Son Chip and daughters Beth and Ann made many friends in the resort community and as teens worked as lifeguards and at the snack bars. And after they grew up, they continued to visit their parents' summer home.
So in 2010, Rich and Sue decided to expand it, to accommodate visiting children, spouses, and grandchildren.
To preserve the woodlands on their third of an acre, they decided to keep the original footprint and add a second floor. When they planned the renovation, they were influenced by buildings they had seen on vacation in the Adirondacks and at Lake George.
The couple took their ideas, and a photo Sue had taken of a porticoed building in upstate New York, to Michael Dembinski, vice president of Rinehimer Construction in Pocono Pines, who saw the Kratzingers' ambitious plans as a challenge.
"It was a chance to do something different," says Dembinski, who supervised the project.
Except for one bathroom, the enclosed porch, and the kitchen that had been updated in the 1990s, the house was stripped to the subfloor.
Sue says she and Rich wanted to keep two skylights over the kitchen and dining area, so the new second floor was set back. Two bedrooms and a bath were rebuilt on the first floor, and a laundry room and walk-in closet added. A gas-fired cast-iron stove replaced a fireplace.
On the new second floor went an open loft area, three bedrooms, and two baths.
From fallen logs on the property, stripped and treated with tung oil, Rich fashioned spindles for the staircase and for over a doorway.
Outside, Dembinski had EZ Mountain Rustic Furniture stock larger logs for the portico trim and porch railing. Three log beds also came from EZ Rustic, in nearby Tannersville.
Rich crafted a headboard for an additional bed from logs and wrought iron. He and Sue purchased a log bookcase, two log-trimmed chests, bedside tables, and a clothestree from an Amish auction.
He ordered white birch bark from Spirit of the Woods Natural Forest Products in Maine and cut it to fit the peak in the portico on the left side of the house. To complement the portico, Dembinski trimmed a peak in the roof on the right side with logs and installed poplar bark shingles below.
With white birch bark, Rich veneered the side of an old chest; with the leftover bark, he made a board to hold keys. He and Sue polyurethaned all the interior tongue-and-groove paneling before it was installed by Rinehimer Construction.
Carpenters created the sleep nook in the second-floor loft for granddaughters Lucy, 5, and Margot, 4. Sue had cut a photo of a similar nook out of a magazine 20 years ago.
"I kept hoping I would be able to use the idea someday," she says.
The nook has storage space under the mattresses, cubbies at the foot of each bed for "little treasures," and doors at the head "for goodnight chats and giggles," she says.
Grandson Oscar, 7, has a bedroom with bunk beds - room for a friend or a grandchild yet to come.
Over a love seat in the loft hang pennants from the schools family members have attended, including Sue's alma mater, Immaculata University, and Rich's, St. Joseph's University. They met at a college mixer.
Four glass-and-copper light fixtures with pine-tree motifs came from a local business, Hutton's Hut in Pocono Pines.
But that moose and bear chandelier in the dining area, and a matching ceiling fan in the living room, came from back home, from Kody's Lighting in Wayne. And Rich hauled hostas and two dwarf blue spruces from his garden in Ardmore up the turnpike, to transplant in the cabin's front yard.
In August, Eagle Claw Cabin, named for the symbol on the Kratzinger coat of arms, was open to the public for an annual house tour that benefits the local library.
The grandchildren had just left the night before. No problem, Sue says:
The house is easy to maintain and Rich, now retired, can help with tidying up.
Contact Sally A. Downey at 215-854-2913 or firstname.lastname@example.org.