Sunny Hill Continues to GrowThe dining room which was built under the Main House served as the main eating place for almost thirty years although it was added to three times.
Bungalows A, B, C, D and E were built in order to meet the need for more summer guests.
In 1955 Bungalow D was rebuilt to provide the first building with private shower, toilet and sink facilities. The first motel built was the 4-unit Arendal Motel with private bath and a radio in each room. Guests staying at the Arendal were considered the elite among Sunny Hill guests at the time.
Next came the building of the Grimstad Motel in about 1960, with rooms ranking among the finest in existence at area resorts. At the same time the Main House and Annex were both converted to all rooms with private baths. By 1961 Sunny Hill may have become the first resort in the area to have all rooms with private bath facilities.
The 1940’s Eventful Years at Sunny Hill
Gurine’s health was very poor for the period of 1930 thru 1944, being severely crippled with arthritis, overburdened with hard work and, truthfully speaking, having no recreation year-in and year-out. She died at 57 years of age in 1944. Her passing was a great shock to members of the family and to all who knew her, as Gurine liked everyone and always saw “the good in people” rather than their faults. Peter continued to work hard—mostly at carpenter work and building and died in 1949 at the age of 67. But Gurine and Peter’s hard work and long hours had laid the foundations upon which Sunny Hill was built.
In 1949 a large barn burned down in the center of Sunny Hill’s grounds from unknown causes. It was replaced by an Annex building which contained a fellows dormitory. This building was later enlarged and became known as the present Edmonton Motel—a 24- unit building with private bath and radio in each room plus two TV lounge rooms.
The year 1949 was the last year for any farming and cows at Sunny Hill. It was the turning point which determined that Sunny Hill would be in the vacation business only from then on.
Large scale tree and stonewall removal took place in the 1940s and 1950s with the result that more than 3 miles of stone walls were removed from the grounds at Sunny Hill—more than 80,000 tons of stonewalls. Most of this removal was accomplished by hand labor. Knolls were knocked off and low areas filled in to produce the 75 acres of landscaped grounds which Sunny Hill has today.
The Arrival of the Fifties and Lake Loree
At Bud Young's suggestion, more than 15 acres of woods were cleared and he proceeded to dig out the stumps and build a dam. He uncovered a considerable number of surface springs which yielded a small amount of water. However, when the melting snows and Spring thaws came, the Nicholsens were amazed to see the lake fill up with water and hold it's level to a surprising degree because of the clay content of the soil. The lake was named Lake Loree in honor of Gail Loree Nicholsen and has been a real "godsend" to Sunny Hill in enabling storage of millions of gallons of water used for resort consumption, boating and fishing, and the maintenance of the golf course.
Stocked with large mouth bass which have been caught and weighed up to 8 pounds, blue gills, sunfish, perch and other species, it affords a most enjoyable sport to the fisherman and many hours of pleasure for the youngsters.
Garwayne Hall Emerges
This dining room has one of the most spectacular views in all of the Catskills. The building was named after Gary and Wayne Nicholsen. Seating 300 guests, this building also features a very modern kitchen with the finest in cooking equipment such as electric and steam pressure cookers, automatic egg boilers and homemade ice cream making machine which enables the kitchen staff to work under the most ideal conditions.
By 1963 the old barn was remodeled by adding a new wing and was renamed the Edmonton after Arnold's birthplace, Edmonton Alberta, Canada.