The Ruins of the Borscht Belt

Located 90 miles northwest of New York City, The Catskills, known to many as “the mountains” and to others as “the country,” embodied a retreat for millions of city-dwellers, predominantly Jewish Americans, between the 1920’s and the 1970’s. With the county’s beginnings vested in the lumber and tanning industry, the eventual fall of this commerce left in its wake a widespread clearing of the region’s tree-filled landscape. From these foundations, a tourist industry was born; a notorious vacationland known as the Borscht Belt, named after the cold beet soup served in many of its hotels. With its proximity to New York City, the area became a prime destination for vacationers. The Borscht Belt was a land of leisure, a sea of entertainment and for many, a place where the best of memories were made.
Dining Room, The Pines Hotel, South Fallsburg, NY, 2012

When I began this photographic series I was principally drawn to the region’s history and the concept of what had been. Driven by an intrigue for history and my own memories, it was quite obvious the Borscht Belt era had passed.

Lobby, Grossinger’s Catskill Resort and Hotel, Liberty, NY, 2012

Growing up in the region there was always a family member, friend or local quick to conjure up a story about how booming the area once was. Tales of the Borscht Belt were practically unavoidable in car rides or dinner table conversations as a kid.

Showroom, The Commodore Hotel, Swan Lake, NY, 2012

While I primarily define myself as a photographer, within this series my actions are akin to those of an archaeologist, searching for clues and remnants of a former time.

Outdoor Pool, The Pines Hotel, South Fallsburg, NY, 2012
Outdoor Pool
One of my first jobs was as a lifeguard at The Concord, which closed a couple of years later, in the fall of 1998.
Youngs Gap Hotel, Parksville, NY, 2012
YoungsGap Hotel

I still can recall visiting the hotels on weekends with my grandparents, who met while my grandmother and her sister were hitch hiking the county’s windy roads.

Bathroom, Grossinger’s Catskill Resort and Hotel, Grossinger, NY, 2012

Growing up in Sullivan County I hold an indelible connection to the region and as a photographer I felt inclined to document its history, decline and what of it remains.


Bingo Chips, Grossinger’s Catskill Resort and Hotel, Grossinger, NY, 2012

My family and I would go to Kutsher’s or The Concord to visit my grandfather in card rooms infused with the scent of cigars and afterwards take a swim in one of the massive pools or play a game of bingo.


Tennis Courts, Laurels Hotel and Country Club, Sackett Lake, NY, 2012

Using my research into the past as a map, my expeditions led me to discover each site lying entangled within a resurgence of nature, with residuals from squatters, paint-ballers and scrappers fueling each encounter I had with a ruin.

Feathers, White Lake Mansion House, White Lake, NY, 2012

I find myself enamored of these leftovers, abandoned and forgotten within the mountainous landscape of their former pasts, lying in a state of exquisite and captivating entropy.


For more of Marisa’s photography, visit her site.

What do you think?

About The Author

Marisa Scheinfeld

Marisa Scheinfeld was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1980 and raised in the Catskills. She took her first photography class at age 15 and hasn't put the camera down since. In 2002, she graduated from The State University of New York at Albany. From 2002 - 2003 she interned in the Community Programs Department at The International Center of Photography. In 2003 Marisa moved out west and worked in the Education Department of the Museum of Photographic Arts (MoPA) in San Diego, CA for four years while teaching it's outreach photography programs, curating many exhibitions and managing its Docent Program. In 2009, she was accepted into the graduate program at The School of Art, Art History and Design at San Diego State University. Scheinfeld’s work is motivated by an interest in the ruin, or site, and the histories embedded within them. Her photographic projects and books are in the collections of The Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, CA, The La Jolla Athenaeum in La Jolla, CA, The Edmund and Nancy K. Dubois Library at MoPA in San Diego, CA and The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation. Her work has been exhibited in New York, Washington, DC, California, Kansas and London and has appeared in publications such as Tablet Magazine, Feature Shoot, The San Diego Union Tribune, The Washington Post, The Lo-Down, Hadassah Magazine and GOLDBERG Magazine. Scheinfeld received her MFA in the spring of 2011 and relocated back to New York. She is currently living in the Lower East Side.

75 Responses


    I lived in Liberty NY, then Monticello for about 15 years. 1972-1985. My husband was an entertainer and played the circuit. In fact, we met at the Pines Hotel and got married at the Homowack Lodge on August 21, 1972. What wonderful years. The summers were great. We had a “circle of friend” in the hotel business. Great times, all gone, but nevertheless, great memories.

    • David Gillon

      Hello Susan, you don’t know me but I performed with Alan and your husband Mike in early 1978 as their drummer. I left them around March or April of that year. No two men ever made me laugh like they did, in fact every night it took everything I had to remain seated behind my drums without falling down. I have been watching them on youtube these last few days which brought back some real pleasing memories of my time with them. I’m retired now and would love to hear back from you.

      Thanks again, Dave Gillon

  2. Joe Beim

    At least the Fleisher’s Hotel on Parksville Rd, by Rehovah, not only wasn’t torn down, but was put to a very useful function..serving now as the HACS-Hebrew Academy for Special Children, summer camp. I was there when it was a resort in 1959, 60 and 62. If it had to go, I’m glad it serves to help children now. Anyone else remember it when it was Fleisher’s?

    • Richard Sloan

      Hi, Joe! Schenk’s Paramount Hotel, where I spent holidays from ’52-54, also still lives on as a Jewish camp. Then we went to The Pines. Marcia’s pictures are OK, but she paints an even more poetic picture with her words. Heard her give a talk at a local library. She was great. Say hi.

  3. David Wolf

    Marisa,you grew up watching the end of the Borscht Belt Hotels.It’s all history now.

  4. rosanne skopp

    I of course remember Fleischer’s and all of the other now pathetic sites in these terribly sad photos. I spent every summer of my childhood at my family kuchelein in Parksville. These were the golden years of the 40s and 50s when the Borscht Belt shone and made memories that last a lifetime. Does anyone remember the Bauman House which is now torn down and replaced with the Parksville Post Office? My heart is still there.

  5. Ronit

    How sad to look at these pictures and see what happened to that area. I went to some of the hotels for single weekends, boy were they fun. Memories, that’s all that’s left.

  6. marta braiterman tanenbaum

    My husband and I knew Marisa growing up as a thoughtful teenager in Sullivan County, New York. Now, it is absolutely wonderful to see her camera and heart come together in this unique project. – Marta Braiterman Tanenbaum

  7. Vicki Kampler

    Ah, I remember both the Concord and Grossingers. They were fabulous hotels. It seems like all good things come to an end. But that is the way of life. Things, from the beginning of time have changed and it will always go on that way. Otherwise we would be living as they did thousands of years ago. We might think we know what the future will bring, but we actually do not know.

    There were two other hotels that I also went to and the hotels and those days are now history. But I am happy to be living in the world of today. Most people travel a lot more today and that way we get to see what far-away places are like! Enjoy each day for what it brings, is my motto.

  8. Janet Goren

    I appreciated, if not enjoyed your pictures. Seeing the ruins of such a central part of my childhood is not easy. As my sister Rosanne so correctly put it – my heart is still there.

  9. Debbie Fox

    These pictures were devastating to me. I lived in Westchester County until 1971 and my family went to the Catskill hotels at least once a year. Then, in 1971, for my senior year in high school, we moved to Ellenville and then I started working weekends in the hotels. I have the prospective of both sides of hotel life and it was great from both sides. Those were the days. It breaks my heart to see what happened to such a phenomenon.

  10. ruth scheinfeld

    my granddaughter marisa got it down pat, if memories are all there is left of those wonderful days, memories are enough. i am so pleased that she is so talented and sensitive and i admire her work.

  11. Doris Rainish Katz

    Another piece of the Borscht belt was the bungalow colonies or as some were called, the “kuckaleins.” My granparents owned the Mongaup Colony on the road between Hurleyville and Liberty. I spent my summers there, with my parents (my Dad of course only on weekends) and lots of relatives and regulars, from the late 40’s to late 50’s. We visited most of the hotels seen in the pictures and I had a great-uncle who played piano at Grossingers. My memories of those years are idyllic and simply marvelous. I fell in love with my husband when we were dating as teenagers and he came to spend several weekend in “the country” with my family. I feel blessed to have spent the 12 years or so at Grandma and Grandpa’s.

  12. Lynn Kaplan

    These pictures break my heart, but are a perfect documentary! I was born and grew up in Ellenville. We lived on my grandparents farm and “kuchelein” bungalow colony, down the road from the Echo Hotel and the Greenwood Inn. I worked at the Nevele, Fallsview and Homowack and loved the shows…Freddie Roman, London Lee, Dick Capri, Jackie Eagle, Dick Shawn, and on and on. There will never be another Borscht Belt! It was like living at the Friar’s Club every weekend. Where did the time go?

  13. Jodi

    It breaks my heart to see these pictures. I spent nearly 20 summers growing up at Slatkins, Krauss, Silberts and Candlewood Cottages. My mom played mah jon, dad came up on the weekends and I went to camp and made life-long friends. I went dancing at the chalet and watched the dating game at the Pines. I often went to the Concord and ice skated in the shows at Kutchers. I have such fabulous memories of such an amazing time and place.

  14. Francis Joseph Stavish

    Beautifully done photography and discussion of painful, heart wrenching changes over the years. The Belt was for a long time a big and great part of my life and the memories of it have been and will be with me forever. I often find myself quietly imagining a resurrection of the golden days but hear far more often of attempts by various investor groups to ally with one or more of the American Indian nations for the creation of a casino mecca. The Belt as it was is what will always be a part of me.

  15. Susan Menchel

    To Marisa Scheinfeld: you did a very fine job with this photo shoot. I visited both hotels and have fond memories of them. I also spent time at another place called McNaughton’s Farm in Greenville, NY which I hear is also gone now. When looking at your photos it brings back memories of meeting so many people every summer and keeping in contact with them over the winter months. Thanks for the memories.
    From another Brooklyn-born resident 1955-1980,
    Susan Brown Menchel, Bellevue, WA 98006

  16. evelyn goldstein

    my aunt, anna cohen, owned a hotel called the shady nook in lock sheldrake, in the catskills. the famous actor fivish finkle, his wife and two sons spent one suumer there, probably 1943 or 1944, where fivish worked as a tumbler, entertaining the guests duing the summer. i was about 13 and worked there as a governess. your pictures are very moving.

    • Courtney Breindel


      My grandmother, Helen Breindel, co-owned the Shady Nook and continued to do so after the Cohen’s sold. We sold the Shady Nook to an Orthodox Jewish Community but it is still standing.

      • Howard Brayer

        My grandmother, Gussie Brayer, was the chef at the Shady Nook, way back when, maybe in the late 30’s, and became good friends with your grandmother. I think my father worked there in the in same era, as a aliterate. This was all well before I was born, in 1956.

        My family was long associated with the hotel. My older brother and sister worked there in the early 60’s. My mother and I stayed in the bungalow colony in the mid 60’s. I ever so vaguely remember a friend from there named Courtney. Could that have been you?

      • mike diamant

        Dearest Courtney, I hope this reply finds you well. I have cherished memories of the Shadynook. My dad gave me the greatest summer vacations of all when he took me there for TWO WEEKS at a time in the summer of 1968,and 1969. It was magical. I remember seeing your grandmother in the office to the left of the check-in counter and thinking what a great lady she must be to own such a great place. I remember a cool counselor named Perry, had a crush on a visiting counselor Rose Ungaro, and had a one week romance with a girl named Nancy( I was 10 and so was she) .

  17. Irwin

    Oh, boy.Everyone’s sentiments reflect my own. I worked different hotels in the fifties, lived in a firetrap of an attic above the hotel, ate constantly, met my first love there, who turned out to be G.U.(geographically undesirable; I lived in Brooklyn, she lived in the Bronx) Jan Murray and others performed there, husbands came up on weekends and some wives played around during the week, spent summers in kocheleins growing up, my father was mashgiach at Grosingers. Seeing the ruins of these places makes me ask if I am any different from them, 50 years later.

  18. Ron Frisch

    As a waiter and busboy, I spent over one year of my life (seven seasons) at the Harmony Country Club. It paid my total expenses at CCNY and some of grad school. But I have few good memories of the exploitation by owners and guests. Still, it’s sad to see the disappearance of the “mountains” .

  19. Arthur Sinensky

    Great memories, indeed. But, rather then dwell on the ruins, we should focus on the rebirth occurring right now. The new Bethel Woods Performing Arts Center on the site of the Woodstock Festival has great concerts all summer long, and is a beautiful venue for music, a step beyond Tanglewood, yet close to NYC. Developers have recently purchased the old Concord sight and are planning a new resort destination. Kauneonga Lake is thriving with great new restaurants, an art gallery and a few stores. And, the Chapin Estate ( features great mountain homes to spend summers. Most importantly, the old country spirit is alive and vibrant, evoking great memories as the posts above attest to. Come visit and see for yourself.

  20. Noe Gold

    Me too, Ron Frisch my fellow CCNY grad, worked at the Flagler in So. Fallsburgh as a busboy but my roots go back to the halcyon summers in the “Lager survivors'” bungalow colonies of Woodburn and what we used to jokingly refer to as Lokch Shel Drek (hole of crap) lakeside in Loch Sheldrake, where I used to go fishing for gefilte fish behind the shul on Route 52, the main drag.

    There is a reference to the word “tummlers” in my new book, Yiddish Glossary for Goyim. Check it out on amazon.

    It wouldn’t hurt.


  21. Marlene Wolff

    Theses photos just break my heart. My family spent many summers at Gilbert’s hotel (1955-1960) My sister and I worked at the Gilbert’s hotel as governesses. Watching the entertainers from Shecky Green, Mal Z. Lawrence, Jackie Mason perform, was an eye opening experience for an impressionable young gal. I had the time of my life there, and so did my friends from Queens. Happily I too have my memories. Later on my Dad bought a bungalow colony called Wolff’s Bungelows across the road from the Windsor hotel in south fallsburg. .

  22. Bari gold

    I am 42 years old and frm the age of 3 till my grandparents sold their bungalow colony Gold and Rados I spent every weekend and before camp started and ended there I helped take the pictures out of the unsold little frames. My umcle stevie took me to the concord to swim and my dad took me to the pines to ice skate in the winter. I remember going to poppins where my aunt Esther worked. I remember like it just happemd my grandma over the load speaker telling eberybody the bakery truck was there, the pickle man, and ruthies consection stand was open. I remember my dad and grandpa dragging me to the Concord every saturday for services and seeing the grandest staircase i ever saw in my life to this day.i always new we were close when we passed the Royle hotel which i stayed at for one weekend every summer w my moms parents. I remember trying to see into the casino windows when the striptease ladies where there never did see anything lol. But really how sad it’s become. But great times and memories I will always have.

  23. Brad

    I used to work summers in several of the hotels in the area. I remember the woman who owned one of the hotels making us egg creams while we smoked something in her penthouse. The state police would raid the hotel’s workers quarters on occasion too. I saw Paul Anka and some others perform.

  24. Marc

    It’s sad to see Grossinger’s like that now. I had some good times there in the early 1970s. Even though I have been happily married since 2008, I have never forgotten a Ping Pong game at Grossinger’s
    one weekend in April 1973….the happiest weekend I had in the 20th century.

  25. Rick Sacks

    Born in Mountaindale in 1952. Worked delivering fruit and vegetables to these hotels as a teen ager. Spent a lot of time in the woods playing, camping, growing up. As the new generation started ytraveling to Europe and the Western US (Taos, San Francisco), the hotels that catered to their parents sold to Transcendental Mediation Gurus, were taken over by drug rehab and mental health facilities and bought up by Hasidic organizations. None of these outfits paid taxes and the “Borscht Belt” was declared a depressed area. Still, it’s a charming and magical place with a certain ‘scale’ to the geography that invites you to explore and enjoy. I can’t go back but the memories are warm and rich.

  26. Iralgo

    My family would “move” up to the mountains at the end of school and stay up there until the weekend after Labor Day. My mother stayed all week and yentered all week. My fahter would drive up Friday evening and go back on Sunday night. Always heard about his old Studebaker overheating on the Wurtsboro incline. My father’s family ran the kosher butcher shop in Wurtsboro, the bakery and general store in Highview. It’s terrible what has happened to the area. I remember thos comics would tell a joke and and do the punchline in Yiddish which I never understood.

    • Noe Gold

      It’s never too late to learn the Yiddish those “tummlers” spoke. To find out what the punch lines meant, and even what a tummler is, check out me new book, and go to my Facebook page (, which is a lot of fun.

      Here’s the deets: Noë Gold’s “Yiddish Glossary for Goyim” is now published as an ebook and a hard copy. The ebook is available from, described here: Hard copy: $12 per for FB’ers: [email protected].

      Heeb editors take note: drop me a line and I will send you a review copy pdf.

  27. Mitch

    I remember staying at the Pines and the Raleigh with my extended family for a few summer weekends in the mid-late ’60’s and very early ’70’s. We could not afford more than long weekends. Frankly, my recollection at that time was these hotels were tired and ultimately doomed. Even as a teenager, I was aware that the places were worn around the edges and the entertainment boring and dated. I suppose if my siblings and cousins and I had gone there for weekends from the city 10 years earlier, the places would have offered a more idealized memory. The thing that I do miss is the extended quality time spent there with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, parents and siblings. There is no parallel I can think of, these days, for me with my kids and extended family. That slow paced, quality family time really interacting directly with each other in “real time” is something I miss (regardless of where) and is something valuable my kids never experienced. For good and evil, the electronics are damaging close, personal and direct human interactions.

    • michael burns

      I read mitchs’ recollection of the Catskills from the mid 60s thru early 70s. I can’t help but wonder what he’s talking about. My family spent the summers there from the late 60s thru the late 70s. That was part of the golden era ! Not every hotel was becoming dated and “worn out” as you put it. I remember the most beautiful, fun resort’s that I could ever imagine. Every summer spent was fun, exciting and full of amazing experiences.

      I’m sure there were older, and less desirable hotels that you may have went to, but my experience was much better. The Gilbert’s hotel was still in it’s prime in the late 60s. The olympic hotel was a fun place with great times to be had, but was one example of your experience. The brickmans in the mid to late 70s was still one of the nicest hotels of the era. I didn’t see any “rust” or “neglect” . they had the most beautiful terraced pool, sports galore, including the magnificent horse riding trails where I learned to ride. The food was among the best in the Catskills.

      The entertainment was still very “hot” during this time as well! We learned many new disco dances of that era. My older sister and her best friends enjoyed the night life at the “chalet” disco at the pines, the Raleigh and battle of the bands! I don’t think anyone felt that they were vacationing in a time that was “dated ” as you said.

      I know that as the 80s came around however, things had significantly changed. My parents had stayed at the browns, in the early 80s and I remember my mom saying that it was “falling apart ” then gtossingers closed in 1986. That was the real “beginning of the end” but even than, there were still the bright spots of the concord, the pines , kutshers and the Raleigh. In fact , my friends and I continued to go to many concord “singles weekend’s” through the early 90s. And than it stopped. That is what saddens me most. How could so many beautiful, “ahead of their time” hotels just completely vanish. I would have thought that a few would have remained.

      I am glad to see a revitalization of the Catskills. The villa Roma stands out as a great place to take the family and have fun times and create new memories. I am also looking forward in great anticipation to the “opening” of the “new concord” resort that will be called “the montreign” it’s going to finally be a world class casino with hotel rooms, gourmet dining, sports and entertainment, and an indoor water park. I can’t wait wait to be one of the first guests to usher in this new era in the Catskills! !

  28. Jeff

    I went to Skopp’s bungalow colony next to the Brickman’s down the road from the Pines. Fond memories.

  29. Andrew

    I was so lucky to have had Grandparents whom had summer cottages up the road from Sackett lake. Until I was 11 we spent every summer in “the country” The end of school couldn’t come fast enough to leave the sweltering city. Living next to camp ta go la was always fun, watching the antics of those sneaking out to meet friends or go to the lounge by the lake. Ah what sweet memories of going to Shankers day camp or fishing for perch at the lake. I remember my grandparents all dolled up for a night at the laurels or Congress, hearing taps and revelle daily from ta go la still echoes in my head. Warm summers, loving family and the smell of burgers on the outdoor fireplace can’t be replaced and only revisited in memory.

    So long Phil and Fae Levine, Jack Hankin and the Bermans.

    Andrew Schwartz

  30. David Sevush

    My Parents Philip and Jean Sevush owned the Eldorado Hotel in South Fallsburgh from 1958-1967.

    • Justin Kodner


      I am the nephew of Mac and Jerry Slutsky who were your parents’ partners at the El Dorado. They had previously been owners of The Evergreen Manor in Ellenville. Phil and Jean Sevush had been guests at the Evergreen before they formed their partnership and bought “Zeigers” in South Fallsburgh. I bought automobile insurance for my first car from your father before he partnered with my uncles in the Hotel business.

      My mother’s cousins also owned the Nevele, Fallsview, Arrowhead and Breeze Lawn, all in the Ellenville area, and Crystal Lake Lodge in the Adirondacks (near Lake George).

  31. Ira Elting

    I remember going to many of the hotels mentioned, including the Echo, Granit, Stevensville, Homowack, Nevele, Fallsview, … but my favorite was always the Brickman, and apparently my parents and my brother agreed with me. What great memories of those days. I can still see my dad playing ping pong with me, and cheating (!) I also remembering playing in a softball game, along side my dad, at the Brickman. That was probably the greatest single day of my life.

  32. Sandy Clair

    I worked as a bellhop at Gilbets Hotel 74 and 75… Best times of my life.

  33. Ben

    Ron Frisch — exploitation? Really? Child laborers in third-world countries are exploited. You had a hard summer job that as you admit paid for your college education. Perspective is in order.

    Sad to see these once-grand places in such condition. I was in high school in the Catskills in the 90’s. well after the heyday. But now it’s so sad.

  34. Faith

    anyone remember a bungalow colony called Tree (or Three ) Lawn Lodge in Liberty, NY. My brother, Ed and I, together with our parents spent several wonderful idyllic summers there. There was no pool, but we walked through meadows and a cow pasture to a creek almost every day.

  35. that was then -this is now

    anyone remember this bungalow colony called “blatt- jefferson city “, located i beleave on dillon rd ,
    they had a pond i think called minnow pond . i fished there every day , got plenty of cat fish .
    1959 was the time .
    I was a bronx boy, fishing , getting frogs and tadd poles , picking blue berries by the pail.

  36. B. Kay

    Stayed at a bungalow colony called Klinger’s Vacationland in the mid-50’s…Later spent summers at the Eldorado Hotel…Think it was the first to bring rocknroll bands to the Catskills…Saw Little Anthony and also the Deauville’s…

  37. B. Kay

    Also stayed at Flagler…Shot a par 30 on their 9 hole golf course in a tournament there when I was 16…

  38. Judith Librot

    At least the Fleisher’s Hotel on Parksville Rd, by Rehovah, not only wasn’t torn down, but was put to a very useful function..serving now as the HACS-Hebrew Academy for Special Children, summer camp. I was there when it was a resort in 1959, 60 and 62. If it had to go, I’m glad it serves to help children now. Anyone else remember it when it was Fleisher’s?

    Error. Hotel Fleisher was not on route 17, but after the one light in Parksville.. The road is called Taylor road, and . I know because my parents owned it for many years.
    Judi Fleisher

  39. marty Solomon

    My parents always took the family up to the “mountains”.We enjoyed a family life, milking cows and playing in the hay lofts. Then my mother got a job as a second cook in a small hotel, the name I don’t remember, but I was lucky to stay all summer with her in a small cottage, with my father and brothers coming up to visit on the weekends.I loved the Catskills so much, that when I was 17 ( in the 50’s) I applied and got a job at Homowack Lodge for the Blickstein family. I started a camp counselor across the street from main Hotel. I learned all about growing up, and even entertained the girl counselors who dormed across the street at the camp.I complained to Irving Blickstein that I wanted to make more money, and he had me work as the bellhop so that I could get tips.Finally after much begging I got the job as a Busboy, and when my waiter left early to return to school, I moved into waiter and was so excited to get even more tips. If any one remebers, the waiters got $10. for the weekend while the busboy got $5. It was a great place to mature and to enjoy running around to play baseball at the other hotel and their staff. The children of today missed out in the”best education and experience” that we were fortunate to share.

  40. Ed Eldred

    My wife’s grandmother and great-aunt ran McNaughton Farms. All I ever hear is “back at the boarding house…”

  41. Coneyro

    The memories I have of all the hotels I stayed in in the Catskills will never leave me. People really dressed up then on weekends to see the wonderful shows offered, and we danced and had so much fun. Photographers took our pictures, and we purchased plasic keychain viewers to see our pictures. The three meals a day were ALL you can eat, and the weekend gigantic smorgasbord in addition to meals, made everyone go home pounds heavier. Most of us still went to the in-house luncheonette for fountain drinks, treats and sandwiches. How I didn’t “explode” I’ll never know. My first hotel was the Shawanga Lodge, which I went in the late 60’s. Not as fancy as some, but as vacations went, pure heaven. My favorite of all was the Raleigh Hotel, which my husband and I and several friends, went for three day holiday weekends whenever possible. Seeing pictures of the decrepit remains leaves me feeling sad. But, thankfully, images of those wonderful times, are alive and well in my heart.

  42. Charles Demetri

    Spent many summers of the 70’s up in the Catskills. The Winsor, The Raleigh, The Concord were all first class beautiful hotels. Three fantastic meals a day. Lots of fun times. When they closed the Winsor my mom was broken hearted. Wonderful memories. The pictures you took were hard to look it, but that’s life nothing stays the same forever. Will always remember the good times with friends and family in the Catskills.

  43. Rosalind Young

    Does anyone remember Weinstein’s Bungalow colony in Monticello and its address? It was near the Pine Lodge Hotel.

    Rosalind Young

    • jschwartz

      Hi Rosalind. Did anyone respond to your question? My dad stayed at Weinstein’s most summers growing up in the 50’s. I wanted to drive him by but we don’t know where it is.

      • Neil Lustig

        Hi, Take a peek at the reply I left for Rosalind. There is no doubt that I would know your dad as well.
        Neil Lustig

    • Neil Lustig

      Weinstein’s was actually not in Monticello but rather in Parksville. That was approximately halfway between Liberty and Livingston Manor. It was located on the Quickway (new rte 17) I spent many summers in the mid 50’s through the early 60’s. I went back in the mid 80’s and it was turned into some type of antique store. The main house, bungalows, casino and even the pool (no water)were still there but in terrible disrepair. Sad to see! But I still have memories.

      • Jason Schwartz

        Turns out it wasn’t Weinstein’s. It may have been Weissburg’s. Ring a bell?

      • Neil Lustig

        Sorry, I don’t recall that name. But than again, there had to be hundreds of bungalow colonies in the area.

    • Neil Lustig

      Hi Rosalind, I also stayed at Weinstein’s during that time. It was located around 10 miles from Monticello in the small town (actually a hamlet) of Parksville. It was halfway between Liberty and Livingston Manor. It was clearly visible from the “Quickway” (new rte 17) and by crossing the Quickway you were in the tiny town. I made many a trip “to town” to pick up a quart of milk for my mom. I went to visit about 30 years ago and it was still there but the main building was turned into an antique store of sorts. The bungalows, casino and pool were in terrible condition. Sad, but I have great memories. You can contact me as I’m sure I know your dad as it wan’t a very big place and everyone knew one another

      • Jay Kulkin


        Were you related to Barry and I believe Howard Lustig whose folks owned the colony you refer to? I actually played in a band back then with Barry and played there opening for Shecky Green. With Mrs. Maisal so popular now of course we talk about those great days!

        Jay Kulkin
        Atlanta, GA
        [email protected]

    • Larry Katz

      My family and I spent several wonderful summers at Weinsteins. I remember going to the movies at the Rialto and Broadway Theaters in town. Ralph ran the place, (weird guy). My friends were Harol Greenspan, Gary Alper, Arthur Schneider. My cousins are Sandra Katz and Renee Bart. My first girl friend, Pearl Rock.

  44. Howard K

    Stayed at Goodmans Bungalows for many years. Just across the road was the “Wonderful” Swan Lake Hotel where I worked as a busboy, then waiter for at least 5 summers.
    The memories stay with me, and so do the people I met along the way (especially Nancy Levine).
    An unsurpassed life-long experience.
    Howie K

  45. Rick Sacks

    I grew up in the Catskills. There’s a an old 8 mm movie of me and my sisters waving at the last train to pass through Mountaindale before the trains stopped. Must have been around 1957/58. The hotels and bungalow colonies were in full swing. In the late 60s (except for Woodstock) the children of the people who would come every year to the hotels (many of whom are commenters here) no longer came top these places. Taos, Europe, California etc were the new resorts. Then the Babba’s (transcendental meditation), the Hassidim ( closed communities) Drug Rehab Centers, and Hotels converted into institutions for the mentally challenged moved in. The hotels, once sources of a tax base that could sustain the area, dwindled on account of the fact that all these institutions with their religious or social welfare centers were tax exempt. The area soon became classified as a “depressed area.” Add to that the fact that so many bungalow owners sat back and watched their properties sink into the mud, refusing to maintain or re-invest in them. Roosevelt’s NEW DEAL could have brought water and sewer systems into the Catskills many years before it became mandatory but the owners sat back and shrugged it off. I loved growing up in the Catskills. The little band of pals that spent their childhood in the woods in both summer and in glorious snowbound winters close to nature or playing stick ball or chipping in a nickel each and sharing a heaping plate of french fries doused in salt, pepper, mustard and ketchup stays with me to this day. I was at the Woodstock festival. My boss at the candy store in Mountaindale gave me the weekend off. The Catskills will be reborn, different from what it was but maintaining the natural beauty where the scale of mountain to river to lake to tree is so comforting, so human.

    • Arthur

      The Catskills ARE being reborn. There is Bethel Woods Performing Arts Center at the Woodstock site; Monticello Motor Club; the Montreign Resort and Casino which is currently under construction at the old Concord site; and the Z-Living Health Retreat being built near the site of Kutshers. There is also the Chapin Estate, a beautiful community of high-end Adirondack style homes. Ten years ago, downtown Kauneonga Lake was boarded up. Today, there are four restaurants and a few stores. It is generally filled with people weekend nights all summer long. It’s different then the old days, but, still full of energy and spirit. Check it out.

      • Rick Sacks

        Thanks Arthur, Good to know. I did go to my 40 year high school reunion at Bethel Woods. It was impressive as was the restaurant/distillery across the street. I’ll check out Kauneonga next time through.

  46. Carol Katz

    I spent many a happy summer at Spring Lake Hotel in Parksville. On weekends we’d travel around the hotel circuit to see the “superstars” at the fancier hotels like Browns, the Concord, Grossingers, etc. And I’ll never forget the giant ice cream sodas at Jerry & Lil’s in Parksville.

    • Joanne Andrews

      I’ve just finished Lily Koppel’s The Red Leather Diary, a non-fiction based on an old journal that lovingly mentions Spring Lake Hotel in Parksville, where the heroine, Florence Wolfson Howitt, spent many summers and met her husband, Nat Howitt. As I also grew up in the region, I found this detail of interest, then found this site and your comment. Thank you!

  47. Seth Schurman

    Does anybody remember the Melody Country Club run by the Brill and Gretenstein family.
    The hotel was located up the road from grossingers Hotel. We spent almost every summer there from the early 1950’s to late 1960’s.

    Enjoyed roast pork sandwiches at the Triangle diner across from Grossingers

    Went fishing early mornings in the Neversink Reservoir.

    One night watched as Sputnick passed over our Hotel.

    The Hotel was sold to Hassidic Jews who turned it into a summer camp.

    To this day, the pool I learned to swim in is still on the property.

    Such sweet memories

    • Steve

      What was the fascination with Jews and roast pork on garlic bread, in the Catskills? I doubt if you saw sputnik. It was a tiny satellite that would have been impossible to see.

      • Justin Kodner

        Sputnick WAS visible. Sure, it was tiny, but it reflected enough sunlight to look like a small star and was easy to spot if you checked the newspapers of the day for its scheduled trip across the sky. It moved across at a speed that looked pretty similar to a high flying plane (maybe a little faster).

  48. Robert Fitzpatrick

    Spent the summer of 1970 as a busboy at the Windsor Hotel….fantastic memories….working, playing softball, spending time at the pool, living in the on-site employee bungalow (4 of us to the small room) and enjoying time with some of the guests…..great memory and the time of my life when life was much simpler…thanks for the pictures…


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