Historical Association of Tobyhanna Township

HATT | PO Box 2084 | Pocono Pines, PA 18350-2084

COTTAGES
ON LUTHERLAND PROPERTY

Prepared by Doris Zimmerman and Ted Suttmeirer, assisted by Fred Lehrer, June, 2011

In 1926, when the Lutheran Camp and Conference Association purchased the property in Pocono Pines, there were three parcels that comprised approximately 1500 acres. The developed portion came from the Pocono Pines Assembly. Undeveloped parcels included the small piece adjacent to the Assembly property from the estate of the Rev. Rufus Miller and the larger section to the south from Frank Meckes of Long Pond.

It was the latter that was intended to be surveyed and plotted for the planned cottage community as well as camps for children. This plotting was completed by 1927 and resulted in about 1400 lots, sized 50 x 100 feet.

During the campaign to raise money for the purchase of the property, individuals became members of the association for the amount of $150 per share, with a limit of three shares. Members were to be allotted one lot per share. The allocation of lots was to be by drawing, although those folks who committed to construct a cottage were given preference along the roads that were to be immediately developed.

As it turned out, the roads that were developed in those early years are the ones that still exist today. Folks who had lots assigned in other areas ended up on paper streets with no access to their allotted lots.

As the cottage community became established, numbers were assigned to each cottage on map sketches and through the years the sketches were updated showing the current owner.

The first sketch was probably developed in 1965 by Al Rodeman Sr., although the cottages were built between 1929 and 1934. So there is a gap of 30 some-odd years where no number identification was used to identify the cottages.

This effort of identifying and giving some history of each cottage will be limited to the original 30 cottages. The latest map sketch has some renumbering, dropping out the Ratzaff and Halama cottages and including the two houses which were built by Pinecrest on Cayuga Road on the site of the original Halama cottage. However that will not be used but reference made at the close of this study.

Originally all lots were leasehold properties, with Lutherland as the owner. With the default by Susque Corporation in 1972, the Philadelphia National Bank went through the foreclosure process and eventually acquired title to the property in 1978.

The bank sold the property in 1982 to Logan Steele and the Deer Run Corporation. Steele died in 1984 and Ed Carroll gained control. In 1992 Ed Carroll, then owner of the property renamed Pinecrest, offered all cottage owners a deal which included buying out their leasehold for $8,000. Most of the cottage folk accepted the offer; however a few cottages are still under leasehold, which will expire around 2028.

As this was to be a Lutheran community, there has been an effort to identify each owner with a church affiliation. Today a large number of the cottages still have a Lutheran connection, but that restriction no longer exists.

Originally the cottages were not served by electricity, and it was not until the 1940s, following World War II, that power was available to them.

Water was originally provided to the cottages from one of three wells or springs at Lutherland. Many abandoned sections of pipe are still present. Two water towers were also constructed to act as emergency sources.

In the 1960s, the property came under the control of Valparaiso University, which decided not to maintain the original water system, and cottages were forced to have their own wells dug. Recently a new water tower has been built at the end of Hoosier Mill Road and a few cottages are now supplied from that source.

Enjoy the history of the cottage community, most of whom are members of the Lutherland Property Owners and Leaseholders Association. The map shows the assigned cottage numbers and the location of the cottages, with key to current residents at right.
CottagesMap
1 Faluvegi
2 George
3 Breuninger
4 Zimmermann
5 Betz
6 Ocasio
9 ZRZ
10 Stechholz
11 Gamer
12 Dittrich
13 Tribuzio
14 Meyer
15 Aiello
16 Tancredi
17 Ressmeyer
18 Tilting / Hilton
19 Schulze
20 Jockwer
21 Holsan
22 Robertson
23 Rodeman
24 Shedden
25 Gill
26 Pavone
27 Scaer
28 Rentschler
29 Halama
30 Lettmoden


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1 — Faluvegi

This cottage sits at the end of Pine Road, which is the first road off of Fox Run Road and ends in a parking area to the north of the cottage. Another entrance to the property is off Brookside Road. The current owners, Steve and Garbiella Faluvegi, have owned the property since 2002 but have not participated in any of the activities of the Lutherland Property Owners and Leaseholders Association (LLPOA).

Up until October 1997, the property had been in the Overbeck/Romoser family who had a long history of leadership in the Missouri Lutheran Synod.

The original cottage was built from specifications of Emily (Millie) Overbeck in 1929. She was a single woman but entertained the children of her nephew, Frederick Romoser, throughout the 1930s and 1940s. Millie had the house transferred to her niece, Emily Becker, in 1945. Emily was also a single lady. Upon her death in 1968 she left the house to her nephew, George Romoser, and his sister, Lois Romoser Richards. Shortly afterward George bought out his sister’s share.

George spent different periods over the next 29 years at the house, also renting it out. In 1986-87, he redid the foundation, installing a driveway and garage on the Pine Road side as well as modernizing the kitchen and bath rooms.

George’s grandfather (also named George) became the president of Concordia at Bronxville. The Overbecks were active at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Manhattan. George’s father was pastor of a United Lutheran Church in North Bergen, N.J.


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2 — George

This cottage sits at the corner of Fox Run Road and Pine Road, and is usually the first cottage seen as one enters the area of the Lutherland cottages. The cottage was originally built for Hugo Sellger Sr. and the lot was sold to him by his daughter, Louise. The cottage was built in 1928. Access to the cottage for years had been off Pine Road

Louise Bunzel acquired the lot from her father and played a leading role in Lutherland. Louise originally came from the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church in Astoria, N.Y. She had been active in the Walther League and accompanied some of the property searchers prior to the purchase of Lutherland. Through the years, Louise had served as guard at the gate to the beach and played a part in the various pageants of the 1930s. Her children also worked at Lutherland during their younger years.

Upon her death, property passed to her children, Louise Koepchen and her brother, Charles, who occupied the house for a short period of time before his death. Louise is married to Henry Koepken, who had been president of the Atlantic District, however they used the cottage very infrequently.

In 2001 they sold the property, which had been in the family since the start of Lutherland, to Vigi George, president of Concordia College, Bronxville, N.Y., and his wife, Janet.

The Georges have made several improvements to the property, including an entrance walk from Fox Run Road, a garage in rear off Pine Road, and modernization of the kitchen and interior rooms.


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3 — Breuninger

This cottage is the second house on Fox Run Road, and has remained in the original family.

The original owner was Richard Schuricht from outside of Philadelphia. The cost of the house, including the garage, was $3,800 in 1931-32. He died in an accident and the ownership continued with his wife. Upon her death the property passed to their daughter, Bobbie Breuninger. Bobbie died in 2009 and the property is now in the hands of her husband, Ed.

The Schurichts were members of a United Lutheran Church, and rather than purchase property in the United Lutheran community in Paradise Valley, they elected to have a place higher on the Pocono plateau.

Ed and Bobbie were active in various tennis groups over the years. They had two children, one of which, Allen, owns a townhouse in Pinecrest. During the Philadelphia National Bank years (1970s), Ed represented the cottages with the management of the bank and managed to retain the rights of the cottage community.

Both of the Schurichts had been active in the LLPOA and Pocono Pines Improvement Association (PPIA), taking leadership roles in both organizations, and were regular attendees at Faith Lutheran Church in Blakeslee in the summer season.


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4 — Zimmermann

This house on Fox Run Road was built for Mr. and Mrs. William Fahenkopf in the early 1930s. They passed it on to their daughter, Dorothy, and her husband, Charles Wagner. The Fahrenkopfs were members of St. Marks Lutheran Church in Yonkers, as was their daughter.

In 1992, the cottage was sold to Donald and Doris Zimmermann of Yardley, Pa. Originally the house had a separate dining and living room plus an outside front porch. The Zimmermans made extensive modifications so that the house is their year-round residence, the only such house in the Lutherland group.

Among the modifications was a second floor with bedrooms and bath, a side screened porch, extensive improvements in the kitchen and downstairs bath, and an unattached two-car garage. The house has electric heat, but also propane-heated fireplace. When they bought the house, it already had a well.

Doris’ maiden name was Suttmeier, and she grew up in Richmond Hill, N.Y., where she was a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. As a child her family spent time at the Suttmeier cottage on old Route 940. As a teenager, Doris worked as a bun girl and waitress.

While raising their family, the Zimmermans were members of Hope Lutheran Church, Levittown, Pa., and Resurrection Lutheran Church, Yardley, Pa. Doris is a member of Faith Lutheran in Blakeslee.

The Zimmermann family owns four other properties at Pinecrest. Doris's daughter, Diane Tencredi, owns a cottage (#16) off Spruce Road, as well as a townhouse adjacent to the beach. Her son, Dale, owns the earlier mentioned Suttmeier cottage on old Route 940. And three of her other children own what they call the ZRZ cottage (#9) on Hoosier Mill Road.

Doris has served as a commissioner of the PPIA as well as an officer in the LLPOA. They are members of the Pinecrest club.


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5 — Betz

This cottage is the fourth one on Fox Run Road Originally the cottage was built for a Miss Spaulding. Not much information is available about her, except that she was friendly with Misses Overbeck and Becker.

In 1930s, George Betz of the Philadelphia area purchased the cottage, which has remained in the family since. There is some evidence that before buying the cottage, Betz rented one of the cabins near the original Clymer Library.

There were six Betz children. Two of them, Carl and Robert, took an active part in occupying the cottage. Robert did extensive work in modernizing the first floor and attic and winterizing the cottage during the 1980s. The cottage has electric heat, and is used occasionally during the winter.

The cottage has three floors with a living room, dining room, kitchen and front porch on first floor. Three bedrooms with a bath on second floor and two bedrooms in the attic.

Robert’s family now owns the cottage, which is used by two of his children, Lois and Robert. Both of them went to the Lutherland camps as children.

The family has been Lutheran from Huntington Valley and Philadelphia area. They have played a part in the Lutherland Property Owners Association.


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6 — Ocasio

This house is located at the corner of Keyl Rd and Fox Run Road, and is undergoing a major modification. The Ocasios have named the house “Bear Lair.”

The original owner of the cottage was the Rev. Theodore S Keyl, pastor of St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in Newark. He acquired two leaseholds in February 1928 and acquired a third one in 1943. Rev. Keyl signed a contract in September 1933 to build the original cottage, and it was completed the following year for a cost of $1,555.

Upon the death of Rev. Keyl, the cottage passed to his widow in 1950 and upon her death in 1960, the cottage passed to her daughter, Doris, and her husband, John Cooper. The Coopers used the cottage until moving to California and subsequently to Washington state.

In 1965 they sold the cottage with two lots to Charles and Joanne Henning. In 1976, the Coopers sold the third lot to Hennings to provide for a well for the cottage.

Rev. Keyl took great pride in the property and named it “The Wedge,” which is the meaning of "keil" in German. Among the many guests at the cottage were his son and family, Rev. Rudolf J. Keyl Sr., who was pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Clifton, N.J.

His children all worked at Lutherland in the late 1940s and 1950s. Earlier they all spent a good deal of their childhood as guests at the cottage for several weeks in the summer. Rudy Jr. served as pastor of Somerset Hills Lutheran Church at Basking Ridge, N.J. , and has since retired to Virginia.

John Cooper had many talents, one of which was as a magician. He performed several times at the Lutherland Casino and in 1955, after the devastating flood, gave benefit performances throughout the Poconos.

Before leaving the Keyls and Coopers, mention should be made of the role the earlier family played in Missouri Synod activities, not only in the metropolitan New York area, but also in the establishment of the synod in American. Magdalena Walther Keyl was the daughter of C.F.W. Walther, leader in the establishing of the synod in America. In addition, there were generations of pastors back in Saxony, Germany.

Charles and Joanne Henning of Belle Meade, N.J., occupied the cottage during the Valparaiso University period of Pocono Crest and in the period of abandonment. Charley was elected to the board of Lutherland during the Valparaiso University period. Their family consisted of four children, all of whom worked at Pocono Crest as it was called in those later days. After sale of Pocono Crest, the family occupied the cottage for short periods during the summer. Charley and Joanne continue to visit Lutherland at a Henning family reunion each summer.

Ben and Jaine Ocasio come from Queens Village, N.Y., and were introduced to Pocono Crest by Bob and Arlene Wehmhoffer, who lived across the street from them. They purchased the Henning property in 1997. In the past six years they have embarked on a major renovation and expansion of the cottage which includes an open stairway to a second floor where loft areas are to be utilized.

For heat they have installed a heat pump to supplement electric heat. The house is hooked up to the new water tower at the end of Hoosier Mill Road, in addition to its own well. In addition they have accumulated eight lots and have developed a woodland series of walks on the north side of Keyl Road. They also have built a stone wall delineating their driveway.

Ocasios are Roman Catholic and attend Incarnation church in Queens Village. They have two grown children who also live in Queens.



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7 — Priessinger

This cottage is located on the south side of Hoosier Mill Road, and is the first house on the left. The cottage was originally built by Henry Schaumloffel from Richmond Hill, N.Y., a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran from Richmond Hill. It was built in 1929-30, and occupied on May 30, 1930.

Like all cottages of that era, the cottage lacked electricity. Water was supplied from Lutherland from the well near the beach. The cottage had three bedrooms.

Henry was somewhat of a watchdog of the Dahlen administration and was a co-plaintiff in the suit challenging Dahlen’s assignment of lots in arrears of their assessment to his corporations. His son, Hank, lives in Wagner Forest.

He sold the cottage to a Mr. Steers from Bayside, N.Y., in 1969. who did some renovations including work on the septic system. He sold the property to Andy and Thelma O’Conner in 1994. They were good friends of the Zimmermanns (#4).

Andy relates how he had to redo the septic. Thelma was a member of Christ Lutheran from Levittown, Pa., then of another Lutheran church in Satellite Beach, Fla. Thelma was diagnosed with cancer, died and Andy sold the house to Carol Priessinger in 1998.

Carol is a single woman and an executive with the Bank of Tokyo. Her current home is in Jersey City, N.J., although she originally came from Minnesota. She is not affiliated with a church. She located the place as a friend of the Tribuzios (#13). She also has a brother from Maryland whose family is a frequent visitor.

Carol made extensive modifications to the cottage which now has a larger living room both up and down. There are two bedrooms downstairs and a bedroom upstairs. Sh also rebuilt the fireplace. The heat source is propane and the water is from a well. She is a member of the LLPOA, and frequently uses the cottage in other seasons during the year.



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8 — Trendler

This house is the second house on the left side of Hoosier Mill Road The original owner was Fred Kramer from Woodhaven, Queens, N.Y., who was a train engineer. Mrs. Kramer was related to Mrs. Bridegroom, who owned the house next door.

The house was then sold to Hugo Sellger Jr., brother of Louise Bunzel. He lived in Huntington, N.Y. Reports are that he bought the cottage in the early 1930s and sold it in 1965. Among the many visitors were his daughter, Faulks, and her children, many of whom were active at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Mount Pocono.

In 1965 the cottage was sold to Willie and Helen Roestet, who were from St. Paul’s Lutheran in the Bronx. Upon his passing, the property went to his daughter, Joan, and her husband, Fred Trendler. Louise Bunzel was Fred’s Sunday School teacher and she promoted the cottage to Willie.

Fred did extensive modifications, including redoing the kitchen, adding a dormer and a very large rear deck. The Trendlers located to Bergen County, N.J., and were members of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Closter.

Fred has died and Joan has moved to Owings Mills, Md., near her daughter, Aileen. Joan is the current owner, and when here attends Our Savior in Mount Pocono.

The cottage has electric heat, five bedrooms and two baths, and a large living/dining room.



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9 — Zimmermann-Raschke-Zimmermann (ZRZ)

This cottage is the third on the left on Hoosier Mill Road, and is owned by three of Doris Zimmermann’s children: Chris Zimmermann, Dona Raschke, and Danny Zimmermann (ZRZ)

The original owner was John Bridegroom from Brooklyn, who was one of the plaintiffs in the suit against Henry Dahlens in the illegal assignment of lots to his corporations. His daughter, Millicent, was on the activity staff at Lutherland during the late ’40s and early ’50s. The Bridegrooms eventually moved to Lower Makefield, Pa., and were members of Resurrection Lutheran Church.

In 1953 the Bridegrooms sold the house to the Ellises, who were from Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fords, N.J. They occupied the house into the early Valparaiso University years, and sold the cottage by 1964. Then the house was bought by a Dr. Sitton from Valparaiso, who held the house until 1971 when it was sold to a Hunsinger, who participated in the LLPOA.

Then the property was sold to a Newsome and then to the Everitts from Long Island, who made many changes to the cottage, including a larger kitchen.

In 2006 the house was sold to the Zimmermann siblings (ZRZ) who have added a deck and stair access to the rear of property. Through the years the cottage has been used as a rental property, frequently to relatives of existing cottage owners.



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10 — Stechholz

This property is the last cottage on the right going up Hoosier Mill Road. Originally the property was a vacant lot owned by Karl Petersen, who must have been assigned the lot by the original Lutherland group.

In 1928 it was sold to Christian and Anna Sprado who built the cottage in 1930. The Sprados were from Richmond Hill, Queens, N.Y., and were neighbors of the Gamers. They were members of a United Lutheran Church in Richmond Hill.

In 1965, the property was transferred to the Sprado daughters: Evelyn Garratt and Dorothy Kramer. Evelyn was an English teacher in Richmond Hill High School. Both were married later in life and widowed. Eventually they moved to Stroudsburg and finally to a retirement home in Kresgeville. They were members of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Mount Pocono. Both have died.

In 1988 the cottage was purchased by Ewald J.H. "Stecky" and Edith Suttmeier Stechholz of Rockville, Conn. Stecky had been a lifeguard and maintenance worker at Lutherland in the 1930s and swimming counselor at Chickagami in the ’60s.

During the 1970s, Stecky performed many maintenance roles at the Crest and also was active in the unsuccessful effort to reacquire the property from the Philadelphia National Bank.

The Stechholzes were members of the Lutheran church in Rockville, and when in the Poconos attended Our Savior in Mount Pocono. Edith’s parents were part owner of the Suttmeier cottage on old Route 940, and Edith eventually inherited part ownership of that property. She sold that and purchased this cottage. Stecky died in October 2009.

The Hoosier Mill cottage has two bedrooms, a living room, kitchen and eating area, and a front porch, which was the original layout.



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11 — Gamer

Perhaps the largest cottage on the Lutherland property, this is the second cottage on the western side of Hoosier Mill Road.The cottage was built in 1928-92 at a cost of $10,000. This property has remained in the family of original owner Carl Gamer Sr. who had been widowed with four children.

Gamer Sr. later became president of Lutherland, Inc. during the late 1930s and 1940s at the time of litigation with Henry Dahlen. His children all worked at Lutherland during the 1930s as life guards, bus boys and waitresses. The Gamer family were from Richmond Hill, N.Y., and were members of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. Gamer's son, Carl Jr,. met his wife at Lutherland. His daughter, Betty, met her husband here also.

In the early years, Gamer Sr. built an outdoor fireplace in the rear of the property and later found it was not on his or Lutherland property. He negotiated with the owner and ended up purchasing outright an additional 40-plus acres. Today that piece abuts a small portion on Brookside Road

Gamer Sr. eventually passed the property onto his four children, two of them who relinquished their interest to Carl Jr. and Helen (Blount). Carl Jr. died in 2008 and Helen passed her interest onto her children. Helen Blount died in 2009 at age 96.

The cottage now is owned by Carl’s children, Robert and Susan, and Helen’s children, Bill and Linda. The 40-odd acre property is owned by Robert and Susan.



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12 — Dittrich

The cottage is the first on the western side of Hoosier Mill Road. The original owner was Alfred H. Lepant, who acquired the lots from the Lutheran Camp and Conference Association in February 1928, and the cottage was built later that year.

Mr. Lepant was the promoter of Lutherland in his home congregation, St. Paul’s in Richmond Hill, N.Y. He apparently did a fine job, as two others from St. Paul’s also built on Hoosier Mill Road, as well as many others from St. Paul’s who owned lots in Lutherland.

Apparently Lepant became ill in the early 1930s and died. His family then sold the house in 1935 to Dorthea Schroeder, who also lived in Richmond Hill but was not a member of St. Paul’s but of another Lutheran church. She was married and was friendly with Mrs. Clara Rentschler (#28) during her stay here. Also we’re aware that she rented her cottage several years, at least for part of the summer.

In 1966, after Mrs. Schroeder had died, the property passed to Mrs. Rentschler who lived in Mount Pocono at that time. It was up for sale, and purchased in September of that year by Emil and Theresa Fanslau of Ridgewood, N.J.

Emil was apparently married three times, and Theresa was his second wife. They were members of St. Paul’s Lutheran in Paterson, N.J. Relatives Henrietta and Reinhold Ratzlaff built a cottage (#18) on Windy Bush Road. Apparently Emil helped Ratzlaff build his cottage, and the families visited there frequently.

Emil’s wife, Theresa (Ted) died, and in 1970 he married Marie, who hated the cottage. Emil died in Pinellas County, Fla., in 1972 and Marie put the house up for sale. It pretty much stayed empty until purchased by the Dittrichs in December 1975.

When the Dittrichs bought the house, it had been empty for almost five years and in considerable disrepair. Bill Dittrich was introduced to Lutherland by a friend, Al Bechtel, who worked at Beaverbrook and had a home in Lake Naomi. The Dittrichs are Roman Catholic, and are from Morris Plains, N.J.

Bill has been active in both the PPIA and the LLPOA, serving as president of both at one time.

The family usually uses the cottage, which has heat, it in the fall and closes it down by Thanksgiving. When first acquiring the house, the water was supplied from the old Lutherland system, but in 1976 the owners drilled a well. Electricity and telephone were available when they purchased the house.

The house has two floors, three bedrooms and a bath upstairs, and living room, dining room and kitchen plus another small room downstairs.

Recently Bill has added his son, Gregory, to the deed, intending to keep the cottage in the family.



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13 — Tribuzio
This cottage is located on Fox Run Road before the Meyer cottage, before the road turns into Windy Bush Road. The cottage was built in 1931 as the road up to Windy Bush was completed.

The original owners were Ben and Dorothea Priebe from Woodhaven, Queens, N.Y., who were members of St. John’s Lutheran of Glendale, N.Y. They called the cottage “Mountain Ash.”

The Priebes had two sons, Ernest and Paul, who both were active in the Lutherland activities. Mr. & Mrs. Priebe were active in the social life during from the 1930s through the 1950, and also entertained nephews and nieces who spent time at the cottage. Priebe’s granddaughter, Jan, worked at the Lutherland Casino and in the hotels during the University of Valparaiso period.

Ben Priebe died in the late 1960s and his children sold the cottage in 1970 to a Thomas Twomay. He had marital problems and ended up renting the cottage to a Gallagher, who apparently let the pipes freeze and left the house in bad shape.

In 1981, Twomey sold the cottage to Nick and Elizabeth Tribuzio, the current owners who have fixed it up.

Another interesting feature of the property is the remains of a water tower in the rear of the property with pipes leading to and from. The cottage is winterized and gets some off-season use if a car can navigate from Keyl Road where the plow usually stops. It has a large rear deck.

Elizabeth Tribuzio has served as secretary of the LLPOA.



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14 — Meyer

This cottage is located at turn of Fox Run Road where it actually turns into Windy Bush, although most people still call it Fox Run. The cottage was built in 1931 at a cost of $2,000 for the Rev. Adolf Meyer from St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Yonkers, N.Y. He also built the unattached two-car garage with the help of the Rev. Bill Bruening.

The cottage has always been in family, and is now incorporated with all the next-generation Meyer children as shareholders.

It has a screened front porch, a living/dining room with cathedral ceiling, one bedroom down and three upstairs. The cottage has electric heat and water from a well. Originally there was a water tower next door which got water from a pump house near lake. The cottage used kerosene for lamps and the stove before electricity, and was also heated by a fireplace.

Rev. Adolph or Ade, and his wife, Ione, had five children — four boys and a girl. All worked at Lutherland during their high school and college years , mostly at lower jobs, except for Dick who served as recreation director in 1951 and Paul who was religious director at Nawakwa in 1951 and assistant director at Beaverbrook in 1952. Their period of employment started in 1944 and ran to 1960, with another year in 1965 when Jim worked as a bartender.

Three of the boys went into the Lutheran ministry. Dick and Paul, in retirement ,serve as interim pastors in California. Bill, in Connecticut, also is retired, but serves as pastoral adviser at Concordia. Ione Mensing lives with her husband, Herman, in Bergen County, NJ. She and Bill attend Faith Lutheran when here. Jim lives in Maryland.

Ade was active throughout the history of Lutherland, first as a searcher of property, later as the person with the difficult task to advise Henry Dahlen that he was to resign as Lutherland’s manager.

Later, he was the contact person with President O.P. Kretzmann, which led to Valparaiso University gaining control of Lutherland in the 1960s. During the 1930s and early 40s, Ade was the person who contacted prominent Lutheran speakers, such as his father, Rev. A.W. Meyer, and Dr. Walter A. Maier, who conducted worship services and delivered lectures. At the close of each season, Ade traditionally lead the last Sunday service at the Casino.



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15 — Aiello

This cottage is the first house on Spruce Road, off Windy Bush Road, and was built in 1932 by Charles Plate of the Bronx, N.Y.

The Plate family was Lutheran. In 1945 the property passed to Henry and Emma Plate, and they retained possession until 1952, when it was sold to Herbert and Margaret Guerin. John Plate attended Concordia, Bronxville, in the late 1940s.

The Guerins were Roman Catholic and their faith affiliation was the first non-Lutheran in the cottage community, thereby violating the by-laws of Lutherland. However, the Guerins were accepted into the community. The wife started an exercise program at the beach which was popular with the group. They also participated in the LLPOA.

In 1985 the cottage passed to John Aiello and his sister, Christina. John continues to occupy the cottage. He is active in the PPIA and in recent years plans and serves as master of ceremonies at the annual PPIA dinner.

The cottage has electric heat, two bedrooms and a porch, in addition to a sun deck added in 2000 and an outside patio.



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16 —Tancredi

The cottage is the second cottage on Spruce Road, which is off Windy Bush Road. It was built in 1928 for Christian and Rosamund Roth, who were Lutherans from Upper Darby, Pa.

Christian died in 1943 and the cottage was sold by his widow in 1946 to Chester and Bertha Martine, who were from Teaneck, N.J., and part of the Wedding Ring circle from St. Paul's in Richmond Hill, N.Y.

The Martines had two sons who did not have an interest in Lutherland, but their niece, Jean Abernethy, was a frequent visitor. Jean and her husband, Bob Wilson, eventually bought the Simmons house on old Route 940 opposite the main entrance to Pinecrest.

Jean recalls early days at the Martine cottage when the ice man came twice a week, and when she had to clean the oil lamps before electricity coming to the area.

In 1962 the cottage was sold to John and Anna Howe and Anna’s sister, Marie Bode. They were from Our Savior Lutheran Church in Rego Park, N.Y., and Marie worked in the Casino for several years.

In 1988 the cottage was sold to Diane and Mike Tancredi. They divorced in 1999 and the sole owner is Diane, who is currently secretary of the PPIA.

Diane also owns a condo in Crestwood Village, which she occupies during the cooler seasons. She rents out the condo in the summer, which is when she occupies the cottage.

Diane is the daughter of Doris and Don Zimmermann (#4), and lives in Danbury, Conn., and when here attends Faith Lutheran Church. She has one daughter and three grandchildren.

The cottage was modernized with a new kitchen and bathroom in 2004 and a rear porch was added. The cottage also has a full front porch.



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17 — Ressmeyer

This cottage is located on the western side of Fox Run Road opposite Spruce Road. As Fox Run Road does not continue past the Meyer cottage, access to the cottage is off Windy Bush Road. It was constructed in 1933.

The original owner of the property was Augusta Bartels, a nurse and single woman who came from Manhattan, and was probably a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church. She had nephews who visited her frequently.

The cottage was sold to the Cappazzi family in 1959. This was a Catholic family who lived in the Bronx and were related to the Liberi family (# 22).

They sold the property to Rudy and Virginia Ressmeyer in 1967. Jinny died in 2008 and Rudy occupies the cottage today.

Rudy has had a long relationship with Lutherland. His dad was one of the early weekly preachers during the 1930s. Rudy worked at Chickagami and Beaverbrook in the early 1940s and was director at Beaverbrook in 1945 to 1947. It was during this period he met Jinny, a camper, they were married in 1948. They had five children.

Rudy became president of the Atlantic District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and later bishop of the East Coast Synod of the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches, which eventually became part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Rudy and Jinny both had been active in the Lutherland Property Owners Association and the Pocono Pines Improvement Association. When in the Poconos, Rudy is an associate member of Faith Lutheran. He has a winter home in Oviedo, Florida.

The cottage has an outside shower, a front deck, a renovated kitchen and has vinyl siding. It has four rooms downstairs with an enclosed kitchen with sleeping facilities upstairs for six. The house has electric baseboard heat downstairs with a fireplace.


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18 — Tilting Hilton

This cottage has been abandoned for many years and is called “The Tiltin Hilton,” as it is in its last throws.

The property is located along Windy Bush Road (also referred to as Fox Run) and sits a short distance from the Ressmeyer cottage. It was built by Reinhold Ratzlaff with help from his brother in-law, Emil Fanslau probably in 1930. Ratzlaff and Fanslau were from St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Paterson, N.J.

Apparently some of the Fanslau children visited the cottage during the ’30s and ’40s.

By the 1960s, the cottage and property were listed with Clarence Major for sale, and eventually picked up by Frank Carr Realty and found no buyers and the place was abandoned.

The property is now in the hands of the Pinecrest Corporation.


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19 — Schulze

This cottage sits off Windy Bush Road on Onondaga Road, which originally was not maintained beyond the cottage, but lately is a connecting road to the waste treatment plant from Windy Bush. The cottage is the only one on Onondaga and sits considerably off Windy Bush.

The cottage was originally built by Fred and Marie Ungerer from Jamaica, N.Y., around 1929. They had three daughters of which two inherited the cottage at the death of Marie in 1944. The daughters who inherited were Freda, married to Bill Kern, and Tillid married to Mr. Pillar.

It has been reported that Bill Kern did a lot of modifications to the house. Freda was an aunt of Arline Wehmhoffer, who owned a cottage on old Route 940, near the entrance to Pinecrest.

In 1956, the cottage was sold to John Ford, who occupied it until 1966 when it was sold to Jack and Judy McShea. Judy’s parents had a cottage on Lakeview Road beyond Park Avenue. They were part of the Wedding Ring group from St. Paul’s in Richmond Hill (#11). Jack McShea was active in the road committee of the LLPOA.

Jack and Judy have four sons, one of which, Tom, has a home on old Route 940, opposite State Road. Tom is a carpenter and has done work on many of the cottages in this report.

They sold the cottage in 1975 to Ray and Margaret Schulze. Ray had been pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Yorkville and Margaret had been secretary to Rudy Ressmeyer (#18) when he was president and bishop of the Atlantic District and the East Coast Synod of the AELC. Ray later served a congregation in Queens and then retired and joined the Roman Catholic faith; Margaret later also joined. They continue active in the Bible groups among the cottages. They have a permanent home in Spring Hill, Fla.


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20 — Jockwer

This cottage is located on Walther Road, the last road on the left going up Windy Bush Road. The original cottage was built by Sverre (Bud) Fischer from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1931. The Fischers were members of Good Shepherd Lutheran in Bay Ridge, later of St. Stephen’s in Flatbush.

An interesting feature was a windmill attached to the roof to generate electricity before power was available. This was replaced by a gasoline generator. They also used space heaters to generate heat. The original house had two bedrooms. It was enlarged in the 1940s with an upstairs with two bedrooms and an enlarged kitchen and a new entrance.

The Fischers had two children, both of whom worked at Lutherland. Lorraine worked as a bun girl in 1945-46 and then a lifeguard for three years. Steve was a short order cook in 1955.

There is some reference to a sale to a friend, Chris Gibbfel of Brooklyn in 1957. But in 1963, the cottage was sold to Valparaiso University, who used it to house staff, when they took over the management of the property.

In 1969 the cottage was sold to Carl and Anne Dreissneck of Yonkers, N.Y., members of the Village Lutheran Church in Bronxville, N.Y. Carl and Anne were active in the Pocono Pines Improvement Association and the Lutherland Property Owners Association. Carl died while in possession, and Anne eventually sold the property to John and Ellen (Holsan) Jockwer of Metuchen, N.J., in 2000.

The Jockwers rent the cottage out, usually to relatives of other cottagers, and use the Holsan cottage. The Jockwers are members of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fords, N.J. John is active in the Lutherland Property Owners Association. The cottage has six rooms, an enclosed porch, and a deck.




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21 — Holsan

This cottage at the end of Windy Bush Road was built in 1932 by Professor Brase, who was on the faculty of Lowell Teachers College in Lowell, Mass. It passed to his daughter, Elsa, upon the deaths of her parents in the end of 1940s. Elsa and her family used the cottage occasionally during the 1950s and sold it to John and Dorothy Holsan in 1958. John died in 2000 and Dorothy and her daughter, Ellen Jockmer and family, use the cottage regularly.

Mrs. Brase was a Sellger and the Brase family vacationed at the Sellger cottage (#2) and then decided to build. The family was from Immanuel Lutheran Church in Manhattan but later moved to Lowell, Mass. The Brases had three daughters. Elsa, the oldest, worked as a waitress in 1936. Other daughters were Irene and Louise. The family was active in the choir and other Lutherland activities during their period.

John Holsan was a bell hop during the mid 1940s. He was from Our Redeemer in Fords, N.J. His wife, Dottie, was from Redeemer Lutheran in the Bronx. His three children also worked at Lutherland; son John was a lifeguard for many years. Son Dick did maintenance work on several of the cottages during his younger years.

The cottage has had several improvements including adding a second floor in 1958, electric heat, and then a dormer in 1998. The cottage has nine rooms, a front porch and a rear deck, from which you overlook part of the Wild Pines golf course.

Dorothy lives in Metuchen, N.J., and is a member of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fords, N.J.




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22 — Robertson

This cottage is located a considerable way off the corner of Windy Bush and West Lenape roads.

The cottage was built for Henrietta Krause, a single woman, in 1929-30. At the time, Windy Bush Road had not been completed and materials had to be hauled up West Lenape. We do not have any information about Miss Krause.

In 1960, the house was sold to the Liberi family who were friends of the Capazzis (#17), who lived in New York City. They had a son, Bert, who played in the various games at Lutherland.

In 1974 the cottage was sold to John and Gloria Robertson from Mahopac, N.Y., who have since relocated to Boca Raton, Fla. Robertson have three sons, who worked locally in the summer. Through the years the boys have also used the cottage during hunting season.

The cottage has one bedroom and a bath downstairs and three bedrooms and a bath upstairs, as well as extended porch area.




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23 — Rodeman

This cottage is located on Oneida Road off Lake Road. It was built by Al C. and Ella Rodeman in 1934. It was contracted to have it pre-fabricated — it arrived on one railroad car and was assembled on the lot. Originally the house had two bedrooms, a living/dining room with fireplace, bathroom, kitchen and front porch. The dimensions were 30-feet x 20-feet.

Through the years, a back porch was added which has been enclosed and serves as a dining room. A side porch and a sun porch were also enclosed and now are used as two bedrooms. There is also a loft that is used for sleeping. Electricity initially came from a wind charger on the roof for 6-volt electricity.

Eventually Pennsylvania Power & Light came in, and the house was wired for 120 volt service. Water came from the Lutherland distribution system until a well was driven when the system went out of business in the 1960s. The house is now fully insulated and is used in the winter.

The cottage has been in the original family and is now owned by Al H. Rodeman and his sister, Dorothy Coy. The leasehold was bought out in the Pinecrest offering and two additional lots were acquired one to the north and one behind on Cayuga Road

Rodemans were married in 1930 and were members of Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, N.Y., which was Ella’s church. Al H. lives in Florida and Dot lives in Brooklyn and is a member of and also attends Faith Lutheran in Blakeslee when in the Poconos.

Ella served as secretary of the LLPOA and was active in the various cottage activities.




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24 — Shedden

This cottage is the second one on Oneida Road It was built in 1934 by Jim and Carrie Shedden of Newburgh, N.Y. It is now owned by their daughter, Joan Paese, also of Newburgh.

The cottage had been used by Sheddens for a while and later used as a rental to usually the same families every year. The cottage is relatively inactive and needs some landscaping maintenance.

The cottage does have vinyl siding and windows that were installed during an upgrade which took place in the ’90s.




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25 — Gill

The Gill cottage is located on Cayuga Road, the first house on the left. The cottage has gone from being in the family, then sold outside the family, and now is back in the Brauer family, as Jeanne Gill is the great-granddaughter of the earlier owner.

The cottage was built for Mrs. Mary Niebaum, a widow, in 1927. Mary was from Brooklyn and occupied the cottage through the 1930s, sharing it with her children. During this time, water was supplied by Lutherland on a summer seasonal basis and there was no electricity. Oil lamps were used for light; propane for cooking and an icebox for cooling food.
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The original cottage, named “Silvan Crest," had three bedrooms, one bath, kitchen, living room, dining room, full attic and a basement. A carport was added shortly after construction.

Upon Mrs. Niebaum's death in 1940, the cottage was inherited by her daughter, Mildred Brauer. During her tenure with her husband, John, a well was drilled and electricity was set. John with his son, Albert, made improvements: a side porch and a new front entrance were added, and the dining room and a bedroom rearranged.

As a teenager, Albert was a boat tender at the beach where Lutherland leased out rowboats. Albert, his wife, and two of their children all enjoyed their honeymoons in the Poconos. John and Mildred Brauer lived in Englewood, N.J., and were originally members of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, in Flatbush, N.Y.

John retired in 1962, sold their New Jersey home and rented an apartment in St. Petersburg, Fla., but returned to the cottage regularly for a long summer season.

In July 1985 the Brauers sold the cottage to Peter Villella and his wife, Adeline. The Villellas were friends with the Pavones, and frequently visited with them in the summer. They also lived on Long Island.

The Villellas along with the Pavones completely updated and refurbished the cottage, including a large deck in the rear and a steam heating system. During this period, Villella opted to buy out the lease, but through the years spent less time at the cottage.

In 1998, Jeanne Gill, daughter of Mildred and John Brauer, who was living in Florida, made a trip to the Poconos, and Mike Pavonne put Gills in touch with Peter Villella, and eventually in 2003, the Gills bought the cottage, returning it a member of the original family.




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26 — Pavone

This cottage is located on Cayuga Road, and the current owners are Mike and Ann Pavone from East Meadow, N.Y. They grew up in Queens: Corona and Flushing.

The Pavones are Roman Catholic and attend Our Lady of the Lake when here. They purchased the cottage in 1969, and elected to purchase out their leasehold and hold the property in fee simple.

The original owners were the Doll sisters, Minnie and Hattie. They were members of Pallmeyers Church in Huntington, N.Y. One of the sisters married a Rieger, and his name was part of the transfer. The Pavones believe the house was built in 1912 as a model; however, I do not believe there was anything built until after 1927, when the first roads were built. I do not believe there were any other owners.

The property is unique in that it has a lovely summer house on part of the property, which is used among other things as a meeting spot for the Lutherland Property Owners and Leaseholders meetings. This building was part of property when the Pavones purchased the property, but was in a neglected condition and has almost entirely rebuilt by the Pavones.

The cottage has five rooms and an enclosed porch, which was completed by the Pavones. The cottage is winterized and has oil heat, and is used occasionally in off season. A well was drilled in 1969. Originally water came from the pump house near the beach. No information was available about electricity before power was available as this took place before 1969.

The Pavones joined the LPOLA in 1970 and play an active role. They also are members of the PPIA and members of Pinecrest club.

The Pavones have two sons: Robert from Brooklyn, N.Y., and Michael from Bellevue, Wash.




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27 — Scaer

This cottage, located at the foot of Spruce Road off Windy Bush Road, was originally built in 1928 by Mangels Fenner and used by the Fenner family through 1965.

Two grandsons of the original owner, Jack Fenner and Malcolm Linstrom, were active in the activities of Lutherland in the early 1950s. They were from Bergen County, N.J.

In 1965 the cottage was sold to David and Dorothy Scaer. David spent his early summers at the Zimmermann cottage of his grandparents on old Route 940. His mother was married to Paul Scaer, who was a pastor in Brooklyn and a frequent preacher at Lutherland. Dorothy was the widow of Fred Nehring, who spent his early summers at the Nehring cottage on old Route 940 and Lakeview Drive. David worked as a busboy during the early 1950s in all the dining areas of Lutherland.

The cottage has four rooms, two porches and includes an outbuilding which serves as David’s office. The Scaers took advantage of the buyout of their leasehold, and own the property. They are regulars at the beach during the summer.

David is a professor at the Concordia Seminary at Fort Wayne, Ind., and is a frequent writer for Lutheran periodicals. While in the Poconos, the family attends Our Savior Lutheran Church in Mount Pocono. David has been very active in the Pocono Pines Improvement Association as well as representing the cottage group in different activities through the years.




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28 — Rentschler

This cottage sits at the top of Cayuga Road, off the Lake Road It was originally built for the Allgaier family, a Lutheran family from Philadelphia area. They had at least two daughters who were part of the young peoples' group in the 1930s.

The property was sold to Clara Rentschler, possibly in the late 1940s, and remains in her family to this day. She was friendly with Ms. Schroeder (#12) and eventually was willed that house at the time she lived in Mount Pocono. In both ownership lists of 1966 and 1975 she is listed with a Mount Pocono address.

The cottage was rented out up through 2002 to Dorothy Dickenson who spent the summers there until she died. Others rented it earlier.

Mrs. Rentschler transferred the cottage to her son who lived in Missouri and occasionally spent brief periods to check the cottage. He passed away, and it is currently owned by his daughter, Michelle Rentschler, also from Missouri, who has recently shown an interest in the cottage.

In 2007, new siding was put on the house and it appears modernized.




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29 — Halama (no longer standing)

This cottage was located on Cayuga Road on the northern side opposite the present Gill cottage. In its last years, it housed Bill Halama and his sister, Sophie. After both had died by 1987, the house passed to Theodore Halama and then to Baxter real estate, and finally the house was burned as a fire exercise by the local fire department, with the consent of Ed Carroll. The property had remained as a leasehold.

The Halama family’s relationship with Lutherland started in 1927 when they tented along with others on the recently acquired property. The cottage was built in the late 1920s and had two bedrooms, a living/dining area, kitchen and a large dormitory. In the late 1960s, a nephew, Fred Halama, added electric heat.

Originally water was supplied from the water tower that existed across the new road at the 14th tee of Wild Pines. Later a well was dug and supplied water.

Bill Halama was an ordained Lutheran minister and had served churches in Lock Haven, Pa., and Hastings, N.Y. The family came from St. John’s Lutheran on Staten Island, N.Y., and later were members of Our Savior in Mount Pocono.

During the later Valparaiso University years, Bill served as an administrator in the operation of Pocono Crest. Nephew Fred was a bell hop at the Inn in 1944 and 1945. Other family members served as a projectionist at the movies and a pinboy in the bowling alley in the early 1940s.



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30 — Lettmoden

This cottage is the only one on East Lenape Road which goes off Lake Road just before the entrance to Chicagami. I did not locate the name of the original owner, except she might have been a nurse from New York. It is believed the cottage was built in the early 1930s

In 1939 the cottage was purchased by Agnes Steneck and remains in her family today. She had two children who used the cottage, her son, Claude, and daughter, Mrs. Herbert Lettmoden. All of their children have used the cottage from time to time. The cottage has two bedrooms, kitchen and bathroom, a combined living/dining room, and a front and back porch, along with a detached shed.

The current owners are Margaret Kaso and her sister, Frances Lobo.

Claude Steneck’s son, John, is a member of Immanuel Lutheran in Manhattan and had done some fund raising for Lutherland.

The Lettmoden family traces its roots to St. John’s Lutheran Church in Flushing, N.Y., where Margaret Kaso is still a member. Kathy Daigle is from Long Pond and is a member of Our Savior in Mount Pocono.

The cottage was winterized in 1978 and was used as a winter residence for several years, although not now.

Herbert Lettmoden Sr. had been a camper at Chickagami and Kathy Daigle’s mother in law had worked at Pocono Crest.


A thriving community continues

The cottages at Lutherland are just short of being 80 years old, and through the years there has been pretty much a camaraderie of the occupants.

There had been concerns which were probably of serious note at the time: beach privileges during Lutherland era; water cutoff and new beach rules by Valparaiso University; new rules by Susque; relationship with the Philadelphia National Bank; new ownership by Deer Run Corp; other changes by Pinecrest.

Most of these were resolved by some rational thinking and good common sense. Through all these changes in management of the property, the cottage group has survived and continues with good property values.

Properties have been improved through the years and the cottage community is a special place for the owners and their families to enjoy.

Lutherland: A Legacy of Tobyhanna Township
Images of Lutherland