When he moved his family from New York City to
Ferndale in the Sullivan County Catskills, Selig Grossingers
intention was to be a farmer. A series of failed businesses had left
him in poor health, and his doctors told him to move to the country.
Selig quickly discovered that they could make more money renting
rooms to visitors from the city. Malke, his wife, ran a spotless
Kosher kitchen, and Jennie, his daughter, served as hostess to insure
everyone enjoyed their stay. They called their home the Longbrook
House, and their business quickly grew beyond what the small
farmhouse could handle. In 1919, they sold the Longbrook House, and
purchased a large house with 100 acres. They called it Grossinger's
Terrace Hill House. Soon after the new hotel opened, it was decided
the hotel should have one boss, and it would be Jennie.
Under Jennie's direction Grossinger's steadily
grew. Delicious, strictly kosher food and top rate entertainment made
the hotel famous. Sports facilities of every type were built, and
it's championship golf course began to bring non-Jews to the resort.
To attract winter visitors regardless of the weather, the world's first artificial snow was made
at Grossinger's in 1952.
By the time of her death in 1972, Jennie had
built Grossinger's into a sprawling complex of 35 buildings on 1200
acres that served 150,000 guests a year. It had it's own airstrip and
post office. But in the late 1970's and 1980's, resorts like
Grossinger's or the Concord could no longer attract younger guests.
Grossinger's closed in 1986, and only the golf
Most of the information above came from Jennie
And The Story Of Grossinger's by Joel Pomerantz (1970). This out
of print book occasionally can be found on ebay or through Amazon.com.
The pictures on the margins here are from a 1960's Grossinger's lunch menu.