Mizzen Top Hotel | Dutcher House

With the establishment of the railroad through Pawling, Albert Akin and John Dutcher both saw the new potential to entice vacationers from New York City, and each man became associated with one of the two great hotels that were built in the early 1880s, and which came to dominate the landscape of the town. 1880 Akin founded a corporation to fund and build the Mizzen Top Hotel on Quaker Hill— designed by renowned architect John A. Wood, the Mizzen Top was a lavish resort that offered golf, tennis, bowling, croquet, billiards, and fishing and boating in nearby Hammersley Lake. “The Mizzen-Top Hotel is the nearest high class country and mountain resort to New York City,” advertisements proclaimed. “It is located in a park of thirty acres and is surrounded by luxuriant trees and well-kept grounds, laid out in the most artistic manner. Eight hundred feet of broad verandahs surround the hotel and the views in all directions are exceedingly fine.” Named by Akin’s friend John Lorimer Worden (after the top-most part of the ship’s mast), for decades it offered New Yorkers a natural respite, one that was only an hour and half by train.

Dutcher House, completed in 1884, also offered top-notch luxury accommodations to visitors from New York City. Unlike the Mizzen Top, however, which had to be reached by carriage from the train station, the Dutcher House was built directly across from the train station in the center of the Village of Pawling, so that disembarking guests had mere steps to walk before arriving at their destination. As a result, the Dutcher House fared far better than the Mizzen Top economically, and its building still stands today (though it has long been converted into apartments). The Mizzen Top, on the other hand, was demolished in 1934.