Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Memory Lane...

"Good morning, Snow Goose."

The phone call began like any other as the gentleman on the other end inquired politely about our guest rooms, rates, and availability. My pencil was poised over the appointment book when he dropped the bomb!

"My great-grandfather built your house."

With those six words, we were suddenly no longer booking a reservation ... we were hosting a Broe family reunion at the old homestead! For a whole weekend in May, we had the incredible honor to learn first-hand the history of our beautiful home.

Nelson Broe (the man who bought the land) in his Civil War uniform, proudly displaying the fingers he lost in battle.

The original deed shows that the land was purchased for $100.00 and a Singer sewing machine! We learned that this was once a 1,000 acre working farm. (Wayne says "Yeah!")

Broemont was an inn hosting travelers who came to Keene Valley to hike and hunt. The Broe men served as guides working for the Ausable Club in St. Hubert's. We were amazed to discover that we have the livingroom furniture arranged exactly as it was in the early days of the Broemont Inn.

A bit of Keene Valley history... this photo depicts the "new highway" Route 73 when it was first built.

The third generation... baby Betty was born and raised in this house. Her mother, Mae, taught elementary school in Keene Valley for 30 years. People in town still call the Snow Goose "Mae Broe's house!"

Young Betty and a friend at the swimming hole ... the same one our girls swim in!

Betty was thrilled to return to her childhood home and to spend Mother's Day weekend sleeping in her old bedroom which is now our "Harmonies" guest room!

Breakfast was truly a family affair! Betty, her husband and two sons had such great stories to tell. We felt honored to "listen in" as they reminisced about the day Nixon resigned, summer afternoons reading on the hammock, and fond memories of Uncle "Collie" - a Keene Valley legend in his own right.

Forget breakfast ... let's look at pictures!

From the moment we set foot in the Snow Goose, we have felt chosen to carry on the legacy of this grand home. Following their visit, we received this email from Mike Green (Betty's son)...

"Both of you have done an excellent job keeping the "big house" looking great. We have often worried what would become of her and were delighted in her present condition. You all have truly done a fantastic job in keeping her running. "

After spending a weekend traveling "Memory Lane," we are even more thankful for this amazing place and more inspired to bless others with this sanctuary for weary travelers who want to enjoy nature and find a quiet place for their souls.


Another email from Mike shared these additional thoughts about "Collie" (Charles Broe)...

"Every visit my family made to Keene Valley while I was growing up was highlighted by Uncle Collie stopping at the "Goose" to say hello to everyone. I can still see his jeep turning in the driveway. Uncle Collie even went so far as to take me, my brothers and friends to his hunting camp. Another memory I will not forget.

Uncle Collie ... was kind, generous with his time and loved telling us about his life experiences. Collie had a heart the size of the Adirondacks. I was in college when my mother called and told me that Uncle Collie had passed away. My sadness was immense. He was truly a fine man."