The old Harrietstown Town Hall after the 1926 fire. In the foreground is the Empire Hotel. (Adirondack Daily Enterprise, November 22, 1970) Dewey House ad - 1902. Historic Image Empire Hotel, c. 1909; a sign for Mike Egan's livery can be seen in the alley, at right. (From Saranac Lake in the Adirondacks: The North Woods City of Health and Opportunity, Mid Winter Carnival, 1909. Courtesy of the Adirondack Research Room, Saranac Lake Free Library) Address: The site is now occupied by the southernmost portion of the Harrietstown Town Hall.

Old Address: 28 Main Street

Other names: St. Nicholas Hotel, Dewey House, Empire Hotel DIS 1911

Year built: before 1895

The Empire Hotel, at 28 Main Street was built before 1895 as the St. Nicholas Hotel. Michael J. Brennan was the proprietor By 1899, it was the Dewey House, with A. M. Dewey as proprietor, and by 1908, the Empire, Daniel A. Walsh, proprietor. There was an ice house and stable/livery behind it. (Sanborn maps)

It was managed by George Downing and John Crowley. It had 29 rooms, and its dining room could seat 40; it was just south of the old Harrietstown Town Hall and was nearly lost in the 1926 fire that consumed the town hall. The fire was discovered by members of the Saranac Club who were playing cards in the hotel at the time. It was torn down to make way for the enlarged Town Hall in 1927.


Malone Farmer, November 11, 1903

The Dewey House at Saranac Lake has been purchased by John Brennan, of Plattsburgh, and Geo. Downing, of Saranac. Lake. Mr. Brennan has been employed in the Cumberland House the past four years and recently married Miss Bertha Morrison, daughter of E. C. Morrison, of Plattsburgh.

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