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Historic Brinton Lodge - Douglassville, PA - home to the Hidden River Brewing Company.

Updated: Aug 18, 2022

The Historic Brinton Lodge in Douglassville, PA is a 300 year old landmark in Berks County.

The original structure was a small farmhouse built by the Millard family. They were one of the first settlers to purchase land from William Penn in the area.

n 1796 the property was purchased & became the Kirlin Homestead. During their ownership the Schuylkill Canal was constructed, which went directly through the property. Rumors spread that the property was a stop on the Underground Railroad.

In the early 1900s the property again changed hands. The Wittmans, a wealthy iron family from Philadelphia, purchased the property. They added a luxurious 28-room mansion to the small farmhouse. They choose to keep the original structure & build their mansion around it. It still stands today as part of the Lodge.

During Prohibition, the Lodge, changed ownership to Reading hotelier, Caleb Brinton. He bought the house in 1927 & it became an exclusive gentleman's club. Local legend paints Brinton as someone who hand-picked his guests based on their social status. Guests would park their cars under a barn to ensure their privacy.

During Caleb’s ownership, it was said that Elizabeth Taylor & Eddie Fisher spent several weeks there to work on their marriage. In 1972, Hurricane Agnes flooded the first floor. Caleb Brinton never lived at the house again. He left the lodge to his companion, Lillian. Due to her medical conditions, she only resided on the first floor of the home.

In 1978, the Lodge was purchased by the Covatta’s. They renovated & converted the Lodge into a fine dining restaurant, which was known as Covatta's Briton Lodge. In 2006, the Lodge again became flooded. After a brief re-opening, Covatta's closed the doors for good in 2009.

Today the Lodge houses its most modern inhabitant yet, the Hidden River Brewing Company. Brothers-in-law Kevin Margitch & Douglas Reeser saw Brinton Lodge as an opportunity to take their brewing skills to the next level. They have been homebrewing for about 8years before turning their passion for brewing beer into an award-winning brew pub. Today the pub features 12 to 18 creative craft beers & ciders produced on-site, as well as a dinner menu.

The Lodge also opens its doors monthly to the public for an evening of exploration and a lesson on the building’s 300 year old history. Your support of the Ghost Tours & Brewery contributes to the restoration of the Lodge.

In June 2021, we decided to take a ghost tour at Brinton Lodge. Growing up in the area, we heard many ghost stories and were interested in learning more about sightings people witnessed. Our tour began at 8:30pm and we were greeted by the Lady of the House. She welcomed us and spoke about what our night would entail.

Then we were introduced to the tour guide. He provided us with the history of the 300 year old Lodge and informed us of the paranormal experiences individuals have witnessed over the years. The well-documented hauntings at the Lodge are reported to involve at least five spirits: Dapper Dan, Caleb Brinton, an older woman believed to be Caleb's mother, a "lady in white," & a young girl. Mediums who have visited have also felt that the site is a portal between this world and the Other Side. Previous owners of the Lodge have reported apparitions, disembodied footsteps, displaced objects, and more. One of the strangest unexplained encounters involves the "Dark Shadow, " which has a long history of haunting the Lodge with first-hand accounts dating back to at least the 1980s and continuing to this day. We then had an opportunity to explore the rooms of the Lodge, ask questions and take photos.

Thank you to the Lady of the House and the Tour Guide for an educational and frightening evening.

Your support of the Ghost Tours & Brewery contributes to the restoration of the Lodge.

For more information on the Lodge & Tours, visit:

and on Hidden River Brewing Company, visit:

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