A visit to the Inn at Solvang, is a step back in time, mixing a delightful blend of local history with that of an ancestral Norwegian family home. Built in the 1930's by attorney Curran Jewett Henry and his wife, Phyllis Wald Henry, granddaughter of Norwegian immigrants, their home was designed and set on a graceful 80-acre estate. They gave their home the name Solvang, joining the two Norwegian words, “Sol” meaning sunny and “vang” meaning hillside. Their son, John Jewett, the current owner, grew up in this lovely three-story colonial-style home, and in 1994 when it was no longer needed as a family home, he and his wife, Pam, converted it into an inn. They renovated it with care, preserving its charming architectural features andfilling it with cherished family antiques and furnishings, including a grand piano and harpsichord.
It is easy to hear “the sound of music” here in the silence of the green fields and hiking trails, in the birdsong that fills the air, and in the welcoming voice of their long-time innkeeper, Stephanie Fisher. Each room is unique is style and decor, but consistent in classic taste and superb comfort. There are two additional structures on the property. The “Stabbur,” a traditional Norwegian log cabin was built out of timber harvestedfrom trees that JJ and his father planted decades earlier. Quaint and cozy, it consists of two floors which include a bath, shower and sauna on the first floor, and a living/sleep area with kitchenette on the second floor. This quiet refuge can also be reserved for a soul-restoring getaway.
Once used to store the tractor, the “shed” was converted into an impressive dining/entertaining space, whichhouses a museum-worthy collection of Norwegian artifacts and is reserved for the private use of the owners.
Nature lovers head toward Raystown Lake, rebuilt from the original Raystown Dam by the Army Core ofEngineers in the 1970s. It offers boating and water activities, camping, and hiking trails. The Inn at Solvangis a 10-minute drive from Huntingdon proper, and 40 minutes from State College, home to Penn StateUniversity with shopping and a variety of attractions. Close but worlds away.
The Inn at Solvang
The Inn at Solvang ~ Original watercolor painting by Ginda Simpson
All images and reviews copyright 2017 by Ginda Simpson