The house in 1870 with George Lapham and family. The construction of a house on this site can be dated back to 1820. Through modifications and additions over the years, the most notable being in 1879 when the grand dining room and brick carriage house were added, the house is now a thirteen room Italianate Victorian offering four beautifully appointed guest rooms, of which three have bathrooms en suite that were fully renovated in 2010. Available to the guests for relaxation are the two parlors, furnished entirely with period antiques.
Though situated in the village, the grounds stretch to three-quarters of an acre and embrace: several lawns suitable for relaxation, bird watching, badminton or croquet; many trees, flowers, shrubs, birds, squirrels, chipmunks, and rabbits; plus the carriage house demarking the west border.
In 2008, your hosts Llewellyn and Laurel, following many years in New York City's Manhattan and Brooklyn, set out for a different quality of life. Traveling throughout the northeast and viewing many properties over many months, we discovered the perfect spot on Main Street in Penn Yan. We gave up diesel fumes, high-decibel ambience, and subway stress turned up to 11 for the clip-clop of horse-pulled Mennonite buggies and the serenity of a Rockwellian village life. Here, without a MetroCard, you can walk a couple blocks and satisfy most any desire.
Llewellyn had moved to New York City many years ago as a working actor, singer and musician. With a sharp eye, you might pick him out from the backgound of a handful of movies of the 1970s and '80s. Fully exploring traditional starving actorhood, he drove a yellow cab for thousands of potholed miles and waited on many checkered tables, while developing his other skills in photography and technology. In the mid-1980s, he leaped into software engineering on Wall Street, leaving the arts in the dust. By 2000 he was vice president of engineering for a startup company that pioneered cell phone social networking. (No, it wasn't Twitter and no, it never turned a profit.) Now, in Penn Yan, he has returned to music and photography — and even waiting on tables again, in a hostelry of his own.
Laurel originally hails from western Massachusetts and is a former teacher and long-time genealogy researcher. She is also a lifetime knitter — in fact, if you knit and happen to book a room on a Thursday, come a little early and join her at the weekly knitting group held at the Carnegie Library at 1:00 p.m. You will be most welcome!
It's clear we love our life here in Penn Yan. For us it really is La Belle Vie.