In 1900, Philadelphia Quaker Samuel E. Griscom acquired the Buck Hill property through an inheritance from his father and sought out his long time friend, Howard Jenkins, editor of the Friends’ Intelligencer, to inspect the wild land for the possibility of selling the property to share as a quiet mountainous getaway from the intrusion of city life.
Jenkins left for Buck Hill with his sons, Charles F., Arthur H., and Edward A. along with Henry T. Paiste to visit the wilderness. In August of that same year, the pioneers journeyed to this vast property of noble hemlock, flowering rhododendron, rugged grey boulders, fresh mountain air, and tumbling, everflowing waters. They were convinced its unique “country” charm and scenic beauty were magical and began sharing ideas, stories, and possibilities for the future. From that moment on, their lives would never be the same.
It took less than a year from the time Samuel Griscom inheritance to the development and sale, in 1901, of the first 43 lots in Buck Hill Falls. It was not long before the families of well-to-do New Yorkers joined the community. These early Buck Hill Falls residents were a sophisticated, educated and nature-loving group. They were devoted hikers and eager picnickers who relished the splendid forests and sparkling streams. It did not take long before the energetic Buck Hill Falls residents to enhance their recreational options.
A library was established almost at once, immediately followed by the creation of an adult nature club, and another one for children where canoeing, hiking and nature lessons were given. Then, other facilities were built: a golf course (1907), a swimming pool (1908), and tennis courts (six by 1913). Also in 1913, Buck Hill Falls was one of the first resorts in the area to offer winter sports, such as skiing and tobogganing. By 1922, horseback riding was offered. Nine years later, lawn bowling — now a well-established tradition — was introduced.
Buck Hill Today
Today, Buck Hill Falls is a true year-round resort and home community. It boasts a 27-hole golf course with a clubhouse, a tennis center with ten Har-Tru courts, an Olympic-size outdoor pool, and championship lawn bowling greens. And, many of the special and cultural activities begun by the early residents are also still popular. These include: the Buck Hill Art Association, which sponsors painting and crafts classes and exhibitions; the Buck Hill Conservation Foundation, a nature group that plans early morning walks and other preservation activities; and the Foxhowe Association, which, since 1925, has sponsored a fascinating series of weekly concerts, informative talks, and other culturally-enriching presentations from acclaimed individuals. Highly-valued traditional celebrations, such as the Fourth of July parade, Holiday carolling, and Thanksgiving dinners are special family-centered events uniquely celebrated in the community every year as well.