Arrow Park Lodge, a New York landmark and New York historic hotel, was commissioned and built in 1909 by Julia Cooper and Schuyler Schieffelin. Using the services of renowned architects Bowen Bancroft Smith, the house was made as much a part of its site as the lake. Some say it seems to grow right out of a bowl-shaped hollow on the side of a steep valley, near a thirty foot waterfall. The house is of considerable historical and architectural significance. In The Architectural Record, Vol. XL, published in 1916, the nature-inspired tiles Mr. Bowen Smith chose for the first floor are called “real works of art.” A link to the article is below.
The Schieffelin family came from Swabia, a region that is now in both Germany and Switzerland. After immigrating to New York City, the family increased their wealth by becoming druggists (pharmacists).
Schuyler Schieffelin and Julia Cooper, prior to moving to Monroe, were living in Tuxedo Park. Rumor has it that Schieffelin, a great friend of Edward William Harriman who owned property in Monroe, became angry when Harriman was denied the purchase of a house in Tuxedo Park. It is said that in solidarity to his friend, Schieffelin bought 600 acres from Mr. Harriman and began construction on this wonderful home containing many important architectural and design elements of the Arts and Crafts movement in America.
In 1948, the house was sold to AROW Farms, Inc. AROW, the American Russian Organized Workers, a group of politically progressive Slavic immigrants were from the boroughs of New York City and Newark. AROW was looking for a place of rest and recreation for their children in the countryside. The former Schieffelin mansion and grounds were deemed ideal. With hiking trails, gardens, a large lodge and lake, it proved to be the perfect location for the inception of Arrow Park. Attendance was popular and Arrow Park soon grew into a lively social club with bungalows, a lodge and a large dance pavilion. The initial investors all volunteered their time to run the park and facilities. Many built houses close by so that they could enjoy the park during their retirement.
The park was large enough to have community gardens, cultural events, dances and concerts of all varieties. Pete Seeger was a regular performer as were many folk acts of the 60s, drawing thousands of visitors.
Today, Arrow Park remains a haven from hectic life. It’s roots as New York family resort and its honored position as a New York historic hotel are forever tied together. We look forward to your visit with us and hope it will become a long-standing family tradition as it has for us.
READ MORE ABOUT THE HISTORY OF ARROW PARK
From the Orange County Magazine April/May 2013
From the Architectural Record, Volume 40
Written by Blogger Murray Weinstock