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Saylorsburg Lake House / Hotel of Horror

Saylorsburg Lake House

Saylorsburg Lake House, circa 1915. Photo by Lewis Reed

In anticipation of Halloween, I thought it would be fun to feature a photograph that Lewis Reed took of Saylorsburg Lake House Hotel, now the site of Hotel of Horror.  The old Lake House Hotel, depicted in the photo above taken by Lewis Reed in 1915, was once a vibrant Poconos retreat and a popular hotel for tourists. According to local folklore, during World War II, many of the employees at the Lake House were called to assist in the Pennsylvania National Guard, leaving the local asylum with one lone security guard to watch over the entire building. The inmates escaped, made their way to the hotel and took it over. The insane patients performed experiments on the guests. What was once a renowned resort for the rich and famous, shown here in 2001, became a torture chamber.

Saylorsburg Lake House

The Lake House Hotel in Saylorsburg, site of Hotel of Horror, 2001

Today it’s the site of the Hotel of Horror, a haunted-house attraction open during the Halloween season.

Happy Halloween to all the readers of this blog!


Featured Photo: 1914 Indian Motorcycle With Sidecar

1914 Indian motorcycle with Sidecar

Photo by Lewis Reed

This is a photograph taken by Lewis Reed of an Indian motorcycle with his brother, Edgar, seated in the sidecar next to Uncle Bernie Hanshew. From what I’ve been able to research, I believe it’s a 1914 Indian. The handle bars on a 1913 had no cross bar, the 1914 model had a cross bar that can be seen on this one.  The tool box was mounted on the rear of the carrier in 1913 and moved to the top of the fuel tank in 1914. If anyone can help to date or confirm the identity of this machine please leave a comment.

In the early days, motorcycles were a staple of transportation, and both Lewis and Edgar Reed rode them.

Motorcyclists in the 1920s were more likely to wear a tie, goggles, and a sporty little cap than the leather of today.

1915 advertisement for the Indian Motocycle

A 1915 advertisement for the Indian Motocycle (spelling motocycle without the “r”)

July 4, 1922: First MCPD Posing in Front of Reed Brothers Dodge

Montgomery County Police 1922

This photograph is the first known photograph of the entire MCPD. Pictured left to right: Earl Burdine, Lawrence Clagett, Guy Jones, Chief Charles Cooley, Leroy Rodgers, and Oscar Gaither. Photo by Lewis Reed

This blog entry is posted today to commemorate the anniversary of the Montgomery County Police Department. It was 95 years ago on July 4, 1922 that the MCPD was first established. In those days, Montgomery County was farm country, sparsely populated, automobiles sharing dirt roads with horse-drawn wagons. But it was changing into a proper suburb, and there needed to be a police department.

Posing in front of Reed Brothers Dodge on July 4, 1922 Chief Charles Cooley, center, and his men of the first mounted unit of the Montgomery County Police Force, were on their first day of duty. For several years, since there was no police station, the officers would meet for “roll call” on the steps of the red brick courthouse at 2:00 p.m. every day to let each other know they were alive and well. Chief Cooley was given the privilege of a Model T Ford. Each of the officers was issued a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, a .38 Smith & Wesson handgun, a black jack, law book and was allotted $300.00 a year for the upkeep of their motorcycle. Jones patrolled Silver Spring, Rodgers the Bethesda-Chevy Chase area and Burdine, Clagett and Gaither the Upper County areas.

Source: Montgomery County, Two Centuries of Change by Jane C. Sween

Darnestown Presbyterian Church Dedicated On This Day in 1858

Darnestown Presbyterian Church

Darnestown Presbyterian Church Circa early 1900s. Photo by Lewis Reed

This special post doesn’t have anything to do with Reed Brothers Dodge, but it does have a lot to do with it’s founder, Lewis Reed.

In 1855, the Darnestown Presbyterian Church, which is located at the corner of Turkey Foot and Darnestown Roads, was founded by the generous donation of three acres of land by John Dufief. The church was constructed of stone which was hauled from the local quarry by the men of the congregation. The completed church was dedicated on this day, May 22, 1858. The iron fence along the cemetery at the back of the church was taken from the Rockville Courthouse.

Then, in the late 1860s, Andrew Small, a friend of the Church, granted sums of money to be used to building the parsonage (1868) and to establish and build a private academy (1867). The church was renovated in 1897 and then again in 1953.

Lewis Reed was a well-known photographer in the county and many of his early photographs are now part of the Montgomery County Historical Society photo archives.

Darnestown Presbyterian
Maryland State Archives

Lewis Reed Photo to Appear in PBS Documentary

Rare peak of the inside of an early 1920’s trolley car taken by Lewis Reed, a well-known photographer in Montgomery County, as well as owner and founder of Reed Brothers Dodge of Rockville, Maryland.

The photo will be featured on PBS “American Experience” documentary, The Great War a three-night event exploring how World War I transformed America starting Monday, April 10 on PBS. The trolley image is in Episode 3, Wednesday night, between 38-40 minutes into the show. From 1900-1935, the trolley cars – or street cars, as they were also known – went past Reed Brothers Dodge as they traveled up Rockville Pike. Major stops along the line included Georgetown, Alta Vista, Bethesda, Montrose, Halpine, the Fairgrounds, Courthouse Square, and Chestnut Lodge. Panels for advertising line the edge of the ceiling on both sides of the trolley. Instead of AC, the interiors were cooled with wooden ceiling fans. (click on image to enlarge)

The print was originally made from a glass negative, an early photographic technique which was in common use between the 1880s and the late 1920s. The early 1900s were considered by many to be the golden era of early photography, because of its new availability to the public and somewhat simplified production methods. Many of Lewis Reed’s early photographs are now part of the Montgomery County Historical Society photo archives.

1920s Trolley interior

Rare peak of the inside of a 1920’s trolley car and passengers featured in PBS documentary “The Great War”. Photo taken by Lewis Reed

PBS The Great War

Screen shot of credits from The American Experience series, “The Great War” on PBS

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