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Happy You-Know-What

Greetings to one and all –

It seems as if winter as we once knew it is back again – grey, snowy last day of the year, good skiing in the mountains, and very hungry birds at the feeders (the dry summer months led to a dearth of berries and seeds so you can hardly blame them for their feeding frenzy).

2012 has been a good year for us – lots of sunny days meant the golf course was in the best shape ever.  North Dock events were able to be outside where they belonged for all but two nights.  34 couples celebrated their marriage at BHC.  The gardens were quite wonderful. Hurricane Sandy was a non-event.  Although Lake Champlain was at an almost record low, it was a great boating season.  The staff did an awesome job taking good care of guests.  The first Fifth Generation family member joined the staff.  We expanded our partnerships with Vermont farmers and growers.  We’re grateful that so many guests chose to be here – thank you!

And on to thoughts of 2013.  The wedding circle and Homestead gardens were created 75 years ago this year so we’ve undertaken a restoration project to recreate the pergola that once ringed the West half of the verde antique marble circle.  We’ll do some regrading to make the Homestead lawn more even and improve the seating options at the circle.

The Town Hall, the building housing the Ranger Room, was the barn for the Basin Harbor farm that Ardelia purchased in 1882.  The Ranger Room level once housed Jersey cows, then the BHC laundry facility, while the space upstairs went from hay mow to dance hall and snack bar.  In 1958, our town voted “wet” (we were a hold out from Prohibition days), and A. P. Beach created the Ranger Room bar and buffet in the lower level of the Town Hall.  The name was in recognition of Robert Rogers, hero of the French and Indian War, whose troops were called Rogers’ Rangers (if you’re a history buff, do read War on the Run by John F. Ross).  All the cherry wood of the bar, A. P.’ s favorite lumber, was milled here. The bar was created across the way from the Dining Room because Grandma Beach (yup, the eponymous maker of the famed dessert) didn’t want to have to walk through a cocktail lounge on the way into dinner.  It would be two more years before alcohol would be served in the Main Dining Room.

But I digress – The Ranger Room is undergoing some renovations to open it up from the bar side of the room.  In uncovering the original support beams of the building, we have come across the signatures of several people who worked in the laundry in the late 40s.  Stay tuned for further updates on the project, and be prepared for a new look.

The Lobby and Champlain Lounge will have a face lift as well, and several cottages will feature a new look for the new year.  The winter is so short when there are multiple projects in the works!

The Reservations and Sales people have been very busy since we closed last October.  Many wedding parties have visited to make plans for 2013, and many family reunions will gather to celebrate special dates.  We hope you’ll include us in your plans for the coming warm months!

All of us here at BHC join in sending you our best wishes for a healthy, joyous New Year.  We wouldn’t be here without you, and we’re very grateful for your support.  Cheers!  Pennie