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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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The Sitting Room: 1905

The Sitting Room: 1905

Circa 1905. "Parlor, Kaaterskill Hotel, Catskill Mountains, New York." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

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Kaaterskill Faark

Farked again!

Although the obvious Kubrick reference would seem to be the Empire-style bedroom with the luminous floor at the end of "2001: A Space Odyssey," a number of Farksters have made a connection with the Overlook resort in "The Shining."

A rainbow of grays

Too bad this is black-and-white. There must be at least fifty different colors in that carpet.

Have some fun

Anyone up for a game of musical chairs?

Only two lighting technologies?

I see a third. Someone traveled ahead in time and bought electroluminescent carpet.


What a beautiful room! I cant get over the light fixtures. Have been in the light industry for thirty years and have not seen anything as beautiful as these. This is on picture that truly makes me want to go back in time. Thanks.

Three dimensional look

In the regular size pic the carpet looks like clouds in the sky in 3-D.

Massive Kaaterskill

In its prime, the Hotel Kaaterskill was largest mountain hotel in the world. It could accommodate over 1100 souls, and the foundation was a mile in circumference.

The narrow gauge Kaaterskill Railroad was built to Kaaterskill Station in the 1880s just to cater to the hotel's needs.

Escape artist training room.

Are you ONLY supposed to sit in the sitting room? Because other than one set of chairs off to the right, this might just be the least-conducive to conversation seating configuration ever. And most of the chairs don't even look comfortable for lounging, reading, etc. Just sitting and staring straight ahead. Maybe you and a friend could practice the "escaping from a kidnapper who has tied us together, back to back" routine?

I do love the S chairs, though.

Like Something out of a Kubrick Film

The carpet makes the furniture look like they're floating on clouds. OK, it may be the cold medicine I just took.

Pre Dirty Dancing Days

The straitback chair setup makes for some awkward rendezvous. The upolstered furniture in the middle, not so much.


Oddly enough, Hotel Kaaterskill doesn't have a Wikipedia page, even though it was a seemingly impressive feat and there's plenty of other online resources about it. Anyone care to start it?

The Rumor

I heard that you had to be important to make reservations to sit in a comfortable rocker.

2001 minus 96

Looks like a set straight out of a Kubrick movie!


I remember my grandfather always telling me that man's greatest invention was the chair.

Before vacuums

How would you like to carpet-sweep that immense expanse by hand? Gotta love the love-seats!


They've got an interesting mash of lighting technologies there. Gas and carbon-arc electric! It also appears that everyone enjoyed facing away from one another. No tete-a-tete at this resort.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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