People often ask how we came to be at the Beekman. In the very first blog entry for BEEKMAN 1802, I wrote rather poetically about the farm’s Siren call, but left out some of the important backstory.
There were two more Sirens—named Doug and Garth.
They moved to Sharon Springs from NYC in the early 1990’s and opened a successful café. At one point they looked at possibly purchasing The Beekman, which was at it’s lowest point of despair. Here’s a picture they took of it in the mid 1990’s when it was abandoned.
Wisely, they passed. They had even bigger dreams. In 1996 they found themselves in “ruins” – literally, and in the good way. They had purchased the oldest remaining structure in the village of Sharon Springs, The American Hotel.
The three story inn was built in 1847 by Nicholas la Rue of Esperance, NY, and even at it’s lowest point of decay, it was a beautiful presence on Main Street.
After several years of backbreaking work (Doug and Garth did much of the restoration work themselves,) the hotel reopened for business and is now on the National Registry of Historic Places
The restaurant is wonderfully orchestrated by chef Lee Woolver, and during the summer months when the Glimmerglass Opera (the summer home of the Met) is in town, reservations are hard to come by. It has won numerous awards and has been featured on Rachel Ray.
Many a Friday and Saturday after a hard day of farm work you’ll find us belly up at the beautiful copper-covered bar. Certainly William Beekman had many a “business meeting” in exactly the same spot.
We were staying at The American Hotel the weekend when we first saw the For Sale sign by the front gates of The Beekman, which, lucky for us, had been meticulously and lovingly restored by Eric and Pat Selch. Once Doug and Garth knew that the farm had her hooks in us, they did a mighty fine job of helping to reel us in.
We now count them among our closest friends.
The American is now partnering with us and Landreth Seeds to help throw the “Oldest, Largest, Garden Party in America’s History.” All summer Chef Woolver will be featuring dishes using the produce from The Beekman Heirloom Vegetable Garden. And on September 26th they’ll be hosting a Harvest Feast straight out of the nineteenth century with the Beekman harvest. We’ll have more details about that in the coming weeks, but if you want to stay at the American, it might be best to make a reservation now.
We hope that you’ll join us for a weekend of harvest fun, we’d love to meet you all in person.