By Dede Terns-Thorpe
For Columbia-Greene Media
MOUNTAIN SUMMIT HOUSE – New York Times, Sunday, May 26, 1895. This is a bit of information on the Mountain Summit Hotel owned by Mrs. Mulford and located just east of 5884 Main Street in Tannersville. It Opens about June 2, closes about October 20. Board is $2 per day; $10 to $15 (about $300 to $425 today’s money) per week.
The Mountain Summit House is three-quarters of a mile from the Tannersville Station of the Kaaterskill branch of the Stony Clove Railroad. A livery sable is connected to the house. Post Office and telegraph office near. Pur spring water, bowling alley, pool tables, and lawn tennis.
Thank you to the Schenectady County Historical Society for permission to use the Biographical Review Volume XXXIII: Containing Life Sketches of Leading Citizens of Greene, Schoharie, and Schenectady Counties, New York, 1899. (For space reasons, sections have been abbreviated).
Mrs. Mary J. Mulford, proprietor of the Mountain Summit House, is a native of New York City. Her parents, John and Mary Corson Braden, were natives of Ireland but came to America before marriage. Arriving in New York at the age of nineteen, her father secured a position in a store. He then came to Tannersville in the employ of the Edwards Tannery Company, remaining with them until it went out of business. After several positions, he turned to farming upon the property now owned and occupied by his daughter, Mary Mulford.
They had three children, Margaret, Elizabeth and Mary J., the subject of this story. Mary’s mother died at 67, her father at 70.
“Mary J. Braden, in her girlhood, attended the common schools, acquiring therein a practical knowledge of several branches of study, which have since been helpful to her in a business way. In 1868 she became the wife of Samuel S. Mulford, who was born in Harpersfield, Delaware County, son of a prosperous farmer of the same name. Mr. Mulford was well educated, and when a young man, he taught schools in Delaware, Schoharie, and Greene Counties. After his marriage, he was engaged in the hotel business in Cairo, this county, for a short time. Going from the town to Gilboa, Schoharie County, he conducted a stage line plying between Windham and Catskill. Relinquishing the latter enterprise, he came to Hunter, where he began the improvement of the Braden farm for summer resort purposes by first removing the old dwelling, which he replaced with a more modern commodious building containing accommodations for a number of guests. The success of the venture made necessary an enlargement of the house, the addition being completed in 1891, the year in which he died. He was then fifty-six years old. Mr. Mulford was widely and favorably known throughout this section as an able businessman and a public-spirited citizen, widely ever displaying an active interest in the political, moral, and religious welfare of the community. He served as a Town of Hunter Supervisor for a number of years, was School commissioner for two terms of two years each, and was an earnest supporter of the Democratic party. His judgment in public affairs was much sought after and followed. Perceiving the need for a permanent religious organization in this village, he was mainly instrumental in causing one to be established, subscribing liberally toward the erection of a church. He was a member of the Masonic Order and had occupied some of the important chairs in the Blue Lodge at Saugerties. Samuel S. Mulford was the father of three children, namely William, Maud, and Francis, who are now assisting in carrying on the hotel. William married Carrie McGee and has four children.
After the death of her husband, Mrs. Mulford became manager and proprietor of the hotel. In these capacities, she has displayed her ability by successfully conducting both the business and domestic departments. The Mountain Summit House, a pleasant and healthful summer home, occupies a sightly location upon elevated ground. It has ample accommodations for two hundred guests. Their comforts are well provided for is manifested by the large number who enjoy its hospitality during the summer and autumn months. Though not a member of any religious denomination, Mrs. Mulford is a generous contributor toward the support of religious work. She is highly esteemed for her many estimable qualities.”