In memory of Maria

By on February 6, 2019

Daniel and Tricia Fisher always remember their daughter Maria for her kindness and her creative talents in music and art.

So, when they decided to purchase and open The Avenue Guesthouse and Gallery on Newport Road, they did it as a tribute to Maria. The 18-year-old freshman at the University of Maryland died in October 2017, when she tried to cross a busy road and was hit by an SUV. It was devastating for the blended Fisher family, which included Dan Fisher’s three children, Martha, Manny, and Maria, and Tricia’s children Zach and Allee.

“The grief of losing a child is unbearable,” says Dan Fisher. “I miss Maria every day. She was so kind and talented and always helping others.”

The Fishers wanted to do more though, and when they saw an ad for the one-time Forgotten Seasons Bed and Breakfast in Warwick Township, they started to think about establishing the inn as a guesthouse, gallery and venue for small charity events.

“Maria always wanted to have a place for music and art,” says her father. “She used to sing at coffee houses, writing and performing her own music.”

The Fishers had always wanted to have a bed and breakfast inn, so they decided to go for it. Even though they live in Hempfield, they have a partner, Judy Strosser, who serves as the live-in innkeeper, welcoming guests to the inn that has three guest rooms.

Daniel and Tricia Fisher purchased and opened The Avenue Guesthouse and Gallery on Newport Road as a tribute to their daughter Maria. The 18-year-old freshman at the University of Maryland died in October 2017, when she tried to cross a busy road and was hit by an SUV. Photos by Laura Knowles.

“Our first new guests at The Avenue will be coming for Lititz Fire and Ice, so we are very excited about that. We just love Lititz,” says Tricia Fisher. On the entry wall of the inn, the words “Where words fail, music speaks,” are painted, with a piano and musical notes. That is a tribute to Maria, “who would have loved this idea,” says her father, adding that she loved life and enjoyed music, writing, drawing, painting and just about anything in the arts.

“Maria’s smile lit up the room and she went on mission trips to help people who were less fortunate,” says Dan Fisher, noting that her sense of adventure drew her to skiing, surfing, hiking, traveling and playing soccer.

The Avenue Guesthouse and Gallery stone building dates back to 1738 and was once known as Jacob Huber’s (Hoober) Tavern. The guesthouse is nestled next to beautiful Warwick Township Linear Park, featuring a wooded walking and biking trail.

Besides reopening the historic building as a guesthouse, the Fishers plan to hold small gatherings for fundraising toward the scholarships in Maria’s memory. They are considering sponsoring a similar scholarship for Warwick High School, where last year’s tragic loss of three Warwick High School students has touched the community so deeply. They also want to have rotating art exhibits featuring artwork by local and emerging artists. The inn is the perfect spot for these small gatherings, with its rich history and Pennsylvania German architecture.

The Avenue Guesthouse and Gallery stone building dates back to 1738 and was once known as Jacob Huber’s (Hoober) Tavern. The guesthouse is nestled next to beautiful Dean Saylor Memorial Park, featuring a wooded walking and biking trail.

A plaque on the back porch recalls a visit from Count Zinzendorf, founder of the Moravian Church, its Indian Missions, and the settlement of Lititz, who preached in the tavern in December 1742.
As one of the earliest buildings in the Lititz area, the historic building once sat directly on Newport Road. The roadway was rerouted to run in front of the inn, and guests park on a driveway that runs behind the house. Wood floors, fireplaces, stairways and other features retain the character of the building.

There are three guest rooms, including a two-bedroom suite, the Butterfly Room and the Stencil Room, which has reproductions of 200-year-old stencils. Each room has its own bath, and the innkeeper has separate living quarters. There is a small café room for guests to enjoy a light breakfast, coffee and beverages. There is also a formal dining room, gallery and sitting room, and full kitchen.

The Fishers decided to keep breakfast simple, using local baked goods, fresh fruit and items from local providers. Each guest gets a gift basket, filled with Lititz treats like chocolate, pretzels and snacks.

The Fishers

“This has been a labor of love,” says Dan Fisher. “As we get the guesthouse ready, it’s something that I know Maria would have loved. This is a tribute to her.”

For more information on The Avenue Guesthouse and Gallery, the website is www.theavenueguesthouse.com. There is also a Facebook page.

Laura Knowles is a freelance feature writer and regular contributor to The Record Express. She can be reached at lknowles21@gmail.com. 

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