Boarding Houses and Resorts in the Haines Falls Area
The Laurel House
Picture taken by Seward Osborne of the Laurel House, Haines Falls, on June 14, 1966.
The Laurel House was built in 1850 by J.L. Schutt, with a capacity for 50 guests. It was situated at the head of the Kaaterskill Falls, in the Town of Hunter along a deep ravine. J.L. Schutt's father, Peter Schutt came to the area in 1825 and soon thereafter built a small cabin inn, situated not far from where the Laurel House would eventually be built. Over the years the main structure was enlarged many times and could accommodate over 300 guests. By 1871 the Laurel House was owned by Jacob Fromer, who had been born in Wittenburgh, Germany abt 1848, but came to Hunter as a small boy with his parents Daniel and Mary Frommer. New York State Conservation Department purchased the property and burned it to the ground on March 1, 1967, to make way for the North and South Lakes Conservation Area.
From the Catskill Examiner, July 8, 1881
From the Seward R. Osborne collection
It is intended by Mr. Schutt to rebuild, enlarge and modernize the Laurel House, Kaaterskill Falls, next Fall, in time for the season of '82, and according to plans drawn by Mr. Button, the architect of the Hotel Kaaterksill. The "revised version" of the Laurel House will be 38x125 feet, four stories and French roof, tower in center, 12-foot piazza on three sides, and will front East and West. It will allow of nearly double the accommodations afforded by the present house, and will be one of the finest mountain hotels in the world.
From the Catskill Examiner, May 27, 1882:
On Thursday workmen were putting the cornice on the parlor; this finishes the mason work. The upper rooms, all above first floor, are completed, except putting locks on the doors. The rooms are now being kalsomined. Carpets are being cut and fitted. M.H. Johnson is pushing the plumbing work ahead in the bath-rooms and closets. The doors on the first floor will be fitted with bronze trimmings of an elegant pattern. There are to be five chandeliers in the parlor, of polished bronze with porcelain trimmings. The piazza, which is 300 feet long and 14 ft. wide, will be lighted with gas; also the bowling and billiard room. A large reservoir on the hill will supply water on every floor. The gas will be furnished by a 300-light Maxim gas machine. A new kitchen has been built near the dam; in this the 16 foot range, carving table, etc., will be placed, all the heat and smell being away from the hotel proper. Bar and barber-shop will be in the basement. The applications for rooms are coming in at a lively rate, and the prospects of a full house this season are assured. The house will be ready for guests about June 15th.
Envelope and utensils from the Seward R. Osborne collection