With visitation to Lake Minnewaska expanding rapidly, Alfred H. Smiley decided to build a second hotel, Wildmere, on a rocky escarpment above the lake on the western rim facing the renamed Cliff House. Opening in 1887, only eight years after Cliff House, its silhouette mirrored to some degree the facing structure, but differed in terms of the placement of its gables and cupolas. The New York Times on May 25, 1890 reported that the Smiley properties in the Shawangunks “are almost exclusively patronized by persons of quiet and religious tastes,” clearly insufficient numbers to support a thousand hotel rooms.
Without knowing there once was an imposing structure atop it, the lake, wooden shore, and glistening vertical rock today still bring enjoyment to visitors.
Now: Carol Rietsma