Constructed in 1892 by Silas Durham, the Rock Cliff House—operating as a hotel—was the gateway in and out of High Falls, NY. The two-and-a-half-story, wood frame historic building featured a lovely two-story open porch that spanned the façade. In 1895, William and Elizabeth Quick purchased the building. The Rock Cliff House continued to operate as a hotel under the Quicks until 1949 as the “Cliff House”.
The High Falls Historic District developed around the Delaware and Hudson Canal and Aqueduct at High Falls. The District is historically and architecturally significant as a highly intact collection of commercial, residential and civic architecture (National Historic Landmark Designated, 1966). In the 1800s, it was an isolated agricultural settlement in the town of Marbletown. Between 1825 and 1880, it transformed into a full-blown manufacturing and transportation center.
In 1869, when the Mohonk Mountain House (NHL Designated, 1986) opened, the road leading south from High Falls to Marbletown’s rural Clove neighborhood added significance, enticing travelers from the canal or trains to the Mountain House. High Falls was soon known as a resort community, attracting summer and weekend guests.
In the early 1900’s, Rock Cliff House became a vital part of the community. While the New York water supply was building the Ashokan reservoir, many of the engineers boarded at Rock Cliff House. One of the engineers was Chief Engineer R.J. Ridgeway, who was known as the first engineer to work on the New York City Subway lines. After completing the reservoir, these engineers went on to fame and fortune. They would return to visit Rock Cliff House, including Sam Rosoff, renowned constructor of New York City subways.
During World War I, Rock Cliff House came into prominence as the Battalion Headquarters for soldiers from the Albany division guarding the aqueduct. There was always much excitement when the Top Brass of the Army visited High Falls. Reveille was played each morning, and Taps each night at the raising and lowering of the flag.
Rock Cliff House remains a historically significant structure in High Falls. It is the largest and first building you see upon entering and the last when leaving the town. In its time, it was in business as a short stay residence, tavern and restaurant. Until its purchase in 2017 by current owner Jacqueline Williams, the building on State Route 213 in High Falls waited for its restoration. The Rock Cliff House is currently under significant restoration of its structure, the entire interior and exterior. Come experience a new level of hospitality at our historic Hudson Valley lodging property, restaurant and event venue!