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Annsfield

Mifflintown mansion coming to life again

Sentinel photo by BRADLEY KREITZER
The Annsfield mansion is a familiar sight to anyone who travels on Route 35 between Mifflintown and McAlisterville.

MIFFLINTOWN — The Bobb brothers “flipped” when the Annsfield mansion, a sprawling home with a never ending wrap-around porch, came up for sale in Mifflintown.

Brent Bobb and brothers, Andy and Mark, had been “flipping houses” for about five years, Brent said. However, their efforts did not produce HGTV-worthy salaries.

“Around here it’s not a big money-maker,” Brent said.

It was a side job for the brothers, each committed to their own careers.

Brent had worked in the police force and drove from Beavertown to the Lewistown barracks in the 1990s. He often took the route through Juniata County on Route 35 and would rubberneck at the mansion.

“Many times I drove by that place and thought, ‘Holy cow.'”

Twenty-seven years later, he sat inside the main kitchen as owner of the property.

When the property finally came up for sale a few months ago, Bobb and his brothers felt Annsfield was “the ultimate flip.”

“It was just run down and needed some rehab,” Brent said of the 8,000 square-foot facility.

The Bobb brothers have cousins (also brothers) who operate a venue for weddings and other special events in the Reading/Allentown area.

“We felt Annsfield lends itself to being something like that,” Brent said.

He said the home is too large to operate as a single family dwelling “unless you have 15 kids or something.”

The only logical thing to do was to make it a public venue for folks to rent and celebrate major life events.

The Bobbs have been working inside and outside the facility and property for months getting it ready for the public. Four events have already taken place at Annsfield this year, including a birthday party for twin 16 year olds, two bridal showers and a Mother’s Day tea in which 146 people were served tea and a buffet-style meal.

At this time, outside catering provides the food.

“The inside is largely intact,” Brent said. The upstairs is slowly being prepared to house overnight guests, but that is something that will not take place immediately.

A long-term goal is to have a bed and breakfast facility, but proper kitchen/food preparation licensing and other permits are needed before that can happen, Brent said.

Currently the venue books receptions, birthday/anniversary parties, reunions, banquets, showers and other special events. A wedding will take place on the property in September.

“We’ve been turning the dirt over working on a pavilion for our first wedding,” Brent said.

There will be up to two spots on the property for wedding ceremonies, he said.

Brent’s daughter, local photographer Rachel Glendye, has offered photographic opportunities on site, including Easter mini sessions and the Juniata, East Juniata high school proms and Juniata Mennonite School formal.

Brent said he and his brothers have signed contracts with some other local small business owners to be among those contacted for needs such as catering and other opportunities.

Brent said he hopes events can be held during the colder months for Christmas and Valentine’s Day that will include catered meals.

“We’re putting together a vendor list. We have a lady who plays a harp if you want harp music. We will have a pianist if you want piano,” he said, adding he would like to have a carriage ride available for those who want it as well.

A long-term goal is to hire an individual to live at the residence in an effort to manage the business, especially when the bed and breakfast aspect comes together.

He said his cousins’ venue has many employees to keep the residence operating effectively throughout the year.

For more information and rates, find Annsfield on Facebook.

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