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
Mrs. A. M. Dewey was a widow of William Dewey. She was born Abbie Mary Gowett in November 1863 in New York State of Canadian parents)  She later moved to Californa
.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.  In 1898 the name was changed to the Dewey House, owned by William Dewey and by 1899 an ad gave A. M. Dewey as proprietor. By 1908, it was called the Empire Hotel, Daniel A. Walsh, proprietor. There was an ice house and stable/livery behind it. (Sanborn maps)

After 1903 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.

Plattsburgh Daily Press, March 31, 1898

The John J. Black Dramatic Company, who are giving a series of entertainments at the Town Hall, are domiciled at the Dewey House.

Plattsburgh Daily Press, May 5, 1898


Commodore Dewey who has won fame for himself and honor for the stars and stripes has two nephews who are among the prominent business men of Saranac Lake. Thomas Dewey is the leading grain and feed dealer of that place while William Dewey is proprietor of the Dewey House, a popular summer resort.

Malone Farmer, December 3, 1902

During some blasting at Saranac Lake a week ago a big stone was hurled across the street and struck the piazza of the Dewey House in which it smashed a big hole, and landed on the first floor.

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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