History of Bearfort Lodge
Bearfort Lodge was built around the turn of the century in the highlands at the base of the great Catskill Mountains.
Hand crafted of American Chestnut in Long Log Butt and Pass fashion and situated on over two hundred acres, this serene setting enjoyed a rich history serving as a “gentlemen’s” retreat.
Originally opened as a hunting lodge and then later becoming a popular road house this old lodge also served as a restaurant however throughout prohibition this speakeasy catered to doctors, lawyers and politicians from New York City. Afternoons were filled with hunting, fly fishing and the simple pleasures of getting away from it all.
Following the end of prohibition in 1933 the tavern went into full swing.
By the mid 1940’s Bearfort Lodge had become a popular, if not rather infamous, spot for soldiers and sailors seeking the more gentle side of escape.
In the evenings such halcyon pleasures gave way to wild game dinning, live music, dancing, wine, home brewed beer, hard ciders, fine liquors and lively discussions of the days events.
The main dinning room always provided a seasonal menu with fine home cooking of the day’s “catch”.
After a hearty meal, what better than to enjoy a round of billiards, darts, cards or dancing in the Great Room. In addition, several guest rooms were available for those whose desires were more intimate and fulfilled by the waiting ladies.
It was not until 1960 that this brothel closed its doors. For the next ten years it sat idle and in 1970 reopened as a private home.
If these walls could talk…
Restoration began around the fall of 1999. The list was long.
The outside of the house had been painted by the previous owner and that had to be removed — what a chore. There were so many things to fix or re-do. Today this old place is almost complete but there is still much to do.
Over the past few years Bearfort Lodge has been the setting for catalogue shoots. You just may see the interior this coming winter in Christmas theme commercials. In addition, the lodge is under consideration for the setting of an independent film and to be used as one location for a motion picture.
At this time Bearfort Lodge remains a private residence and is not open to the general public.
This web blog was launched in early 2006 to share details of the restoration along with photos; a resource guide for log home restoration, craftsmen, artisans, rustic resources, and of course “photo tours” of the lodge and property.
In addition, the site will also feature information and the restoration process of my other project: Carley Brook Farm, a lovely 1820s farmstead in the Pocono Mountains.
Thank you for visiting and your comments are always welcome.
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