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  1. #1

    Default Ironmasters/Pine Grove Furnace

    Bad times for a favorite hostel?
    Follow the link for the full story and photos (at-l Rucksters will note the lack of snow <g>)
    TJ


    http://www.cumberlink.com/articles/2...ess/busi03.txt
    --------
    Financial problems, provoked to some degree by the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, have closed some hostels across the United States.

    But the non-profit hostel at Pine Grove Furnace State Park in Cooke Township seems to have weathered the storm.

    "The last three years have been a struggle," says Ta' Juanna Anderson, executive director of Delaware Valley Council for Hostelling International USA, "but it is coming back."
    --------------------
    For $18 a night, one can get a bunk and access to a full kitchen, bathrooms with running water and even a piano. HI-USA members and members of the Appalachian Trail Club pay $15.

    In comparison, a night at a typical hotel in the area costs $70 on weekdays.

    The bunk rooms are separated by gender, but couples may request a suite.

    "On the trail, you have to save money where you can," says hiker Roslyn Regnery from Atlanta.

    "This is where we wind down, clean ourselves off and get to sleep in a bed," says her hiking partner, Casey Horrigan from Boston. The two, in their mid-20s, have been hiking from Georgia for three and a half months.
    --------------------

    A sign on the front porch announces the 1,087 miles to both Mt. Katahdin in Maine and Springer Mountain in Georgia.

    Co-manager Paul Humm, 35, says "this is our busy season," explaining the hostel had overnight stays almost every evening during the past month. Late spring and early summer see the greatest number of hikers on the Appalachian Trail.

    Even so, co-manager Donna Spahr Rozycki says the hostel operated at just 25 percent capacity in the past month. About half of that consisted of hiker traffic.
    -------------------------
    The Pine Grove Furnace mansion - built in 1827 - has "special maintenance obligations," says Gary Smith, regional manager of the Pennsylvania State Park system.

    These obligations pose a financial burden for HI-USA.

    The age and distinctive quality of the mansion require upkeep and renovation, Smith says.

    The exterior of the Ironmaster's Mansion hostel was renovated in the 1980s before the official hostel opening in 1983, and four interior rooms have been restored since then. Future refurbishing is expected.

    Pine Grove State Park Manger Ken Boyles notes the funding problems and three managerial turnovers that have occurred in the last year at the hostel.

    "Visitation has been sporadic," he says.
    -------------------------
    Teej

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

  2. #2

    Thumbs up Iron Workers Furnace Hostel

    This is a very nice place. The caretaker was helpful and soft-spoken, the rate is reasonable. A true credit to hostelling international.

  3. #3
    Crazy Larry #1's Avatar
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    Default

    i think if a few here as a community of hikers of the appalachian trail were to pitch in and offer a hand where it is needed and do a clean up day and a fix and repair day once a year as members for whiteblaze i bet you this place would become one of the most popular stays on the trail.

    this place is a wonderful stopover for any hiker of the AT or biker or driver thru. plus it is only 6/10's of a mile north of the half way point of the trail. harpers ferry gets all the attention in that respect because everyone declares that to be the half way point in the thinking process.

    if ironmasters becomes a popular spot and i think it will eventually, then those who have offered their services will be rewarded greatly.

    hey guys, this is the "official halfway point" for the trail. so which one of you can down a 1/2 gallon of ice cream in less than four minutes????

    that's the record i think..........?????????

    plus, for all you would be chefs out there the kitchen is stocked with all of the cookware you need to prepare a feast....i know because i done prepared one there this year...........
    Last edited by Crazy Larry #1; 04-17-2006 at 07:22. Reason: fix

  4. #4

    Default Ironmaster's Hostel

    Good place but AYH isn't taking care of the place like they should. (Place needs a lot of TLC!) According to those from council AYH is in a lot of financial hardship. I don't know when they'll be able to get things together, if ever, but somehow this old lady of the trail keeps going. Hope it doesn't end up looking like Rusty's or Mountain Mamma's.

    Mother Natures Son

  5. #5
    Registered User weary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mother Natures Son View Post
    Good place but AYH isn't taking care of the place like they should. (Place needs a lot of TLC!) According to those from council AYH is in a lot of financial hardship. I don't know when they'll be able to get things together, if ever, but somehow this old lady of the trail keeps going. Hope it doesn't end up looking like Rusty's or Mountain Mamma's. Mother Natures Son
    I've stayed at the Iron Master's hostel at least a dozen times, first on my walk north in 1993, and since with my wife on our numerous trips south to visit her parents.

    My inlaws are now deceased, but it remains a great place. The springs on the bunks need to be strengthened. But otherwise it's a great place to stop on trips north or south. The mansion is incredibly more pleasant than a typical motel -- and cheaper, much cheaper, if you bring materials for a quick dinner or breakfast.

    The mansion has a totally modern kitchen, a dining room, and living rooms, open to all.

    Weary

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by weary View Post

    My inlaws are now deceased, but it remains a great place. The springs on the bunks need to be strengthened. But otherwise it's a great place to stop on trips north or south. The mansion is incredibly more pleasant than a typical motel -- and cheaper, much cheaper, if you bring materials for a quick dinner or breakfast.

    The mansion has a totally modern kitchen, a dining room, and living rooms, open to all.

    Weary
    more pleasant than a motel? you can't check in till after 5:00pm, can't sleep with your wife, need earplugs for snorers and you have to do chores. the place is way too big to care for. it needs to be turned into a high dollar inn.

  7. #7

    Default

    we do have a work trip each year TOW. we come from the doyal during the winter warmer and fix and clean. donna is my friend and i will continue to volenteer my time. so will many i know of. stonewall and panzer and laces and pi and marta and rock dancer and the dude and rige rat and so many others just to name a few of my volenteer peeps. heres pics of us doing work there last trip. thats panzer our fearless work party leader giving donna gifts of encouragment. we also work there during the pa ruck. we love donna!

    and we love TOW!
    matthewski

  8. #8
    Registered User weary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by L. Wolf View Post
    more pleasant than a motel? you can't check in till after 5:00pm, can't sleep with your wife, need earplugs for snorers and you have to do chores. the place is way too big to care for. it needs to be turned into a high dollar inn.
    People who don't use hostels shouldn't comment on hostels they know nothing about.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by weary View Post
    People who don't use hostels shouldn't comment on hostels they know nothing about.
    i've stayed there twice

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by weary View Post
    People who don't use hostels shouldn't comment on hostels they know nothing about.
    Why? He had the facts right, and people who aren't gay and married to another gay comment (pro and con) on gay marriages, people who are not in Iraq fighting comment on the fighting in Iraq, etc etc.
    Frosty

  11. #11
    Registered User weary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty View Post
    Why? He had the facts right, and people who aren't gay and married to another gay comment (pro and con) on gay marriages, people who are not in Iraq fighting comment on the fighting in Iraq, etc etc.
    With the exception of Sgt. Rock, we all have equal access to knowledge of Iraq. It's reported in dozens of sources. No one reports on hostels except people who use them. LW has told us dozens of times that he doesn't use hostels. It struck me as strange that he would criticize a hostel he has often told us he doesn't use.

    And for what it's worth, his facts were wrong. I've slept with my wife in the Iron Mansion hostel. It really depends on the size of the crowd. Obviously a motel is a different experience than any hostel. Each has it's advantages. I find it interesting to meet people in hostels and to hear their experiences. Something that doesn't happen often in motels. Plus I save a bit of money, and support an important trail facility.

    Weary

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by weary View Post
    LW has told us dozens of times that he doesn't use hostels. It struck me as strange that he would criticize a hostel he has often told us he doesn't use
    LW has stayed at Ironmasters twice. LW has also stayed in many, many hostels between Georgia and Maine the first 10 years he hiked. He found the majority of them dirty and noisy. Not condusive to rest. LW likes motels much better. He doesn't share rooms either.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by weary View Post
    And for what it's worth, his facts were wrong. I've slept with my wife in the Iron Mansion hostel.
    I could be mistaken, but I don't think L Wolf was talking about sleeping with your wife.

    When I was there recently, they still had the rule of women upstairs and men downstairs.
    Frosty

  14. #14

    Default

    i slept with his wife there too!
    matthewski

  15. #15

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    i mean at the same time as they were there. yep i remember. his wife was running around screaming something like,..i just cant take it anymore!
    matthewski

  16. #16
    Registered User LIhikers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by L. Wolf View Post
    more pleasant than a motel? you can't check in till after 5:00pm, can't sleep with your wife, need earplugs for snorers and you have to do chores. the place is way too big to care for. it needs to be turned into a high dollar inn.
    The year my wife and I hiked that part of PA we stayed at the Iron Master's hostel. We were given a room for ourselves and assured that we'd have it to ourselves. Sure enough, other hikers came in and were assigned to other rooms. I don't know if that's usual treatment for a married couple or not but it's our experience there.

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    times have changed then. used to be a strict policy in AYHs to separate the sexes.

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