Lou's Place in Cyberspace
Part of the original Sterner Stagecoach Inn, purchased by Jonas Snyder in 1858, was an outbuilding, or cook house, which contained a large stone fireplace and oven in its rear for baking. The opening of this fireplace was about five foot high and eight foot wide
This large stone oven has been dated back to the 1700’s. The outbuilding served as the kitchen for the original Sterner Inn. The Inn was located on a stagecoach route used from early times between what is now Kresgeville (south) to Split Rock and White Haven (north).
The old Inn offered those using the stagecoach line a place to eat, rest and water their horses. The fireplace and oven were used to cook meals and bake bread for the travelers. That necessity to feed groups of travelers and hunters was likely the incentive for the large oven in its own structure.
The shed housing the oven had stood in that location for over 250 years, until a fire in 2005 destroyed the original structure, which was located behind the hotel, built 1901.
In 2010 the oven was removed from the Hotel Jonas property, and moved to the West End Fairgrounds.
The Polk County Historical Society arranged for a structure to be built at the Fairgrounds to house the historic oven, with the hope of eventually serving oven cooked bread to fair goers.
The following photos show the removal and transport of the oven to the West End Fairgrounds in Gilbert, Pa:
Pots and Kettles in the original oven. Bake oven opening is visible in rear. Photo C-1920
FIRE! SEPT. 3 2005
Utensils from original oven.
PHOTOS OF THE FIRE:
Fire trucks on Jonas Road opposite Hotel
East side of Hotel
Bake oven building where fire started
Damage after the fire
Oven in its original location, the original structure was destroyed by fire Sept. 3, 2005.
Rear of Hotel in background. Color of Hotel was tan, after fire Hotel was painted a shade of green.
Oven being removed from its original location behind the Hotel Jonas. Wolfe House and Building Movers of Bernville moved the Oven to the Fairgrounds.
Note Hotel has been repaired and repainted, with two new exhaust fans installed.
Oven is loaded on truck ready to be transported to the West End Fairgrounds.
Oven passes Hotel (on right, not shown) about to make left onto Route 534 South.
Tom Held, whose parents owned the Jonas Hotel in the 1950’s, is shown with the Oven in its new home at the West End Fairgrounds in Gilbert Pa., 2010.