~~Happy Holidays from Cooks Falls Lodge~~

Copied from my Instagram page…

cflMountain Lake House Cooks Falls NY 1909.jpg

HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM COOKS FALLS LODGE!! I appreciate each of you sharing my page with me. I’ve been lax with my posts of our gorgeous Western Catskills family hotel and property. I bet the holiday soirees were off the charts…my family knew how to throw a party! Mountain Lake Hotel would soon get a name change.
When I think about it, I’m blown away our family (my Mother’s parents and one of my Grandfather’s brothers) were Proprietors of this gorgeous Catskill NY. hotel/summer getaway for the family 1919-1936. My research in regards is some of the most extensive I have ever done! The different folks that have gotten ahold of me in turn, due to staying there, working there, family of the Master of Ceremony, a band leader’s son, a Geo.I.Treyz family member (he held the hand to transfer it to my family), all part of it’s glorious history. #familyhistorian #genealogy #familysecrets #cooksfalls #cooksfallsny #cooksfallslodge ⛄️ 🎄 💝 JA/2017 from my personal collection PLEASE DO NOT SHARE, OR COPY THIS PHOTO OR MY WORDS. Thanks 👌

cooksfallslodge@discovering_nyc thought I would share with you some of my own family history with this post. My grandparents and great uncle were living and working in NYC at the time c. 1919, and then this endeavor came to fruition to the splendor of proprietors in the Catskills. Sadly, it burnt down in 1985. My heart is in the city and the countryside and my yearning to get back home, rules each day. I live out west…for now. And have on/off for far too many years. When I get back home, your site will spark my days of curiosity and this I am truly grateful for!! Your knowledge of the city is by far the most extensive I am privy to 🗽

cooksfallslodge@travelinggentleman up close of this beauty. I have some post cards with an early 1920s automobile parked in front!! Stunning!

travelinggentleman@cooksfallslodge Absolutly wonderful

cooksfallslodge@travelinggentleman Thank you.

**Alexander’s Hardware**

Random historical NYC photos of hard-working people and their push cart businesses,  made me think of my Maternal Grandmother’s side (later the proprietor of Cooks Falls Lodge) of the family.  My Great Grandfather was in the Russian Army.  They ventured to America arriving in NYC., living and working toward building their future with big dreams.  Leaving  Russia where they had owned a grain business, a candle shop and an Antique store.  He traveled on a vessel carrying dreams to America, with his brother, crossing the ocean in 1904, with the family arriving a year after (many men came first).  His work brought him into some of the worst conditions in early NYC.  Providing for his family, pushing towards his dreams for them, saving enough money to open a hardware store (which had different locations, survived a fire, during 83 years in lower Manhattan, the final store opened in 1945).  It carried everything you could possibly imagine and they had long-standing customers.  It made me smile because…the family first ran a push cart biz when they came to America.  FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS!!  The store was called Alexander’s Buyers Market Hardware at 60 Reade Street. NY. NY.  (1993 NY. Times article to follow and those random photos.)

Photo I took of our family store *Alexander’s Hardware* Lower Manhattan, NYC

STRICTLY BUSINESS; A Cluttered Treasure-Trove Closes

Published: January 11, 1993

A customer might wander into Alexander’s Hardware, peruse its marvels for a wondrous lunch hour, then pick up a couple nuts and bolts from one of thousands of bins.
“No charge,” Arthur Alexander would say. “I’ll get you next time.”

No more next times. After 83 years, the bafflingly cluttered emporium at 60 Reade Street in lower Manhattan is in the final spasms of closing. It is going the way of other old-fashioned Manhattan hardware stores, places like Kamenstein’s on Third Avenue at Ninth Street, Tinker’s Paradise over on Park Row, several places on Canal Street.
Rents are too high, hours too long, profit margins too slim. His two grown children shun working 60 hours a week in a family business. Mr. Alexander will soon be 68, the age at which his father, who never retired from the store, died.

The future, Mr. Alexander says with no rancor, belongs to outlets selling nuts and bolts in cellophane bubbles for a dollar or so a throw, not mom-and-pop joints that think nothing of giving a couple away. One Last Bargain
Alexander’s was officially closed Jan. 1 to make way for a shoe store, but the doors are still open for a couple days to get rid of as much stuff as possible. So devotees continue to wander in, looking for that last bargain, a suddenly remembered necessity, an inconceivable about-face in the march of time.

There was Richard Genovese, a research analyst, who once found a period lock for a 60-year-old closet on a dusty shelf. “The city has lost one of its treasures,” he said.
“It’s like digging around in my grandfather’s attic,” said Chris Piazza, a sculptor who has been spending her days — and around $2,000 so far — buying interesting things. One find: 200 foot-shaped treadles for old-fashioned sewing machines she intends to use in a whimsical model of the Eiffel Tower.

The place has been so much more than a hardware store. In sorting through things, workers have found snake skins, brassieres from the 1940’s, a few mottled fur coats. They have sifted through thousands of flexible screwdrivers used to screw around corners, tens of thousands of mother-of-pearl buttons for old-fashioned high-topped shoes for women, bayonets from the Spanish-American War. More Than Just Hardware
Amid the ball-bearings and washers, they have stumbled upon inexplicable surprises.
What did anyone ever want with lipstick that looks and tastes like eggnog?

“This has always been more than a hardware store,” Mr. Alexander said.
Mr. Alexander has followed firmly in the footsteps of his father, Samuel, in buying big quantities of things nobody wants, then finding novel ways to market them. Customs auctions, bankruptcy sales and the like were the Alexander’s hunting ground.
Samuel Alexander once latched on to 250,000 World War I wooden ammunition boxes and sold them as any number of things. Many went as shoeshine boxes after he hammered cast-iron stands on top.

Arthur Alexander acquired 10,000 pounds of body trim intended for 1939 Chrysler Airflow automobiles. A sign over a huge pile of them suggested the strips would make terrific stakes for tomato plants. Another time he became the proud owner of 45,000 aluminum heating elements used in making crock pots, which had come and gone. The elements moved briskly as refrigerator defrosting coils. Perfect for Doghouse Doors
Currently, he is scrambling to unload 70,000 hinges for the music holders on pianos. Clearly, the perfect thing for doghouse doors.

Sprouting from a successful pushcart, the store has occupied several downtown locations. “America’s Smallest Hardware Store in America’s Largest City,” said an early advertisement. In 1949, its reopening after a fire prompted a loyalist to write that he “would certainly have missed his daily browsing of the very interesting store.”

Though Mr. Alexander is going to make more money as a landlord than he ever made as a merchant, he acknowledges that he is saying goodbye to a piece of his family. Both his parents worked in the store, as did his younger brother, Lawrence. Tears flow down his face when he tells of Lawrence being diagnosed as having what proved to be fatal polio on the same day they moved into their present store in 1945.

One of the storekeeper’s stories concerns a pair of suspicious characters who for an extended period came in on Friday evenings to buy crowbars. Finally, Mr. Alexander informed the police.  The men were arrested with a trunkful of used crowbars just after knocking off a safe. Fearful that the burglars might find out who fingered them, Mr. Alexander began carrying his licensed pistol everywhere.

He has also gained wisdom, including the unshakeable conviction that vacuum cleaners can always be fixed, no matter what. “They’re built to last forever,” he said.
But it is Mr. Arthur Alexander’s human touch that will be most sorely missed by his regulars — how he would know the history of each item, the patient and intricate way he would instruct a customer in the use of some esoteric object.

“It was wonderful to know you all these years,” Pearl Heller of Washington Heights told him, recalling the slender candle holders on which he years ago gave her a good price.
Photo: Arthur Alexander, 67, posing with vintage military paraphernalia in his hardware store, which is closing. (Jack Manning/The New York Times)

Push cart business, police officer and two store business windows in the same block.  All working        toward a future on the lower East side of NYC. early 1900’s
The slums in NYC is where these people made the money they needed to              survive the harshest times in NYC, they hardly left the area. early 1900’s
Innovative early potato push cart. NYC 1900’s
The Hot Potato Man The Nearest to the Automobile Push-Cart as yet.      NYC early 1900’s
push cart lower east side NYC early 1900’s
lower east side NYC early 1900’s


~Alla Nazimova~1919

Nazimova-at-tableAlla Nazimova Russian silent film actress, who emigrated to the United States in 1905

Alla Nazimova “Stronger Than Death,” ca. 1919. (the same year grandparents became proprietors of Cooks Falls Lodge)

Russian silent film actress, who emigrated to the United States in 1905.  Researching tomorrow If she traveled on the same vessel, The Carpathia. 


It is the mammoth and historically gorgeous one my grandmother and family crossed over half the world on to their new home, The City of New York, America in 1905. 

Same year, leaving Russia, traveling first to Liverpool.  On the same ship in regards to “The Titanic” and final voyage.  Alla Nazimova would have been 26 years old.  Twenty years senior to my grandmother.  She was a unique woman in areas.  And never forgotten.  

#1905 #allanazimova #thegardenofalla #silentfilmstar #carpathia #ellisisland #vessel #timetravel #genealogy #cooksfallslodge 🚢🌆🌇🇺🇸

~Mountain Lake~on property~

© Cooks Falls Lodge 2014

“Mountain Lake” 1910. “Cooks Falls Lodge” property, Cooks Falls, NY.  Behind the hotel. 

I have the sweetest captures of my grandmother, mother and uncle on this lake in 1936, rowing a boat and just drifting.  My mother was 4.  My uncle 7.  The last year as proprietors.  17 years, now the past.  Over in a wisp.❤️

#genealogy #cooksfalls #summertime #roscoeny #vintageny #artdeco #thecatskills #timetraveler #cooksfallslodge

~Broadway & Canal Street ~City of New York~Family settled down in a beautiful bustling neighborhood. Emigrating in 1905 from Russia at 6 years young, our grandmother’s new home.

broadway at canalstnyc1917

Broadway at Canal St. Dec. 1917, My grandmother’s neighborhood is busy at ground level!

By now in 1917, my Great Grandfather had started, did well and ended his pushcart business in 1910.  It took 4yrs., from arrival.  The family now had their own store “Alexander’s Hardware”.  It stayed open for business and friendships built with customers continued, for 83 yrs. 

(A “New York Times” article of the stores closing after 83 yrs. in 1993 ) click link below… http://www.nytimes.com/1993/01/11/nyregion/strictly-business-a-cluttered-treasure-trove-closes.html  (link does not work now.  I’ll try to repair this)

#genealogy #pushcart #vintageny #hardworker


East Broadway and Rutgers Street, ca. 1907.  Off Canal Street.  My Grandmother’s family made the voyage from Russia in 1905. (she was 6 and had siblings) They lived at 11 Rutgers St. NYC.  Their father made the journey in 1904, to make a home and start a new  business, try to learn English and understand America, a new home.
#genealogy  #timetravel ❤️ #cooksfallslodge

canal street broadway 1836

Broadway and Canal Street, City of New York, ca. 1836  #genealogy

New_York,_Bridge_at_Broadway_and_Canal_Street_1811Stone Bridge, Broadway at Canal Street1811

New York Bridge, City of New York, ca. 1811, Broadway and Canal Street


~The hamlet of Cooks Falls NY.~ & the Cooks Falls Train Depot


Cooks Falls train depot
c. early 1900’s
Cooks Falls, NY
I always loved the train. When I was a kid, we took them plenty in NYC, but also in the country from the city and back home to Ct. when we moved there in 62. Picking up at Brewster, NY to the city and vice versa.  Grandmother lived in Lake Carmel and aunts and uncles lived all around that area of the countryside.  Wonderful times. The trains were fun in the 60’s 🙂  Would love to have been on them in earlier times and dress, like in these postcard when they were decked out a bit and cleaner…romantic feeling!

1908cooksfalls.jpgYou can barely see the top towers of Cooks Falls Lodge at the far (middle of capture) mountain grade, across river of the postcard. ( 1/2  mile away)

Geo. I. Treyz General Store, Post Office, buildings and the Cooks Fall’s Train Depot!!


The train depot has been preserved as a private home, it looks fabulous!!

#cooksfalls #hamlet #vintagetrainstation #railroad #Ilovetrains

A few homes still on the edge of property built in 1900-1902 by Geo I. Treyz

cflpropertyrighthandnow.jpgWhen my research led me to these homes, on the very edge of Cooks Falls Lodge property, still standing. (right hand corner of aerial photo)

I smiled and frowned.  Geo. I. Treyz built these homes in the hamlet, between 1900-1902. It was odd to correspond with the owners of the green house, but thrilling none the same (the house is for sale). He sold the Lodge to my grandparents in 1919.  #1900s  #thecatskills #hamlet #cooksfalls #beaverkillriver #geneaology

Howard Carter and Tutankhamun’s Tomb


Howard Carter and Tutankhamun’s Tomb
I have been thinking of how so many take so much for granted (and wanting more more more) in the year, 2015 (so new) and ANCIENT EGYPT has been floating around my mind! They had so much in riches and still died…no matter what we can’t run we can’t hide…but we can bury ourselves with some of our wealth if we choose ! NEVER COMPARING TO KING TUT OF COURSE! So many important historical digs are taking place in the area at this time. I had desired being an Archaeologist when I was younger and only recently my mother told me my grandfather did too.  He lived in the time of the 1924 King Tut dig and my grandparents were very interested in all the news.  Living in NYC, the circle was of a higher social society (it was all the rage) !! Would have gone there with him…had he gone.  JA/2015 ( I’m getting cremated. )

1920’s ready for the swimming pool and private Mountain Lake on property…


I can only imagine how thrilled the guests at Cooks Falls Lodge felt, as they heard about the swimming pool (if they didn’t know ahead of time from the advertisements) a stunning lake, behind the gorgeous building, on property, #rowboats waiting!! ( I have photos of my grandmother, mother (she was 4) and uncle (he was 7) in their rowboat just lounging on the lake…preciously priceless ❤️ c. 1936  Taken by my grandfather I can assume ❤️ #heatwave #1920sfashion #artdeco #thecatskills #mountainlake #cookfalls #summer

an advertisement opening up summer home~1906


A model Summer home, 1/2 mile from station.  Free transportation.  Accommodations for 300. A strictly first-class hotel in every respect.  First-class table and service.  Large airy rooms; perfect sanitary arrangements; pure running hot and cold water in every room; forty rooms with private baths; six each of both ladies’ and gents’ toilets and baths on each floor; every convenience for comfort; electric bells, etc.  Beautiful location and surroundings; large private lake, stocked with native trout; plenty of round and flat bottom boats free.  Own casino, bowling alleys, dancing hall. Hall’s orchestra of N.Y. all season.  First class.  Write for illustrated booklet, which is as good as a personal visit.  V.A. FRANCISCO, Prop., COOKS FALLS, N.Y. 1906 *Grand Opening* Summer advertisement of his home, now a hotel

#cooksfalls #cooksfallsny #artnouveau