Catskill Mystery: Why Was Popular Landmark Sign Removed After Decades?
Controversy recently struck Woodstock, NY over the forced removal of a popular landmark sign.
I was scrolling through Facebook and saw some discussion about a beloved sign that had been taken down in the Catskills. The Rainbow Lodge was a hunting and fishing lodge, and according to a change.org online petition by singer and songwriter Sylvia Bullet, it was a beloved space for decades, even being visited by the likes of Micky Mantle and Henny Youngman back in its heyday. Comedian Jonathan Winters visited the lodge as well.
We spoke with owner Geoffrey Baer, who told us that the Rainbow Lodge was in business from 1951 until around 1986 when the Baer Family bought the property. They turned the lodge into an art studio and the space became a "Healing Place."
At the time the property was bought in 1986, Geoffrey's brother Ian was in a serious auto accident. The space would become a place for the Bare family to care for Ian who had become wheelchair-bound. He is cared for at the property to this day.
Owners Told to Remove Rainbow Lodge Sign
Geoffrey Baer took to social media to let people know that he was asked to take down the landmark Rainbow Lodge Sign. But why?
The "historic, artful sign" was a pleasant sight to see by so many who would pass by it off Rt 212 in Mt. Tremper. A Woodstock Town Inspector told the Baer Family that the sign needed to come down because the lodge was no longer in business, having been closed for many years. So they took down the sign.
Following a public outcry on social media from all around the Hudson Valley of people demanding the sign be put back up, it looks like that will in fact be happening.
It's Not a Sign, It's Art
According to Geoffrey Baer, Woodstock Town Supervisor Bill McKenna informed him that he wasn't aware of the situation where he was told to remove the Rainbow Lodge sign and that he was free to put the sign back up. "It's not a sign, it's art," said McKenna.
Baer tells us that a local gallery owner offered to restore the old sign and that in fact the sign will be restored and preserved. He also told us that we can expect to see the sign back up very soon, possibly by the end of the month. Great news! We wonder why the Baer Family was hassled by the town inspector in the first place about the sign needing to come down if, in fact, that wasn't even the case. I guess that part of the story will remain a mystery.