this gorgeous, massive building is woodmont lodge. it is located about seven miles southwest of hancock, maryland and situated on what was the former woodmont rod and gun club, comprising approximately 3,425 acres. the club was formed by a group of wealthy and influential businessmen from washington, dc who decided to purchase the acreage after being invited by local residents to enjoy the abundant hunting and fishing in the area. a clubhouse was built and used as a retreat for the powerful men of washington for many years, until the clubhouse and all records burned in 1903. the club disbanded and the land was sold in 1908 to a group of wealthy businessmen formed by henry bridges, a lawyer from hancock. a clubhouse was built the first year and was replaced in 1930 by this magnificent structure. in 1995 the maryland department of natural resources and the izzak walton league purchased woodmont lodge along with 3400 acres and entered into a unique agreement. the izzak walton league formed a local chapter to manage 1400 acres and the lodge. from october 1st to march 31st each year they have exclusive use of the land and lodge. the remaining 2000 acres are for year round public use. however, the lodge is only open to the public twice a year, once in september and once in the spring. we were fortunate enough to hear about the open house in time to take advantage of this infrequent opportunity this past saturday.
the lodge has had some famous guests....six u.s. presidents, various senators and congressmen, babe ruth, amos and andy (the original radio performers, not the tv actors), gene tunney, and richard mellon to name a few. i had to look up gene tunney. according to wickipedia, he was the world heavyweight boxing champion from 1926-1928 who defeated jack dempsey twice in 1926 and 1927. tunney's successful title defense against dempsey was one of the most famous bouts in boxing history. a little trivia, no charge.
it was so worth the visit. what a beautiful place! huge rooms, massive wood beams, big stone fireplaces.
the lighting looked like something out of a medieval castle.
this racing toy is similar to one that kevin kline's character played with in the presidential quarters in the movie "dave", with sigourney weaver.
the lodge had quite an assortment of game trophies, as one might expect...many having seen better days.
to each his own.
however, what really stole my heart was the two huge porches...both the entire length of the lodge. and so deep. i could have sat out there all day. the weather was beautiful. cool with gentle breezes. the views wonderful. the main floor porch had gorgeous stone arches and was equipped with rocking chairs, benches and tables and chairs. you were greeted upon arrival by two concrete watchdogs.
the second floor porch was rife with possibilities. i was dreaming the entire time.
there would definitely have to be a hanging platform for a mattress for outdoor napping and reading.
and again, the views...
gary, nathan and i decided we definitely could stand to live there. grin.