The next time you’re behind the wheel of your car and stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic, bemoaning the difficulties of just getting somewhere sometimes, consider Fannie Fern, a tourist in 1872 who just wanted to take a vacation at the Catskill Mountain House, a luxurious hotel destination perched high on top of a precarious-looking rock ledge in the Catskill Mountains of Greene County. The journey by stagecoach up the steep mountain leading to the hotel was so uncomfortable and arduous an undertaking that Fannie later wrote that she didn’t much care by the end of the journey whether the coach she was traveling in reached its destination or just rolled “head over heels, or rather, head over wheels, over the precipice.”
Fannie’s story is one of many recounted in The Catskill Mountain House and the World Around, a lively 80-minute documentary about America’s first great mountaintop hotel and the fierce competition and rivalries among the colorful characters who ran the steamboat, railroad and hotel empires that rose up around it. The film was written, directed and produced by Tobe Carey, who will host a screening of the film at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, October 24 in the East Gallery at the Hudson River Maritime Museum (HRMM) in Kingston. After the movie, Carey will moderate a discussion. The cost is a suggested donation of $5 or “pay what you wish,” with HRMM members admitted free.
This will be the final event for 2012 in the Hudson River Maritime Museum’s popular “Follow the River” lecture series, in which local and national historians, authors and university professors join the Museum’s curator in presenting lectures, along with rare archival photos and films, related to the permanent collection of the Museum and its seasonal exhibitions.
Tobe Carey is an award-winning filmmaker with over 40 years of experience producing documentaries about topics of social interest. In The Catskill Mountain House and the World Around, a production of Willow Mixed Media, Carey enhances present-day film footage with old photographs, engravings and paintings as well as excerpts of literature, period music and commentary by local historians to tell the fascinating story of early tourism in the Catskills – an industry that indirectly launched the school of the Hudson River Valley painters by bringing artist Thomas Cole to the region. To see excerpts from The Catskill Mountain House and the World Around, visit http://www.documentaryworld.com/Catskill_mountain_house.html.
The Hudson River Maritime Museum will host a screening of The Catskill Mountain House and the World Around at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, October 24 in the Museum’s East Gallery at 50 Rondout Landing in Kingston. The film will be followed by a discussion with filmmaker Tobe Carey. A donation of $5 or “pay what you wish” is suggested, with HRMM members admitted free. For more information, call (845) 338-0071 or visit www.hrmm.org.