Mohonk Historical Timeline
Learn about the history of Mohonk from 1869 to the present.
1869 - The Beginning
Albert K. Smiley founds Mohonk Mountain House with the purchase of 280 acres.
1871 - Trail Networks
The first hiking paths, trails, and carriage roads were developed for guest use.1870
1888 - Mountain House Addition
The Central Building section of the Mountain House is constructed.1880
1890 - Stone Summerhouse
Mohonk’s first and only stone summerhouse is completed.1890
1895 - Seeking a Peaceful World
Conference on International Arbitration convenes (meets through 1916).
1896 - Mohonk Cooperative Weather Station
The Mohonk Lake Cooperative Weather Station, with the Mohonk Preserve, is established at Mohonk. It has recorded weather daily for more than 115 years and continues to do so today.
1897 - Creation of our golf course
Mohonk’s Scottish-inspired golf course was first laid out by Mother Nature and Albert Smiley, along with two house guests, E.E. Schermerhorn and Mr. James Talcott.
The original layout in 1897 was 1600 yards. In later years, Mr. Robert Pryde, a Scotsman working in Yale, Connecticut, lengthened the course to 2350 yards and added Scottish charm. The current length is 2707 yards. The golf course’s undulating fairways require you hit to flat landing areas called bowls and protects itself with blind tee shots and uneven lies.
1900 - Illumination of the Mountain
The first Illumination of the Mountain for the Fourth of July evening ceremony to begin a precious Mohonk tradition. Described as “A truly splendid spectacle of colored illuminations of the face of Sky Top, with the red and green fires blending, as it were, the spring and autumn foliage into one.”1900
1923 - Sky Top Tower
Sky Top Tower, the fourth and final construction, built with conglomerate rock, is constructed as a memorial to Albert Smiley.1920
1933 - Open for Winter
The Mountain House first opens for guests during the winter.1930
1934 - Skating on the Lake
Ice skating on the lake became available for guests
1935 - Garden Holiday
Garden Lovers’ Holiday debuts as the first theme program.
1963 - Preserving the Land
Mohonk donates thousands of acres of land to establish a land trust, now known as the Mohonk Preserve.1960
1972 - Barn Museum
The Barn Museum opens to showcase Mohonk history.1970
1977 - Mystery Weekend
Mystery Weekend program created at Mohonk, pioneering the mystery theatre movement nationwide. Early participants include Stephen King, Isaac Asimov, and Edward Gorey.
1986 - National Historic Landmark
Mohonk Mountain House, with its surrounding 7,800 acres of land (including acreage transferred to Mohonk Preserve) is designated as a National Historic Landmark by the United States Department of the Interior.1980
1994 - Environmental Stewardship
Mohonk receives the United Nations Environment Award recognizing 125 years of environmental stewardship and leadership.1990
2001 - Pavilion Opens
The Pavilion is completed for ice skating during the winter and other activities during the rest of the year.2000
2005 - Spa Wing
The Spa Wing opens as the first addition to the Mountain House since 1910. Ranked the #1 Resort Spa in the U.S. by Conde Nast Traveler, the new spa includes 16 treatment rooms, two verandas, a solarium complete with a stone fireplace, outdoor heated mineral pool, indoor pool, fitness center, steam room, and dry rock sauna.
2005 - Carriage Lounge
The West Lounge (later renamed Carriage Lounge) opens as Mohonk’s first cocktail lounge.
2016 - Grove Lodge
Grove Lodge debuts as Mohonk Mountain House’s first new accommodations in more than 100 years. It features sustainable design and modern luxury.