A Good First Year


howdy welcome A little “soft opening” announcement on this website that we’d be taking reservations starting in May 2014 had us out of the gate. Our first guests arrived on May 1. What they didn’t know is that several hours prior to their arrival (we were a half-way meet-up point for two couples from Detroit and Brooklyn wanting a place to relax and catch up with each other’s lives), an old pipe joint came loose over the stove while I was showering upstairs, and all hell broke loose while Sharon was tidying up the countertops. We’ll flash forward past some salty language, unseemly prancing around while I found the turn-off valve, and sheer terror as the gas jets refused to ignite on the stove (our guests wanted to take advantage of our well-stocked kitchen and prepare their own meals). Somehow it all got fixed before they pulled up, with the caveat that only one bathroom would have shower-functioning. The guests were cool with that, had a great time, and we dodged a bullet opening day.

Plumbing was soon upgraded and more people found out about us, mostly from the ever-helpful Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau. Summer unfolded, grass grew, (so did the fawns), grounds maintenance was full-tilt with the long days, and al fresco dining on the deck followed by the night sky theater was ample reward.

All year long we met some great folks who discovered Barnhaven, and have an appreciation for what we offer. One high point was hosting a D.I.Y. wedding in October with the delightful Erin and Mark, who traveled up from the State College area and made their special occasion just that. We were honored to be a part of it all.

Friends came and stayed over Labor Day weekend, which is always a treat. Diane from Baltimore brought a ton of peaches and helped Sharon make some preserves. Randy and KC (and their chihuahua, Olive) came to shake off NYC stress, and we stuffed ourselves silly on KC’s yummy gourmet-home-cooked meals, each one a photo-op, only we ate them too fast.

Everyone we met was interesting to engage with, interested in what is here, and respectful as a guest. It was a great introduction for us as hosts, and we look forward to next year as we continue to share the labor of love that is Barnhaven.

thank you note Here are some images to sum up some highlights from 2014:


a walk down the road


a peek in the garage (when I am working on assemblages from old tools)

friends fun fez

A tractor ride with cart into the fields is mandatory if I am around to drive!


in the background: future Barnhaven Gallery & Shop


Lots of bears this past year!


Discovered an old croquet set, cleaned it up, and now it’s waiting for some action!

Autumn - tree fungi 5

You never know what you’ll see on a local walk , if you pay attention.

Erin & Mark and saw

You might just stumble upon something like this.


Bridal bower set up from the cat walk, and the church pews are part of the package, salvaged from the old church next door.


Got snowshoes?

So, I guess I’ll close with an invitation to stay tuned, and make a reservation for 2015.

If your party is for over 6 people, we now have arrangements with a local business to help accommodate the overflow.

Have a safe and Happy New Year!




About neilsbarn

I live in a barn.
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