Pegleg Bates

A 2012 image of the Peg Leg Bates Country Club site from Google Maps.

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A 2012 image of Peg Leg Bates Country Club site from Google Maps. 

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An advertisement for Peg Leg Bates Country Club in the June 1962 edition of Ebony Magazine. 

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Known Name(s)

Pegleg Bates (Primary)
Pegleg Bates Country Club (Secondary)


Kerhonkson, NY (Primary) (1963, 1964, 1966)
(121 Rocky Mountain Rd. Kerhonkson, NY) (Secondary)

Establishment Type(s)

Country Club

Physical Status



The site is located at 121 Rocky Mountain Road, Kerhonkson, NY. As of 2012, the site is comprised of several structures. The main structure facing the road is a single-story frame building with a concrete foundation. It is painted brown and beige with a red roof. There is a covered porch over a stoop on the front of the structure. There are barn-style double front doors, and the front of the structure has six three-part picture windows.
Many other structures on the property are prefabricated trailers. Some structures are one-story frame structures built on masonry foundations as motel units. Most structures are painted white, beige, or gray with red or gray roofs.

Detailed History

The Peg Leg Bates Country Club was opened in the early 1950s by Clayton Bates and soon became one of the largest Black-owned and operated resorts in the country. Clayton "Peg Leg" Bates started dancing at five years old, and at the age of 12, he lost one of his legs in a cotton conveyer. His uncle fashioned him a peg leg at the age of 15, and Bates ran away to join the Black vaudeville circuit. His big break came in the late 1920s, when he was cast on Broadway. From there, he became an international performer, appearing in movies and television and performing with some of the most well-known bands of the 1930s. He performed on the Ed Sullivan show twenty-one times and performed with the bands of Duke Ellington, Jimmy Dorsey, Cab Calloway, Count Basie, and more.
Bates envisioned a Catskills resort for Black people, modeled after the ones he used to perform at but was never allowed to stay the night in. The Peg Leg Bates Country Club started with four rooms and by its peak had grown to 110 rooms and a nightclub, as well as a roller disco rink and a swimming pool. Though the resort was in an area that largely catered to white, Jewish patrons, this club had a predominantly Black clientele. The establishment offered several all-you-can-eat buffets, a scenic bike path and bicycle rentals, and a Broadway floor show. Bates offered special weekend packages, special midweek packages, and even a one-day picnic package for day guests.
The Country Club saw years of decline following racial integration. Bates stated that when he started, Black clients had few places to vacation. Integration created new vacation possibilities for Black clientele, and the new generation of Black travelers wanted to vacation in the same spots that white travelers did. Bates also noted that white establishments had more financial resources for amenities and facilities than Bates could afford at the Country Club. There was a white clientele present at the Country Club in the years following integration, but Bates stated that while white clients would come for the nightclub shows and drinks, they would not stay the night in the resort.
The resort was in operation until Bates' retirement in 1989. The property was purchased by Doreen Richardson who operated it as the Mountain Valley Resort until her death in 2012. As of Spring 2023 when this information was gathered, the site has been sitting vacant since Richardson's death.

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