Early Years

early-yearsIn the days before interstate highways, polio vaccines, and vacations to exotic lands the Catskills in the Borscht Belt of New York were where many went to escape the hot summers in New York City.  Early on in the 1930s small farms were bought by ‘entrepreneurs’ looking to find a place to own in the healthy air of the “Mountains”.  Of course they weren’t in the mountains, or even in the Catskills; they were in Liberty, Loch Sheldrake, Ellenville, Kerhonkson and other small towns scattered around Sullivan and Ulster County in ‘Upstate New York’.  But they were out of the crowded city and so were their families.

Isador Friedman, was one of those dreamers.  A garment presser among other occupations, he wanted to find a place for his family outside the hot and crowded city.  He was always looking for an opportunity to find the perfect farm, but once he had the farm he realized that he wasn’t a farmer, but he could rent rooms to friends and relatives who also wanted to spend time in the country in the summer.

That was how The Brookside Hotel, in Kerhonkson, NY started, from a wish to escape the City and a hope to own one’s own land.  A small parcel of land that had a farmhouse that was filled with rocky fields that had a hard time growing grass let alone real farm crops  [who but a city immigrant from New York City would buy a ‘farm’ in a town named Granite].   But it was in the country, it had a brook with a pond behind the farm house and it was his.

10 Responses to “Early Years”

  1. Ed Watkins says:

    I worked with a person named Stan Potter. His family owned and entertained at the Brookside
    during the 1950’s and 60’s.

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