The creation of Lake Wallenpaupack in 1926 meant a new way of life for many in the area. When the lake swallowed up part of George and Rachel Singer’s farm, they decided to transform their property to welcome the wave of tourists they were confident would follow. The couple built a 14-bedroom inn, dining room and kitchen capable of hosting large groups of visitors. The Hawley Chamber of Commerce also prepared for the onslaught of tourists by initiating construction of a 54-room hotel along Main Street. That eventually became our sister property, The Settlers Inn. Around the same time other members of the Singer family built Pep’s Inn an early Lake Wallenpaupack landmark on Route 507 a short distance from Silver Birches.
While George Singer was busy with his logging business, Rachel’s sister Marjorie Ehrhardt helped at the inn. In 1943 George and Rachel decided to move on, so Marjorie and her husband George Ehrhardt purchased Silver Birches. Growth and expansion marked the years that followed. The family acquired more land and converted the original 1904 farmhouse and barn to create additional lodging for the busy resort. By the time the second generation of Ehrhardts, Jerry and his wife Alice, joined the business, the resort was booming. In 1966 the Ehrhardts added eight more rooms in a building affectionately called, “The Motel.” Several cottages were also built around the property to accommodate a greater number of guests. Jerry and Alice’s three sons, Eric, Steve and Craig grew up at Silver Birches. They all studied hospitality and by the mid-1980s returned to help run the family resort. Under their leadership Silver Birches experienced another period of tremendous growth. The brothers purchased Marine Terrace, a well-known roadhouse located next to Silver Birches, to open Ehrhardt’s Lakeside Restaurant and changed the name of the entire resort to Ehrhardt’s. Another venture began in 1995 when Ehrhardt’s announced the launch of a beautiful lakeside venue called The Waterfront Banquet Center to cater to large weddings and events. More expansion came in 2015 with the construction of several new houses on Singer Lane making vacation rentals an option for guests. By 2015 three generations of Ehrhardts had steered the business through 72 years. It was then the family collectively decided to step back from the resort and sought out another well-known local family to acquire the business. The Genzlingers purchased the property and proudly added the resort to its collection of hotels and restaurants.
The Genzlingers put their trademark passion for historic preservation into the property and restored its original name, Silver Birches. They undertook an ambitious endeavor to preserve and update the vintage lakeside resort. The lodging and restaurant underwent a major renovation in 2016 with a special eye for preserving the original 1904 farmhouse and outbuildings. The restaurant was renamed, The Dock on Wallenpaupack. In consultation with the Ehrhardt family, the new Silver Birches was able to maintain the spirit of its root while breathing new life into an iconic destination.
The imperative to preserve the past while keeping pace with today’s trends continues. In 2022 The Waterfront underwent and extensive renovation that updated the décor to match The Dock on Wallenpaupack. The event space now features rustic stone pillars and chic shiplap that sets the tone for the expansive lake views afforded through the wall of picture windows. Outdoor amenities increased with the addition of an in-ground pool specifically for adults. The seasonal pool overlooks the lake and features cabanas for lounging the day away.