Built in 1903 as a modest six-room boarding house, the Tamarack Lodge would go through many incarnations and reincarnations in its 109-year history, beginning with a revamping of the original boarding house 1927.
The property, owned until 1986 by the Levinson family, would ultimately expand to some 300 rooms on 400 acres, and boast every kind of recreation, from horseback riding and hiking to golf and rowing. Entering the “Playtorium,” guests would encounter top notch entertainment, including the likes of Jerry Lewis and Danny Kaye and dance to the rhythms of Phil Rand and his Orchestra.
Over the years, the Tamarack faced many threats to its survival, including the changing tastes of patrons. In an attempt to appeal to a younger generation, the Tamarack hosted artists including Cream, the Who and Janis Joplin. But even that was not enough to stave off the inevitable. In a fire on Passover, 1995, more than 300 rooms were destroyed, and in 2000 the property was closed by the Ulster County Department of Health, citing numerous violations and forcing guests to find accommodations elsewhere.
Like many resorts in the Borscht Belt, the Tamarack struggled at times. The death knell rang for the Tamarack Lodge on April 7, 2012, when a fire raged through the property, destroying thirty buildings and leaving nothing but scant traces of the Tamarack’s glorious past.