As its name implies, The Gathering Place at Darlington Lake began as a private haven where owners Ed and Annie Knotts hosted intimate gatherings at their log cabin home. Years later, the couple decided to open their home as a bed and breakfast to overnight guests, as they wanted others to experience all that the countryside has to offer.
Darlington Lake was originally a wide area in the North Fork of the Little Beaver River that was used as a swimming hole. Cottages that were used as summer homes for Pittsburgh area residents were built along the banks. (It was a very popular location during that time!) Later, the lake as it now exists was designed and built in the early 1960s as a pay swimming lake. Due to continual flooding, the original creek area was filled in and flood control levies were built by the Army Corp of Engineers.
Ownership of the lake changed hands multiple times until Ed purchased it at an auction (much to Annie’s surprise!) in 1987. A year later, Darlington Lake opened again for swimming and recreation, drawing local families to the water for summer fun. In 1999, after the Knotts’ had raised their children, they decided to close the lake to public swimming, although their family continued to use its facilities for special events.
Five years later, Ed and Annie built their dream home, an authentic log cabin along the waterfront. It quickly became a beloved spot for the entire family to convene. After two of the Knotts’ daughters had their weddings at the home, others began to inquire about how they, too, could host weddings and other private events there.
With open hearts, the Knotts’ decided to offer their residence and surrounding property to the public. In June 2008, it officially became known as The Gathering Place at Darlington Lake.