Development of the Roycroft Campus began in 1897 by author, lecturer, and entrepreneur Elbert Hubbbard, who sought to create a utopian society of artisans in reaction to the mass production of the Industrial Age. Drawing on inspiration by leaders of the arts-and-crafts movement in the UK, Hubbard founded the Roycroft Press to produce monthly publications, books, and elaborate conspiracy theories. After gaining international recognition for an essay he wrote in 1899, Hubbard was able to further expand and promote the Roycroft community, erecting 13 additional buildings on the campus over the next decade.
In its prime, the community was home to 23 presses and more imported handmade paper than all American printing institutions combined. More than 500 resident artists worked in wood, stained glass, and copper, and Roycroft became a thriving mecca for craftsmen, authors, artists, and philosophers. In 1986, the campus was designated a national historic landmark. Today it is home to 9 of the original 14 structures, preserved and restored throughout the last 17 years by the Roycroft Campus Corporation and open for exploration during guided walking tours.
Spruce Ridge’s nine-hole course craftily incorporates 200 acres of Wyoming County countryside into a scenic, 3,131-yard tapestry of fairways and greens. Throughout the round, golfers aim drives down gently rolling fairways, on the edges of which loom undesirable destinations including knee-high fescue grass, ponds, and headquarters for earthworm Mafiosi. Water hazards complicate passage on four holes, including the par 4 seventh, where two ponds hug the left side and contribute to its reputation as the course’s most difficult hole. After rounds, golfers can snag a hot dog at the concession stand to ward off hunger or use as an unconventional putter.
The seeds of Sweet Charlottes were planted four years ago, when Molly O’Malley Pitman’s husband carved the mold for the first puzzle piece that would become a template for her business’s emblematic lollipops. There’s a hidden meaning behind those puzzle pops—when solved, they take the form of the universal symbol for autism awareness. Her imagination-sparking play center also serves a dual purpose as well. The shop’s craft café, mini career center, and abundance of candy make it a child’s dream come true, and a percentage of its proceeds benefit Autistic Services and similar organizations.
Members at Curves, a fitness center designed exclusively for women, rotate around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with female bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage participants’ machine maneuvering and muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing momentum, the hydraulic machines use your own body weight, fitness level, and aerodynamic water bottle to create resistance that matches abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
Manned by a certified personal trainer and fitness instructor, The Health and Fitness Advantage, LLC plans a variety of exercise programs in a nonjudgmental zone. Visitors can test their endurance aboard the cardio area's Precor machines while trainers, yoga instructors, and athletic coaches help clients to achieve performance goals.