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07/11/2004 11:09:01 AM -0700

 

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                 Summer At Nick Pond

Greetings from Nick Pond and welcome to family and friends.  We're glad you stopped to pay us a visit.

You may wonder just how city slickers, Paul and Marlene Wildenstein and John and Mary Naber came to find and "settle" at this place.  Well, it's a long and somewhat amusing story.     

While sitting in a horrific traffic jam in suburban Philadelphia, on a vacation day in the early ‘80s, Marlene and I decided that when we retired we were going to move far away from the maddening crowds.  Thus began our pursuit of a piece of land on which we could build our retirement log cabin.

We started spending weekends in the far Philadelphia suburbs, but decided that was not far enough from those crowds.  So, we moved our search to the Poconos until we happened to be there on a beautiful summer weekend and found those crowded highways were almost as bad as what we were trying to escape.  John and Mary Naber joined us in our search in the late ‘80s and we spent numerous weekends scouring the Pennsylvania countryside. 

One amusing incident occurred when the four of us were on a dirt road on a mountain top in Centre County looking for a parcel of land to which we had been directed by a real estate agent.  We passed several vacation / hunting cabins as we crested a hill and found ourselves on a sheet of ice.  We got the car stopped in the ditch and while John and Paul studied our options Mary and Marlene walked back to the cabins to see if they could find some help.  When asked why we were there, Mary and Marlene said that we were looking for some land on which we could build a retirement home.  Their reply was, “We don’t think there is much need for a retirement (nursing) home way out here”.

On Saturday, March 4, 1989 Marlene and I had an appointment with a real estate agent (Lucy Sherman) in eastern Susquehanna County.  She took us to seven or eight properties, none of which really met our needs.  When Lucy ran out of time she gave us directions to the final property on her list and we set off to see if we could find it.  By the time we got to SW Susquehanna County it was freezing rain and, generally, very nasty.  We did manage to find the property and walked in to find a beaver dam impounding about 20 acres of water (completely frozen over) and an extraordinarily large beaver lodge.  We walked around much of the pond and I knew immediately this was the place.  Marlene wasn’t quite so sure.  We returned the following Saturday with the Nabers and walked the entire property and John and Mary liked it and Marlene started to come around.  After considerable research we made a successful bid for the property followed by two additional parcel acquisitions to bring us to a total of 74 acres.  Then we subdivided into two parcels with the Nabers ending up with 24 acres and us with 50 acres.

We built a common driveway in 1990 to give us access to the pond and the fantastic fishing that it afforded.  We built a deck at the bottom of the driveway where we could park our camper and spend spring, summer and autumn days (winter was a little tough).  In 1995 we built a Barn that would eventually serve as a home for our camper.  In February, 1996 we started clearing for our home site, started excavation in April and started the block foundation on May 24th.  Our first, of three, truck loads of logs from Montana arrived on June 19th and it was all “downhill” from there.  In October we replaced the beaver dam with an eighty foot thick earthen dam that had taken us three and a half years to get permitted by the DEP.  We spent our first night in the house on Memorial Day weekend in 1997 and Marlene retired, we sold our house in Phoenixville and we moved all our furnishings here in October, 1997. 

The Nabers started their house in the fall of 1997 and completed it in the early summer of the following year – they had a really good builder.  In fact, their builder ended up putting the final touches on our place. 

So, our houses are finished, we have a twenty two acre pond (it’s grown a couple acres since we first found the property) that has no semi-annual dam failures (as did our beaver dam) and several miles of maintained walking trails around the pond and through the woods.  Actually, we only own about twenty acres of the pond with the remaining two acres belonging to a neighbor.

              

                Wildenstein Log Cabin                              Naber Cedar Home

                     Mallard Landing

 

 

 

                                     

 

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