The Cragsmoor Inn
The Cragsmoor Inn was originally the site of the Decker Farm
which took in summer guests in the 1870s. The Geilhard Family made it into a boarding house called the Wawbeek. In 1888 the original Wawbeek boarding house burned down and was rebuilt. The property was purchased by the artist Austa Densmore Sturdevant in 1903 and renamed The Cragsmoor Inn. The property included a golf course, tennis courts, a casino, pool, bowling alley, and a ballroom that hosted dress balls, plays, and concerts. There were over 100 guest rooms, many with fireplaces. It was an elegant location for out-of- town guests and for Cragsmoor summer residents to socialize and enjoy dining and dancing.
Mrs. Sturdevant operated a gracious hotel, known for its sweeping vistas, healthy food, and comfortable accommodations. Located less than 100 miles from New York City, it welcomed many refined guests from out of town. Local Cragsmoorians also enjoyed sports, entertainment, and dining at the Inn, but like many hotels of that time, not all were welcome, it has been documented that the hotel advertised that “Hebrews were not welcome” and African Americans undoubtedly would not have been welcome at that time either.
During the Depression, the hotel fell on hard times. In 1958 the property became a boy’s school but heating throughout the winter proved too expensive and the school moved to Wallkill. In 1970s, in a state of extreme disrepair and deemed a hazard, the Inn was destroyed in a planned demolition by the Cragsmoor Volunteer Fire Company.