In 1889 Reverend Timothy Grenville Darling purchased ten acres on the shores of Elk Lake and built a two story log cabin for a summer retreat. Darling was a professor at Auburn Theological Seminary, which later became part of Union Theological Seminary in New York City. His sister, Emily Alice Darling, then built a cabin for staff and cooking next door, connected by a simple roof passageway with matching twig decoration and solid log construction. When these two cabins became part of Elk Lake, then owned by Finch Pruyn lumber company, they were known as the Darling Cottages. They have always been popular for guests and between the two cottages they can sleep at least 16 people. Later, the cottages were named for Emerson and Paige, who were frequent visitors in the 1950's. Now, to honor the original family's vision we have renamed them Big Darling and Little Darling. These original structures have hosted Elk Lake guests for over one hundred years.
During the last few years we have completely renovated these two handsome cottages. A few years ago, Mike Sheridan tackled Little Darling with a small crew and beautifully restored the old logs and original interiors. Last winter with the architect, David Terwillagger, contractor, Derek Crownshield, and Ann O'Leary of Evergreen Interiors, we completely refurbished Big Darling. The original logs have been cleaned and preserved with the original decorative twig-work restored. The downstairs now has a large dining and living room with two sizeable bedrooms and two modern bathrooms. Upstairs, we made four small bedrooms into two suites each with full bedrooms, modern bathrooms, living rooms and private outdoor terraces with breathtaking views of the circle of High Peaks around Elk Lake. The Darling cottages are favorites for guests looking for privacy and modernized facilities as well as for family reunions or small retreats. Rustic luxury comes to Elk Lake and the Darlings would have been pleased to see their cottages still standing resplendently in the 21st century.