Hil-Mar Lodge is a family owned business established in 1931.
We are located in Salisbury Mills, Orange County, New York.
This is what founder Mrs. Marie Hengst strived for and her family carried on from May 30, 1931 when she opened the lodge on Clove Road in Salisbury Mills known as PHIL-MAR LODGE.
Phil-Mar was a contraction of the children’s names.
Philip, Marie, Anton, and Ronald.
(pictured left to right with Mrs. Marie Hengst sitting in front)
The Hengst family operated a dairy farm at this location from 1924 until the death of Mr. Hengst in October 1930. Mrs. Marie Hengst worried about providing for her family, but not for long. A bus load of skiers pulled up one day and used her property for skiing. They sent Anton to ask about refreshments, Resourceful Mrs. Hengst was an excellent cook and baker so she promptly made sandwiches, coffee and homemade cake. The skiers were so complimentary thereby deriving the idea for the lodge.
Times were hard: these were depression years and carpenters were hired at 50 cents per hour. Building started the winter of 1930 and the lodge was ready for guests May 30, 1931.
Guests came up on the bus to Washingtonville, on the train to Monroe, and on the Hudson River Day Line to Newburgh. The people were met by the house car and taken to the lodge. The lodge was open all year round – in the winter for skiing, spring and summer for vacationing, and in the fall for hunting. Trails were made in the mountains for cross country skiing with one hill used as a training hill for skiers. Many well-known skiers stayed at the lodge and used the ski jump on Otterkill Road. It was the only natural ski jump in the East.
The first three years the lodge was open guests were taken to Seaman’s Beach. Now known as Beaver Dam Lake for swimming. In 1934 the pool was ready. The cement for the pool was mixed on the spot.
There was plenty of recreation: horseback riding, tennis, hiking, hay rides, outdoor movies, and a once a week trip to the Orange Lake Amusement Park for roller skating and rides. Exciting softball games between other lodges became quite a competitive affair.
Food for the lodge, such as milk, eggs, chickens, and vegetables, was supplied by the farm.
The farm had to be given up as the barn was to close to the Main House. Therefore, it was converted into a tavern and recreation room which was operated by Phil and his wife Hedvig until Phil entered the service in 1944.
In September of 1946 Anton L. took over. Changed the name to Hil-Mar Lodge, and with the help of his wife Helen, carried on, continually improving the lodge until 1964. Then, Hil-Mar was incorporated to include the children of Anton and Helen – Anton W. (known as Brother), Sharon Ponsolle and Carol Dulaney who are all active in the operation of the lodge, Anton L. was still satisfying the appetites of the guests and neighbors of the lodge from nearby localities with his delicious meals. He also celebrated his 50th year with the lodge on May 30, 1981. On the eve of the lodge’s 50th anniversary party he was presented a trophy by his eight grandchildren for being the only member of the family to carry on for 50 years.
Over the course of the years many improvements have been made, always keeping the original concept of a “Home Away from Home” and the friendly family atmosphere.
Travel being what it was, guests came from all corners of the world. Many return year after year, like the Swiss gentleman whose first visit was unique in that he took a train from New Jersey to Mountainville where he joined a friend and hiked over Schunemunk Mountain to the lodge. He didn’t miss a year since 1934 until he passed away at the age of 89.
For 50 years Hil-Mar has been proud to be part of this community and are happy with the support of local friends who have helped them in their endeavors.
Helen and Anton L. Hengst have operated the Hil-Mar Lodge until their retirement in December of 1981.
At that time Anton W. Hengst (better known as Brother) and his wife Pat, took over Hil-Mar Lodge with the help of their 3 children; Anita, Pamela & Louis. We have continually made improvements to the lodge in order to keep it within its originality. We are now a year round efficiency apartment house. We no longer cook meals for the resort. The grounds are also open for the seasonal sports from Memorial Day through Labor Day, with picnics, parties, etc. Our guests come from an average of a 50 mile radius.
Over the past 25 years, Anita Hengst was united with Pat Parker and they have 1 son, Glenn. Pamela Hengst married Mark Pauline and they have 2 sons, Matthew & Brandon. Louis Hengst married Bernadine Nevling and they have 4 children; Jaclyn, Michael, Kayla & Alexandra.
Pat and Anton W. Hengst operated the Hil-Mar Lodge from 1981 until their retirement in October of 2014.
At that time Pamela M. (Hengst) Pauline, took over Hil-Mar Lodge with the help of her 2 children; Matthew and Brandon. We are continuing on with the Hengst tradition of continually making improvements to the lodge, yet keeping it within its originality.
In 2017 Hil-Mar Lodge will have been in operation for 86 years and is now managed by the 4th generation of Hengst’s running Hil-Mar Lodge.
At this time we would like to extend special thanks to all of our wonderful family, trusted friends & devoted customers for our continued success!