Central House Family Resort
Nestled way up in the Northeast corner of Pennsylvania, in Wayne County, you’ll find a genuine throwback to earlier times of family-type resort vacationing. The “Central House Family Resort,” on the shores of Beach Lake in Berlin Township is that place, and it’s a landmark in an authentic village of the sort that once dominated our country’s rural landscape.
Central House offers a refreshing blend of relaxation, nostalgia, and full-service amenities on par with resorts around the country, but all of this is wrapped into a family atmosphere that brings people back year after year. And the family feeling is no accident—current owners Fred and Tammy Thumann represent the third generation of operators at Central House since its establishment seven decades ago.
A Little Bit of History
Central House Family Resort began in the early 1900s as part of a boarding house complex on Beach Lake, just off the Beach-Lake Highway, about midway between Honesdale, PA and Narrowsburg, NY. In fact, the current Central House has evolved from what is the last remaining of roughly 50 boarding houses built to serve coal mining operations in northeast Pennsylvania. But don’t let its vintage concern you…the facility has developed into a modern, full service resort under the Thumann family’s ownership, now offering a range of contemporary services designed to appeal to families.
The Thumann family’s bond with Central House dates back to 1946, when Fred’s grandparents William and Freda acquired the property from a Berlin Township farmer. The couple operated the establishment for 17 years, with their son Alfred and his wife Marge Thumann assuming day-to-day responsibilities upon the death of Freda in 1963. The second generation Thumanns, along with their sons Fred and Danny, were able to transfer the experience they gained operating an East Rutherford, New Jersey delicatessen to grow Central House into a well-respected enterprise. Fred and Danny grew up in the business, so to speak, working at various tasks around the resort while pursuing outside business interests.
For almost three decades, the resort’s reputation grew steadily and, with the passing of Alfred in 1991, the family’s third generation assumed responsibility for taking Central House to even greater heights. Fred and wife Tammy became operators of the resort at that point, with Danny opting to shift gears and devote full time to development of his woodworking business. Fred and Tammy and their four children, all of whom have been involved along the way in running the resort, continued the family spirit that so strongly characterizes all of Central House, and that spirit is alive today.
What the Resort Has to Offer
Central House offers six different categories of overnight accommodations, from standard rooms sized for 2-4 guests to cottages and guesthouses for up to six. Whatever accommodation is chosen, all are convenient to the Resort’s main dining and recreation areas, and all are beautifully decorated and well-furnished. In-room amenities include private bath, air conditioning, electric heat, color TV, and WIFI internet access. From the four primary lodges (Main Lodge, Laurel Ridge, North Lodge, and West Lodge) to the Lakefront Cottages and Guesthouses, the variety of accommodations set the stage for first-rate hospitality of the caliber Central House guests have come to expect and appreciate.
In addition to a comfortable and relaxing overnight stay, the Resort offers recreational opportunities that will keep you well-entertained. From evening square dancing and karaoke to a variety of family-oriented games, along with poolside and hot tub relaxation, boating and fishing on Beach Lake, there’s plenty to make your visit an all-round pleasure. If you’re up for physical activities, volleyball, tennis, basketball, and of course traditional activities like bocce and horseshoes, are just a few examples of what awaits you at Central House.
But what really sets the tone for the down-home experience you’ll get at Central House is the three home cooked family-style meals served every day. The Resort is known for its wholesome country meals, with breakfast, lunch, and dinner served family style in the Main Lodge. Poolside BBQ and smorgasbord are also part of Central House’s regular offerings, all designed to make the experience fulfilling and memorable.
Beyond the Traditional Vacation
For many years, Central House operated largely as a summer, lakeside vacation experience. But over the past two decades, the resort has grown into a destination location for weddings and special occasions. While the traditional Memorial Day and Labor Day packages continue as popular choices for new and returning families, and the mid-week (Monday-Thursday) packages continue to draw more and more visitors to the resort, the wide variety of packages for weddings and other special events continues to grow in popularity.
As a wedding location, Central House offers a perfect setting for a tranquil and memorable event. From its options for poolside receptions to its formal dining arrangements, with a variety of options in between, the staff can arrange a complete plan for the special day, with comfortable overnight accommodations for guests that make the event an outstanding experience for everyone.
Family reunions, class reunions, and special events (birthdays, graduations, anniversaries…you name it) are also well-hosted at Central House. Whether it’s a weekend retreat, a midweek diversion, or a weeklong celebration, the Resort’s facilities can make the event a tremendous success.
The Thumann family has amassed decades of experience in meeting the needs of a wide variety of special events, and stands ready to create incredible, down home memories.
What Our Guests Have Said
“When my boys were young we’d give them the choice of Central House or Disney for a vacation and every year they picked Central House. Now they are bringing their children here.” This type of praise is typical of the sentiment expressed by guests through the years, along with comments like “The staff is professional and the food is superb,” “Such a wonderful family place, run by such a wonderful family,” and “Accommodating, professional staff that treats you like family.” And many guests conclude their comments with a hearty “Looking forward to returning!”
With 86% of Central House’s Trip Advisor reviews coming in at “Excellent” or “Very Good,” it is evident that the Resort resonates well with its guests, and that may well be the result of the down home, old-style experience the Thumann family and their staff offers. With the world spinning as fast as it is today, family values perhaps are reemerging in importance, and that’s one of the hallmarks of Central House. For example, one of the main traditions at Central House is the “ringing of the bell,” an acoustical event that occurs four times each day. The first bell ringing takes place as a wake-up at 7:30 am, with the second breakfast bell ringing a half hour later. The lunch bell rings at 12:30 pm and the dinner bell at 5:30 pm, continuing a tradition that goes back to the original boardinghouse days of a century ago. What’s also significant here is that the second, third, and fourth bell ringing typically is in the hands of children visiting with their families, something that creates a lasting memory.
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