This legendary castle has hosted more than a century’s worth of distinguished guests, including naturalists, theologians, and business leaders, as well as award-winning actors, artists, authors, and musicians. Five Presidents of the United States have stayed on our mountaintop—Chester A. Arthur, Rutherford B. Hayes, William Howard Taft, Theodore Roosevelt, and William Jefferson Clinton.
Founder Albert Smiley was much more than simply a hotel proprietor. His Quaker beliefs led him to a dedication to the cause of peace. In 1895, he convened the first of many annual conferences on International Arbitration, held at Mohonk Mountain House. The purpose of these meetings was to provide a forum for national and international leaders to meet and discuss world problems in an effort to find alternatives to war. The conferences continued through 1916, and included notable attendees such as President William Howard Taft, William Jennings Bryan, and Secretaries of State of successive administrations.
These conferences highlighted a concern for peaceful conflict resolution that has been credited with giving impetus to the Hague Conference movement. The United Nations of today can trace its roots back to the Hague Conferences.