The History of Jorgensen’s Inn Stockholm, NJ

Jorgensens Inn
Postcard Image of Jorgensens Inn in Stockholm, NJ
Prior to 1948, Lewis Mountainside Inn was a Popular Roadside Attraction that would become Jorgensen’s Inn

Long time residents of the area may recall Jorgensen’s Inn, the large rambling country restaurant that served bounteous American fare in six antique‐filled dining rooms. It will be remembered as an attractive setting for travelers, skiers and local residents to relax and enjoy a leisurely dinner. In its heyday during the late 60s thru the early 80s Jorgensens was a far cry from the hot dog stand on the old Hamburg‐Paterson Turnpike that first bore the name – Lewis Mounainside Villa over 90 years ago. To fully appreciate the history that led to Jorgensen’s, one has to return to around 1926, when George W. Lewis, son of James M. and Josephine Sisco Lewis, acquired a parcel of land formerly owned by Frances M. and George J. Rude.

George Lewis Installed One of the Early Gas Pumps for Motorist on Route 8 (Present Day State Highway No. 23)

This property was north of the lands of William G. Walker. George had a very spacious three-story frame dwelling built upon the land. His wife, Anne, soon created colorful gardens around the front of the house. George was a very industrious man who had visions of creating a complex to continue operating his repair shop and open a restaurant to accommodate tourists. With the advent of the automobile, Stockholm and the surrounding area was increasing in popularity as a destination for motorists traveling on Route 8. (present day State Highway No. 23) George systematically increased the size of the complex and in 1927, he purchased the Walker home and had it moved to his growing conglomerate of buildings. When the Patriotic Order Sons of America Hall property was sold to the City of Newark, he purchased that hall and had it moved to his growing enterprise.

After the careful footprint of structures was assembled, the repair shop and motorcycle garage was established in the renovated hall. George had gasoline pumps installed as this was becoming a need not only for the community, but to accommodate the many tourists who came through the area. It was the only gasoline pump in the vicinity between Franklin and Newfoundland. The complex also contained a general store and post office. The Post Office was moved from the old store in Stockholm to this site; Lewis was Post Master from Oct. 12, 1914, until his death in 1945. George also opened a restaurant on the site which became a popular attraction not only for the community but for the tourist trade and christened the operation with the name: Lewis Mountainside Villa

Early Postcard from Lewis Mountainside Villa Circa 1930

Over many years of operation, improvements were made to the buildings. A picnic area, tennis court and swimming pool were added to complex. For many years, the businesses were successful; and he advertised by having postcards made. From the Walther Postcard Collection is this undated postcard. George Walther Lewis was born Dec. 6, 1885 and died Dec. 10, 1945. He married on June 15, 1909, Anna E. Gormley, born Aug. 9, 1886, died Aug. 22, 1974. Both were buried at Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Butler. They had three children: Leon W., Llawayne M., and Gerard C. Lewis.

George Lewis
1909 Wedding Photograph of George and Anna Lewis. Courtesy of Leon Lewis

Leon Walther Lewis, born Apr. 10, 1911 married on Sept. 17, 1938, Rosa B. Milan, born Mar. 26, 1918. He was an electrician and TV repairman. They lived in Lake Stockholm. Their children were: Georgeanna, born Sept. 25, 1941, married, later divorced, James Fernandez, their children were Lisa A., and Raymond L. Fernandez; Rita M., born June 1, 1945, married George D. Wildrick Sr., their children were George D. Wildrick Jr. and Jennifer; and Rosemary, born July 2, 1947, married Thomas H. Davies, Sr., and their children were Thomas H. Davies, Jr. and Patricia L. Davies. The author had several visits with Leon Lewis in February 1977. He graciously shared his family history and allowed the author to make copies from the family photo collection.

Llawayne Marie Lewis, born May 4, 1912, married Daniel Dietz, born Sept. 24, 1912 and their children were: Daniel Jr., Donald and Diann M. Dietz. Gerard Clifford Lewis, born May 27, 1913, married Alameda Flood born Apr. 10, 1918, they had no children. They lived at Lake Stockholm. Gerard C. Lewis provided a family tree of the Lewis family.

After George Lewis’ death, Anna sold the restaurant business to Mr. and Mrs. Martin McDonough in March 1946. Gerard Lewis served in World War 11, and returned to Stockholm on June 21, 1948. He purchased the garage business from the McDonough’s. Gerard successfully operated the business until 1966 when he sold it to Ray Fowler. The title then passed to Richard Jorgensen. The Jorgensen’s remodeled the entire complex that was to be used solely as a restaurant. The restaurant has had successive owners who operated the restaurant.

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© 2018 Beth Willis/ & The Family of Leon Lewis. Images & Text may not be reproduced without the permission of the author

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A Story Behind an Old Photo at Idylease

Idylease History
1903 Photograph at Idylease by Arthur Radclyffe Dugmore

In spite of the tech savvy time we live, the closest thing we have to recapturing time is the photograph. The photograph allows us to peer into the past and allows us to witness a still glimpse of a moment in time. With a photograph taken over 110 years ago, the task of identifying those personalities can be nearly impossible. One day the brief glimpses of us during our lives will be observed much in the same way. Henry Cartier-Bresson once said: “Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again”.

An old picture contains the faces of people we wish we might know better. For most, the faces and posture of the individuals are observed and then we move on to the next. The goal with this particular photograph that was taken at Idylease in 1903 was to identify those persons that were “frozen” in time. As an added bonus, even the photographer was able to be identified. This all would have been impossible where it not for Leonore Drake who wrote my father Dr. Arthur Zampella in 1966 to explain.

August 1966

Dear Dr Arthur Zampella,

The portrait of the founding members of the Newfoundland Health Association who owned and built Idylease was photographed by Arthur Radclyffe Dugmore who lived and owned “Deer Haven” on Greenpond Road. He lived in a rather unusual bungalow type house which he photographed and wrote about for “Country Life” magazine while it was being built.

I thought it might interest you to identify the people in the picture.

At the extreme left ifs Alice Day, Dr. Day’s daughter who was the bookkeeper at Idylease. Slightly in front of her is Mrs Caswell who was from Brooklyn. Next, with a bow in her hair is Mrs Day, Dr. Day’s wife, who was head of the housekeeping department at Idylease.

Standing next to her is Mrs. Egna Winters who lived on Union Valley Road. Her house was on the right hand side just before the sharp bend beyond the lefthand road going to “Miami Beach”.

The two children we cannot identify, they may have been the children of the photographer Arthur Radclyffe Dugmore who would refer to Mrs. Winters as their mother.

The two girls in white are Christine and Jennie Eckhart daughter of Will Eckhart whose house stood across from the Stellar place which stands just above Idylease with the stone well in the front yard that still yields water.

The gentleman seated on the right side is Dr Edgar Arthur Day. The tallest gentleman is Dr. Marks. The man to his left with the bald head is my father Dr. Daniel Drake. Back then he wore a mustache to make himself look older! The picture does not recall him as we remember, but my brother believes it is him, chiefly because of the moustache. However, he did not wear one later in life.

The picture was taken in the summer of 1903. My mother & brother and I did not make the journey the day the photograph was taken. We traveled to Idylease in November of that year, but my father was there from the time they had opened earlier in the spring. In his spare moments, he was studying to take the examinations to allow him to practice in New Jersey. He already had the diploma and license to practice medicine in New York State.

Dr. Day died in March of 1907 and at that time my father bought Idylease from Dr Day’s widow along with all interest that she had in the place.

The name George A Day appears often; he was a nephew of Dr. Day and came to Idylease to become the business/office manager. Another brother of Dr. Day, a carpenter, worked on the addition that was later added to the dining room wing of Idylease in 1907. The only Days that now survive are two daughters of the aforementioned Days (I believe one sisters name was Grace?).

The young man with the collar with points and the watch chain was Joseph LaCour who was the lawyer for Idylease at that time.

I would like to express to you my deep appreciation that you have purchased and continue to operate Idylease because it was home to my brother and I for many years and there are memories of lovely associations with the structure and the grounds.

Most sincerely,

Leonore Drake

ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER/ARTIST

Idylease
Illustration by Dugmore, Arthur Radclyffe; Troops Going over the Top, First World War (Battle of the Somme); York Museums Trust

Arthur Radclyffe Dugmore (1870-1955) was an Irish-born pioneering American naturalist and wildlife photographer, painter, print-maker and author. Dugmore was born in Ireland. He was elected to The Camera Club of New York in 1902 and presented his work in their exhibitions. In 1902 Dugmore’s photography caught the attention of Alfred Stieglitz, the single most important figure in American photography at that time, who published Dugmore’s article entitled “Effective Lighting in Bird Photography” and his photogravure of small birds on a branch as illustration in the first issue of Stieglitz” quarterly photographic journal Camera Work. His photographs were exhibited in London in 1903 at the Royal Photographic Society annual show. In 1905 his work was included in the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition held in Portland, Oregon.

Dugmore would go on to design the cover for Country Life in America three times in 1906 and in 1907 and 1908, his thirteen-part series entitled “The Amateur Photographer” was published in the magazine. In 1909 and 1911 his articles were published in the American Annual of Photography.

Dugmore, the naturalist and sportsman, took part in photo-safaris in Newfoundland in 1907, Kenya in 1909-1910. In 1908 Dugmore and James Lippit Clark undertook the Dugmore/Clark photo safari to Africa where he took photographs for Collier’s Weekly. On that voyage he produced the first film on African wildlife and brought specimens back for hunters including Theodore Roosevelt and for American museums.

Dugmore studied painting at the Bell’ Arte in Naples and at the Academy of Design in New York. He undertook the scientific study of natural history to be able to depict wild life through his art. He first exhibited his paintings in 1914. By 1931 Dugmore was known for his films “The Wonderland of Big Game” and “The Vast Sudan” as well as his many books on wild animals. In 1931 M. Knoedler & Company in Chicago hosted an exhibition of Dugmore’s paintings which included studies of animals of Kenya, Canada and Newfoundland.

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