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  • Writer's pictureJames Wendel

The Meticulous Inn Keeper

How It All Began!

It all started in 2017. My husband David and I were working our full time corporate jobs in Philadelphia. We had been together 14 years at that point and already owned a second home in the beautiful little town of Emporium, Pennsylvania, I can't believe I actually did what my mother always told me I would do....return home.

Of course this picture was taken in the 1950s, and by the time we purchased our second home here, our community was dying a slow quiet death. Homes which once belonged to the families of the original Sylvania executives, the Lumber barons and the dynamite manufacturers were being systemically bull dozed. Large scale manufacturing, with the exception of the powdered metal industry, had left the area decades ago, and a Super Walmart twenty miles away knee capped the town.

Life was great with my husband David and I and we used our second home for seven years before deciding to purchase an old home in the center of Emporium to open an upscale bed and breakfast. The home once belonged to Bernard Erskine, one of the original founders of The Sylvania Corporation (a.k.a. Hygrade Sylvania). David was set to retired from his job and run the business when we opened.

We hired a dedicated contractor to shape the home into a showcase. While leaving the woodwork intact, we replaced all of the electrical, plumbing and heating. Ceilings were torn out, new lighting was added, a guest room bathroom was added and all of the walls skimcoated. We even added a porch!

When it was all done, it was SPECTACULAR.

Unfortunately, David never got to experience the opening and the hotel dream came close to crashing. Upon returning from my weekly work schedule in Philadelphia, I found David in bed. He had passed away unexpectedly in his sleep. Life was on hold!

David Karkoska 1964-2018 He is Missed Every Day!

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