OAK HILL, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Catskills lost a piece of history on Friday.
The wayside inn had been a part of the community for some 25 years, and until Friday morning, the building itself had been standing since 1821.
“It’s sad, I’m devastated,” said the owner.
Susan McCarthy and her husband Sean not only owned and operated the Wayside Inn on Route 81 in East Durham, but they had also lived in the upstairs apartment.
“This was our home, we lived here for the 25 years that we’ve been open,” they explained.
But on October 1, they moved out and were in the process of renovating it for their daughter. That’s until around 4:30 a.m., Susan says she heard the sirens and minutes later, a knock at the door. Behind it was one of her longtime employees.
“She was all upset and she said the wayside is burning. So we got up and came down and it was engulfed,” Susan said.
Chief Connie Whitbeck with the Oakhill/Durham Volunteer Fire Department says the fire started somewhere in the back of the building and spread throughout within minutes.
Susan watched as some 30 firefighters worked for nearly two hours to put a stop to the fast moving flames – all the while thinking of both her employees and her patrons.
“They come in regularly and we talk to them, watched them grow up they’ve watched our kids grow up. We’ve employed many of their kids here,” Susan said. “All I can say is thank you for your support over the years and we’ll try to do what we can do,” she continued.
Susan says right now she’s not sure what’s going to happen, whether they will rebuild or if the wayside will just become a memory.