Treat yourself to a relaxing, rejuvenating and inspiring retreat in your own private studio cottage in the heart of Stonecrop, the estate owned by Anita M. Smith—writer, artist, historian and “Herb Lady of the Catskills.” Nestled at the gateway to Woodstock’s legendary Overlook Mountain, Rock City Writer’s Studio is walking distance (just over 1/2 mile) to the Woodstock Village Green, where you’ll find galleries, boutiques, restaurants and cafes. Or just stay home and relax in your bucolic retreat surrounded by wildlife and nature. Prepare snacks and meals in your well-equipped kitchenette and serve them on the screened-in bluestone porch, or at the stone table on the lawn with a gas grill surrounded by gardens. Treat yourself to a relaxing sauna in your Nordic sauna for two, followed by a shower under a skylight. The living room converts into a bedroom at night, and features a 32” flat-screen HDTV with cable service and a Blu-Ray player, as well as an extensive collection of books, CDs and DVDs. Other amenities include luxury linens, spa robes, WIFI, and private parking. Combine with nearby Herb Cottage for additional space.
Anita M. Smith was born in Philadelphia in 1893. She was a Quaker and her family were part of the crème de la crème of Philadelphia society. By the time she reached the age of 19 she had already been on 3 major world tours. In 1912 she came to Woodstock with money intended for a ball gown, to study painting at the Art Students League Summer School. In the 1930s she shifted gears and began an herbalism business. Anita’s flourishing enterprise was based in Herb Cottage—and she sold her products in all 48 contiguous United States. Her business was one of four like it located on the East Coast. It was so successful that H.J. Heinz came calling. However, with the onset of World War II she changed course once again. It was a time of self-sacrifice, and so she offered space on her property to the town’s plane spotting unit—and became the Chief Observer. The barn building next to Rock City Writer’s Studio is all that remains of this structure. After the war, she began work on Woodstock History and Hearsay, the town’s first history, and this was published in 1959.
The current owners met Anita Smith as children in 1957. She supported their mother’s creativity and lent her an old studio (now styled as Rock City Writer’s Studio). This allowed her to work on her plays in peace—away from family interference. In turn, their mother became like a daughter to Anita, and assisted her in the final stages of writing the first edition of Woodstock History and Hearsay. Miss Smith left her estate to their mother: physical and intellectual property. When their mother passed in 1999 they jointly inherited the house, outbuildings, grounds and intellectual property. After much thought and discussion they resolved to honor Anita and their mother through a program of restoration. Further, they determined to embrace and celebrate a mindset and way of living that had been handed down to them from Anita. This was the genesis of their company, WoodstockArts (http://www.woodstockarts.com).