History of the Lewis House

Lewis House, 1896

Built in 1896 by the Lewis Brothers company of LeRoy, the shingle-style Victorian was built to house a hotel containing 16 rooms with approximately four being used as guest rooms for overnight accommodation, a ballroom/opera house, general store, post office and lumber company office. The ballroom was converted into an extra department for the general store approximately four years after the building was built. The family business was composed of brothers, George Lewis, Harrison Lewis, and E. Lloyd Lewis, along with a brother-in-law, H.L. Stone. The brothers started in the lumbering business shortly before the end of the 19th century and after several years of success, built the hotel, known as the Lewis House with lumber produced at their portable saw mill on the mountain south of LeRoy. The company cut timber at Cranberry Marsh and moved its way across the mountain to Sunfish Pond and on to Carbon Run. In 1901 the company bid on a lumber contract that would have allowed them to continue working their way across the mountain. The Union Tanning Company ultimately chose the Barclay Brothers of Sinnamahoning, Pennsylvania, and the town of Laquin was born. Lumber stockpiled at the Lewis Brothers mill in Carbon Run was sold to the newly formed Laquin Lumber Company and used to build the sawmill there. The Lewis Brothers then closed down their mill and travelled by railroad to West Virginia and lumbered there for a period of time. The hotel served as the stagecoach stop for LeRoy and travelers could get food and a room for the night. Regular dances hosted by the LeRoy Silver Cornet Band were held in the second floor ballroom as well as many community events such as LeRoy Center School graduation ceremonies. During weekends, single young men from Laquin would visit LeRoy for some entertainment in the ballroom. As the story goes, one time the young men from LeRoy, jealous that these Laquin men were stealing their girls, threw them out one of the ballroom windows. In later years, the hotel was turned into a doctor’s office, then a funeral parlor, and finally a rest home before it became a private residence.