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The Williams Lake Legacy

williams lake map

Original Williams Lake Hotel, Main Building and Diving Tower, Rosendale, N. Y.

The original Williams Lake Hotel was operated for 80 years by the Williams family, who modeled what we now call ‘socially responsible business.’ The Williams Lake Project has a deep respect for the Williams Family’s legacy of community outreach, land stewardship and economic support for Rosendale, NY.

The former Williams Lake Hotel owners continually gave back to the Rosendale community.

Since the 1930s, the resort has hosted geologists and scientists from all over the world who have come to study the unique geology and ecology of the site’s stunning landscape.

In the 1960s, the Williams resort participated in the Nordic Ski Club which organized ski jumping competitions on Mount Joppenburgh (and at the resort).  These events drew huge crowds to Rosendale. In the 1970s, Nordic skiers trained at Williams Lake for the winter olympics.

In 1999, the town needed a landfill and Anita Williams Peck donated the property to the town. Also in 1999, Anita had the foresight to protect and preserve 411 acres of the 700+ acres of her family’s property by placing it into a forever-wild conservancy. This conservancy is now managed by the Rondout-Esopus Land conservancy.

The Williams Lake Project carries on the traditions of the Williams family by making the property available to academic institutions and state agencies to continue important ecological and geological research and education. The Project hosts recreational and fundraising events on a regular basis and will continue to do so long after the new Williams Lake Resort is built. Future commitments include sustainable infrastructure (geo-thermal energy, green roofs, etc) and increased public access to the site.  Perhaps the most significant is the Project’s opening in 2013 to the public of 1½ miles of historic rail trail that runs through the center of the proposed resort and that for the first time in history connects the public trail from south of the Town of Gardiner all the way to the City of Kingston. And in early 2014, the Williams Lake Project added 105 acres of sensitive bat habitat to the original land protected by conservation easement.

The Williams Lake Project is grateful to the Williams Family for their past stewardship of the former hotel and resort property and acknowledge the high bar the family has set as a good neighbor and as a beloved business in this community. We look to the future with the confidence that we will honor this legacy and create new, lasting memories for the town of Rosendale.