Many of the 75 or so people at a recent Catskills History and Preservation Conference were shocked to hear that the Catskills’ heralded resort industry has been in decline since 1965.
That’s not unusual. Most newcomers – and even some old timers who should know better – find it hard to believe that the county’s heyday was over by the mid-1960s. Many cite the existence of dozens of hotels in the 1970s as proof that it couldn’t possibly be so.
And yet these days most historians agree that the Golden Age of Sullivan County’s tourism industry, which began around 1940, came to an end around 1965, and they cite a number of reasons for choosing that particular year.
For one thing, a fire at the Prospect Inn in Parksville on August 11, 1965 resulted in the death of five people, and caused a clamor to tighten up fire codes for resorts, many of which could not afford to make the necessary improvements. Smaller resorts – the bulk of Sullivan County’s 538 hotels during that golden era – began to close down. Those that could make the necessary upgrades found themselves hopelessly in debt.
Many establishments had already invested capital they didn’t have in trying to keep up with the larger hotels in the increasingly competitive Catskills tourism market. In fact, by 1966, this disturbing trend had become so obvious that it caught the attention of the New York Times.
Reporter Homer Bigart outlined the phenomenon in a September 5, 1966 article with a Loch Sheldrake dateline, entitled “Keeping Up With the Grossingers Strains Many Catskills Hotels,” using the occasion of the Labor Day weekend – traditionally one of the busiest of the year for Sullivan County resorts – to visit a number that had closed down or seemed on the verge of doing so.
“A singular hush, betrayed only by the occasional romping of crickets or the stomping of a stray hen on the greensward, fell this Labor Day weekend on the rococo precincts of the New Roxy Hotel,” Bigart wrote.
“Gone were the glamorous, fun-loving vacationing crowds of former seasons. A rancid smell of decaying food filtered down the carpeted corridors from the kitchen. An eerie silence ruled the lobby, mocking a notice forbidding card-playing and another that urged, ‘Sign Up Now for Talent Night.’”
The New Roxy had closed in mid-August that summer, “the latest in a long list of casualties among the medium-sized hotels in the Catskills, hotels accommodating 200 to 700 guests,” Bigart noted. The end had actually come the previous year when the hotel’s owners were forced to sell to a group of orthodox Jews who changed the entire complexion of the place.
The Fleischers, the hotel’s owners, had borrowed over $700,000 in an effort to successfully draw vacationers to their resort. At the time of the sale, the Fleischers were in debt to their laundry for $28,000, their butcher for $26,000, and their grocer for $11,000.
“Trying to keep up with the prosperous giants like Grossinger’s and the Concord, they have gone heavily into debt for Olympic swimming pools, indoors and outdoors, ornate lobbies and glittering nightclubs,” Bigart wrote.
He quoted an unnamed South Fallsburg banker and lawyer who pointed out that “many of the smaller hotels are in trouble because they are obsolete,” and could not afford to modernize to “meet today’s more luxurious standards, like baths in every room.” Also, he said, the lure of more glamorous places like Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and Europe, were attracting more and more of the traditional Sullivan County vacationer.
Bigart also reported that in Loch Sheldrake, where there had been 42 hotels “ten years ago,” there were now only 12. He visited the Loch Sheldrake Inn, Goldberg’s, and the Overlook, each of which had recently closed. In Swan Lake, he stopped by Paul’s, once one of the county’s premier resorts, “which last year advertised ‘An Unforgettable Family Vacation,’ (and) is now Daytop Village, a private institution for the rehabilitation of narcotics addicts.”
Some larger resorts, such as the Waldemere in Livingston Manor and the Flagler in Fallsburg, had filed for bankruptcy protection. Abe Rosenthal, manager of the Waldemere, specifically blamed the hotel’s financial problems on the “new fireproof building costing $2 million” built after a fire three years before had killed three guests.
And former Flagler owner Jack Barsky cited debts incurred for his new Empire Room nightclub, a new indoor pool and a new lobby for putting that hotel– once the most prominent of the Sullivan County resorts– into receivership.
Although the Sullivan County Hotel Association maintained that “despite some attrition among ‘obsolete’ hotels, the resort industry was in excellent shape,” it was apparent that the heyday had passed. In 1967, the Youngs Gap in Parksville, once one of the county’s largest and most innovative hotels, closed, and by 1968 the Times was reporting that a number of smaller hotels, “unable to keep pace with the large establishments and their newer, plush accommodations,” had begun taking in campers. One such hotel, Sokolow’s Mount Vernon in Summitville, had torn down walls in some of its outer buildings in order to provide large recreation rooms for visitors to use on rainy days and had added roadways, electrical connections, and plumbing hook-ups to campsites.
“If the plan at the Mount Vernon works out,” the county’s Director of Parks and Recreation, Joe Purcell, was quoted as saying, “there is no doubt that owners of some of our smaller hotels will enter the camping business.”
Evidence enough that the Golden Age had come to an end.
Read more stories about the Catskills here.
Photo: The New Roxy Hotel was one of several Sullivan County resorts that closed during the 1966 season, signaling an end to the regions Golden Age of Torusim.
steven paul mark says
In the early ’60s we used to visit my maternal grandparents each summer when they stayed in the Edgewood House, a large boarding house in Parksville. My father hated being with his in-law for the week but my brothers and I, ages 9 to 14, enjoyed the surrounding woods where we loved to turn over rocks to see creepy things and pick up little red efts, which you could almost call cute. We also would go into the hamlet where a general store was a wonderland of cool things and pinball machines had all the mesmerizing attraction of today’s video games. For real adventure, we’d walk along the railroad track watching out for a train that never showed up. Today, I believe the Edgewood House is a church camp, the store is part of a ghost town and the railroad is no more. Perhaps the best metaphor is that Route 17, which used to run right through the hamlet is now bypassed, all because the single traffic light on that interstate had to be avoided.
michael burns says
I always thought that the “golden age” of the Catskills was the 1950s 60s and 70s. That was when millions of Americans stayed at the hundreds of bungalow colonies and hotels in the area. Most were in Sullivan county and Ulster county. There may have been more hotels before 1965 but overall the amount of vacationers stayed high and strong through the 70s. The best and most exciting part of the Catskills came during this period. It was said That the Catskills was hotter than putting present day las.vegas and Atlantic city together. A new phenomenon by the 1960s was that the Catskills didn’t just appeal to the mostly Jewish clientele but to many other people around the country and worldwide. Hotels like the world famous concord was a “must” for many people into the 1980s. Its sad that the era came to an official end after the closing of kuthshers country club in 2014. Impossible to fathom.
My experience up in the Catskills started in 1965 And has continued to last. My current choice is the new villa Roma. I’m told that a new world class hotel is currently being built where the concord used to be. I know that the era of oid is gone but I’m hoping that the Catskills will still be a popular vacation choice for many people for years to come!
John Conway says
Your perceptions aside, it is a demonstrable fact the economy of the Sullivan County Catskills began to decline as early as 1958. Of course, the resort industry was so big and there were so many hotels and so many visitors, it took a few years for anyone to notice. County officials became aware of the trend at least as early as 1962 by which time the so-called “Kennedy slide” had caused a nationwide credit crunch and economic downturn so the area wasn’t alone. That doesn’t mean that all the hotels were impacted equally, some continued to grow well into the 1970s and even a few beyond that, but by the mid-1970s, as many as 500 hotels had already closed down since the heyday in the mid-1950s.
scott silverman says
Thanks for your insights on the Kennedy slide… have not heard of that. Would you say 1951-1953 — was the rise– and 1957-1960 the demise?
John Conway says
That would probably be about right. !953 was the year the NY Times reported there were 538 hotels, 1,000 rooming houses and 50,000 bungalows in the S.C. Catskills. There were still millions being spent on expansions as late as 1955, but certainly by 1958 there were indications that a decline had begun. It wasn’t necessarily a straight line decline, but rather one of ups and downs through 1965, at which time the decline became more precipitous. Of course, many of the hotels continued to grow well beyond that, but by then small and medium size hotels were closing in droves.
Joseph Battaglia says
Very interesting writing what happened to Geronimo
Gilda K says
Yeah Resorts World Casino replaced the Concord. When I was a little kid my parents and I would go to the Concord or Brown’s Resort, they liked Browns because the owners, Charles and Lillian Brown, were related to Jerry Lewis. Jerry was their nephew. My parents loved Jerry Lewis.
Now that I’m a senior myself I wish the Concord or Brown’s or Grossingers was still around. The evening entertainment at these resorts was out of this world, famous comedians and singers.
Walter Flamenbaum says
If you want more details (albeit biased and incomplete – my comments) there is a book by Maria Scheinfeld – “The Borscht Belt” with 3 pounds of nostalgia, a lot of accuracy as far as it goes, but leaves out some of the minutiae and perspective (again my thoughts)
Alan Levi says
You are so right-I really miss the Concord..and all the entertainers now gone with the wind as they say. We missed Judy Garland by one week-but saw Milton Berle, Alan King, Tony Martin and Cod Charisse, Steve and Eydie, and so many more.
Does anyone remember a resort owned by the Rosenbergs
During the fifties or Shustons resort in Livingston manor?
John Conway says
The Rosenbergs owned Green Acres, first in Lake Huntington (which burned) and then (after 1966) as a reincarnation of the New Roxy in Loch Sheldrake. One member of the family also operated the Olympic in Fallsburg/Woodridge.
I worked on summer at the Green Acres as a daycamp counselor. It was a nice but relatively small place. Sad to have driven by the ruins a few years ago.
We’re they the same Rosenbergs that owned the Ulster Lake House
Jeffrey Studley says
My parents were co-owners with the Blumbergs of Green Acres for four years. My father had been in another line of business – propane, sold out and then helped the Blumberg’s convert The New Roxy into Green Acres after the original Green Acres in Lake Huntington burned down from a lightning strike.
My father didn’t love the 24/7 demands of the hotel biz and sold out to the Blumbergs to return to the fuel business. I however stayed in the biz and went to Cornell Hotel School and headed to restaurants in NYC.
Michael burns. says
My family stayed at Green acres in 1965. The Olympic hotel was our destination in the summers of 74 – 76. Unfortunately a fire destroyed the hotel at the end of 76. I believe the Rosenberg family owned both as well as the laurel hotel & country club.
Eva Barnett says
Did you ever stay at Rosenberg around 1960?
Do you remember the layout of the property. and
is there any write up on the place available? It was
one of my first memories as a kid.
Carl kaminsky says
Does anyone know the address of the holiday hotel in loch sheldrake ny ? Wanted to visit the where I hD so much fun as a kid
did you ever find out the address…I would like to know too
My grandfather and great aunt owned the Holiday Hotel. Sadly, the hotel no longer exists but the building may still be there. My dad doesn’t remember a specific address but that it was on Loch Sheldrake Road next to Newman’s Villa.
alphonso gilmore says
John, could you please tell me what currently is located on the site of the 50 hotel call the New Roxy located in Loch Sheldroke New York and Thanks
John Conway says
The New Hope Community, which is a residential facility for the developmentally disabled is now operating on the site of the New Roxy. As indicated in the article, the New Roxy closed in 1966. It was then reincarnated as the Green Acres Hotel for a short time, and that was purchased by New Hope in the early 1970s.
Jay Colton says
Hi – my grandparents met at the New Roxy in the early 1940’s as my mother was born in 1945. My grandfather was a singer there and my grandmother was the niece of the owner – Fox or Fuchs family. Does anyone know who the owner was in the 1940’s? Her family forbid her to marry a singer so they eloped. Maurice Silverman was his name and Belle Fox was her name – of blessed memory. Thanks. Jay
Randi Foster says
So interesting! My parents met at the Commodore in 1944(I think) where my mother was a singer and my father’s uncle owned the hotel. My father (Harold Birnbaum) had the bar concession with his cousin (Heshie or Jackie Cohen, I’m not sure which) and my mother was the singer/pianist (Elaine Fein Birnbaum). Very similar story!
I remember the Commodore from my many visits there in the 50’s with my cousin Sam – he was friendly with your Uncle. When I was a bit older your father (if he still had the bar concession) was nice enough to serve without asking for ID (remember a long time ago – and he knew of me from my Mother’s family) – the degrees of contact get closer
David Cohen says
According to old records, the owners
names listed in the advertising were Moskowitz, Orber and Kornfeld. At least in the 1940’s.
Owned by othodox jew.befor.new hope
Jeff Studley says
Al – OMG greetings!
Was a school for special needs kids last time I heard…..,
HJ Levens says
Our family and extended uncles, aunts, and cousins stayed at Shustons Resort. There was as may as 50 of us at a time for a week or long weekends. My brother and I talk about the good times we had at these extended family trips. As time marches on families stopped getting together at Shustons as we all went on to college (we out of state), military, and family passed away. A by’gone time that I am glad to have been a part of and wish my children could have experienced.
Evan barnett says
Was Shuston Resort around Livingston Manor.
I remember the daughter was called Freddy. I had
a big crush on her even as a youngster.👶
I remember there was a large main house for meals
and shows. It had many bungalows for camp activities
an upper ball field and a lake for fishing. This was probably
Evan Barnett says
I remember the young daughter of Shustons whose
name was Freddy. She was my first crush. LOL
How come there is no record of the place or history?
It was in Livingston Manor. We stayed there in the mid
Ellen Ryan says
Does anyone remember The Woda’s Hotel in Swan Lake. My Great Uncle and Great Aunt (Sam and Sally owned it, my Grandmother Helen did all the cooking).
Leslie Mankes says
Hi, Ellen. I remember going to Woda’s Hotel as a child with my grandparents. I went for a week in the summer of 1962 at age six. I went fishing with my Papa in the little lake across the road and caught my first fish. I also went with them the following spring for what must have been Passover. I recall going with my parents and sisters for Rosh Hashanah one year. We stayed in one of the outer buildings that time instead of the big main house. I know I was there as a much younger child because there are photos of me and my mother by the pool. My Grandparents names are Minnie and Izzy Mankes. In my memories, my grandmother’s sister’s husband was related to Sam Woda. She was Aunt Lena and I believe his name was Max. Aunt Lena baked cookies in the shape of card suits. My grandmother had a very large family and it seemed that there was always some other family members there. The main house was on a hill and there were steps up to it from the road. Dinner was a dressy affair. All the women wore their cardigans with mink collars. After dinner it was a ritual to walk along the road.
I don’t know what made me check this tonight, but I am so glad I did.
If you have photos can you please send them to at email@example.com.
Thank you so much for sharing your memory with me!
PS. Do you remember my grandmother,she was the main cook. Her name name was Ghaika (Helen).
Leslie Mankes says
Hi, Ellen. Sorry, I don’t recall your grandmother. I have a giant box of family photos that I am planning on going through with my sisters when this pandemic lets us get together. I will keep an eye out for any from the hotel.
Please share more memories. Mine are so vague. Do you remember my grandmother, she was the main cook. She came to this country with her brother Sam Woda
my name is mitch sirotta and i have fond memories of uncle izzy and aunt minnie at wodas. izzy loved fishing, and brought his medallion taxi cab upstate. my mother mickey rothstein was lena rothstein’s
daughter. lena married izzy woda, and he became my step grandfather.
sam and sally soda’s son ronnie, and daughter celina were my cousins. we had some fun times up there until 1966. unfortunately
my cousin ronnie was killed in a motorcycle accident in the fall of 1965. he was attending sullivan county comm. college in south
falls burg at the time. my brother and i both worked the summer of
1965 at the hotel. ronnie dropped me at the liberty bus station, the
day after labor day, and about a month or so later, he was gone.
if ny had the helmet law then, ronnie would still be alive.
in the summer of 1966, sodas was just not the sam e without ronnie woda. that was the last summer for woods hotel. leslie i loved minnie and izzy, they were great people. their son sheldon was at my wedding in 1995 in st. james ny.
Leslie Mankes says
Hi, Mitch. I guess we are cousins. My dad was your mom’s cousin Ira. I remember your mom and her brother Ralph. They were both at my wedding in Brooklyn in 1985. Do you have a sister named Sherry? I remember Ronnie and his sister Celina. She had a white rabbit. My uncle Sheldon is living in Virginia now.
mitch sirotta says
this is mitch getting back to you. i have a brother irwin,
he now lives in henderson nevada. my sister cheryl lives
in west homestead, ny. my wife joan and i live in manhattan, and south florida. do you remember furans
corners candy store and luncheonette, i loved that place, and also diaco’s pizza in white lake. i took my friends
to discos during woodstock in 1969, and they loved it.
I do remember!! Fun times
Please share your memories with me! All I have are vague memories.
Walter Flamenbaum says
Likely given our ages and incomplete memories I am not going to give my version or what I remember about Woda’s and the various family members. My grandfather was Izzy Woda and my mother was Sylvia. We were all close at various times over the years – that included Haika (and her family and numerous visits to her apartment in the Bronx and her family members), Lena (my grandfather’s second wife and her family members), Sam and Sally – my sister Myrna and I grew up with Ronnie and Burt and lived through both tragedies, and the other Woda sons including Harry and his family (perhaps his daughter Sherries it the one mentioned above) as well as Ben (and aunt Shirley worked at Woda’s for many years). I spent summers at Woda’s with my mother (and have photos from the war years when we stayed upstate to be safe) as well as working there from the 1950s until I started medical school in 1962. Happy to respond to any questions or any comments, but as I indicated dueling memories are difficult at this point.
Phil Perlah says
Thanks for thoughts. Scrolling through these comments I read that Ronnie died in a motorcycle accident. Is Burt still with us?
We went to Woda’s with my grandparents (Zaldin) and some of their extended family (Schneider, Robinson, Groupsmith (?)).
For me, this is 70 years ago. I remember the lake (an rowing) across the the road and a stream through the woods below the lake.
Do you know what ever happened to the property?
Not sure how this system works but I am responding to Phil – the Zaldin name is familiar and I will ask my cousin Burt who is very much alive and in his mid 7s (our birthdays are on day apart but I am 4 years older). He is my grandfathers grandson (father Ben and his mom was Shirley). The history of the property is more (for me at least) gossip than fact as I only know what I heard – after a contentious fire it was sold and resold but out of the family.
Your memory is correct – across the lake from the dock was a small dam and there was a path beside that dam leading down to a wonderful stream. I had always envisioned keeping the lake and the stream (and the area around in) but that was not to be.
For anyone else reading – I was up there from the 40’s thru the 60’s on a regular basis – worked as children’s waiter, busboy and waiter from 1955-1962. While I remember some family names as many returned each summer, my memory is not as sharp as it used to be but if you give me a clue and I can try.
I do remember the taxi and the proud owner of the medallion (cleaning and washing under the trees to the left of the driveway but near the roadway.
Happy to hear more and try again
Phil Perlah says
Thanks Walter. I would be happy to connect with Burt.
Philip Perlah says
I remember Sam woda. Two boys Burt and Ronnie. Went there several summers very late ‘40’s early 50’s.
Evan Barnett says
My father has a brochure of Swan Lake Hotel.
He was pictured in the brochure catching a string
full of fish. Probably around the early forties.
Evan Barnett says
Ellen , I have a brochure of Swan Lake Hotel.
My father stayed there and fished . It was probably
in the thirties.
Craig dobelle says
Hi John my family owned the Young’s gap hotel did u know my great grandma Anne holder and my great aunt& uncle Dotty & Frank Spector? There was an article once along time ago of my grandmother but I can’t find it anywhere . Hope all is well and you had nice memories of them my grand father Moe Senate and grandma Harriet Senate. I miss it terribly Craig dobelle.
John Conway says
Thank you for your comment. I am sorry I did not personally know anyone connected to the Youngs Gap, nor did I ever visit the hotel, though my wife, who grew up in Liberty, did. From everything I have read and heard over the years, it was an innovative resort, and one of the best managed of all the Catskills resorts. Thanks again for taking the time to write.
Marilyn Newmark says
Do you know what happened to the Kranas Family (Shirley is the daughter) who owned the Leroy Hotel in Loch Sheldrake? I spent my entire childhood summers there (age 3 – 17) and I can remember it as if it was yesterday. I believe the community college is now on the grounds. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you. I look forward to hearing from you.
Tracie Goldman says
Marilyn, I am Shirleys granddaughter. I will be happy to answer all questions. Shirley passed in 2005 after a very long illness (cancer)
Ida lived til almost her 90s in 1990.
Please contact for anything. Traciegg@gmail.com
stanley saltzman says
My parents took me to the Young’s Gap in about 1944 after my summer camp closed because of a Polio epidemic.
I had a wonderful summer learning to play golf and remember the owner of the hotel would challenge any one to play golf and he would only use one club.
Dusty L. Miller says
Hey Craig how are you? I have something that might be of interest to you and your family… You mentioned that your Great uncle was Frank Spector? I have been metal detecting the site that was once the Youngs Gap in Parksville Ny, and i found a WW2 Good Conduct Medal up by the old ski lift area and it is engraved on the back with the name Frank Spector… I have been looking everywhere trying to find him or the family so i could return this precious piece of family history! Please feel free to email me ASAP so i can get it to who it belongs!! Thank you….
M. Levine says
Craig. I just saw your postings. I had some relatives who owned hotels in the mountains. I knew your Grandparents the Senates.
My brother had his Bar Mitzvah at the Young’s Gap in 1965.
We lived in Parksville where my dad owned a gas station. I do remember the name Moe Senate.
Gail Levine says
Just came across this note. It’s a few years old so not sure if it is still active. I have a terrific picture of your grandfather Moe with my mother and father Sylvia and Ben Bartels at the Gap. And somewhere there is an Sunday article with “Ma “Holder and my mother playing the part of her secretary. Lots of pictures I think it was the Sunday magazine section of the local paper. My mother ran the dance studio at Young’s gap for one summer probably the early 50s.
Yoel F says
I came across this post while searching information on the historic The Overlook Hotel and Overlook Bungalow Colony in High View NY. Do you know where I can find any info pictures amount of suites and units?
John Conway says
I don’t recall ever coming across any photos of that particular place, but if any are to be found it is likely that the Sullivan County Historical Society would have them in its archives. Contact Fred Fries at the Society… email@example.com. Best of luck.
Richard Chester says
My family rented a bungalow there in 1951. There were only 12 bungalows as I remember it.
Mayer FRIEDMAN says
Hi Richard. Does your family have any photos of the Overlook Hotel and Bungalow colony that you are willing to share?
Elizabeth Long says
Has anyone heard of Woolfe’s Bell-Aire Country Club in Parksville?
Tod Woolf says
Yes, my family owned it. Micky Woolf and his cousin, Sammy Woolf, my grandfather sang there.
L Oesterreicher says
My Great Grandparents owned a hotel in Liberty next to the Grossinger family’s original hotel in the early 1900’s. I believe it was called the Liberty House. Unfortunately, all my relatives with knowledge are no longer alive. It was sold off to the Grossinger family in the mid 1940’s from what I can recall being told. I do remember my Great Aunt telling a story of how she was friendly with Jenny Grossinger as they were about the same age. My Great Grandparents were friendly with Selig and Malka Grossinger as they were Austrian immigrants too. Too bad they sold before the Borscht Belt took off.
I was fortunate to have stayed at 3 bungalow colonies in Accord. Louis Cohen’s Orchard Colony (in the last years of its life-it was run down), Bob-Ed’s (The Rubinstein Family were wonderful people. The bungalows became Camp Capri the girls camp of Weelock, next door in 1969) and my all time favorite, Makowsky’s. The Makowsky Family will always have a special place in my heart. It was a great place for those of us escaping Brooklyn. It was by far the largest bungalow colony and it still has one of the greatest pools! Not to mention that I learned how to drive the Farmall and cut grass courtesy of Milton Makowsky. Have to say that was pretty special for a 10 year old kid! It was 24 hours a day of fun! I won’t go in to detail of buying beer at 13 in Maltz General Store in Alligerville for 99 cents. Those were the days!
Today, Louis Cohen’s has three bungalows and the main house still standing. The barn is gone but the silo still stands. Across the road was the luncheonette. The sign used to say Hood Ice Cream Orchard Colony Luncheonette. All gone today. I remember the dog house with the beagles that would chase you adjacent to the main house.
Bob-Ed’s became Camp Capri and then the property was sold to NYC firemen. The structures are all standing just like it was 1965. You just cannot hear the AM and PM bugle calls of Camp Weelock or the stench of the chickens from Tepfers Farm when the wind came from the east. It was Mike Rubinstein that taught me how to swim. He was the lifeguard and his Mother, Edna ran the camp. It was a neat place. As a really little kid, I would hound Bob Rubinstein to give a ride in his 56 Ford pick-up or a ride on the yellow and white Cub Cadet tractor. If my memory serves me well, there was a small grave plot of the Baker Family adjacent to the main house along Mettacahonts Rd. We were always amazed on how old the graves were.
Makowsky’s is still going! It looks just like it did in 1969 when I started going there.
Allison Murray says
My family went to Bob-Ed’s in the late 1960s, so it was interesting to see your post. I’ve searched on the internet and haven’t found much else about this bungalow colony. Are there pictures online or any web links you recommend?
Do you remember Marshall’s? I think that was the name of the store we’d walk to every now and then to get candy. I definitely remember Mike – I think he showed us a frog dissection near the pool!
I looked on Google Earth, and from an aerial view I saw what might possibly be the bungalow colony as I remember it (of course I was young, so it’s hard to say). It’s a loop that’s west of Mettachonts Rd and south of Boodle Hole Rd and I’m wondering if this is it. Do you know the exact location?
Marshall’s was south of Bob Ed’s. Marshall used to butcher the deer that my dad and friends would bag in Osterhoudts farm. There is a general store at the same location last time I was up there.
The Bob Ed’s property is 262 Mettacahonts. It’s called Fireman’s Camp. The bungalows were converted to small houses. The camp house still stands as Max Cohens luncheonette p/casino building.
Allison Murray says
Thanks for the information about Bob-Ed’s and the general store!
Milt Makossky was a good man. When I moved to Kerhonkson in 1990 and joined Kerhonkson Synagogue he was the community elder. I’m sorry I didn’t ask him more about the glory days of Catskill bungalows in Accord.
Walter Flamenbaum says
I was intrigued by the Liberty House comment as I have a faint recollection of it – from the Liberty history archives please take a look at the following site for picture: https://www.townofliberty.org/about/history/
Does anyone remember the holiday hotel in loch Sheldrake
Donna Pedroncelli says
I was a camper at Camp Weelock for 2 summers, 1968-1969. I was 13 in 1969, and I do remember the reveille bugle calls for camp, lol ? . What a great time I had up there. There was a large lake on the property, we had color-war which was the highlight of the summer. It was the summer of Woodstock. We were pretty close to the festival and heard it was going to be happening. There was talk initially that they were going to take campers there. But oops that wasn’t happening after awhile. Hilarious. My brother went to Woodstock, he was 6 years older than I.
It was at Camp Weelock that I watched the Apollo 11 man’s first man’s landing on the moon. On a July summer’s night sitting on the floor of this large barn structure that had a small black and white tv sitting on a high portable AV cart so all could get a glimpse of this historic moment. The entire camp was sitting in there watching in awe. Indelible image in my mind forever.
Betty Baumgarten says
I went to camp weelock from 1965-1972. I am still good friends with my counselor from 1970. I attended Camp Weelock, Camelot and Capri. The Bob-Ed bungalow colony, which later became Camp Camelot the girls camp next to Camp Weelock and then was bought by the firemen, still exists. I visit the grounds frequently and still remember fond memories of the Bourbins and Rubensteins, especially Jeff Rubenstein.
Carin (Sohmer) Green says
Bob and Edna were my parents best friends… I was a junior counselor at Weelock around 1972. It was a great summer.
RICHARD A FRIEDMAN says
Bib would deliver milk and eggs to our apt in Queens in the late 60s after the season ended. My family went to Bob-Ed from the late 50s to 65. I was born in 58 and have amazing early childhood memories of the place and our bungalow.
Jimmy Wallach says
I was a counselor at weelock in 67 and 68. Does the camp still exist?
Deb Heller says
I am so sorry i didn;t come aling this sooner. I was at Cold Spring Cottages and Bob- Ed from age 1958 to about 1966. I remember the candy store with Gus and Girdy and their collie. I was up in the area a few years ago and just could not find it. Could you possibly e-mail me the address and a phone or email of the “now establishments”. I know this a long shot. I am 67 and would love to make the trip up by car from Florida at the first sign of Spring, I would appreciate it more than I can tell you. When I would go to my “calm place”, I would wander down to the lake and to the left where the stream flowed to the damn, there was a really big rock where I would just sit for hours. “Plymouth Rock” Oh, I did my best daydreaming there! And the cold water running on your feet…Just the best!!!! Thanks for listening to me blather on.
Jimmy Wallach says
I was a jr. counselor in 67 and 68 at weelock. Is it still there? Still in business? The director was ken tewell. I was friends with Mike geier. I remember the Bertenthals.
Brian Diamond says
I spent the first 25 summers of my in the Catskills. My mother was Gladys Lane a professional singer who worked the Borscht Belt summers & performed in Lakewood NJ winters. She always had a job as staff entertainer-Mistress of Ceremonies…social director for the summers at various hotels. During my time I can remember Waxman’s Overlook – Loch Sheldrake, The President – Swan Lake, The Ambassador…The National…The Commodore – S Fallsburg, The Paramount – Parksville, The Heiden, The Valley View – Kenoza Lake. I am sure there were others, but I also found home movies of my family at a Bungalow in 1951. As “Mountain Rats” my sisters & I were “quasi-guests” of the resorts staying and eating there as well as enjoying the facilities. It was Heaven!! My fondest memeories are of those many summers. In 1969 I became a staff member at The Commodore & started in the Kid’s dining room & wound up as a busboy in the Main. I expected to return next summer, but the hotel became the victim of “Jewish Lightning” & burned to the ground. I spent the next 5 years at the Paramount. My biggest regret is that my kids were unable to experience the joy I did, as it was all gone. Hope World Resorts Catskills can thrive!!
Jay Colton says
Hi Brian. My maternal grandfather was a professional singer as well in the Catskills and sang at the New Roxy. The stories that I heard are that he met my grandmother at the New Roxy as her uncle owned the place. They then eloped as her parents forbade her to marry a singer! Their names were Belle Fox (grandmother) and Maurice Silverman. I am interested to find out more about the New Roxy in the 1940’s/50’s etc. – stories, pictures and who actually owned the hotel. My mother does not remember who owned the hotel in the family.
I have heard stories about Loch Sheldrake and the area and believe that my great-grandfather Jacob Silverman is buried in a Jewish cemetery in Napanoch or Warburg.
Thanks! Jay Colton 215 205-3200 cell and firstname.lastname@example.org
Seth Greenky says
I think I backed up your mother as an organist at a Bungalow Colony. I was the only musician. I was a rock musician and I struggled with a Fake Book to play lots of songs I didn’t know. It must have been very difficult for her. Our band, “The Shape of Thyngs,” played up there in 66 and 67. If your sister was Carol, then our bass player used to date her, I think. I know Frank would love to get in touch with her. If I’ve got the right people, please email me at GreenKeyM@aol.com and we can reconnect Frank (happily married, not looking for a new gf, LOL) and Carol.
Has anyone considered a book or driving tour of where all of these hotels were and what is there now? Would be nice. I am reading a summer world which outlines the history of the area.
My daughter goes to Stagedoor Manor Camp in Loch Sheldrake. Does anyone know what hotel used to be there? The main building is clearly an old hotel. Thanks!!
John Conway says
Stagedoor Manor is located at what used to be the Hotel Karmel, and is on what is still known as Karmel Road.
Joan Heyden says
Is anyone familiar with the Lake Plaza Hotel in Parksville. My sister and I spent many summers there with our dad. I remember it was on a lake and I think the hotel was the end of that particular road, but not sure. Also trying to find the Belkins, who used to be the dance team at the hotel. I was very friendly with their daughter, Stephanie. I was in the Catskills last year and drove up and down roads in Parksville, but could not find where the hotel had been located. Is there now something else where the hotel stood??? Thanks much for any info you can supply.
Neil Feller says
Hi Joan. My family and I used to vacation at the Lake Plaza every summer from the late 50’s to e
mid 60’s. I think you’re right about the road ending there. I remember the lake. I think there were 2 row boats. I have some fond memories. I was very young at the time. If I was in Parksville I wouldn’t even begin to know where to look for it. It was old at the time. I’m sure the building is long gone.
Joan Heyden says
Hi Neil, I just googled something else and this site came up. I had forgotten I had written this last year. You’re the only person who remembers Lake Plaza. Well, it’s good to know you have fond memories…I have foggy ones. Do you remember the ballroom-dancing Belkins? I did find some info on them. It seems they became quite famous. My father perfomed (sang) every now and then on stage. One night he made me sing “Getting to Know You” with him. How that all came about is a mystery to me. I think I was about 13 and do remember being terrified. Anyway, thanks for your comments, Neil. Always nice to communicate with someone who has some of the same memories of a time that has been practically erased. Be well!
Joan Heyden says
Hi Neil, I was just looking checking my DNA on Ancestry and remembered seeing a Ben Feller listed as a 2/3rd cousin. Are you and he related? Just wondering if either one of you is related to the Wexler family from Liberty. Ben was contacted but never responded. My mom used to take us to visit Sam and Pearl and Myrna and Laura. Please let me know…thanks!
Was the hotel near Hunter Lake?
Linda (Leibowitz) Amar says
Hi Joan, My name is Linda Amar, maiden name Linda Leibowitz. My grandparents, Joe and Ruth Flamenbaum owned the Lake Plaza Hotel in Parksville. My mother, Muriel Leibowitz, managed the hotel until my grandfather sold it in, I believe, 1966. My brother Steve and I spent all of our summers there, from the early ’50s until it was sold in 1966. I’m sure we must have known you. It’s so good to hear you speak of the hotel. I am in touch with Allison Belkin (Allison Gottlieb Belkin) on Facebook. Her sister is Stephanie. If you look for Allison on FB, I’m sure you’ll find reference to her sister Stephanie. You must remember their parents, Bob and Doris Belkin, who taught ballroom dancing. After my grandparents sold the hotel, it became a dud ranch (the Arrowhead Dude Ranch) and then many years later it became a Chabad camp, The last time I visited, 16 years ago, it was still a Chabad camp, but that was a long time ago. Please feel free to be in touch.
Joan Heyden says
Hi Linda, What a lovely surprise to hear from you. Thanks so much for your response and all the info you have shared with me. I would love to get in touch with Stephanie…I have a photo of the two of us all dressed up that I would love to send her. Unfortunately, I wish I could remember more about our vacations there. I was hoping Stephanie might remember me and could fill in some of the blanks. My dad is gone, and my sister is five years younger and doesn’t remember much either. Do you remember the address? Last time I was upstate was in 2018, and I drove up and down the roads in Parksville, but couldn’t find the lake, or anything that looked familiar. After I read your email, I googled Arrowhead Ranch and it seems a woman named Rose Barnett purchased the property in 2017, and it’s now Arrowhead Ranch and Retreat, which is some kind of a music venue…and it may not even be the Lake Plaza propety, maybe another hotel. It also mentioned that there was a fire in 2011 that destroyed some of the property…I think some of the hotel’s rooms were spared and have now been refurbished. Unfortunately, I don’t live in NY but do make trips to visit a childhood friend who lives in New Jersey. We usually take a trip to the Catskills for a couple of days when I visit. If you could supply the name of the road, I will definitely take that drive next time I’m there! Do you possibly remember my dad, Lee Goodsmith? He was quite a character, dancer and ladies man! My sister and I were Joan and Janice Goodsmith. Again, Linda, thank you so much for responding to my post. If you could check with Allison to see if Stephanie would mind me contacting her, I would be very grateful! Be well and safe.
Linda Leibowitz Amar says
Hi Joan, I’m afraid I don’t remember your dad, but I’m sure that if my mother was alive, she would. Do you remember going to the children’s day camp there? We may have played together at the day camp. The counselors were Harriet and Elliot Vines. Do you remember them? Both my brother and I have been living in Israel for the last 35-40 years. The visit to the site of the Lake Plaza 16 years ago with our kids was quite a nostalgia trip. I have had contact with Allison Gottlieb Belkin was only via Facebook. You can write to her there. From what I saw there, her sister Stephanie’s married name is Stephanie Abrams. You’ll find her there on Facebook. It’s really nice to be in touch with you, Joan. Oh, if you ever get there again, the name of the road is Cooley Road. The hotel is on the right as you drive down the beautiful road.
Take care, Joan and stay in touch! Linda
Dan Axelrod says
The group gathering room for classes and shows wss called the Casino- I guess due to card games or bingo.
Dan Axelrod says
My family also vacationed at the Lake Plaza in ’59 and ’60. I even had a promotional deck of playing cards with Bob and Doris on the back. Ironically, I went to junior high with their daughter Allison but never made the connection. And while memories are spotty, one is vivid. My family lived in the Windsor Oaks garden apartments in Oakland Gardens and a group of families from there vacationed together. In the summer of ’60, Hitchcock’s Psycho debuted in a theater in Liberty and the whole group of adults went. The next morning, my parents were laughing…..cause when Norman Bates’s mother’s skeleton was revealed in the basement, the toughest, loudmouth schtarker in the group got up and ran out of the theater screaming!
Joan Heyden says
Hi Dan, funny story! So nice to hear from someone else that stayed at Lake Plaza. I tried very hard to find the location when I was upstate about three years ago, but had no luck. Now I have the name of the road for the next trip. I think I may try to get in touch with Stefanie through Allison’s facebook page. I would love to share that photo of the two us that I have! We lived in Alley Pond Park on Kingsbury Avenue. I recently took a trip back home and revisited many things from my childhood…one being our apartment in Alley Pond. We also lived in Windsor Park when I was about 5. I haven’t lived in New York for many years, and would love to return. I miss my city so much. Hopefully, that will happen in the not too distant future…time is running fast and running out! Be well and safe.
Jeffrey Biller says
Hi Linda this is Jeff Biller and my whole family including my brother Leslie Biller and sister Barbara Biller spent many summers at the lake Plaza and remember you and Stevie your parents and grandparents . My mom and dad were Sylvia and max Biller and my grandparents max and Helen Gottesman
Does anyone know anything about the “Red Barn Resort”? I am told they operated from Mountain Dale, New York. If you do know anything or have any information. Please email me at email@example.com I would gratefully appreciate it. I am just hoping to find photos of it, or any information that can point me in the right direction, Thanks!
Rebekah Rubenstein Larson says
Is anyone familiar with my great-grandmother Pauline Wertman’s Sunny Hill Farm (bungalows), in Swan Lake/Bethel, where the Sullivan County Airport is now? Also Ziegler’s, which I think was also replaced by the airport, but on the Mongaup Valley side, was owned by my great-great aunt Clara Feld Ziegler. Plus my great-aunt Gertie married into the Paul family, of Paul’s Hotel. Would love to hear any scraps of history or memories!
Jim Dunphy says
I worked for three summers (1959 – 1961) at the Sunset Springs Hotel in Haines Falls. It was mostly a Greek hotel and was thriving during those years. It had a ‘Lodge with swimming pool about 1/2 mile down the road. I went to take a look at where it once was a few years ago, and it is gone. If I did not know of it being there, I would never have believed it once was.
Jay Colton says
My maternal grandparents met at the New Roxy in the 1940’s. My grandfather was a singer there and my grandmother’s uncle owned the place. Grandmother’s name was Belle Fox, my grandfather was Maurice Silverman. Interestingly, my grandmother’s family said you will not marry a Jewish singer and/or singing waiter – and then they eloped! Good thing!
I am looking for information on the original New Roxy – pictures, any info on the family that owned the hotel before the move to Loch Sheldrake.
Thanks! Jay Colton 215 205-3200 cell and firstname.lastname@example.org
Fred McCarty says
My mother had a family friend, an older woman named May Zuckerman who owned a large beautiful home outside Wurtsboro on old Rte 17 toward Masten Lake — near the cutoff road to Yankee Lake. Her husband had been a successful businessman in the china business. He died of a sudden heart attack in 1933 or so. She went from affluent to financially challenged. They had a home in Brooklyn and the lovely home on Mt. Prosper Rd — as it was called then. So she decided to open it as a hotel, the Mt. Prosper Manor, and restore her financial condition. She hired my mother to be her assistant manager and they made it work. It was beautiful and genteel. May was a tough old bird, hard working and a great cook. It was a success. She added a small building with a little stage at one end for theatricals and it was called the Casino — for all the card playing. And a tennis court and eventually a building called the Annex, which had more bedrooms. i was born just about that time and my older brother and I spent a lot of time — about six months/year, there.
It was a couple-three miles to Masten Lake. May’s property was about 80 acres and included a very old two story stone barn. Down the road a bit, across the road, there was a kuchalein, a boarding house with multi kitchens — which burned down in the early fifties. It was called Pullmans.
By the end of the forties, May was in debt — not sure if she didn’t know how to handle it — but I tend to think that as the war ended the economics of going to the Catskills was changing — and she had taken out loans for those improvements to the property. She eventujally sold the mansion and hotel buildings and kept a lot of the unimproved property down the hill next to and behind the hotel area. So she kept a small cottage and a stone ice house and the big barn. The people who bought the hotel reopened it as “Bill’s Vegetarian Manor.” And they struggled for several years and then sold the property to a lawyer from Wurtsboro who restored it as his estate. Or so I was told.
We went every Monday to Middletown or Monticello for groceries.
Does anyone know any more facts about that area?
Freddy Bendell says
anyone know about Holtzmann’s Bungalow Colony in Lake Huntington? Not far from Green Acres. The place had a ‘day camp’ for the guests’ children. It was run by Anita Schneider, who was I think, the Holtzman’s daughter.
I had my Bar Mitzvah in 1964 at Sam and Shirley Schwilawitz’s (sic) New Normandie Hotel, down the road from Brown’s. It was wonderful-anyone remember that Hotel? Thank you
Steven Michaels says
My grandparents operated the office the lake house on Briggs Highway in the 50s. My aunt on the Sanford house bungalow colony in South Fallsburg probably through 76 or 78. My great grandparents moved a Ellenville in the 20s and my whole family grew up there
Alan Levi says
I had my Bar Mitzvah at Sam and Shirley Shrilowitz’s New Normandie Hotel down the Street from Browns in 1964- Anyone remember that Hotel? It was a wonderful weekend !
Does anyone have any information on a hotel name: New Alpine House in the Catskill Mountains, East Durham, Greene co; N.Y in around the 1930’s
Seal Binn says
Anyone know where the Woodbine Hotel was located, exactly? Trying to find some evidence of it on Google Earth. I heard it was on Ulster Heights Road, Ellenville?
Joann calabria says
Does anyone have any idea about a possible hotel that was around I’m thinking 1930’s? In woodridge but I’m also considered Fallsburg . I know the mighty atom once made this hotel . But it was already torn down n was a home . I bought it from a mrs fern green . And it was on rosemond road . It’s NOT rosemond hotel
Cathy Chavez says
Does anyone have information about the “Rainbow Lodge”? My grandparents used to go there. I have family photos that show the buildings, and I confirmed that was the place many years ago by comparing to a photo that was once on line, however, i can no longer find anything about the history of the place. Could have been owned by Bermanns, or Brenneman, something like that.
Alan Levi says
Nice memories-I too miss the life we enjoyed a week or so each year-I had my Bar Mitzvah at Sam and Shirley Shriliwitz’s New Normandie Hotel down the street from Browns-anyone remember it?
Walter Flamenbaum says
To Linda Amar – small world – to me knowledge I know of no Flamenbaums with your names – have come across several kindreds – happy to say hellow – my Father married into the Catskills by marrying a Woda from Swan Lake
RICHARD A FRIEDMAN says
Bob would deliver milk and eggs to our apt in Queens in the late 60s after the season ended. My family went to Bob-Ed from the late 50s to 65. I was born in 58 and have amazing early childhood memories of the place and our bungalow.
Mark Levine says
My family members Annie Klass and her relations and Al Senate and his and Benny Cohen and his were involved in running respectively the Klass House, the Youngs Gap and the New Brighton. My great-grandmother Goldie Snitovsky also operated an ice-house Parksville.
Does anyone remember the Spring Lake hotel in Liberty New York. My family had great times there.