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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Pine Hill in Ulster County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

History of Pine Hill and Highmount

 
 
History of Pine Hill and Highmount Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 3, 2019
1. History of Pine Hill and Highmount Marker
Inscription.  In the late 1800s and early 1900s, millions of visitors came by train to escape the hot, polluted New York City summer. Tuberculosis was epidemic, and anyone who could sent their families up for the balsam fresh air and pure water of the Catskills. Of the many hotels, inns and boarding houses, none was grander than the Grand Hotel in Highmount. This magnificent structure lasted from 1881 to 1966 when it was finally dismantled. A quarter mile long, it had a rail-riding bar that crossed back and forth over the county line to avoid blue laws restricting hours of drinking. How ironic! The Catskills now provide pure drinking water to over nine million people through a mighty reservoir and aqueduct system… and it all started out with horse and wagon.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceParks & Recreational Areas.
 
Location. 42° 7.96′ N, 74° 28.778′ W. Marker is in Pine Hill, New York, in Ulster County. Marker is on Main Street south of Elm Street, on the left when traveling south. Marker is mounted in the Pine
Marker detail: Crystal Spring & Weingart Summer School image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: Crystal Spring & Weingart Summer School
The Crystal Spring attracted health seekers and became a large company bringing pure water to thirsty New Yorkers by train (left) and distributed by horse drawn wagons (below).

This was a very fancy place to be indeed at the end of the 1800s! The Weingart Summer School for Boys was one very upscale institution.
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Hill community kiosk on the northeast side of Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Pine Hill NY 12465, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Belleayre Mountain Ski Center (here, next to this marker); Pine Hill Honor Roll (within shouting distance of this marker); Elm Street Stone Arch Bridge (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Ulster County (approx. 1.4 miles away); History of Big Indian and Oliverea (approx. 2.7 miles away); Skene Memorial Library (approx. 3 miles away); Fleischmanns NY (approx. 3 miles away); Anti-Rent War (approx. 3.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Pine Hill.
 
Marker detail: Wellington Hotel image. Click for full size.
3. Marker detail: Wellington Hotel
In 2012 the State and National Register of Historic Places added the Pine Hill Historic District, including Main Street, Academy, Elm, and Bonnie View. The Shandaken Town Museum is also on the national register, as is the former Wellington Hotel (above). In 1905, it boasted 152 rooms! Surely one of the largest hotels in the peak era of Catskill resorts, it is being beautifully renovated and will have another life in Pine Hill. The two Mathew Thompson Stone Arch Bridges on Elm St. and Mill St. (below) are on the National Register as well.
Marker detail: Historic Buildings image. Click for full size.
4. Marker detail: Historic Buildings
Quite a few historic buildings still stand. Here’s how the Colonial Inn (right) looked about 100 years ago, not too different than it looks today. At the far right is the general store and post office in the 1950s, still the post office today. The Community Center across the street was an eyeglass factory and later made ceramic tiles for the Space Shuttle. The iron fence in the foreground is a war memorial.
Marker detail: Amelita Galli-Curci image. Click for full size.
5. Marker detail: Amelita Galli-Curci
Amelita Galli-Curci was hailed as the world’s greatest coloratura soprano in the 1920s. In the 1930s she built a stately mansion in Highmount that she named Sul Monte. Opera star Enrico Caruso and Johnny Weismuller (Tarzan) were among her famous guests. Today it is on the register of historic buildings and even has a grand concert hall built into one wing. A sculpture park there is viewable year-round to the public along Route 49A.

Hundreds of other fine and fancy buildings have come and gone. The Bonnie View Hotel and the Funcrest to name a few. One by one they passed away as car and air travel replaced the railroad. The end of an era!
Marker detail: Morton Library image. Click for full size.
6. Marker detail: Morton Library
Another building on the National Register of Historic Places is the Morton Library on Elm St. Named after philanthropist William Morton, it was made of rusticated limestone in the Georgian Revival style.
Marker detail: Shandaken Historical Museum image. Click for full size.
7. Marker detail: Shandaken Historical Museum
Pine Hill was founded in 1895 and merged with the Town of Shandaken in 1986. Visit the Shandaken Historical Museum on Academy St. to view a collection of photos, antique tools, and relics.
History of Pine Hill and Highmount Marker Kiosk image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 3, 2019
8. History of Pine Hill and Highmount Marker Kiosk
Colonial Inn image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner
9. Colonial Inn
U.S. Post Office, Pine Hill, New York image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 3, 2019
10. U.S. Post Office, Pine Hill, New York
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 27, 2020. It was originally submitted on March 26, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 68 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on March 27, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Apr. 10, 2021