Craigsmoor was an unexpected find, a wonderful place to explore on a Fall afternoon. Located two hours from New York City, it sits high above the surrounding countryside atop the Shawangunk Ridge. The hamlet was founded in the late 1880s by artists from the second generation of the Hudson River School. My favorite being Charles Curran, Jr and his wonderful paintings. They built fine summer homes, painted, gardened and hosted memorable parties. The also left some interesting buildings to admire, including:
The Craigsmoor Free Library – a postage stamp of building with an exquisite interior that includes chestnut columns and a massive stone fire place donated by Mrs. George Innes, Jr. in honor of her husband, the painter George Inness, Jr.
Another worthy site to visit is the The Craigsmoor Stone Church – with its commanding view of the valley below.
Both of these structures were designed by a person I would have very much liked to meet – explorer, artist and map maker Frederick Samuel Dellenbaugh. In 1871, at the tender age of 17, Dellenbaugh was hired by John Wesley Powell to accompany him on his second expedition of the Colorado River. He wrote about this adventure and many others in books that can be downloaded for free via Project Guttenberg. Click Frederick Samuel Dellenbaugh to view a collection of his photos and drawings housed at the Yale Library. Here is a link to an interesting article if you would like to learn more about the facilitating history of artists’ colonies in the Hudson Valley
If you do visit the area, we also recommend a visit to the Darmakaya Center for Well-Being, a very special place that opened in 2017. We attended a Dharma Ocean retreat here led by the amazing Tina LaGreca and hope to return.