The Lake House – a Pillar of Local History
The Lake House on Canadarago Lake was built as a hotel in 1843 and remains one of the oldest continually operating establishments in the Leatherstocking area of central New York.
In the 1920s it was a speakeasy and a favorite country retreat for gangster Jack “Legs” Diamond who used the Lake House as his summer home. There was a trap door in the floor of the first story leading to a room in the back corner of the basement with an old fashioned tin ceiling. It’s here, we believe, he stored illegal liquor and hid from the reveneurs that came looking for him.
The Lake House was purchased in 1935 by Andrew Canacaris, a Greek chef who had been connected with one of the large resort hotels in the village of Richfield Springs. He refurbished the building, continuing its use as a resort hotel and restaurant, building the popularity of the restaurant and its grounds.
The Lake House again fell into disrepair in the 1990s, before being purchased and renovated by the Corrigan family in 1997. Now also referred to as the Lodge, in the 21st century the Lake House’s doors remain open to those looking for a place to dine and celebrate and rest.
The Terrace Hotel – a Forgotten Legacy
While the Lake House was making history during the Prohibition Era, one mile away in the heart of Richfield Springs a resort hotel catered to Jewish guests and was operated by a Jewish community that once resided in the village. The Terrace Hotel was part of the sulfur spa industry that once boomed in communities gifted with natural sulfur springs. We suspect that for at least part of its history, the Terrace Hotel also served as a waystation where the devout could practice the full communual stucture of their religion while traveling or vacationing.
The former synagogue located next door at the corner of Church Street and Gould Avenue was affiliated with the Terrace Hotel and together with the hotel forms a highlight of the Church Street Historic District. Ownership of the synagogue building changed hands from one faith community to another multiple times, as has that of another historic church building almost directly across the street. As time passed, families moved away, communities relocated, and demographics shifted. The building that was once the Terrace Hotel stands as a proud and under-documented testimony of ethnic diversity, forgotten cultural pursuits, and ancient faiths.
Purchased by the Corrigans in 2010, the renovated Baseball Hotel now houses the families who come for the many baseball-related attractions and events of the Cooperstown area. The Terrace Hotel’s three sulfur bath houses have also been renovated and today as our Townhouses offer aditional lodging to guests, travellers, and tourists.