On the Market in the Poconos: Contemporary Resort House in Hemlock Farms
This year-round retreat in the Poconos’ upper reaches blends in well with its wooded surroundings as well as the golf course whose fifth hole it overlooks.
The Poconos are Pennsylvania’s premier destination for winter sports, but for those who prefer mountain air to ocean breezes, they’re a year-round destination. And for some of those people, in the summer, that means golf.
For those duffers, we offer you this handsome Hemlock Farms contemporary house for sale in Lords Valley. And for those who don’t care much for golf, we offer it to you as well.
Though it’s only 30 years old, it’s part of a community whose roots stretch back to the Great Depression.
The gated community of Hemlock Farms started out as the private hunting estate of one of New Jersey’s biggest builders, George Brewster. The company his father founded, Brewster & Sons, built a lot of transportation infrastructure, including the roadbed of the George Washington Bridge, the approach to the George Washington Bridge and sections of the New Jersey Turnpike.
Brewster’s estate, which grew to encompass 5,000 acres, included a picturesque main house, horse stables, a milking barn, a carpenter shop, an ice house, staff cottages, guest houses and a nine-hole golf course whose first fairway sat atop the dam Brewster built to create Hemlock Lake, one of the central features of today’s Hemlock Farms. (More on all this here and here.)
That nine-hole golf course is known today as the Lords Valley Country Club. The road to both community and golf club opened in 1963, when Brewster & Sons experienced cost overruns while building a new approach ramp to the George Washington Bridge. To raise money to cover the shortfall, Brewster sold “Camp Hemlock” to a Canadian developer, Western Heritage Properties Ltd. The golf course became the country club, which expanded to a United States Golf Association-rated 18-hole course. The rest of the camp became a self-contained gated community that today boasts 3,200 homes, many of which are as stylish as this one.
This Hemlock Farms contemporary house for sale has the look and feel of a ski or hunting lodge and all the creature comforts an urbanite could want.
In keeping with its wooded setting, wood dominates this handsome residence. Specifically, cedar, which is used for both the siding on the outside and the walls and ceilings on the inside.
Soaring ceilings also dominate, starting with the cathedral ceiling in the great room that greets you just beyond the foyer.
Off to one side is an equally soaring family room with a stone floor-to-ceiling fireplace.
Off to the other, a dining room and kitchen form a single open space. A skylit vaulted ceiling brings sunlight into the dining room.
And beyond the dining room is a sunroom that’s at once light and airy and warm and inviting. All of these rooms open out onto a deck that spans the back of the house and overlooks the fifth hole at the LVCC.
If you prefer single-floor living, you can make the first-floor suite your own and house your clan and visiting guests in the three upstairs bedrooms. Or you can claim the bigger upstairs primary suite as your own and enjoy its skylit cathedral ceiling and full-tile en-suite bathroom.
As noted above, Hemlock Farms is more a self-contained town than a mere gated community: It has its own fire department, public safety department, ambulance service with airlift, newspaper, library and three houses of worship. Besides Hemlock Lake, you’ll find two more lakes here, along with three swimming pools, ten Har-Tru-surfaced tennis courts, a state-of-the-art fitness center, hiking trails, outdoor sports courts and recreational facilities. You also have use of a hot tub and sauna.
And if you are one of those golf fiends, you can apply for membership in the country club, which is surrounded by but independent of Hemlock Farms.
And in addition to everything you find inside Hemlock Farms’ gates, there’s plenty to see and do outside them, from skiing to kayaking to rafting to hiking to taking in the natural beauty of the region. Dingmans Ferry and the Delaware Water Gap are both an easy drive from here; Promised Land State Park is just a little further away.
With all these things at your disposal, you might opt to make this Hemlock Farms contemporary house for sale your year-round home instead. Were I to do this, I’d replace the Colonial banisters, kitchen cabinetry and lighting with something more in keeping with this house’s contemporary design. On the other hand, I’d definitely hang onto the leaded-glass doors and the stained-glass windows in the primary bathroom. But I’m not buying this house — you are. Or at least the owner and the listing agent hope you are. It’s definitely move-in ready as it is.
Hemlock Farms is in Pike County’s upper reaches, closer to I-84 than to I-80. It’s two hours from here but only 90 minutes from New York, which means you will have many long-distance commuters from New York for neighbors. But that shouldn’t discourage you from settling here, should it?
THE FINE PRINT
BATHS: 3 full, 1 half
SQUARE FEET: 3,600
SALE PRICE: $595,000
OTHER STUFF: Of course, operating and maintaining all these community amenities, services and infrastructure, including plowing the roads in winter and operating the community’s water supply, costs money. That means they’ll cost you too, to the tune of a $2,360 annual homeowners association fee. Given all that buys you, that’s a bargain in our estimation.
809 Overlook Court, Lords Valley, Pa., 18428 [Hemlock Realty Group]