Meet your Innkeeper and Chef: 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. Innkeeping has taken her from Seattle to Paso Robles with stops in Friday Harbor, Colorado and Pennsylvania along the way. She is thrilled to be in Princeton and ready to share the rich history of the Inn and the area with her guests. She loves smaller Inns because they allow her to cater to her guests as hostess, concierge, chef and friend!
Lydia loves variety in her breakfast dishes. Everything is made from scratch including pastries, breads, pancakes, quiches, frittatas, and her own version of Eggs Benedict. The comments describing her breakfasts are “elegant,” “gourmet,” and “decadent.” One reason guests come back: Her signature breakfast dessert…homemade Java Truffles!
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Proprietor Janet Cochoff Pressel
Janet Cochoff Pressel is a former stock analyst from New York who, along with her husband, Michael, purchased Glencairn as a private residence in 1999. After living in Glencairn for nearly five years, they discovered that the house truly came to life when they were entertaining and so began the thought to convert the historic home into a bed and breakfast. Upon the birth of their daughter in 2004, Janet retired from her career on Wall Street to focus her efforts full time on the start up of the Inn. While she now has two daughters and the Inn is over ten years old, Janet continues to spearhead marketing, staffing and ongoing renovations at the Inn.
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 for a brief period 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.
During the peak of bicentennial fever, the house was 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 to the back of the property 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, this important historic structure is being shared and enjoyed with the public.