My mom was from Greece. She had recently arrived in the U.S. where she met my father. They fell in love and married. They resided in Washington D.C. Although she was happy, she missed her country. One day while driving out into the country they came across an old, boarded up building. She fell in love with that old building because it reminded her of Europe. She felt drawn to the old building and felt it needed her and she needed it.
When my father saw her love of the place he told her, he would buy it but wondered what she would do with the place. She expressed a desire to open up a restaurant. Like so many great things in life, the vision seemed to just come to her. It overwhelmed her. She saw the Old Angler's Inn and knew she needed to open it. My father agreed with one provision - she would have to work it herself in that he was an attorney and would not be able to spend time opening a restaurant. She agreed.
In 1957, my mother bought the Inn. She worked it for years, toiling away on one project or another. Scraping, saving and reinvesting back into the Inn every dime she could to bring the old place back to life.
Finally, after a few years she started to eek out a profit. On one particular day in early spring of I believe 1962; she was working on something in the upstairs dining room. When one of the waiters approached her about a situation downstairs that was occurring that he felt needed her attention. When queried by my mother, the waiter explained that there were about 50 people taking up seats downstairs on the outside patio. He went on to explain that they brought their own bagged lunches and were ordering water.
My mother was aghast. She immediately went downstairs where she encountered some "old" men in fishing attire dripping wet on what was her brand new carpet having some sort of discussion. Seeing this she immediately kicked them out and threw out the rest of "those bums".
The next day, every major paper in the entire country headlined “INN KEEPERS WIFE KICKS OUT SUPREME COURT JUSTICE!". You see Justice Douglas was a huge environmentalist and was on a hiking trip with other dignitaries including Secretary of the Interior, Udal, extolling the beauty of the C&O Canal. They had invited 30 or so reporters to join them. They just so happened to stop at the Inn to rest and discuss their experience. Unfortunately for them no one bothered to let my mother know anything about it.
Needless to say from that day forward Old Anglers Inn was on the map and people from around the country and the world came to meet this extraordinary women. She never looked back and was a success her entire life.
Mark Reges – (Current Owner, along with his wife, Culinary Director, Sara Reges)