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 course remains.
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.

The Ritz at Grossingers

View slideshow of Pre-1950 images

1960's aerial view of Grossinger's

View slideshow of Post 1950 images

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