Thursday, January 29, 2009

Lincklaen House (Cazenovia, NY)

-leave your own

Take your muddy boots off at the door.....

As archaeologists working on cultural resource management projects we are often placed in cruddy, run-down motels, because budgets won't support much else. However, when the opportunity arises when we can do a little scouting and haggling we can turn a terrible week in a post-war travel lodge on NY 20 into a pleasant stay at a 19th century historic landmark. We leave the haggling for overnight accommodations to you, reader . . . and please leave your muddy boots at the door!!

For more than 170 years the Lincklaen House has been an operating hotel and a center for Cazenovia community activities and private functions. After passing through some lean years in the 1970s, it is once more a popular retreat for formal and informal dining. The Lincklaen House was considered to be a “grand hotel” when it was built in 1835 by a group of local businessmen. To create a need for the new hostelry, one of the older hotels on the public square, the Madison County Hotel, was purchased and subdivided into four pieces and moved to various sites in the village.
In addition to the hotel proper an attached business block containing two store fronts was built on the east side of the property. Originally the bar was located in the southwest corner of the main floor where the lobby sitting area is now located. Two businesses occupied the spaces in the basement.

Over the years various structural changes took place. By the late 19th century two large plate glass windows were installed in the bar area. However, in 1918, a fire damaged the interior of the structure and a complete renovation resulting in the colonial revival interior that still marks to main floor was installed (and the picture windows removed as well. The attached commercial blocks were also disassociated from the building when new late Victorian facades were added around the early part of the century. Known businesses in the basement area included various barber shops where the Seven Stone Steps is located. The adjoining dining area at one time housed a combination shoe repair shop and Italian grocery store run by the father of my first boss Gene Barilla.
The Seven Stone Steps tap room was probably built during the 1918 renovation, although the Merrill Bailey paintings were added in 1942 or shortly after. The bar was a popular hangout for Colgate students coming to town to find dates at Cazenovia Junior College, newly formed from the old Cazenovia Seminary in 1945. Sixty years worth of initials can be seen on the tables and wood paneling. The current owners reintegrated the attached commercial buildings into the hotel, renovating the two storefronts into another dining facility now used primarily for private parties. The apartments in the floors above were renovated into more hotel bedrooms. Finally, the basement bar was enlarged and the adjoining dining room integrated into a full time eatery with its own tavern menu.
The Seven Stone Steps, has its own entrance on the south side of the building from Albany Street. The menu is unlike most pub fare. After drinks are ordered you can expect to receive a piping hot popover served with honey butter. I have been several times for a nibble and can not resist a bowl of the lobster bisque. The hand tossed personal-sized pizzas are just the right size (I have had the BBQ chicken pizza). The wait staff are generally local students from Cazenovia College, who plan on working in the hospitality industry after school, so they are attentive and easy going. After your meal take a leisurely walk down to Lakeside Park and enjoy the sunset over Cazenovia Lake (Lake Owaghena). Check it out. You will not be disappointed.


  1. So, they allow barefoot dining? How avant-garde!

  2. I'd work away happily if all hotels were this good...

  3. You are setting the bar pretty high on these posts, Mr. Grills. Nice!