It was the late 1700’s and the newly formed United States of America was abuzz with patriotism and optimism for a free and prosperous future. Americans began leaving the comfort of the city as the pioneer lifestyle provided the opportunity to own land, gain wealth and make real on the promise of liberty and unlimited opportunity. Elihu Slater succumbed to these desires and saw it as a way to leave his mark on the newly established country.
Near the end of the 18th century Elihu would leave his family home in Connecticut and travel to an unsettled area of Upstate New York. Elihu and his wife Sally would settle in present day Round Top, NY where they would clear the land, build a modest home, till the soil and create their homestead.
Around this time the name Winter Clove also first appeared on an early map of the Northern Catskill Mountains. When the surveyors ran their lines through this clove, or mountain valley, they found the ice and snow of winter had not given way to spring as it had in the surrounding area, thus the name Winter Clove was born.
After serving in the war of 1812 Elihu would return to his family in Round Top, where he would continue to grow his farm and construct a sawmill near the creek. Elihu and Sally would have seven children in total and most would choose to reside in the rapidly growing nearby communities.
Tourism was also growing in the area as visitors looked to escape the summer heat and commotion of New York City. In the summer of 1838 Elihu would open his farm house to summer guest and soon after, the name Winter Clove was first used in reference to the house.
Following Elihu’s death Henry Barber Whitcomb was hired to survey the Slater’s land in the early 1860’s. Henry would fall in love with and eventually wed Elihu’s granddaughter Mary. Around this time the farmhouse underwent its first major addition which would result in a four story tall building and brought it close to its present day shape and size. Henry and Mary would eventually inherit the boarding house, farm and sawmill which they would continue to operate throughout their lives.
Many renovations and nearly 200 years and five generations later the Whitcomb Family still owns and operates the resort making it one of the oldest single family owned hotels in the United States. Today the Whitcomb’s are proud to continue the family tradition of providing our guest with the most enjoyable stay possible. We welcome you to visit our historic catskill NY resort.