I stumbled across the White Lake Mansion House on accident, a few summers ago when I lost my goddamn mind and spent weeks exploring the Catskills and sleeping in my car by myself. But that is a long story, and for now I only have time for the short story of this house.
The White Lake Mansion House is very easy to find, it’s right on CR 117 in Bethel, NY. The cops patrol it vigilantly, but there is no reason for it since the interior was completely stripped long ago. I had to hop out a back window and run into the woods. The Mansion is the supposedly the oldest still standing hotel in the Catskills. It was built in 1848, as is noted on the front of the house. Below is the mansion during its heyday.
The Mansion was a premier destination for New York City residents, along with a number of other opulent Catskills hotels and resorts. But in the 1970’s, destination vacation towns fell out of popularity, effecting the economy of places like the Catskills and the Poconos, in Pennsylvania, forcing the closure of the majority of hotels and resorts. Many of those buildings still stand, making both areas popular for urban exploring.
Around 2012, a plan to tear down the White Lake Mansion House and build a spa resort replica was proposed, but as of 2016, nothing has become of that plan.
See more photos of the White Lake Mansion House on Flickr.