Meet your Innkeeper and Chef Extraordinaire: Lydia Oakes
After nearly 20 years of owning and operating a medical transcription business, Lydia was ready for a change! Having a love for all things culinary, she returned to school to become a trained chef. That, along with her passion for travel and meeting new people, led to her career as an Innkeeper. (And, boy are we glad!) Innkeeping has taken her from Seattle to Paso Robles with stops in Friday Harbor, Colorado and Pennsylvania along the way. After over two years at the Inn at Glencairn, she still loves Princeton and will tell you just about anything you would like to know about the area. (She knows more than most natives!)
Lydia spends her spare time (of which there is little) dreaming up breakfast creations. Our breakfasts have NEVER looked this good, and we are so grateful she has “raised the bar” so high! Everything is made from scratch including pastries, breads, pancakes, quiches, frittatas, and French toast. The “locals” constantly ask if they can come just for breakfast, but we only serve our lucky overnight guests! Plus, not only will she cater to the most finicky of dietary restrictions, Lydia will create something everyone can enjoy.
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The Proprietor (aka the one with the crazy idea): Janet Cochoff Pressel
After retiring from a career on Wall Street and eight months pregnant with her first child, Janet came home one day and informed her husband that she was going to convert their 18th century residence into a bed and breakfast. Janet often jokes that the Inn at Glencairn is a product of an overactive nesting instinct. After a couple of architects, some mind-numbingly long planning board meetings, more than a few not-so-neighborly neighbors (it is not a brothel after all), and many, many house painters, the marriage survived, they had a baby girl and opened the Inn at Glencairn for business. Janet now has two daughters who love to visit the Inn and “help” out and she continues to spearhead marketing, staffing and ongoing renovations at the Inn (of which there are many).
The Opdykes, a Dutch family from New York, were the first recorded settlers on the site of Glencairn in 1697. The present stone wing of the manor house was likely built in the early 1700s. The property was in the Opdyke family until 1762 when it was sold to Daniel Hunt.
The sale to the Hunts marked the transition of Glencairn from Dutch to English proprietorship. During this period, the center hall frame was built and served as an excellent example of Georgian architecture.
In 1776, while the British army was quartered in Princeton, Glencairn was believed to have been confiscated as British quarters and even served as a Hessian Hospital during the Revolutionary War.
The house remained in the Hunt family passing from the Gulicks to the Connahs until the 1940s when it was sold to the Perot family, at which time it was divided into three apartments and even lay vacant for several years until 1976.
The house was eventually purchased by brothers, Clifford and Stephen Zink, and Alex Greenwood with the goal of returning Glencairn back to its 18th century splendor as documented by the Historic American Buildings Survey. During this time, the red frame barn was relocated from Dutch Neck and the New Jersey Barn Company was born from that event.
For the next twenty years, Glencairn was again a private residence and in 2005 it began a new chapter as a bed and breakfast following the renovation led by the Pressels and Ford3 Architects. For the first time in its rich life, Glencairn is being shared and enjoyed with the public.