The century old Campbell Inn was a once famous resort located in the iconic fishing haven of Roscoe, New York. The resort, prominently located on a hillside overlooking the hamlet of Roscoe, first opened its doors circa 1900 under the ownership of Jefferson Campbell (1854-1916), a Roscoe native, prominent local merchant and partner in the firm Campbell, Sprague & Co. With room for 200 visitors, it was largest summer boarding house in the area for many years. The hotel was located on over 107 acres of property that included a grand lawn, a small man-made lake and surrounding forest.
In 1900, just after its opening, the Campbell Inn began advertising itself in the newspapers: “THE CAMPBELL INN, ROSCOE, SULLIVAN CO., N.Y. House newly built; elevation 1,450 feet; accommodates 100; convenient to depot, post office and churches; large, airy rooms; excellent spring water; abundance of shade, all modern sanitary improvements; good trout fishing; good table. Terms and particulars of J. CAMPBELL. Proprietor.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 8, 1900.)
The newly constructed Campbell Inn was praised in various newspaper reviews upon its opening in 1900. In June of that year the Brooklyn Daily Eagle wrote that “The Campbell Inn at Roscoe, Sullivan County, is situated on one of the most beautiful hills in Sullivan County, and at an elevation of 1,450 feet. The front of the hotel faces the villages of Roscoe and Rockland. The building is arranged in such a form as to make it possible for all the rooms to receive a generous supply of pure air and bright sunshine. A broad piazza extends the entire length of the north front, thus insuring a shady side at all times of the day. The cuisine is unsurpassed and the water of the Campbell is of exceptional purity. The inn is provided with a first class livery. The house will open July 1. Croquet, tennis, fishing, boating are the amusements and the temperature averages from 65 to 70 degrees. J. Campbell is the proprietor.” (“Catskills.” Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 17, 1900.)
In 1901, a year after the opening of the Campbell Inn, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle wrote again of the luxurious nature of the hotel. “Near Roscoe, Sullivan County, at an elevation of 1,450 feet above sea level, is situated one of the most desirable summer homes of the Shawangunks – the Campbell Inn – surrounded with sloping hills and nestling in the valley between the twin villages of Roscoe and Rockland. The inn is approached by a private road that climbs along the mountain side, at so easy a grade that one scarcely appreciates the ascent until the summit is reached. The house, which is new, contains fifty sleeping rooms, all of which are large and commodious. The sanitary appliances are not surpassed in a city hotel. The water for the house gushes from a private spring in the mountainside and is conveyed from there through hemlock logs. The drives are the most beautiful imaginable, and the lover of nature may feast his eye on new scenes of marked interest every day. The cuisine is in charge of a competent chef, and the neighboring farms are made to serve up their best to the guests of the Campbell Inn. Sportsmen will derive endless pleasure from taking the trout from the Beaverkill, the Willowemoc and Russel Pond. The proprietor, Jefferson Campbell, is untiring in his efforts to afford his guests a variety of entertainments and amusements. The rates are from $9 to $12 a week.” (“Shawangunks and Sullivan County.” Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 16, 1901.)
In the 1920s, after an expansion that doubled its capacity, the Inn advertised itself as: “1,450 feet elevation; accommodates 200; 4 hours from New York; 10 minutes' walk from village; orchestra; dancing, tennis, boating, bathing, etc. All rooms running water. Rates $25 to $40.”
Jefferson Campbell, the original proprietor, was the son of John K. Campbell and Catherine Sprague of Colchester. After 16 years of managing the Campbell Inn he passed away in 1916 while visiting relatives in Arizona. He is buried at Riverview Cemetery in Roscoe, New York.
Upon the death of Jefferson Campbell, the hotel was owned and operated by his oldest son Harry Campbell. In 1932 James F. Wood, former supervisor of the town of Rockland, purchased the property from Harry Campbell and successfully operated it for 54 years. The resort was sold by the Wood family in 1986 to Boris Potapovsky. With its better days long behind, the hotel closed sometime in the late 1990s. In the early 2000s there were plans to demolish the Campbell Inn and replace it with a luxury 11-story, 200 room hotel and spa. However, these plans were never enacted and the Inn remains vacant.
The photographs in this post, including the Campbell Inn sign, the hotel and the stone terraces at lakeside, were taken in the summer of 2016.