Going through the archives, I realize I’ve never posted about my 2011 visit to Tamarack lodge with Sebastien and James. It’s unfortunate that I’m posting about it now because the property sustained a massive fire in April 2012, leaving our photos a particularly morbid memory, moreso than most abandoned sites I’ve been to.
There are many news stories easily Googleable about the fire, of which this is only one. Apparently 30 structures burned, which from a firsthand visit I assume is the vast majority of the property. The new owner is charged with arson though at this time I don’t know the outcome of any litigation. Just before the fire, the Western Mohegan Nation, who claimed ownership of the land, filed for bankruptcy. I’m not much of a conspiracy theorist, but you can Google the place yourself.
I really don’t know too much about the history of the property, though it’s square in the borscht belt, with the classic bungalows, fallen into disrepair when we visited. Tamarack is part of the history of the Catskills along with the other famous hotels, but their time has come and gone. You can read about this in other, more detailed articles, but in short the rise of quick continental and intercontinental travel doomed the Catskill vacation destinations which depended on travelers from New York City and New Jersey.
Honestly, this was just one more abandoned site I was invited along to. It was one of the more interesting, but I understand the case of the Borscht Belt and the site didn’t hold any particular significance to me until it burned. I’m most regretful for the folks who have memories of being there in its prime, who will never have the opportunity to relive that; as long as these abandoned structures stand there’s still some vague hope they can be rehabilitated.
So here are some photos of the Tamarack as it was, shortly before it was gone. But I think is this is unfair, it shows a dilapitude that ignores the site’s grand history. My brief journey on the abandoned grounds in no way conveys the joy and wonder of those who walked the halls and lawns in its prime. I’m very sorry it’s a place we cannot credit to New York now.
There are plenty of photos of the lodge online. For the short list, I suggest checking out James, Paul, and Darren‘s sets, and of course my own slideshow. If I missed you, feel free to leave a link in the comments.