Monday, September 10, 2012

A little history on the old Log Cabin Inn that you may not have know.

Matchbook from the 1950'
I found the following Log Cabin Inn picture from a friend who had posted it on his Facebook page.  I asked if I could borrow it, as I knew others would like it too.  Intrigued, I wanted to find out more with what had happened to the Log Cabin Inn.  I knew it had burned down, but never really knew the history in its entirety.  

The last time I was there was for a Penncrest Football dinner held in honor of the graduating seniors, which included myself.  It was back during the Christmas holiday in 1986, we had steak dinners and I don't know why I remember that.  Like most things, you never know what you have until it's gone.  For people not familiar with this restaurant, it kind of had the ambiance of the Media Towne House and it was big.

I remember reading about the fire in the Daily Times, though this happened way before newspapers posted article online.  After much searching, I did come across the obituary of the former owner Emma "Mandy" Zerlando, which really tells a great story I never knew.
Emma M. "Mandy" Zerlando, 103, a longtime resident of Middletown and owner of the Log Cabin Inn restaurant, died August 2 at Monticello House at Riddle Village. She was the widow of Ernest Zerlando, who died in 1990. Together they built, owned and operated the Log Cabin Inn restaurant from 1949 until 1993, when the landmark restaurant was destroyed by fire. The original structure was built by hand in 1948 by Mr. and Mrs. Zerlando and her son, Richard Schultz. The restaurant grew over the years from a one-room inn, with a fireplace for heat, which seated 40 guests, to one of the area's largest restaurant and banquet facilities. For 40 years, the Log Cabin was famous for fine dining and live stage shows. Patrons enjoyed local and national comedians here, including Cozy Morley, Joey, Mel and Rummy Bishop; Rodney Dangerfield; Fisher and Marks; Phil Jay; Bunny Sigler; Bill Haley and Tony Santoro, to name a few. Over the years, the banquet facility was the setting for school reunions, political functions, weddings, proms and expositions. Mrs. Zerlando's life was dedicated to the growth and success of the Log Cabin Inn. Over the years, the log Cabin's dining and entertainment fare changed to meet the taste of the patrons. Big bands, comedy, rock and roll, disco and country music were all presented over the years. Even though her husband, son, and later grandson Richard Jr., handled the daily operations, Mrs. zerlando was the undisputed boss and decision-maker at the Log Cabin. Mrs. Zerlando was a member of Nativity BVM Church, Media. She was predeceased by her son, richard J. Schultz, in 1999. She is survived by a daughter, Gloria Greene of Middletown; four grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren. Interment Media Cemetery. Memorial contributions to an animal shelter of the donor's choice would be appreciated.


  1. it was a cool place, I remember going to my dad's company's family Christmas party there as a kid. Was really the only big banquet facilities in media. Had it not burned down, pretty sure I would have been to quite a few wedding receptions there over the last couple years.

    Neat article and you didn't blame media dems for somehow burning it down. Good work!

  2. The last time I was there was for a closed circuit tv fight. Hearns/Hagler/sugar ray? It was pretty munch a dump then. I always thought some kind of lighting must have struck because I couldn't see how this place could make money.

  3. When Twin Peaks was on the air, I always wondered if David Lynch had dined there. He did go to art school in Philadelphia. Its seemed as if the place had come right out of the show... Or vice versa. Can anyone direct me to any pictures that are posted of either the intetior or the exterior? It's been gone for so long & my memories are hazy. When it burned down I was away in college.

  4. Remember the Inn well. I lived across the street from the Zerlando's back in the 50's thru the mid 60's. I worked as a car parking attendant there during my high school years. I knew the families mentioned in the obit, including the Greene's, they were my neighbors. All good people, Mr Schultz was my boss, he was a great man to work for as a kid, taught me to respect the people I was parking cars for and how to be civil towards them, he told the tips would reflect my positive ways I handled them. Yeah, the place was shabby inside but the food was good and the service was good. All the restaurants in the area were good places to eat. The D'Ignazio's also had some great places too, Leonard's place the Cloverleaf Inn, Babe's place,the Town House. Again, all good people, gruff? Rude?? yeah, but any of them would give you the shirt off their back when the chips were down. I was a hot headed young kid but all these guys would knock you back into place when you needed it. Thanks to the person that did the research on this...