Steve's Digicams Forums

Steve's Digicams Forums (
-   Architectural Photos (
-   -   Catskill Mountain House Ruins (

vvcarpio Oct 31, 2010 9:04 PM

Catskill Mountain House Ruins




Happy Halloween!

Green Eyed Stranger Oct 31, 2010 9:52 PM

Freaky. These shots totally reminded me of Shutter Island. Then I saw the ghost like woman in purple in the window of the 4th shot, and a shiver really ran down my spine.

Great shots, thanks for sharing!

Wizzard0003 Nov 1, 2010 12:22 AM

What an eerie place...! :eek:

Cool series...! :)

Was that originally a mansion, or was it a factory or institution of some kind...?

emptyquiver Nov 1, 2010 6:42 AM

Nice shots VV....from the looks of it, it may very well of been a State institution, but it was not. This rebuild of Mountain House and Overlook was the third erected on this site in 1871. It was a retreat and vacationing spot for many. It could accomadate up to 300 guests. Destroyed by fire in 1875, it was rebuilt in 1878, and was a beehive of activity until boarded up in the early 1940's. Then its final fate was a fire in 1960, after which it was stripped of anything valuable and left to decay. This was a good catch VV, alot of New York history here. The next time you shoot this area, try to incorporate the big fireplace next to the stairs.

vvcarpio Nov 1, 2010 11:01 AM

Thanks, all, for the compliments.

Green Eyed Stranger, that was my wife standing by the window. I was taking a bracket of shots when she appeared by the window to watch me. She didn't know she was in my frame. Later while processing the pics, I thought HDR's ghosting would make for a nice "apparition" that was lacking in my shots. :)

Wizzard0003, it was, as emptyquiver explained, a resort hotel.

emptyquiver, thank you for taking the time to explain. I read about the place before we went there and also remember reading the reason they did not rebuild anymore after 1960 was that it was just too far and inconvenient for people to get to.

The way there from the main road -- Mead Mountain Road in Woodstock, NY -- is 2.5 miles. And it's steep -- very steep at times -- uphill climb all the way. After just a couple of yards from the trail head, we were already panting. Whenever we saw a moderate incline up ahead, we get all worked up because we could then catch our breaths. We stopped every now and then to take pictures.

It was only a few minutes past 3pm when we started but already we met plenty of hikers coming back on the trail. Climbing from an elevation of 1,650 feet to 3,000 feet, we took an hour to reach the ruins.

After the ruins, we didn’t make the additional half-mile hike to the fire tower anymore where (according to websites) you get an unobstructed 360-degree view of the Catskills. We were torn because we were already there but it was also starting to get dark to see anything. Besides, chilly winds were picking up. So near yet so far...

We left only two groups of hikers when we went back down. One -- a young couple -- went to the fire tower. We met the other group -- two able-bodied men but panting nonetheless -- on their way up while we were going down.

When the first group -- the couple -- passed us on our way down, we thought we’re glad we didn’t go to the fire tower anymore. Because if we did, we might be the last going down. With one more group behind us, should anything happen to us on the trail in the dark on the way down -- break an ankle maybe we’re not young anymore -- help would be easier as there would be people coming back.

To be honest, we didn’t expect the hike to be so strenuous. Had we known it would take this long we would have brought snacks and maybe a flashlight. Even going downhill took effort because we had to constantly fight our momentum from hurtling.

But at least we got to try something new. Arm in arm exchanging stories in the darkening trail -- and exchanging jackets, too, at one point because she began feeling cold in her sweater -- we spent what felt like an eternity walking alone in the woods. If we can manage that and not break into a fight over how to raise the kids or who is putting more effort into cleaning the house, then I suppose we should treat that as a welcome sign in facing the rest of our years living our lives together.

#5) Front entrance.

#6) Fireplace.

#7) Right wing.

#8) Building -- or what’s left of it -- in back of the hotel ruins. (My wife took this with her Z980.)

#9) One corner of the hotel ruins.

#10) Town of Woodstock. Trail head to the ruins is two miles from here. From there, it's another two and a half mile hike to the ruins.

#11) Homeless hippie in Woodstock.

Wizzard0003 Nov 1, 2010 12:59 PM

Thanks for showing more of this, I really enjoy them...! :)

emptyquiver Nov 1, 2010 2:03 PM

Yeah the trek is around 2.5 miles up the hill, sounds like fun. If in the future you plan to return let me know....I would like to do the hike. I have not been to Woodstock since 69 and by the looks of your last pic of that old hippie, he never left. LOL. Nice series.

vvcarpio Nov 2, 2010 8:11 AM

Hi, emptyquiver. We're not sure if we'd want to do it again -- it's too steep. We're thinking we'd use this as benchmark for future hikes. We might go longer next time but less steep, or steep but shorter, etc.

Although we might want to go back to Woodstock. It looks like a fun place -- main street is lined with mom-and-pop hippie stores, galleries, and cafes with no national chains like mickey dees -- very much alive compared to the surrounding towns and hamlets in the Catskills.

69? Wow. I think that's the height of the hippie era. I was a little kid back then wearing a beatles hairstyle.

#12) Trail.

#13) Corner of Rock City Road and Tinker Street in Woodstock, NY.

#14) Shops on Mill Hill Road in Woodstock, NY.

DSProtection Nov 3, 2010 10:29 AM

Amazing shots and interesting story.

Best regards/Daniel

vvcarpio Nov 3, 2010 2:50 PM

Thanks, Daniel.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:11 AM.