When you’re heading to a small town area known primarily for outdoor recreational activities (in this case, Raystown Lake), you don’t expect the most luxurious of accommodations. When I signed up for a tour of the Raystown Lake area, I was fully prepared to stay at whatever hotel, motel, or rustic cabin they wanted to put me in.
And then I was welcomed at the bed & breakfast in nearby Huntingdon known as Gage Mansion. What an absolute treat to have this oasis in the middle of an outdoor mecca – and I’ll explain why.
Raystown Lake is known as a hidden gem perfect for boating, hiking, kayaking, camping, and biking among others things. In my short stay there, I wanted to experience as much as possible so I did a few mild hikes, some gentle kayaking, and a climb up a local landmark known as Thousand Steps. Since I spend most of my days seated in front of a computer when I’m not traveling, my body cried out for the comfort I found at Gage Mansion. And I took full advantage of it!
There are 7 fully appointed guest rooms available on the second and third floors. I stayed in Guest Room #203 and when I asked if they had given me the nicest room in the house, I got a sly smile that told me I was perhaps experiencing the best of the Mansion! I did get a peek at many other rooms, though, and found that all of them had their charm (and their own private bath). But I’m still pretty sure I had the biggest room!
If you’re not a bed & breakfast type person, you’ll still find complete comfort and privacy here. There’s are several parlors and seating areas if you’re looking for a place to mingle, grab a complimentary drink, or even play games (they have a table full of some of the latest). Or you can explore the grounds with beautiful city landscaping and a gazebo. Or head to the Thompson Candle Co. gift shop located in the old carriage house. Fun fact: candle creator and founder Angie Thompson owns the Mansion along with her husband and her candles are amazing!
If you do like the social aspect of a bed & breakfast, you’ll have a chance to socialize with innkeepers, Aiden and Alora, a young couple who make the perfect team when it comes to guest hospitality and gourmet breakfasts! While dining one morning, I even chatted with another couple sitting quietly eating their breakfast. As suspected, they confirmed that they had just married over the weekend and were staying at the Mansion for their honeymoon, a thoughtful gift from an aunt!
The house is historically maintained yet clean and modern. The food is outstanding. The rooms are comfortable and immaculate. (And the large bathtubs are much appreciated for sore muscles after a long day). So let’s dive into the details of this charming Mansion once owned by railroad tycoon, Colonel Gage.
LOCATION – Gage Mansion
The front of the Mansion is located on Penn Street in downtown Huntingdon but you’ll find parking just behind the carriage house when approaching from Washington Street (a one way street so be sure to go the right way). Although it’s a small town, it’s a busy town close the the railroad tracks. You will hear train horns several times during the night (which I personally like) and a bit of street noise from trucks driving nearby.
With that said, it’s a great location for walking to nearby restaurants and a central location for venturing out during the day,
SAFETY – Gage Mansion
Each guest is provided two keys upon check in. One key unlocks the two entrances to the house (front and side) which otherwise remain locked. The other key is for a deadbolt lock on the room. Security was never an issue for me. The innkeepers are also typically in and around the house every day until around 6pm. After that time, they’re available for emergencies 24/7. I enjoyed a quiet restful stay and couldn’t even tell there were other guests there (except at breakfast!).
CHARACTER – Gage Mansion
If you’re looking for a Queen Anne Victorian mansion, you’ve come to the right place. As mentioned it was commissioned by Colonel George Gage (fun fact: “colonel” in this case is not a military title but one of prestige) in 1896. Sadly, he enjoyed the house for only four years before passing away.
Even without a knowledge of history and architecture, you’ll be able to appreciate the gorgeous, original woodworking throughout the house. You’ll still see original light fixtures and stained glass windows and the original bathroom downstairs. While the guest rooms all have modern bathrooms, you can still use the clawfoot tub installed specifically for Colonel Gage.
VANITY – Gage Mansion
Even though it’s a turn of the century house, you’ll still find all the modern luxuries you need, just perhaps in a different form. Instead of a closet with a full length mirror, you’ll find a mirrored antique armoire ready for your clothes, along with an iron and ironing board.
TOILETRIES – Gage Mansion
Toiletries can be hit or miss at smaller accommodations. Happily, they were a hit at Gage Mansion. I used all of the soaps, shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. And I loved the small black washcloth provided specifically for removing makeup.
COMFORT – Gage Mansion
Oh yes. As expected, the bedding was more than comfortable. Or maybe it was just the fact that I was so exhausted at the end of each day! Barring a few unexpected train horns, I slept well and was comforted by the fact that the Mansion was immaculately maintained. Not a squeak in the floor or a dustbunny in the corner, which is often unavoidable in older homes. I’d love to bring my family back as some of the rooms have larger accommodations with additional beds available.
EXTRAS – Gage Mansion
As mentioned, you’ll get several courses for breakfast each morning. One morning, I couldn’t even finish because it was simply too much food! Other than breakfast, you’ll always find baked goods available in the dining room. I was happy to grab a bottle of water when walking through and was always tempted by whatever was available (during my stay – chocolate chip cookies and pumpkin banana bread!).
If rooms are unoccupied, doors are often left open so be sure to explore the house! And if you’re interested in the history, you’ll also find a notebook in the parlor complete with the history of Colonel Gage and the house.
I definitely recommend Gage Mansion for a couples retreat, a girlfriend getaway, or even a small family stay with older kids.
Gage Mansion provided complimentary accommodations for this visit.