The story of a forgotten America.

Recreation Farm Society

The Recreation Farm Society, later called The Meadows, is an abandoned convalescent home in the Catskill Mountains of New York.

The Recreation Farm Society 2 began as a convalescent home circa 1880, 4 operated by the Workmen’s Benefit Fund for the underprivileged who could not afford the often high costs of a sanitarium. Rates were listed as low as $3.50 per week for tuberculosis patients, $7 per week for others, including room, board, and professional care in the 1950s. 5

Improvements were made with new buildings in 1960 and 1974. The Recreation Farm Society was closed by 2000. 4

The Meadows resort later reopened the site and offered shuffleboard and other outdoor activities, and cocktails and refreshments in the lounge, and family-style meals in the dining room. Lodging included The Maples, a motel-style building with 20 rooms, The Juniper, a country-style inn with 12 rooms, The Sycamore, with four rooms, and The Birches, with three rooms.

In 2004, Simon Gelb brokered a deal to turn the closed Recreation Farm into a synagogue with a hotel and food on behalf of the Satmar community of Hasidic Jews. 3



  1. “The Meadows Fosterdale.”, 2013. Article.
  2. Kuttner, Paul. “A Scary Summer Day in Windham.” An Engless Struggle, Vantage Press, 2009, p. 546.
  3. Scullion, Beth. “Kiryas Joel Developer Proposes 2,000 Homes in 3 Towns.” Catskill Mountainkeeper, 10 Oct. 2007.
  4. “Property Description.” Sullivan County Tax Map and Records System.
  5. “Recreation Farm Society Stresses Patients’ Normalcy.” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 29 Jan. 1950. p. 28.

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