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The Glendorn Story

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A Hideout in the Forest: Celebrating 85 years of Glendorn’s Iconic Cabin

November 18, 2016


At the time of construction 1929, the Big House included four bedrooms and the boy’s dormitory.  Sharing the house with in-laws, siblings, and 8 children did not leave much space for privacy. 


On Labor Day weekend 1931, the construction started on the Hideout which was a retreat in the woods for the Forest and Ruth Dorn.  Crews worked seven days a week and lived on-site in a small barn built for that purpose.  Supplies were hauled by saddle horses and horse-drawn wagons.


Tucked high on the forest hilltop, plans called for no roads and access was by horseback. There was also no electric or telephone.  A true place to escape.


Noted architect, Olaf Shelgren from Buffalo,  was hired. He used stone quarried on the property and bricks from Hanley Bricks in Bradford.  Forest Dorn worked with him on every finishing detail including the slate roof, bear-proof iron doors and the front step was the exact height that his wife could use to comfortably get on and off her horse.


With no electricity, only candle-light or oil lamps were used for lighting.  It wouldn’t be until later that electricity and a phone line were installed.


A small barbeque was also added.


The cabin was finished on November 24, 1931, just in time for Thanksgiving.  This date was carved by Forest Dorn into the bench in the living room.


A shooting gallery was installed and used a sling shot and marbles to knock down the targets.  Marbles would be scattered around the area and the children were called upon to collect them.  Today, guests may find a stray marble on the ground around the shooting gallery.   Later, Kant-Splash ammunition with a .22  was used so the targets would not be damaged.


In 1953, the barbeque, ovens, and rotisserie were built as the Hideout soon became a spot for family and business entertaining. It was in these bread-ovens that the famous Hideout Rolls were perfected.   The wood-working shop was also constructed.   Many of the pieces of furniture in the Hideout and Big House were made by Forest Dorn. Every piece was marked with a branding iron, FHO for Forest’s HideOut.


This year we celebrate the 85th anniversary of the Hideout. With Cliff Forrest’s commitment to preserving the property, most of the original charm has been preserved for guests to experience.  Couples seeking their own romantic escape can reserve the Hideout as their very own.