Yama Farms Inn: A Home in the Mountains

By Wendy E. Harris

Cragsmoor Consultants

Co-author (with Harold Harris and Dianne Wiebe),

Yama Farms, A Most Unusual Catskills Resort (2006)



Welcome! These pages tell the story of Yama Farms, its buildings, and its occupants. Although much has been lost, much still remains....and there is consolation to be found in the beauty of its ruins.

Hudson River Valley writer,  naturalist, and frequent Yama Farms guest, John Burroughs, admiring the famous fireplace at the Hut, bearing the inscription  “Let us linger here in the beautiful foolishness of things” taken from Kakuzō Okakura’s 1906 Book of Tea.

The copper plaque above the mantle contains Burroughs’ homage to Yama Farms:

“I come here to find myself. It is so easy to get lost in the world.”

This website is dedicated to the five people most responsible for preserving the history of Yama-no-uchi and Yama Farms Inn.

Jyoti Chrystal (1944-2009), great-grandniece of Yama Farms co-creator, Olive Brown Sarre.

Kenneth Chase, great-grandson of Frank Seaman, Yama Farms co-creator.

Katharine T. Terwilliger (1907-1994), former Town of Wawarsing Historian

William Winters, Local Historian

Harold Harris (1922-2003)            

            Local Historian

The Japanese ideogram shown above was inscribed on the left hand post of the gateway to Yama Farms. It is translated as “Yama-no-uchi” or “Home in the Mountains” (sometimes translated as “Home Within the Mountains”). According to Yama Farms founder and owner Frank Seaman, this name was bestowed upon his property in Napanoch, New York by Marquis Ito Hirobumi, the first prime minister of Japan. It became the symbol of Yama Farms Inn, and appeared everywhere—on the Inn’s stationary, advertising, tableware, menus, drink lists, wine bottles, and even on pats of butter placed upon the guests’ breakfast tables.