. We are honored that so many were present for the 100th birthday of Laurel Lodge!
Squeaky Clean Farmer 31 Aug 2014, 6:52 pm
Laurel Lodge guests enjoy the natural fragrances of hand-made soaps from Peggy Cruzan of Whistling Hill Farm. Most Saturday mornings, Peggy can be found at the Charles Town Farm Market selling her lamb, chicken, eggs and, of course, a variety of soaps. Peggy, a chemist at heart, experiments to find the ideal combinations to create a rich lathering and fragrant soap. Her rosemary variety has been a favorite among our guests.
Hiking 14 May 2014, 6:52 am
Hiking is always a major activity for people visiting Harpers Ferry and Laurel Lodge. Many of our guests enjoy day hikes to Maryland Heights or Virginius Island while they’re here. Section hikers on the Appalachian Trail will begin or end a hike here. And some guests will visit the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s Visitors Center just one block away and be inspired to plan a major hike.
In 2013 Sean and Angela Reinhart and their friends Bob, Janice and Philip Hawkins visited Laurel Lodge and met two other guests who had just completed 35 kilometers of the Sierra Club’s annual 100-k hike on the C&O Canal Towpath.
The Rineharts and Hawkins were inspired to complete 50 kilometers of the event this year, and they celebrated their accomplishment with another stay at the Lodge. Interestingly, during this 2014 visit, they met Gregory Whitehead, another Laurel Lodge guest who departed on foot for the beginning of an AT hike to his Massachusetts home. Will the Rineharts and Hawkins follow suit next year?
Also pictured here is another section AT hiker, Renata Scruggs, with her husband Billy. Renata’s hike this year took her from Laurel Lodge to Front Royal, VA over four days, as part of her goal to eventually complete the entire AT.
B&B for Vets 2013 26 Nov 2013, 8:42 am
For the fourth year in a row Laurel Lodge was proud to take part in the B&Bs for Vets offering. In this program, free B&B rooms are offered to veterans and active-duty service men and women on Veterans Day. This year we hosted two veterans. Ltc. Paul D. Belz of Fallston, MD retired after 26 years in the US Army Reserves. His service was activated during Desert Shield War in 1990-91. He visited Laurel Lodge with his wife Patrice. LCdr. Lisa Finlayson has served in the US Navy for 18 years and works as an aviation physiologist in Norfolk, VA.
The B&B for Vets program was begun five years ago by Kathleen Panek, a fellow WVBBA member from Shinnston, WV. Since then, the program has grown around the country and even internationally, and it is managed by PAII’s Better Way to Stay program. During our four years in the program our guests have varied from a Korean War veteran to a Purple Heart recipient in the Afghan War. It is one small way that we can say “Thank you for your service!”
A kid’ll eat ivy too, wouldn’t you? 20 Sep 2013, 6:13 pm
Laurel Lodge has launched a landscaping project on the rear hillside. In order to get a handle on the impenetrable tangle of invasive weeds and vines, we enlisted the help of EcoGoats. Professional forester, Brian Knox, brought 32 goats to spend the weekend at Laurel Lodge. The goats enjoyed an all-you-can eat buffet of wisteria, nettle, poison ivy and other delicacies. By the time they were finished, all the vegetation had been stripped up to six feet off the ground. Their work provided us access to the hillside where we will be establishing more desirable native plantings. Thanks EcoGoats!
WV Living 15 Aug 2013, 12:53 pm
Read about Laurel Lodge in the Fall 2013 issue of WV Living on newstands now. Isn’t it time you enjoyed a little West Virginia living at Laurel Lodge?
Lincoln Slept Here 23 Jul 2013, 4:25 pm
Although all our guests are special folk, a few days before Independence Day 2013 Laurel Lodge was especially honored to host some important guests.
An extremely notable couple from Illinois visited Laurel Lodge. The first time Abe Lincoln visited Harpers Ferry, things in town were considerably less peaceful than they have been this past month, since the region and the country were still reeling from the battles of Harpers Ferry and Antietam. On this visit, however, Mr. Lincoln was joined by the charming Mrs. Lincoln (Mary Todd), and they enjoyed their visit to Harpers Ferry National Historical Park after a visit to Gettysburg. Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln now sometimes go by the names of Robert and Barbara Brugler, and rumor has it that their present abode is actually in Ohio. Regardless, their visit made quite a splash, and neighbors and other guests at Laurel Lodge (not to mention the innkeeper) enjoyed having their pictures taken with the esteemed couple.
Also of note, William Wargel, 90 years old, visited Harpers Ferry on his way to the Gettysburg sesquicentennial celebration. William is a World War II Veteran who served in the Army Air Corps, 345 Squadron. As a gunner on a B-25, he flew 37 missions in the Pacific. Here he is pictured during his stay at Laurel Lodge.
Black Dog Coffee 9 May 2013, 12:23 pm
Guests at Laurel Lodge start their day with a steaming cup of locally-roasted, fresh-ground Black Dog Coffee. With a vintage roaster, Brian launched his business from his garage in Summit Point, WV. With a growing list of restaurants and shops featuring their amazing coffees, Brian and Jennifer moved the roaster into a new market shop in nearby Bardane.
The shop features Black Dog Coffee as well as other locally sourced items including meats, soaps, honey, teas, jewelry and chocolates. Guests can take home a keepsake of their visit to West Virginia by purchasing ground or whole-bean coffees at the market in Bardane or by visiting their booth at the Charles Town Farm Market on Saturday mornings.
Slaynt Vie Farm 20 Nov 2012, 3:49 pm
Happy Anniversary! 19 Aug 2012, 1:29 pm
The Appalachian Trail celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. Harpers Ferry is the approximate mid-point of the hiking trail which stretches 2,184 miles from Georgia to Maine. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), which helped spearhead the establishment of the trail, is based in Harpers Ferry. In the mid-summer months, through-hikers congregate at the ATC center to socialize, check for mail-drops and to provision themselves before continuing on. Guests at Laurel Lodge can visit the ATC center and learn more about hiking the Appalachian Trail.