Monday, July 14, 2014

"The Watson House," A Nostalgiac Photo Essay.

Last week I posted this portrait of my wife Louise on Facebook.
Her birthday was on the 10th of July. She would have been seventy years old.

That image is one of many in a little photo essay I did about a wonderful old Inn, "The Watson," at "Twin Lakes," in the Pocono mountains of Pennsylvania. Our vacations there were nostalgic reminders for Louise of vacations spent there with her family, and eventually as a waitress.

The waitresses quarters were in the cramped, hot attic.

Part of the tradition of working as a waitress at the "Watson" was adding your signature to the many scrawled on the rafters over many years.

Here are the Innkeepers, Mr. and Mrs. Watson, with one of their sons.

Generations of families sat in rocking chairs, enjoying the view of the lake from the shaded porch,
while waiting for the call to good old "Family-Style" dinners. Louise is in her favorite spot, and our first son,
Will, is waiting for his dad to play horseshoes.

The chef taking a much needed break before shoving dozens of buns into the ovens for dinner.

I think the following images speak for themselves.

 One year we took my mother Helen with us. It was her kind of vacation spot, for sure.

 Each bedroom at the Watson House had at least one of these decorative Victorian wrought iron beds, covered with many coats of paint. After the Watsons finally closed the Inn in the early 1980s, Louise and I drove up to Twin Lakes one final time, to purchase one of the beds, which I still have.

The vacations spent at "The Watson" as a young family were at the very beginning of what would be our rich
forty-three year marriage. As with most relationships we had our share of bumpy roads. Sometimes we were not even on the same road, but in hind-sight we realized we were destined to be there, for each other, when needed. I think this picture sums it up.

Near the end of her life Louise would often
ask me, "What are you going to do,
Bill; what are you going to do?"
Good question.
Whatever it is, I seem to be doing it.


Thanks to my dear friend Peter Sasgen
for making such beautiful prints over 45 years ago.


  1. Your love for your family really comes through in your stunning photographs. Thanks for sharing them, along with your memories and observations.

    P.S. Louise is beautiful.

  2. Beautiful and moving tribute of your family. Thanks for sharing. :-)

  3. Thank you ladies.
    As a mentor said after the death of his wife; "Life goes on, DAMMIT!"

  4. Bill. What a TREASURE these photos are. They fill me with all sorts of imagining and nostalgia and I don't even know you guys! lol That shot of you and Lousie at the water is the best : )

  5. Bill: My family used to spend every July at the Watson House. My brothers and I learned how to swim there. Fond memories that flooded back while looking at your pics. Even now as a 58 year old man, I still remember ringing the bell before dinner time and that ice cream sundaes were served every Weds and Sun!! Even though my family is spread out over the eastern coast, we still rent a house on Twin Lakes whenever we can. Thank you !! Dan

  6. My siblings and I have warm and wonderful memories of the Watson House from our 1960's childhood trips there. Thank you for sharing these great nostalgic images. They brought back beautiful times, if only briefly. Swimming, fishing, bocce, early morning excursions to glimpse deer, the friendly staff, and those delicious meals...I'll never know how my very middle-class parents could afford this, but I'm so glad they made the sacrifice.