Thursday, July 7, 2011

52 Weeks of Genealogy: Vacations (Escaping NYC Heat)

My mother's parents (Theodore and Hermina Schwartz) didn't have much money for vacationing, but they did try to get out of hot and humid New York City for at least a week every summer, when their wallets allowed.

Upstate New York was the economical and practical vacation place for city-dwellers like my family. One letter written to my Mom in 1939, when she was 19, is addressed to The White House of Accord, Accord, Ulster County, NY. Accord turns out to be a tiny hamlet midway between New Paltz and Ellenville, NY, very green and then very quiet (today it has a raceway!). 

During the summer of 1941, when my mother Daisy Schwartz was about to turn 22 and was earning her own living, she vacationed at Scaroon Manor in beautiful Schroon Lake, New York. This was, at one time, a well-known Adirondacks resort that's now a complete ruin. (The Thomas Cole painting above shows it pre-development!) Mom, like every other single young lady, was hoping to meet an eligible guy . . . but she came home empty-handed, I know from a letter written by her friend Eleanor.

The family also vacationed occasionally in Spring Valley, NY, which today is very close to the Tappan Zee Bridge that connects Westchester and Rockland Counties in New York. It's now quite commercial and built up. Decades ago, however, it was rural and bucolic, a country haven for city folks seeking clean air and green grass.


  1. Schroon Lake is beautiful. I think of your mom every time we pass it on I-87, and wish we could stop and enjoy its beauty close up.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Mary! I wish I could have seen the resort in its heyday...