The brothers eventually turned the ten-room inn and tavern into the grand House it is today, with gracious accommodations for 600 guests. Today, the sight of this enchanting New York historic hotel—which stretches nearly an eighth of a mile along sweeping lawns and vivid, award-winning gardens—never fails to thrill. Experience this legendary castle in New York State, which has hosted more than a century’s worth of distinguished guests, including naturalists, theologians, and business leaders, as well as award-winning actors, artists, authors, and musicians. Five Presidents of the Unites States have stayed on our mountaintop—Chester A. Arthur, Rutherford B. Hayes, William Howard Taft, Theodore Roosevelt, and William Jefferson Clinton.
The Smileys have owned and operated Mohonk Mountain House since Albert smiley’s original purchase in 1869. Albert K. Smiley, president of Mohonk Mountain House since 1990, is the great-grand-nephew of Mohonk’s founder. Presently, there are more than 20 Smiley family members from three generations involved in the Mohonk entity.
Founder Albert was much more than simply a hotel proprietor. His Quaker beliefs led him to a dedication to the cause of peace. In 1895, he convened the first of many annual conferences on International Arbitration, held at Mohonk Mountain House. The purpose of these meetings was to provide a forum for national and international leaders to meet and discuss world problems in an effort to find alternatives to war. The conferences continued through 1916, and included notable attendees such as President William Howard Taft, William Jennings Bryan, and Secretaries of State of successive administrations. These conferences highlighted a concern for peaceful conflict resolution that has been credited with giving impetus to the Hague Conference movement. The United Nations of today can trace its roots back to the Hague Conferences.
Throughout the years, members of the Smiley family have found notable ways to contribute to the goals of Mohonk Mountain House. Daniel Smiley (1907-2001) established a natural science research center on the property; Keith Smiley (1910-2001) convened Mohonk Consultations to confer on issues related to the environment; Ruth Smiley (1910-2004) was tireless in her efforts to interpret nature for guests.
Mohonk Mountain House continues the tradition of promoting conversation and environmental awareness with Mohonk Consultations, a not-for-profit, supporting the appreciation of all relationships of life on earth, connecting people and the planet through public awards, forums, conferences and other public meetings. Visit Mohonk Consultations for more information.