Originally known as the Pine Orchard Hotel and opened to the public in 1824, the Catskill Mountain House was a premiere destination for Catskill tourists in the early- to mid-nineteenth century. The resort was built on South Mountain in the Catskills, overlooking the Hudson River Valley. At first only comprised of ten private rooms, the hotel grew to accommodate up to nearly 200 guests, who would stay for a few nights to see the surrounding scenery, including Kaaterskill Falls. The hotel's popularity declined after the Civil War, and it eventually fell into ruin. On 25 January 1963, the New York State Conservation Department, amid protest from preservationists and the local population, burned the decrepit hotel to the ground. Cole painted many views of the Catskill Mountain House, such as: A View of the Two Lakes and Mountain House, Catskill Mountains, Morning.