The Windham House, constructed in 1805, began life as a Drovers Tavern on the Catskill Turnpike. As far West as Ithaca, NY. you will see historic markers mentioning the Catskill Turnpike.
Before approximately 1850 and the opening of the Erie Canal, the turnpike’s like The Catskill Turnpike and The Schoharie Turnpike, were the best way to transport goods and livestock to the Hudson river ports and hence to market. These trips to market required many days of travel and drovers taverns supplied food, lodging and security for men, their goods and livestock.
In 1952 when Stanley and Roberta Christman bought The Windham House From Myron and Emma Sanford, all of the essential elements of the drovers tavern were intact. There were a 300 acre functioning, dairy farm and all of its accessories, a large hog house, a large chicken coop, a large three story horse barn with an interior ramp, sapping supplies for maple syrup production, a good team of working horses, ice harvesting equipment and an ice pond. Also nets for trapping carrier pigeons, (now extinct ), a fine, “six holer” outhouse, with his and her sides, the Stoney Brook house where the caretaker lived and of course the large Inn to sleep up to 70 people.
Over the next 66 years Christman’s changed and adapted to the demands of the day and the needs of vacationers of today.