Destination Middletown!

“The Hotels of Middletown,” a slide show featuring images and stories from more than 40 hotels and inns that welcomed guests over the past 150 years, will be presented Sunday, Aug. 16 at 1 p.m. at the Historical Society of the Town of Middletown, 778 Cemetery Rd., Margaretville.

Admission is $2 for HSM members, $4 non-members.

Presenters Diane Galusha and Georgi Fairlie will provide a whirlwind tour of destination lodging facilities ranging from farm-based boarding houses to elegant estates. Examples include the Pakatakan Hotel in Arkville which catered to artists; Briarcliff Lodge that started as a health retreat; the Pocantico Inn with its memorable porticoed entry on Margaretville’s Main Street; and Kass Inn, known for its sumptuous buffets and later its golf.

Half of the program will be devoted to Fleischmanns hotels, including the Takanasee, with its lavish entertainment, DePitts Mountain Lodge with its own ski slopes, the Palace, catering to Hungarian clientele, the massive Pinewood, and the Park Terrace, whose pool is now the municipal swimming pool on Wagner Avenue.

From Smith Farm in New Kingston, the Arena Hotel, and the Grand Hotel, that epic hostelry in Highmount, the slide show will recall an era when villages were crowded with summertime visitors. Images of the railroads that fed the tourist trade, turn-of-the century Main Streets, and 1950s promotional brochures will depict the decades-long enchantment that tourists had – and still have – with this part of the Catskills.