Minnewaska Mountain Houses

Minnewaska Mountain Houses


Author: Anonymous
Summer resorts — New York (State)
Hotels — New York (State)
Bars (Drinking establishments) — New York (State)
Minnewaska (N.Y.) — Pictorial works
Minnewaska Mountain Houses

The Wildmere House

The Cliff House

S located on the summit of the Shawangunk Mountains, ten miles southwest of New Paltz, in Ulster County, New York. New Paltz, a station on the Wallkill Valley Railroad, is eighty-eight miles (about three and one-half hours) distant from New York; nine miles west of Poughkeepsie, on the Hudson, and fifteen miles southwest of Kingston. N.Y.

This lake, which is fed by springs and is very deep and clear as crystal, is held in a strikingly picturesque, rocky and well-wooded bowl, rising one hundred and fifty feet above the lake on the eastern side and sixty feet on the western, and from either edge the rocks tumble precipitously down to the Wallkill and Hudson River Valleys on the one side, and to the Rondout Valley on the other.

Minnewaska is now widely known as a summer resort:

First. For the remarkably bracing and restoring quality of its atmosphere. It being on the crown of a ridge, dew seldom falls. The drainage of each house is away from the lake and far down the mountain side, and the hills all around are covered with resinous pine forests.

Second. For the remarkably select character of the guests who frequent the place, a large portion of whom return year after year.

Third. For the wonderful and unique combination of the grand and the picturesque in its scenery.

Within a mile of the lake are these picturesque falls, above sixty feet high; and about half a mile lower down, the same stream falls over one hundred feet by a series of pretty cascades.

Awosting falls

The Wildmere

Awosting Lake

About three-quarters of a mile distant are a series of wonderful rents in the mountains over one hundred feet deep, some of the fissures being open to the light and others covered.

One and three-fourths miles from the lake are the Millbrook Mountains, where the cliffs are in some places perpendicular, and in others over-hanging the rocks five hundred feet below. The views here are remarkably grand and impressive.

Still nearer, in a deep glen of the mountain, is the Palmaghatt, where is a large forest of massive primeval hemlocks. To all these and many other strange and picturesque places, good walks have been constructed, and a large number of covered seats and summer-houses (about ninety in all) have been built. Three drives have been built recently to Millbrook Mountains, Kempton Ledge, and Beacon Hill.

Since last season over two thousand acres adjoining Minnewaska have been added to the estate, which now covers above five thousand acres of land. This new tract includes the magnificent Awosting Lake, having four times the extent of Lake Minnewaska; also the lofty High Point; the bold Hamilton Ledge, several miles long and several hundred feet in perpendicular height; the picturesque Stonykill Falls, ninety-five feet high, and much other strange scenery peculiar to the Shawangunk Mountains.

A fine road, three and one-half miles long, has been built from Minnewaska to Awosting Lake, passing through the wild Huntington Ravine (Dark Hole). During the spring and summer this road will be extended around the lake four and one-half miles farther. Another road has been built through the Palmaghatt to the edge of Hamilton Ledge. All these roads are of very easy grades, being for the most part nearly level, and are specially adapted to the use of the bicycle.

The ferns



By West Shore Railroad to Kingston, and by special trains to New Paltz.

By New York, Ontario & Western Railway from New York to New Paltz, via Cornwall and Campbell Hall.

By New York Central & Hudson River Railroad or by New York and Albany day boats to Kingston Point, and by rail to New Paltz.

By New York, Lake Erie & Western Railroad to Goshen, and by Wallkill Valley Railroad to New Paltz.

The Highland & New Paltz Electric Railroad will make good connections with New York Central and West Shore trains at Poughkeepsie and Highland.

After the summer time-tables are arranged, schedules of trains, etc., will be sent on application.

Tickets from New York, Brooklyn, and Philadelphia will be sold to and from New Paltz, and baggage checked through.

Parties wishing to inspect the rooms in May will be met at the train upon proper notice being given, and when wishing to stay over night, can be comfortably accommodated at one of the houses.

The Wildmere

Opened in 1879 and enlarged in 1881, will accommodate about two hundred and twenty-five guests.

This house is located on the eastern side of the lake on a commanding height, eighteen hundred feet above tide-water, or nearly as high as the Catskill Mountain House; and from nearly every room in the hotel there are magnificent valley and mountain views, taking in the mountains of New Jersey on the south; the highlands of the Hudson and Newburg Bay to the southeast; the Housatonic Mountains of Connecticut to the east; the whole line of the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts and the Green Mountains of Vermont to the northeast; the Helderberg Mountains to the north; the bold outline of the Catskills and the Shandaken Mountains to the northwest: and the Neversink and Shawangunk Hills to the west. The views embrace several river valleys, including the valley of the Hudson from Cornwall to the mountains about Lake George. From the cupola of this house six States can be seen at one view.

To accommodate the constantly increasing patronage, a new hotel was opened in 1887 on the western edge of this rocky rim, called the

This is somewhat larger than the Cliff House, and commands very similar views. The Wildmere is lighted with gas, the halls are heated by furnaces, while the rooms, both public and private, are mostly provided with open fireplaces for burning the resinous mountain pine that abounds in this region. A large portion of the rooms in both houses are provided with private balconies.

Reading Rooms.

In each house is a large and well-lighted reading-room, containing all the leading English and American monthly and quarterly periodicals and weekly and daily papers, and also a carefully selected library of books for reading and reference.

Postal and Telegraph Offices

Will be open during the season at the lake. Telegrams should be addressed to Lake Minnewaska, N. Y., and letters to Minnewaska P. O., Ulster County, N. Y.

A Good Physician

Will reside permanently at the lake.

The Wildmere house

Opens June 15th and closes October 1st to 10th.

The Cliff house

Opens June 29th and closes about September 15th.

Both Minnewaska houses

Will be kept on a strictly TEMPERANCE PLAN. The same arrangements with regard to meats, fruits, cream, etc., that have made the table so satisfactory for the past nineteen years, have been made for the coming season.


Are not expected to arrive or depart on Sunday.

No dogs taken.

June: single rooms, $11 to $14; double rooms. $22 to $25. July and August: single rooms, $15 to $20; double rooms, $25 to $35. From September 1st to close of the season: single rooms, $14 to $16; double rooms, $25 to $28. Day rates: June. $2; July and August, $3; after September 1st, $2.50. Liberal arrangements will be made for families coming early.

For further information, address

ALFRED H. SMILEY. Proprietor,     

Summer house on Lake

Boat liveries are operated in connection with both houses. They are provided with the celebrated St. Lawrence River skiffs, which can be rented by the week or day, with or without oarsmen, at reasonable rates. Eight skiffs have been added to the fleet since last season. Owing to the land-locked location of the lake, ladies and children can enjoy the pleasures of boating with perfect safety.

Another of the many attractions of the lake is the delightful still-water bathing. The water is soft, becomes warm early in the season, and the bathing is free from enervating effects usually experienced in fresh-water bathing. Two new bath-houses, exclusively for ladies, have been constructed, and a bathing-master and life-guard are always present to assist ladies and children.

Exercise in the open air is acknowledged by every one to be of the greatest assistance in the recuperation of the nervous system and a grand specific for building up the physical body. Every effort has been put forth to stimulate and foster active exercise. Walking parties find each year new paths leading through deep forests to quiet recesses of the mountains and points of vantage hitherto unapproachable.

The ball ground, tennis courts, bowling alleys and shuffle boards give an ample field for the spirit of contest, while the many delightful walks and drives meet the requirements of those in search of moderate exercise.

A view of this charming cascade is shown on this page. The falls are situated two miles beyond Awosting Lake.

HE management at Lake Minnewaska has aimed to provide the comforts of a good home at reasonable rates for the refined and moral classes, where they could enjoy the splendid scenery without molestation from the fast and rougher elements of society. That this object has been attained, the proprietor would respectfully refer to the following persons, nearly all of whom have remained at the lake for a considerable period of time—many of them for several years in succession. None of these persons have been consulted as to this use of their names, but any of them, doubtless, if approached at proper times, would be glad to give any information they may possess about the lake. The names are selected to represent a variety of professions and circles of society and are arranged alphabetically.


  • Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Abbott, 13 Astor Place.
  • Rev. Dr. and Mrs. Robt. K. Booth, 177 West End Ave.
  • Prof. and Mrs. H. Carrington Bolton, University Club
  • Mr. and Mrs. Win. B. Boulton, 13 E. 34th St.
  • Dr. D. M. Cammann, 19 E. 33d St.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Herman H. Cammann, 43 W. 38th St.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Clarkson, 15 W. 45th St.
  • Dr. Floyd M. Crandall, 113 W. 95th St.
  • Dr. D. Bryson Delevan, 1 E. 33d St.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Frank H. Dodd, 222 W. 70th St.
  • Prof, and Mrs. Chas. A. Doremus, 59 W. 51st St.
  • Mr. and Mrs. B. Greef, 106 Spring St.
  • Mr. Samuel B. Haines, 52 E. 78th St.
  • Mr. Daniel Huntington, 49 E. 20th St.
  • Miss Cornelia Jay, 155 W. 58th St.
  • Dr. John Jay.
  • Rev. and Mrs. E. H. Krans, 33 W. 12th St.
  • Mr. and Mrs. H. Pi. Laidlaw, 31 W. 73rd St.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Wallace Peck, 22 E. 55th St.
  • Mrs. T. M. Peters, 264 W. 94th St.
  • Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Pierce, 333 W. 85th St.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Wm. M. Spackman, 820 Madison Ave.
  • Ki v. and Mrs. L. H. Schwab, 101 Lawrence St.
  • Mr. and Mrs. James Talcott, 7 W. 57th St.
  • Mr. W. VanNorden, 16 W. 48th St.
  • Dr. and Mrs. Richard VanSantvord, 106 W. 122d St.
  • Mr. F. S. Wait, 1 E. 39th St.
  • Dr. and Mrs. Jos. E. Winters, 25 W. 37th St.

Peterskill falls


  • Rev. Dr. and Mrs. Lyman Abbott, Columbia Heights.
  • Rev. and Mrs. J. A. Billingsley, 446 Macon St.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Albert Bruen, 256 Cumberland St.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Wm. B. Crittenden, 66 Willow St.
  • Mr. and Mrs. James W. Cromwell, 29 Brevoort Place.
  • Mr. and Mrs. T. Henry Dewey, 95 Willow St.
  • Mr. A. H. DeWitt, 120 Willow St.
  • Dr. and Mrs. Z. Taylor Emory, 481 Washington Ave.
  • Miss M. Latimer, 63 Remsen St.
  • Dr. and Mrs. E. A. Lewis, 102 Pierrepont St.
  • Mr. Edward Merritt, 3 Monroe Place.
  • Mrs. James Miller, 21 Schermerhorn St.
  • Mr. and Mrs. M. A. Ruland, 292 Greene Ave.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Chas. F. Squibb, 152 Columbia Heights.
  • Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Tiebout, 112 Prospect Park, West.
  • Mr. and Mrs. John J. Williams, 401 Clinton Ave.


  • Mr. and Mrs. Jos. W. Baker, Chestnut Hill.
  • Miss H. S. Benson, Chestnut Hill.
  • Hon. Craig Biddle, 2033 Pine St.
  • Mr. and Mrs. James S. Biddle, 1714 Locust St.
  • Mr. and Mis. J. C. Browne, 907 Clinton St.
  • Mr. W. H. Castle, 4241 Walnut St.
  • Mr. and Mrs. B. B. Comegys, 4205 Walnut St.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Thos. P. Cope, Chew St., near Walnut.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Robert Corson, 11th and Pine Sts.
  • Hon. and Mrs. Geo. M. Dallas, 1514 Pine St.
  • Rev. and Mrs. J. B. Douglass, 2213 Locust St.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Patterson Dubois, 1031 Walnut St.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Howard Evans, 2033 Locust St.
  • Mrs. Elizabeth H. Farnum, 1214 Arch St.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Wm. West Frazier, 701 S. Front St.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Philip Garrett, Logan P. O.
  • Mr. and Mrs. F. C. Gillingham, 5314 Knox St.
  • Mr. and Mrs. F. Ross Hansen, 3604 Barring St.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Chas. C. Harrison, 1618 Locust St.
  • Mrs. Geo. L. Harrison, School Lane.
  • Mr. Charles Hartshorne, 228 S. Third St.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Chas. S. Hinchman, 3635 Chestnut St.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Chas. B. Keen, 4210 Walnut St.
  • Dr. and Mrs. A. F. Kempton, 2118 Pine St.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Robert M. Lewis, 123 S. 22d St.
  • Rev. and Mrs. W. P. Lewis, 1346 Pine St.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Mellor, 2130 Mt. Vernon St.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Wm. H. Merrick, School Lane, Germantown.
  • Judge and Mrs. Clement B. Penrose, Germantown.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Prime, 1008 Spruce St.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Charles Richardson, 1307 Spruce St.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Edward S. Sayres, 1825 Spruce St.
  • Dr. Jos. A. Seiss, 1338 Spring Garden St.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Coleman Sellers, 3301 Barring St.
  • Rev. Dr. and Mrs. C. Ellis Stevens, 2217 Spruce St.
  • Mrs. Wm. Bacon Stevens, 1914 S. Rittenhouse Sq.
  • Hon. and Mrs. M. Russell Thayer, 1824 Pine St.
  • Mr. Chas. W. Trotter, 2024 Spruce St.
  • Mr. and Mrs. John G. Watmough, 2114 Walnut St.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Jos. M. Wilson, 1106 Spruce St.
  • Mr. and Mrs. C. Cresson Wistar, 5355 Knox St.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Wood. 2038 Spring Garden St.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Zanzinger, 1736 Pine St.

Cliff house Looking South


  • Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Ackerman, Chicago, 111.
  • Dr. and Mrs. Francis Bacon, New Haven, Conn.
  • Rev. Dr. and Mrs. Benjamin, Irvington-on-Hudson.
  • Rev. and Mrs. Alfred B. Baker, Princeton, N. J.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Thos. P. Barn field, Pan-tucket, R. I.
  • Gen. and Mrs. John S. Berry, Baltimore, Md.
  • Mr. J. R. Campbell, Oil City, Pa.
  • Mr. and Mrs. G. S. Capelle, Wilmington, Del.
  • Mrs. I. W. Cochran, Morristown, N. J.
  • Prof, and Mrs. Geo. E. Day, Divinity School, New Haven, Conn.
  • Mr. and Mrs. James W. DeGraff, Plainfield, N. J.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Wm. H. Doane, Auburn Ave., Cincinnati, O.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Charles Eddison, Irvington-on-Hudson.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Joseph P. Elliot, Baltimore, Md.
  • Prof. Geo. P. Fisher, New Haven, Conn.
  • Dr. and Mrs. H. B. Frissell, Hampton, Va.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Gilman, Palisade Avenue. Yonkers, N. Y.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Chas. C. Glover, 20 Lafayette Square, Washington, D. C.
  • Judge and Mrs. A. B. Hagner, Washington, D. C.
  • Rev. Teunis F. Hamlin, 1306 Connecticut Avenue, Washington, D. C.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Hicks, Old Westbury, L. I.
  • Mr. and Mrs. E. C. Higbee, Cleveland, O.
  • Mr. and Mrs. A. D. Holman, Tenerly, N. J.
  • Mr. and Mrs. H. T. Hull, Morristown, N. J.
  • Prof, and Mrs. T. W. Hunt, Princeton, N. J.
  • Mrs. George Inness, Montclair, N. J.
  • Rev. and Mrs. D. O. Irving, East Orange, N. J.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Geo. E. Ketchum, 135 Locust Hill Ave., Yonkers, N. Y.
  • Mr. and Mrs. A. W. Kilborne, Orange, N. J.
  • Rev. and Mrs. J. P. E. Kumler, 413 S. Highland Ave., Pittsburg, Pa.
  • Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Langdon, Elizabeth, N. J.
  • Miss Grace Denio Litchfield, Washington, D. C.
  • Rev. and Mrs. James M. Ludlow, East Orange, N. J.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Wm. D. Murray, Plainfield, N. J.
  • Mrs. Henry J. Owen, 10 Mercer St., Princeton, N. J.
  • Mr. and Mrs. A. S. Patterson, Plainfield, N. J.
  • Prof, and Mrs. Frank C. Porter, New Haven, Conn.
  • Mr. and Mrs. W. B. Price, Newark, N. J.
  • Hon. and Mrs. F. O. Prince, 311 Beacon St., Boston.
  • Rev. Geo. T. Purves, Princeton, N. J.
  • Pres. and Mrs. G. W. Smith, Trinity College, Hartford, Conn.
  • Mrs. C. E. Stockley, Euclid Place, Cleveland, O.
  • Mrs. N. H. Swayne, Toledo, O.
  • Mr. and Mrs. W. E. Tillinghast, Englewood, N. J.
  • Mr. and Mrs. J. Evarts Tracy. Plainfield, N. J.
  • Rev. Dr. and Mrs. A. G. Vermilye, Englewood, N. J.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Charles Dudley Warner, Hartford, Conn.
  • Gen. and Mrs. J. H. Watmouth, Washington, D. C.
  • Prof, and Mrs. J. F. Weir, New Haven, Conn.
  • Mrs. J. Willock, Allegheny, Pa.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Geo. P. Wilson, 4 First St., Albany.
  • Mrs. C. P. Wurts, New Haven, Conn.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Ellis Yarnall, Haverford College, Pa.

The Wildmere Cliff Summer houses

The Cliffs from Wildmere

Lake Shore Walk

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Minnewaska Mountain Houses
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