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. Suzanne F Jordan says:

    Hello all…… let’s see if it works.

    Thanks to Rich its a reality!!


    • Charney Greenberg says:

      Hi Suzanne, Are you Sadie and Nate’s daughter? If so, we played together when I stayed at the Brookside with my family from the late 50’s until about 1964. My name is Charney and my maiden name was Zuckerberg. I’m in between your age and your brother Richie’s age. Audrey Heller and I hung out together; Didn’t her sister marry your oldest brother? I also remember when Sadie gave birth to your little sister. Very often our friends, the Zukor family, stayed at the Brookside with us. We usually came for about 2 weeks during the 2nd half of July and then we were there Labor Day weekends. I have such wonderful memories of the place and so does my mother Lillian who is 92 years old!!

      My husband and I have a vacation place in Monticello (Hidden Ridge near Kutshers) . We’re there on weekends from April through early December. I always ask local people if they remember the Brookside and we drive to Kerhonkson to see if it brings back memories. I know the hotel is no longer there.

      I’d love to know how all of the Friedmans are doing!!

  2. Richard says:

    Glad you found the web-site and hope that you enjoyed reading about the hotel and seeing some of the pictures.

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