Back in the day when the automobile came into vogue and people first began to pack up the family and travel, there was a need for lodgings if you were spending more than a single day on the road. In the beginning, people simply camped alongside the dirt roads they traveled when they were given permission by the farmers and landowners. Nothing like the “glamping” you see today!
Recognizing there was a void that needed filling, some entrepreneurial landowners built small, individual structures that provided shelter and comfort with fewer amenities than larger hotels, and at a lower expense. These little cottages sprouted up in a variety of areas in our Town, especially around Orange Lake. These small units were rented or leased for vacations by those wishing to escape the cities and get some fresh country air.
One of the best sites in our Town was the Little Cabin Inn, with its neat and tidy cabins, up on State Route 9W in Middle Hope. Not only were there cabins available but also a bar and restaurant to comfort the weary traveler, providing an oasis where they could rehydrate.
Where did it begin? Julius Magyar and his wife, Mary, arrived in the United States in 1903. Moving to this area, as this area was booming with work in the brickyards, he quickly secured work as a laborer in Roseton and planted his roots. First renting a home, and then purchasing their own place, Julius and Mary became naturalized citizens and brought nine children into this world, and into our Town.
The Magyar family brought this sense of family to their business venture, The Little Cabin Inn. A quaint rest stop, with lodgings for the weary traveler, it became one of the “go to” destinations for people traveling through our town. It also was a respite for the local community to get out for an evening on the town, or for having a dining experience after a Sunday afternoon drive. The venue also offered dancing and other forms of entertainment to our neighborhood during the week.
The family sank their roots deep into the landscape, but they never lost their love for their homeland, Hungary, passing this love down to the next generation. I discovered a photo from the January 17th, 1956 edition of the Newburgh News of Julius Magyar (Jr.) and his family preparing to head out on a ship voyage to vacation in Europe, visiting family and friends.
If you take a look at the vintage photo of the Little Cabin Inn, provided by a dear friend of mine, and of the Magyars, the gasoline prices purport this was taken around 1970. The fuel pumps were removed when State Route 9W was widened.
Sadly, on January 17th, 1965, Julius Magyar (Jr.) left us. He was discovered dead of natural causes, about half a mile away from the Little Cabin Inn, at the site of a new home he was building. Though he left a void, the strong family ties kept the entity alive, as it does to this present day.
The Little Cabin Inn morphed into The Haven, a coffee and breakfast stop, shortly before the COVID shutdown closed many of our small businesses. Perhaps we’ll see it rise again, savor a hot cup of Joe, and take in all the history embedded there.