Inn on Quarry Glen
Oct 01, 2020 10:47AM
By Maggie Barnes
“Nice day for a wedding,” Roger Wright comments. And it is. Comfortably warm without any humidity, bit of a breeze, and the setting can’t be beat.
The Inn on Quarry Glen is one of those places that can make a bride feel as though her wedding is the only thing happening in the world. Set back from Sheshequin Road in Towanda, the Inn is a unique venue for reunions, showers, anniversary parties, church retreats, corporate gatherings, and those all-important weddings.
“Our motto is, ‘Feel like you’re miles from anywhere, when you’re minutes from everything.’ That’s how we want our guests to feel,” Roger says. There is no traffic, no road noise. Such isolation is achieved by the four and half acres of woods and creek that surround the Inn itself. Built in 1894 as a men’s social club, the building retains much of its charm, thanks to the efforts of Roger and his wife Shawna, and the handful of owners who came before them.
“Hardwood floors, wainscoting, farm sinks, leaded glass, a claw foot tub...we wanted to keep the historical feel to the place, but offer the conveniences needed for events,” he says.
A commercial kitchen, a heating system, and tons of parking all help in pulling off a modern day happening. And before you can say, “Claw foot tub?” that is the really different thing about the Inn. The second floor offers seven bedrooms, including a bridal suite, and five bathrooms. Much of the furniture is original, giving the whole place a romantic, timeless feel. There are both solid and screen doors on the bedrooms, harkening back to a time before air conditioning. When you reserve the Inn for an event, it’s yours from noon on Friday to noon on Sunday. Very often, Roger says, the bridal party will come for the weekend, hosting the rehearsal on Friday, the wedding on Saturday, and a final breakfast on Sunday.
“It’s great for families. If there are kids, you have a quiet place to take them. The ladies can get ready upstairs, while we have a room down here for the men. The bride can make her entrance down a wide, hardwood staircase. That is quite a moment,” Roger reflects. The second floor hallway is open, so folks looking for a break from the action can still watch the dance floor below.
If an outdoor ceremony is desired, there is a large, level lawn out back, reachable by a charming bridge over the Quarry Glen Creek. There’s a wooden booth for handing out the favors, or for using as a bar or a cute spot for photos. A fire pit offers a shaded hangout. Under a flowering tree, which Roger is so glad he didn’t cut down, is a bench perfectly sized for two. Often the bride’s father will build an archway for the ceremony, which then takes an honored spot in their home yard.
Roger and Shawna had been thinking of going into the venue business after Roger’s retirement from DuPont. When their daughter was planning her wedding, the family visited the Quarry. Things clicked. They told the owners that if they ever considered selling, call. Two years later, they did.
Almost immediately, the Wrights faced a significant challenge. That creek, which is so lovely when flowing sweetly beside the Inn, turned into a raging torrent after three inches of rain in an hour. The resulting flood ruined the back lawn and roared underneath the Inn, wiping out the parking lot. Not to be deterred, the Wrights used the mishap as an opportunity to upgrade the grounds.
While floods are somewhat expected, COVID-19 caught the world by surprise. “Everything stopped for a while,” Roger remembers. Weddings were either downsized to meet the governmental restrictions, or postponed. The Wrights worked on the grounds and waited for things to re-open. It is a good thing that couples wanting to marry are harbingers of optimism, because now the calendar is booking up again.
Roger’s standing offer to his clients is, “Don’t buy something until you check with me. We might have it.” That includes place settings for 200. The patterns and styles of the plates are different, which Roger says is called shabby chic. “I didn’t know that,” he smiles, while gazing in the tall kitchen cabinets. “I thought it was just a hodge-podge, but brides love it.”
There is a cache of decorations for anyone’s use. Twinkle lights are strung all over. There is a spray of greenery above the fireplace. But the most valuable thing Roger offers is guidance and reassurance. “I can usually find the most organized person in the family to show around the Inn and explain things to. I don’t bother the bride and groom with that stuff. For them the day should be rainbows and unicorns...no stress. Though I do razz the grooms sometimes.” The Wrights are minutes away if anything should go awry. And while the upkeep of a 126-year old inn is enough to keep any handyman busy, Roger and Shawna have some improvements in mind, like more landscaping, driveway enhancements, a small kid’s play area, and a possible gazebo for those photos meant to last a lifetime.
To hold an event at the Inn on Quarry Glen is to claim an undisturbed piece of the world as your own for the weekend. What more could a couple ask for? The Inn can accommodate events from 50 to 225 people. For full information, and to schedule a tour, call (570) 637-6178 or (570) 250-1758. Visit innonquarryglen.com or follow them on Facebook.