Monsey Memories: Monsey Lodge; “Finest Day Camp in Rockland County”
As the summer season dawns, we are reminded that Rockland County was once a major hotel and resort destination. The Monsey Lodge Hotel had bungalows and a day camp that would attract the children of the resort, as well as native Rocklanders.
Recently, one Mrs. Joyce Fein Kolodny-Newman contacted Rockland Daily and submitted her wonderful memories from those summers spent at Monsey Lodge, located near Route 306 and Maple Avenue.
“It takes a while for me to recall enough detail about the amazing summer away from home called Monsey Lodge where my parents rented a bungalow every summer from about 1941,” she told Rockland Daily.
“It was located in the town of Monsey on Blauvelt Road about a half mile from Carlton Road or in the other direction Maple Rd. The homes in the Cameo Ridge area were not there until the late 60's or so. It was all farmed area. Monsey Lodge was owned and operated by an orthodox Jewish couple Rose and Aaron Goldstein. They had a daughter Malke and a son Myron. There were many family members (cousins and such) who also spent summers in cottages on the grounds.
“The names Schreiber (Elliott), Eichler, (Elliott) and Weissberger spring to mind. At one time, the Manischevitz family spent a summer or more there. The "Compound" spanned an area called Upper and Lower Monsey Lodge. There were bungalows in both areas. the lower level was separated from the upper level by Highway 306.
“Monsey Lodge had a Day Camp (boys and girls in separate groups), which my older brother and I attended for many years, starting from age three and continuing until we were old enough to be counselors-in-training. As a teenager, my brother Bill did spend one summer doing just that.
“On Friday night and Saturday morning, we had Shabbos services in the Recreation Hall. I believe a rabbi from nearby Monsey walked a couple of miles to lead our services. It is with great fondness that I recall the little boys and their father's walk up to the Hall, which had been re-arranged to accommodate the services.
Way at the bottom of the last hill was a pair of lakes. One was large enough for swimming, and the smaller one was used for rowing. There was a raft in the middle of the larger lake to which we could swim and from which we could dive. There were lockers for us to change in. There was a sandy beach for little ones and a grassy area for parents. We had a softball field. I remember participating in the "Aquacade" at the end of the summer. We played punchball and basketball and volleyball and had races. At some point, a new Rec' Hall was built on the lower level near the lake. It somehow lacked the flavor of the old one for me,” she recalled.
While we do not know how long Monsey Lodge remained open, the memories of that special place certainly remain alive and well for many octogenarians and beyond until this very day.