Nose Prints on the Glass

October 11, 2022
Image of Krippendorf Lodge surrounded by lush foliage.

By Jason Neumann

I’d like to say that it was nose prints on a specific leaded glass door at Krippendorf Lodge that inspired our Heritage Walks. Visitors, wanting to see what’s inside the neat old Krippendorf Lodge, shade their eyes and mush their noses on the glass in almost the same spot – we joke that our facilities staff spends an inordinate amount of time cleaning that door. But, I surmise, those nose prints are attempts to peer into the past to try to understand the people who had Krippendorf Lodge and Groesbeck Estate built.

Most people who’ve hiked at Rowe Woods for any length of time have teased out building dates, one-of-a-kind features from the Art and Crafts period, and landscape features from the heyday of the Krippendorf and Groesbeck estates. But I wish members and visitors could look beyond the neat old houses to get a sense of the people who build them. With a little more historical understanding…

  • You can see their love and care for the land which was often expressed through flowers.
  • You can see their desire to bring the outside in. Well-positioned windows provide views of nature as well as airflow.
  • You can see their effort to build houses that blended with nature.
  • You can sense their generosity. Every visitor to the Krippendorf estate left with a gift of potted bulbs, apples, wine, or some other item. How Grace Groesbeck, upon her death, left money for each of her employees’ families and allowed them to stay on the property as long as they wanted.

If you’ve ever wanted to mush your nose on a window of Krippendorf Lodge or Groesbeck Estate, consider signing up for our next heritage walk. You’ll give our facilities staff a bit of a break and hear stories that will provide a historical overlay to your hikes at Rowe Woods.