Eagles Mere has a Long and Storied History


"Walpaleechen". That was reportedly the name the Iroquois Indians gave to Eagles Mere Lake. Permanent Indian residences were not allowed by the Iroquois as this area was for hunting purposes only. In 1681, William Penn received a large tract of land from King Charles II of England. Penn's heirs eventually gave or sold sections of the land to those who applied for their slice of "the wilderness". After changing hands several times, a wealthy Englishman by the name of George Lewis bought the lake and over 10,000 acres surrounding it for $1 an acre. His interest in the property was not for leisure but was purely commercial as he intended to use the natural white sand from the beach to produce glass. In 1803 he began laying out the plans for a town he called Lewis Lake. The glass factory prospered initially but eventually went under and again the property changed hands several times.


Largely agrarian in the early 1800's, it wasn't until the 1860's when people started to envision the lake as an ideal vacation spot and began building cottages. Eagles Mere was the ideal get-away from the heat, flies, and summer disease in Philadelphia. In 1886 a civil engineer named Embley Chase was instrumental in developing street plans, building water and sewer systems, and bringing electricity to the community. He was credited for many of the attractions (toboggan slide) and activities (sports week) people still enjoy today. It was during this time that the family who owned the lake changed the name from Lewis Lake to Eaglesmere (eventually Eagles Mere). In the late 1890’s a number of large hotels were constructed and visitors from nearby Philadelphia, Baltimore and Harrisburg would flock to Eagles Mere for the cool mountain air. These turn-of-the-century resorts pampered their guests with putting greens, bowling alleys, tennis, croquet and shuffleboard courts. It was a grand time in Eagle Mere where woman in long dresses carried parasols and men donned 3-piece suits.


In the 1950's the world began to modernize and fewer people made the trip up the mountain. A few of the hotels burned down and the others went out of business. With the hotels gone, many people thought Eagles Mere would simply fade away. There was, however, several constants throughout all of Eagles Mere's history that would never change: stunning natural beauty, clean, fresh mountain air, and the generations of families who came here. Families that were, and are to this day, drawn to its beauty, serenity and simple way of life. Most of all, they are the families determined to keeping Eagles Mere unspoiled for generations to come. Thanks to their efforts Eagles Mere remains on the National Register of Historic Places.