MOUNTAINDALE—Marisa Scheinfeld, a photographer and the founder of the Borscht Belt Historical Marker Project, continues her journey to immortalize the rich history of the Borscht Belt era with …
MOUNTAINDALE—Marisa Scheinfeld, a photographer and the founder of the Borscht Belt Historical Marker Project, continues her journey to immortalize the rich history of the Borscht Belt era with the dedication of the project’s second marker in the hamlet of Mountaindale.
“Our intention is to lead people on a roadmap through history to see the towns and sites where the era began and where it flourished,” Scheinfeld explained to a small gathering sheltered beneath the trees along Old Post Hill Road in Mountaindale. They had gathered to witness the unveiling of the newest marker.
The initiative aims to illuminate the legacy of the Borscht Belt, a bygone era that blossomed against the backdrop of the Catskill Mountains, offering a haven of community, culture, and tradition during times of exclusion and adversity.
The Borscht Belt, Scheinfeld said, was born at a time when the Jewish community faced exclusion from various parts of America and emerged as both a sanctuary and a renaissance.
Nestled amidst the beauty of the Catskill Mountains, it offered an escape into a world brimming with community bonds, cultural traditions and leisure activities.
Scheinfeld, along with her colleague Isaac Jeffrey, who served as the visual consultant, revealed a double-sided marker that presents the historical significance of Mountindale concerning the Borscht Belt Era. It incorporates both textual information and photographs to provide a complete perspective.
According to the Catskills Institute, Scheinfeld said Mountaindale boasted 34 hotels and 75 bungalow colonies at its zenith.
Fallsburg, the epicenter of the Borscht Belt era, echoed this vibrancy with an impressive 79 hotels and 107 bungalow colonies. These numbers underscore the monumental impact of the region on the Borscht Belt’s history.
With a previous marker dedicated in Monticello just last month, the Borscht Belt Historical Marker Project is making significant strides in bringing the region’s history to light.
The next marker will be placed at Swan Lake on August 20 at 2 p.m. on Briscoe Road.
Scheinfeld said, “Our focus is to celebrate what once was, but also usher in the future while teaching generations about the era and the importance of the region. Juxtaposed with the history of Mountaindale is a new energy and a strong sense of community and creativity.”
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