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Tradition & Experience
Our HistoryIn 1836 Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote “Nature,” an essay inspired by the serene beauty of this area. The publication of “Nature” prompted the American Conservation Movement, which led to the establishment of the 600 square-mile Catskill Forest Preserve that surrounds the Emerson.
Where the resort now stands was once The Riseley Flat, a thriving dairy farm built in 1840, and a barn built in 1860, which is now The Country Store. In 1874 trains began stopping at this site daily, bringing hordes of visitors for their first taste of the Hudson Valley. For many, that first taste was of the ice cream, made fresh at the Riseley dairy.
Though the cows have since moved on, the historic buildings have been lovingly restored for modern use. One of the most remarkable adaptations is the 64-foot high barn silo that was turned into the World’s Largest Kaleidoscope. Sadly, the Cockburn House, which was the location for the former Inn, was destroyed in a fire in 2005. However, with more than 40,000 square feet of new construction, including 26 guest suites, a new spa facility and expanded meeting/conference space, the Emerson today has emerged more impressive than ever.