The Mansion of First Resort: Dining, lodging in the ’60s and ’70s
After Byron Strongman Miller took ownership of the estate in 1961, he phased out the farm operations and agreed to sell the site in 1964 to William H. Wilson of Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey. At that time, Mr. Wilson announced that he and his associates intended to establish several enterprises on the property—all related to a resort type of development that included the conversion of the Mansion into a first-class restaurant. There were several elegant dining rooms, including The Colony Room, Oak Room, Terrace Room, Oval Room and Mirror Room.
Succeeding Mr. Wilson and his associates in the operation of the Bethany property was Bethany Lodge, Inc., a company formed in 1967 and headed by a local, Grant Irwin of Honesdale. In the ensuing few years, Bethany Lodge made a number of improvements to the property, including a 30-unit motel, which is now Bethany Village, the assisted living facility down the hill from The Mansion at Noble Lane.
In June, 1978, Mr. Samuel Valenti and his wife, Tina, of Exeter, PA, acquired the estate and renamed it Playhouse Resort and Country Club. In January, 1982, Dale Wheeler of Massachusetts became the major shareholder of Playhouse Resort and Country Club. During this time, the condo, now an abandoned shell overlooking the lake was built.
A Star is Born: Mansion muse for 1986 motion picture “Playing for Keeps”
After Mr. Wheeler’s failed turn at trying to run a successful resort at the estate, the Mansion became abandoned and in disrepair—the perfect location for a ‘80s teen flick from Bob and Harvey Weinstein about a group of recent high school grads from New York City who cook up a scheme to turn a dilapidated and haunted hotel in the mountains, inherited by one of the youth, into a rock-n-roll hotel, complete with a Mick Jagger Suite. The Hollywood film features a young Hal Holden and a budding star–Marisa Tomei.
Bethany Center is Born: Mansion home for upscale rehab center
In 1987, after several years of neglect, the Mansion and its surrounding buildings and land got a new owner in the form of Bethany Associates, a group of professionals from New York City who invested nearly $7 million dollars on extensive renovations, including restoration of the Mansion, modernization of the Recreational Building, elaborate landscaping, and reconstruction and expansion of what had been the motel, which they used as the Residence Building for the treatment facility. Eleven months from inception, the new facility opened but closed three years later, with staff citing that insurance companies’ unwillingness to cover inpatient treatment made it a struggle from day one to bring in the money to meet their financial obligations.
Bethany Village: the estate becomes a Senior Living Community
The Bethany Borough Council denied the plan for an outfit called YSI, Inc., to buy the estate to house and prepare troubled foster care youth for life, but in 1998, Majestic Mountains, a group of local health care professionals, got the green light to purchase the deteriorating estate for its six-phase, Senior Living Community development plan. Phase I was to renovate the former Rehab Center’s Residence Building for assisted living senior housing.
Majestic Mountains has successfully run one of the best assisted living facilities in Wayne County for 14 years, and while they didn’t execute the other phases of their project, they tried to keep the Mansion and other structures stable until they subdivided the lot and sold the Mansion, Recreational Building, Carriage House and 20+ acres of land in 2011 to Monique Greenwood and her husband Glenn Pogue of Brooklyn, New York.