The Windham House, constructed in 1805, began life as a farm and evolved into as a Drovers Tavern on the Catskill Turnpike. As far west as Ithaca, New York you will see historic markers mentioning the Catskill Turnpike. Prior to the opening of the Erie Canal in the 1850’s, turnpikes like The Catskill Turnpike and The Schoharie Turnpike, were the only way to transport goods and livestock to the Hudson River ports and hence to markets everywhere. These trips to market required many days of travel. Drover taverns were the stops that supplied food, lodging and security for men and their livestock.
In 1952, when Stanley and Roberta Christman bought The Windham House from Miron Sanford, all of the essential elements of the drovers tavern were intact. The property was a 300 acre functioning dairy farm with all of the accessories: hog house, chicken coop, three story horse barn constructed with an interior ramp, sap house for maple syrup production, good team of working horses, ice harvesting equipment and an ice pond. There were even nets left from the time carrier pigeons were trapped. Lodging , complete with a fine outhouse featuring ” his” and” her” sides, the Stoney Brook house where the caretaker lived, and of course the large Inn to sleep up to 70 people completed the property.
Over the next 50 years Christman’s Windham House evolved. It continues to adapt now as in yesteryear to the demands and the needs of vacationers of today.