The Day Cliff House Burned

Basic category for information pertaining to Lake Minnewaska's history.

The Day Cliff House Burned

Postby Guest » Thu Jun 16, 2005 4:50 pm

I dont want to open an old can of worms but one question has been on my mind for years now. I was at Cliff house the afternoon before the fire. While there I saw that quite a bit of antique furniture had been removed from the hotel and placed in the driveway. If not for insurance then why was the furniture removed before the fire? If anyone knows the answer I would love to hear it.

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Postby Joe DeFalco » Fri Feb 24, 2006 6:33 am

I was also at Cliff House the day before the fire. I do remember seeing a lot of furniture in the driveway all around the building. Was it a coincidence that they took it out of the building before the fire. I saw the fire that night from New Paltz town along with a crowd of people. Some of the crowd were talking about the possibility that the fire was set to collect insurance money. Joe...

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Postby Flipper » Fri Feb 24, 2006 10:22 am

It wouldn't be the fist time such things have happened...


Re: The Day Cliff House Burned

Postby Jimmy » Thu Jul 03, 2008 1:46 pm

Yes. I worked at Minnewaska hotel and the fire was started by a member of the family,,


Re: The Day Cliff House Burned

Postby Howard » Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:40 am

I was told there wasn't any fire insurance. No insurance claim, no arson. I was there a few days after the fire. My friend has some great B&W photos of the smoldering ruins including a standing chiminy and smoky snow covered landscape.


Re: The Day Cliff House Burned

Postby Marlene » Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:08 pm

:) what is the house made of stone that overlooks the lake high up on a path. Who lives there and is it historic? Does anyone have photos posted of the hotel before the fire?Cant find any history of the actual hotel. I visited the site and the waterfall recently.


Re: The Day Cliff House Burned

Postby Marlene » Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:57 pm

Also, was the hotel operating when the fire struck or was the hotel already closed? What a great property. Seems like the state got a real bargain buying a beautiful lake with all that property for three million.


Re: The Day Cliff House Burned

Postby Guest » Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:24 pm

What a shame that these great houses are gone. I remember seeing Windmere during a hike as a little kid around 1980 I believe (8 years old) wondering "who lived there, wow!!" Cliffhouse was gone and it ruins were there I remember.

Sad. All that history gone.

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Re: The Day Cliff House Burned

Postby pakerjon » Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:14 pm

yeah Cliff House was too beautiful..
i think fire is for insurance money...
:idea: :(


Re: The Day Cliff House Burned

Postby JC » Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:43 pm

Yes, the main hotel was still in operation when Cliff house burned. I was there the weekend after the fire, and the ruins were still smoldering. There was no wind that morning and the steam rose straight up. Eerie.

Minnewaska Always

Re: The Day Cliff House Burned

Postby Minnewaska Always » Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:39 am

More accurately described as "The Night Cliff House Burned"

An employee at the time(who painted as a hobby) did an impromptu painting of the Cliff House in full blaze that very night from the Wildmere porch. I thought it was a spectacular painting when he showed it to me and my lady friend a few days later. I don't know whatever happened to his painting...

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