Thursday, June 04, 2015

The Concord Resort Hotel at Kiamesha Lake, NY

The Driveway at The Concord Resort Hotel

Yesterday I told you about some old photographs from 1942 that I was selling in my eBay store. I know most people would be saying, "I don't have any old photos like that to sell. Where would I get any of those?" Would you be surprised to know that I am also selling old photos I took of various vacations I went on, back in the seventies and eighties? I see some sellers that sell photos they take now, when they go on a trip and sell it many times over in digital formats only. Gives them an unlimited supply. I am not talking about those, but that is an option too. This is what I have been doing.

The Concord Resort Hotel at Kiamesha Lake, NY

I have a big supply of pictures I took in the seventies and early eighties of The Concord Resort Hotel at Kiamesha Lake in the Catskills in New York state. Every year, my son and I spent about four weeks there and his dad would come up on the week-ends. It is about an hour and half from us, half way to New York City. Staying there was just like the movie, Dirty Dancing. The Concord was gorgeous and filled with people from the forth of July to Labor Day. Name acts performed on their stage. Many of the comedians such as Joan Rivers, Allan King, Rodney Dangerfield, and many more, got their start there.

Our suite had 2 bathrooms!

The suites that we stayed in were huge. Two bathrooms, which I must admit, back then, I needed. Every evening you dressed for dinner. The dining room was bigger than a football field. The waiters bringing you trays of food all through your meal. You didn't just order. After you placed your order, the waiter would bring food out, putting it in front of you, saying, "Just try this." The food was kosher and very good. The dessert trays would be piled high with such desserts, you just couldn't imagine how good they were.

The pool at the Concord

My son spent time in the pool form early morning till late afternoon. His skin was always all wrinkled up from being in the water so long. I laid out in the sun, going in the water to get cooled off. The cabana boys would come around and spray you with their little bottle of water if you looked hot. Waitresses brought you all types of drinks, pina coladas being one of my favorites. The pool, which was Olympic size, had a diving tank, as well as a kiddie pool area. There was an outside cabana where they prepared barbecued food and cold sandwiches if you did not want to go into the dining room at lunch.

Dining Room at The Concord

This area in the Catskills was known as the "Borscht Belt," since the clientele in the hotels were mostly Jewish people from New York City, and the surrounding boroughs, as well as Long Island. People escaping the heat of the city for a few days. Many families stayed all summer with the fathers showing up on Friday evenings, after they got out of work. It had two PGA golf courses, one being called The Monster. There was indoor and outdoor pools, tennis courts the lake, horseback riding, a children's activity camp (which kept them busy all day), a miniature golf course, the dinner theater, a couple of nightclubs, an all night restaurant for late night meals and snacks, stores to shop in. Many people would go to Monticello Raceway to the track in the evenings, which was just a few minutes away.

Kiamesha Lake

It is an era that is gone now. Gone, since The Concord and all the other hotels are gone too. It is a memory my son and I will always hold dear. I will be listing many of these photos and more in my eBay store in the next few weeks. There is a market for these, since these are the memories of all the people who stayed there. 

Copyright © 2015 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2015 Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2018

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Pontchartrain Beach, A Story in Old Photographs

My eBay store, katlupe's Shop

As many of my readers know, over the years I have sold on and off on eBay. Presently, I have a store, katlupe's Shop and am selling a variety of items. Mostly used items and many are my own things that I need to downsize. As you get older, you start thinking about what will happen to all that stuff. Not having a daughter means my stuff isn't the type of a stuff a son would want to inherit from me. Speaking of inheritance, when my father passed away in 2012, my husband and I were the ones cleaning his home out. He had a lot of stuff! My niece stole most of his good possessions before he was even in his grave. As not only his daughter, but his executor, I got left getting rid of mostly what I would call clutter. Some of that was old photographs.......ah, my niece overlooked the value in those!

Photo I am selling in my store.

I am selling most of them on eBay and they are selling good. What this blog post is really about is the knowledge I gain by researching the various photographs. These photos are mostly from my parents' early years together. In 1942, my father was stationed in New Orleans. There wasn't a lot of photos from New Orleans, but there are a few. The ones I found and listed on eBay (and already sold one!) was taken at Pontchartrain Beach. My parents talked often about their time in New Orleans, but I never heard them mention Pontchartrain Beach. So I had to research to list my photos. This is what I found out.

According to Wikipedia:
  "Pontchartrain Beach was an amusement park located in New Orleans, Louisiana, on the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain. It was founded by Harry J. Batt Sr. and later managed and owned by his sons, Harry J. Batt Jr. and John A. Batt. It opened in 1928, across Bayou St. John from an existing amusement resort at Old Spanish Fort. Pontchartrain Beach's original location is the present-day lakefront neighborhood of Lake Terrace. In the early 1930s, subsequent to the construction of a seawall extending from West End to the Industrial Canal that created a new shoreline for Lake Pontchartrain, Pontchartrain Beach was moved to a new location at the lake end of Elysian Fields Avenue, a location formerly offshore of Milneburg.

Milneburg Lighthouse, dating from the 1850s, predated Pontchartrain Beach, was a landmark in the park for decades, and still stands within the boundaries of the University of New Orleans Research & Technology Park. The lighthouse once rested offshore and was reached by a wooden pier. Land reclamation in the 1920s stranded it several hundred feet inland from the current lake shore.

Pontchartrain Beach included a beach with a large art deco style bathhouse and swimming pools, amusement rides (including a wooden roller coaster called the Zephyr), and concession stands. The park featured live music concerts, including many local musicians and touring national acts such as Elvis Presley."

Photo of my Dad's friend

Pontchartrain Beach opened in 1939, a little time later, our country prepared for war. The area around the park became a tent city military base for the young enlisted men. Of which, my father was one. Camp Leroy Johnson and Camp Polk were within walking distance and the Navy used the parking lot at the beach as a drill station. Harry Batt Sr. gave the men in uniform half price tickets for rides and games as well as inexpensive entertainment for young soldiers needing some relaxation and entertainment who had war on their minds.

Cockeyed Circus

The photo, I sold? It was this one, which on the back my father had written, "Pontchartrain Beach, Cockeyed Circus" and it sold in a matter of hours after listing it. I wondered about that name, "Cockeyed Circus" and was that just my father joking around? Nope, that is what the name of it was. I researched it and found elsewhere on the internet: "The clown was part of a ride called the Cockeyed Circus, a fun house of distorting mirrors, slanted floors, and gusts of air that blew up ladies’ skirts." (quote from Denise Trowbrdge)

New Orleans 1942

If you have a lot of old photographs and don't know what to do with them or wonder what will happen to them after you are gone. Maybe selling them on eBay will help you to bring in some extra money, as well as, putting them in a collector's hands instead of ending up in a landfill somewhere. I am pleased to see mine go to a good home.

Update 2018: I have removed all my links in this blog post due to having closed my store.

Copyright © 2015 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2015 Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2018