The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Top News

January 3, 2013

Christmas at the Bedford Springs Resort is a wonderful life

 

I’m so glad I arrived at the Omni Bedford Springs Resort at early evening on Christmas Eve.

Leaving the Pennsylvania Turnpike and driving about three miles into the snow-covered hills of south-central Pennsylvania gave me a chance to decompress and get in the mood for an old-fashioned Christmas.

Turning the corner of a winding road, the hotel came into view, its long majestic building popped into view, adorned with soft white lights and dominated by a towering 40-foot tall Christmas tree that sat on the lawn. Falling snow added its bit of holiday romance and it, indeed, was beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Inside, another big tree decorated the lobby, and nearby, a couple sat warming themselves in front of the fireplace, logs crackling merrily. There were nutcrackers galore filling cabinets and tabletops and even a gingerbread house displayed in the lobby. In the library, instead of glass ornaments, another tree sported paper silhouettes of U.S. presidents (Over the years, 10 U. S. presidents stayed at the hotel, including James Buchanan, who made it his summer White House).

Dinner in the Crystal Room that evening proved a feast of seared scallops, lobster salad and Pekin Paradise Duck, elegant courses that also included very memorable lemon lavender scones. After a couple glasses of wine, I slept soundly, visions of sugar plums dancing in my head.

Christmas morning started with coffee in bed, an opening of gifts and a tour of the historic hotel with a truly remarkable man named Scott Mallow, who, for a small fee, shares his extensive knowledge of the 216-room hotel during a fascinating  hour-long expedition into history and architecture.

Way before White traders arrived in the area, Native Americans frequented the site’s seven springs hoping their purported therapeutic properties would ease their ailments. Foreseeing the economic potential of the site, one of the early settlers, John Anderson, purchased 200 acres and began building the original stone section of the resort starting in 1808 as a place to stay for those coming to "take the waters." One of the first notables to visit was Aaron Burr, who came with his niece and her sickly child.

Text Only
Top News
  • Inmate charged in Rockford lawyer's 2008 death

    Murder charges were announced Wednesday against the one-time client of a Rockford attorney who was fatally shot while clearing snow from his driveway in 2008.

    Winnebago County State's Attorney Joe Bruscato said a grand jury has indicted Richard E. Wanke Jr., 53, on charges of first-degree murder in the death of Gregory H. Clark, 60. Wanke was arrested Wednesday at Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill, where he has been serving a 14-year sentence on burglary charges with a projected parole date of May 7.

    April 16, 2014

  • Despite ruling, Iowa to bar all felons from voting

    Elections officials will continue to bar felons from voting despite an Iowa Supreme Court ruling that suggests not all of them have lost their voting rights.

    Three justices ruled Tuesday that only some felonies are considered "infamous crimes" under the Iowa Constitution that bar individuals from voting or holding office.

    April 16, 2014

  • Branstad's tax return shows income of $234,907

    Gov. Terry Branstad released his tax returns Wednesday, showing he earned $234,907 and paid $28,298 in federal taxes in 2013.

    The governor and his wife paid $32,085 in federal taxes but are getting a refund of $3,787. Their state tax return shows they paid in $10,285 in taxes but will get a refund of $4,158. In addition the governor and first lady each received $54 back from the Legislature as all Iowa taxpayers did making their total Iowa tax bill $6,235.

    April 16, 2014

  • Low blood-sugar levels make for grousing spouses

    Husbands and wives reported being most unhappy with their spouses when their blood-sugar levels were lowest, usually at night, according to research released this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Missing a meal, dieting or just being hungry may be the reason, researchers said.

    April 16, 2014

  • Jenny McCarthy announces engagement on 'The View'

    Jenny McCarthy had big news to share Wednesday on "The View": She's engaged to Donnie Wahlberg.

    McCarthy raised her hidden left hand from behind the desk, revealing an engagement ring.

    April 16, 2014

  • Iran cuts nuke weapons ability

    The United Nations will release a report this week certifying that Iran's ability to make a nuclear bomb has been greatly reduced because it has diluted half of its material that can be turned most quickly into weapons-grade uranium, diplomats said Tuesday.

    April 16, 2014

  • 283 missing, 4 dead in South Korea ferry disaster

    A ferry carrying 462 people, mostly high school students on an overnight trip to a tourist island, sank off South Korea's southern coast on Wednesday, leaving more than 280 people missing despite a frantic, hours-long rescue by dozens of ships and helicopters. At least four people were confirmed dead and 55 injured.

    April 16, 2014

  • NATO ups military presence amid Russian threat

    NATO is strengthening its military footprint along its eastern border immediately in response to Russia's aggression in Ukraine, the alliance's chief said Wednesday.

    Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said NATO's air policing aircraft will fly more sorties over the Baltic region west of Ukraine, far from the tensions in the eastern part of the country. He said allied warships will also deploy to the Baltic Sea, the eastern Mediterranean and elsewhere if needed.

    April 16, 2014

  • Police: Utah woman gave birth at home

    A Utah woman accused of concealing seven pregnancies before strangling or suffocating her newborns gave birth each time in her home, authorities said Wednesday.

    Investigators have determined that Megan Huntsman, 39, did not go to a hospital to have the babies, Pleasant Grove Police Capt. Mike Roberts said. He didn't say if anybody helped her give birth.

    April 16, 2014

  • Illinois trooper charged for roadside strip search

    A southwestern Illinois state trooper is facing a felony aggravated battery charge after authorities say he strip-searched a man along the side of a road during a traffic stop.

    The (Belleville) News-Democrat reports 32-year-old Cory Alberson was released on $20,000 bail on Monday after he pleaded not guilty.

    April 16, 2014

AP Video