In the late 1880‘s C.C. Worthington, a wealthy businessman from NY, was busy buying up former farmland along the Delaware River in Pennsylvania and creating a retreat of his own. Buckwood Park eventually consisted of a private hunting refuge, a Tillinghast designed golf course, Worthington Hall (now Shawnee Playhouse) and The Buckwood Inn (now the Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort). Article: C. C. Worthington and the Worthington Mower
To accommodate his family, around 1906 Mr. Worthington opted to remodel the building known as Ft. Depuy into his elegant country home. The original house had been built on The Delaware River by Nicholas Depuy, one of the first white men to settle the area around 1727. It served as a fort during The French and Indian War (1755) and the name stuck. To compliment the large home, Mr. Worthington also built a gatehouse at the end of the road consisting of: a caretaker’s apartment, barn, stable, hayloft, cow stanchions and round icehouse. This utilitarian complex was designed to support the main house, stable the animals, store the wagons and provide ice for the large iceboxes--since electricity didn’t come to this area until the 1930’s.
In 1943, a year before C.C. died at the age of 91, Mr. Worthington sold the resort to the famous musician and bandleader, Fred Waring. Mr. Waring changed the name of the resort to The Shawnee Inn. As Shawnee became the center of Mr. Waring’s musical activities, he searched for a location for his permanent home. Having attended Penn State to become an architect, he settled on the gatehouse to Mr. Worthington’s riverside mansion. Painstakingly, he renovated the building, sparing no expense. Simple, yet rich details make it an outstanding work…from the California cedar paneling in the reception room--to the Vermont slate in The Great Room…the house speaks of Mr. Waring’s attention to detail and affection for the task.
The renovation took almost three years to accomplish but the results gave him room for his growing family as well as a place to entertain his famous friends from theatre, stage, radio, sports and politics as well as the cinema. Visitors to Fred Waring’s “Gatehouse” include President Eisenhower, Perry Como, Bob Hope, Art Carney, George Goebel, Arnold Palmer, Lucille Ball, Ed Sullivan, Eddie Fisher and, of course, Jackie Gleason, who was a regular summer visitor. (Shawnee Course Information)
In the early 1980’s while the Warings were away, some workmen accidentally started a roof fire. By the time it was discovered, the house was on fire with widespread smoke. The Shawnee Volunteer Fire Company came and, although there was extensive fire, smoke and water damage, they managed to keep the historic building from burning to the ground.
Mr. Waring passed away in 1984, at age 84, and eventually The Gatehouse was used sparingly. His third wife, Virginia Morley Waring, agreed to part with the beloved home and she eventually sold it at auction in 1996. In 2001, Cindy and Gordon Way, formerly of Wayne, Pa., purchased the home and operate the bed and breakfast under the name The Gatehouse Country Inn Bed and Breakfast. It has been a labor of love.
History abounds in the Pocono Mountain area of Pennsylvania, as well as in the tiny village of Shawnee on Delaware. The Gatehouse Country Inn Bed and Breakfast is part of that rich history and we are proud to share it with you as our honored guests.
Virginia Waring wrote a book about Fred Waring: his music and accomplishments as well as their life together. Although out of print, we attempt to keep copies at the BnB. Please ask us if you would like to purchase one.
If you would like to find out more about Mr. Waring and his music, please visit these websites:
For additional history about the area follow these links:
Lenni Lenape Indians www.livingplaces.com/PA/Pennsylvania_Indians.html
Tocks Iland Project en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tocks_Island
Tocks Island Project crm.cr.nps.gov/archive/25-03/25-03-3.pdf
Frank Schnoover, American artist www.wvia.org/the-authentic-artist