In the latter half of the nineteenth century, wealthy people began building great “camps” in New York’s Adirondack Mountains. Names of their owners include Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, and even President Calvin Coolidge. Built as summer homes and getaways from the city, they could be considered the Hamptons of their day, but with lakes instead of ocean beaches and rustic log cabins instead of seaside cottages.
A distinctive style emerged. Whole logs, locally sourced granite fieldstone, and river rocks culled from nearby streams are common, as are broadly overhanging roofs with wide porches. These gave the homes a natural and native feeling. Interior spaces were typically adorned with rustic furniture, mounted fish and game trophies, Native American artifacts, and antlers made into furniture, lighting, and more. While the design of these houses was meant to feel rustic, of course they were anything but. Many were extremely large, and in time, some of the camps included such luxurious amenities as bowling alleys and movie theaters.
Inspired by these great camps and located much closer to New York City than the Adirondacks — after all, most of us can’t just retreat to the remote wilderness for an entire summer any more — this Catskills house outside itty-bitty Bearsville is set on a generous 71.5 acres, but is just minutes away from the sophisticated hamlet of Woodstock. It’s available from Andrew Gates at Houlihan Lawrence for $4.95 million.
The estate is set high on Hutchin Hill, nearly 3,000 feet above sea level, making for epic mountain views. Between the two residential buildings on the property, there are five bedrooms and five and a half baths in 5,590 square feet of rustic luxury, with antlers transformed into lighting fixtures, Native American blanket motifs, Dirk Van Erp Arts and Crafts-inspired lamps, and twig furniture.
The main house offers a huge great room with a fieldstone fireplace and a top-of-the-line kitchen, along with an enclosed dining porch, perfect for warm summer nights. The principal suite includes its own private porch, which overlooks the pool, and there are two more en-suite bedrooms in the main house.
Nearby, what marketing materials call “The Playhouse,” a simple structure with rustic tree-trunk pillars, is perfect for entertaining. It too boasts a stone fireplace, along with a restaurant-quality bar, an office, and two more en-suite bedrooms for housing guests.
Still too cramped? There’s an additional building site that is “arguably the most protected and scenic estate quality site in the Catskill Mountains,” according to the listing.
Add a bowling alley or perhaps an indoor tennis court and perhaps even the Rockefellers and the Vanderbilts would be pleased to stop by some summer afternoon.