When John Finn popped the question to Beth Darragh during the height of Hurricane Irene, they were holed up at a neighbor’s house watching flood waters rise over their Catskill home. So when it came time to plan their wedding reception, it was only fitting that they look to the historic warehouse at Catskill Point, which overlooks the same creek that played such a pivotal role in changing their lives forever. “It just had a sort of magical feel to it,” says Darragh. “I love that building. I think it has the potential to be anything somebody can envision, and that’s super cool.”
Historic Catskill Point was once a primary port of call for river sloops and steamboats journeying up the Hudson River. The 19th-century Freightmaster’s Building served as the ticket office for the Hudson River Day Line, transporting downstate vacationers to the luxurious Catskill Mountain Resorts. Passengers would wait in the 19th-century warehouse, which was also used to store incoming and outgoing goods. Now, it is a wide-open, 9,000-square-foot blank canvas with white rafters, original beams, and enough room for 600 people to party.
After first jumping the broom privately in Mazatlan, Mexico, the couple envisioned a Venetian masquerade ball for their May 2012 hometown celebration. Darragh, owner of Lowell Darragh Productions, brought in furniture and props from the City, dropped crystal chandeliers from the ceiling, and provided cocktails and hors d’oeuvres to set the mood. “It is such a special place,” she says. “When they built that building, obviously, they were looking at it as work space, and I think it has functioned like that perfectly. But for a party and just the overall view, there are so many individual things that can happen there that are unexpected.”
In addition to soaking up “a remarkable view of the Rip Van Winkle Bridge” and receiving celebratory honks from barges churning down the Hudson, the newlyweds got a redemptive surprise from Mother Nature. The 2012 “supermoon”—the largest full moon of the year—had come out to smile on their special day. “As the moon came up over the river,” Darragh recalls watching from the outdoor deck, “it was spectacular.”
The warehouse at Historic Catskill Point may be rented from May through October. The $1,500 site fee also includes use of the Freightmaster’s Building and park grounds, which can fit an additional 900 guests.