Ireland Corners

In All, Bonus Content by Gunks Through Time3 Comments

Located at the historic Ireland Corners in Gardiner, NY where Route 208 and Route 44/55 cross, the landmark building was built in 1865 as a ten-room hotel with a restaurant and bar. It is said that cattle auctions were held behind it. In the early years, the Ireland Corners Hotel was run by Jimmy Clinton who had emigrated from Ireland.

From 1909-1915 during the construction of the New York City Aqueduct being dug through Gardiner a short distance from the hotel, restaurant and bar business boomed. In Gardiner, the aqueduct was near the surface of the ground using a cut-and-cover method of construction. Sections of the aqueduct are still visible not too far from Ireland Corners.

In the three decades beginning in 1974, locals knew the restaurant as Benson’s, a family owned enterprise before it became the Gold Fox Restaurant and House of Pizza before closing in 2014.

Then: Dennis O’Keefe Collection
Now: Susan Lehrer


  1. Richard Heinsohn

    In the early 1960’s this establishment was known as Joes Bar. My father took me there after work many times from when I was five years old all the way through the 1960’s. During those days I would “Belly Up” to the bar with dad. Joe, The bar tender could not give me beer directly but was able to give it to dad and he would pass it to me. Boy, those were the days!. The NYS laws were very laxed at that time and being German beer was considered part of the food group :)

  2. Barbara Graf

    Nice to see old photos. I live south on 208. Ate there many times. Shame it was bought and not kept up. Sad history will be torn down sad

  3. Dennis Hesse

    I remember staying there during hunting season in the 60’s & 70’s. It was owned and operated by Ike Clive and his wife. I was too young to hunt so I explored the entire hotel. Beautiful painted walls of artwork of sleeping drunk monks in wine cellars with mice dancing and drinking on top of the casks. The decor was absolutely peaceful. The meals were excellent. Ike was very quiet, kept himself. He liked me very much. He taught me how to butcher a deer outside hung in the tree. I still remember his smile and gentle voice.

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