MUNCY - One of the oldest and most magnificent homes featured during the 2010 Historic Homes and Garden Tour in Muncy last weekend is now owned and operated by the great grandson of its original owner, Thomas Wood. For over 150 years the homestead has been in James Wood's family. "I grew up in this home," said Jim Wood, a graduate of Muncy High School in 1969 and acquired the home two years ago from his late fatther, Thomas Wood, Jr. who was a well known judge in the area.
Originally, the four acre property was part of a 100 acre farmstead purchased by his ancestors in 1813 when William and Grezel Wood made an arduous journey on foot to Muncy from Carlisle. A few months later William died. His son, Thomas Wood built the triple brick structure in 1861 and later christened it Shuttle Hill after the shuttle that would bring the workers back and forth to the knitting mills on Sherman Street during the times. The home was expanded in the 1890's.
To the right of the home is a formal parlor that features a marbleized slate mantel piece, a large medallion in the ceiling, and floor length front windows that originally opened into the upper walls to allow access to the front porch. This was a typical feature of the homes built in the Muncy area during the 1870's. Also in the room is a writing desk that belonged to his grandfather, Thomas Wood. "He liked to write and he published a textbook on grammar," said James.
Jim Wood and his wife, Gloria Miele look forward to welcoming guests as they renovate the Inn at Shuttle Hill for a B&B.
A more casual parlor to the left is decorated with period colors, a marble topped table, a fireplace and library, and a four-bay window offset. The floors have been refinished and many of the rooms and upstairs bedrooms have the original floors according to James.
A warm comfortable dining room is used to serve guests meals, breakfasts and special dinners.
James and his wife, Gloria Miele are also co-owners of the Peter Herdic House Restaurant and the Herdic House B&B along Millionaire's Row in historic Williamsport, so they are both accustomed to the hospitality industry.
They sometimes like to use the outdoor summer kitchen and smoke house in the rear of their Muncy home that overlooks a clay tennis court that was also built in the 1800's. "We occasionally use the outdoor fireplace to cook steaks and eggplant over the open fire," said James as he shows the table and place settings arranged for guests and family. They are currently building a much larger kitchen with oversized cabinets next to the original kitchen and once-serving-pantry area. They hope to have it completed by the end of this year.
A rear sun porch opens up with three French doors making it an ideal garden room with a hand stenciled ceiling. Located close to the Main House, there is a Guest House that has its own parking area plus additional space for outdoor entertaining. This arrangement provides easy access to the grounds and amenities of the Main House, while at the same time giving guests the freedom and privacy of a separate residence. "This is the perfect setting for families or business travelers who seek the warmth of an Inn setting, with greater freedom to come and go as they please and the option to entertain family, friends, or colleagues," said the Woods.
Members of the Wood family continue to live in this same brick home as their ancestors while they renovate the historic home into a Bed and Breakfast. The Guest House is open for reservations. "We get calls from the Visitors Bureau for referrals and we are now taking reservations for Little League Week," explained Jim.
Ironically, Jim is in the woodworking business and owns James Wood Company on Reach Road in Williamsport and employs about 30 people.
For more information and rates for the rooms go to their website at www.shuttlehill.com