Skip to main content

Yama Farms Calling


"For a Brief time, during the early years of the twentieth century, at the edge of the hamlet of Napanoch, in the Town of Wawarsing, in Ulster County, there existed a unique and improbable place -- Yama Farms Inn, known also as Yama-no-uchi, a Japanese phrase meaning 'Home in the Mountains.' Founded in 1913 by Frank Seaman and his companion Olive Sarre, the Inn evolved from an experiment in Japanese architecture and landscaping into a famous resort. Its guests were the artistic, political, intellectual, scientific, and business leaders of the era."  

From the prologue by Wendy E. Harris. Yama Farms, a Most Unusual Catskills Resort, by Harris, Harris and Wiebe, 2006, published by Cragsmoor Historical Society, Cragsmoor, NY.

This exhibit tells a story in pictures about one of the "Presidents Conferences" -- meetings of captains of industry -- which were held annually at Yama Farms.      

On an autumn day in 2008, Ellenville Public Library & Museum (EPL&M) received a phone call from an antiques dealer in Owl’s Head, Maine. A client of his was offering for sale a unique photo album in which appeared the place names of Wawarsing, Napanoch and Yama Farms. Our enthusiastic dealer called us to offer us right of first refusal for our local history collection. Thanks to a private donation in memory of Marcia Resnick, EPL&M was able to purchase the album. What follows are excerpts, as well as information from research we performed on this particular conference.

If you are interested in viewing the photo album in its entirety, please visit our collection on the New York Heritage Site.


Jonathan Force, former Digital Archivist at Ellenville Public Library & Museum is responsible for the careful scanning of this album, as well as the initial metadata. Sandy Marsh, a returning student at SUNY New Paltz where she is working on degrees in Fine Arts and History, designed and performed research for this exhibit. EPL&M owes her special thanks. Thanks also go to Marion Ehrhardt, Library Clerk at EPL&M, for her work on preserving the original album. EPL&M would also like to extend its gratitude for the donation in memory of Marcia Resnick that made this project possible.