Yama Farms Inn: A Home in the Mountains


More on Yama Foodways

Guests at Yama Farms claimed that the buttermilk served with every meal was better than champagne. In fact, Yama Farms “certified milk” and buttermilk were so popular that they appear at the very top of the Inn’s drink list.

At various points in their Yama Farms’ careers both Frank Seaman and Olive Sarre attended the Cornell College of Agriculture. Olive actually received a degree and played a major role in managing the agricultural aspects of the Inn. In 1911, prior to opening the Inn, Frank Seaman had purchased a 188-acre dairy farms just outside of Ellenville and stocked it with a herd of 100 purebred Jersey cows. Less than a decade later a local newspaper called the operation “one of the most productive farms to be found in any section.” Its profits for the 1920 season were said to be “enormous.” The farms output not only supplied the Inn but its products were also sold locally.

Like the Yama Farms jersey herd, the Yama Farms poultry operation was not only profitable but generated agricultural prizes as well.  The Black Minorcas were the hit of the 1913 silver anniversary show of the New York State Poultry and Pigeon Association. As described in a New York Times  article:

“The Yama Farms Black Minorcas are attracting much attention, and the cocks are

among the most aristocratic fowls of the show. The Yama Farms exhibit is attracting

the attention of the fanciers and it has already won many ribbons. The Minorcas lay

the largest eggs known.”


Frank Seaman conversing with members of Yama Farm’s herd of 100 purebred  Jersey cows.

Yama Farms milk and buttermilk topped the Inn’s drink list

Advertisements for Yama Farms dairy products appeared regularly in local newspapers. One wonders whether the butter sold in this Ellenville grocery store bore the imprint of the Yama-no-uchi ideogram as did the butter served to the Inn’s guests.

At one point Seaman owned 7000 chickens, mostly Barred Plymouth Rocks and Black Minorcas. The latter breed was said to produce the largest eggs in the poultry world.