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Witch’s Hat Pavilion

Although now the site of hiking trails open to the public, Neversink Mountain in Reading, Pennsylvania, was once the site of a complex of exclusive hotels. In warm months, wealthy vacationers arrived from New York and Philadelphia by a train that went right up the hillside, drawn by the prospect of escaping summer in the city for nice views, breezes, and music and dancing. 

One of the only reminders of this history is a pavilion, built in honor of an avid hiker in 1892 at the Neversink Hotel. Over time, the age of the automobile eroded the mountain’s status as a resort destination, and the hotels were abandoned and destroyed by fire and arson. The still-standing structure is known affectionately as the Witch’s Hat, due to its shape, and along with the abandoned foundations nearby, it often has a spooky vibe. But on clear days, it offers some of the best views in the area—the same views that inspired a hiker to rest there in the 1800s, and an elegant establishment to build a structure that would outlast the hotel itself.

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