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150 Years of Hotel History
The Inn at Taughannock Falls offers twenty-four accommodations that expand across four separate buildings with no elevators and are no taller than two stories. Our historic Ithaca hotel has created the perfect balance of relaxation and culinary delights for every traveler.
Originally, this area was settled by Native Americans; unclear if the tribe were the Taughannock or Cayuga tribe. Their sacred burial grounds are protected and still kept secret to this day. Settled by the first white person, the Goodwyn brothers, in 1794, others soon followed, attracted by the prosperity the Erie Canal delivered starting in 1825 as an economic boom to the area and the access to deliver goods to New York City.
John and Amelia Jones, wealthy residents of Philadelphia, purchased this property. John owned a wallpaper manufacturing company and completed the construction of his private summer home in 1873 with the intent of enjoying Cayuga Lake in the summer while he pursued his passion for breeding racehorses. Looking out our dining room window at the park across the street, you can still see the oval lawn reminiscent of the family's private horse-racing track.
Many original Jones furnishings were imported from England and Italy and remain in the Victorian Inn today. On either end of the second-floor hallway are two magnificent original Tiffany chandeliers, lavish antiques, and massive Eastlake mirrors in numerous rooms. The Jones estate was 800 acres and included the 215-foot waterfall, and his land stretched down the west side of Cayuga Lake. On April 10, 1925, Mr. Jones sold most of his estate to the state of New York and helped create the Taughannock Falls State Park, one of the most beautiful State Parks in the Finger Lakes area.
Widow Amelia Jones sold the estate to Merritt and Maude Agard in 1945. Soon after, on May 16, 1946, the Agards opened this home as the Taughannock Farms Inn, a country restaurant, and rented rooms. It was operated by three generations of the Agard family and passed on to their granddaughter, Nancy Agard, who married Keith Legrand.
Keith expanded the kitchen, built a new restaurant along the front of the Victorian house in 1980, and successfully operated one of the most popular restaurants in the area. This was the place to go in the '70s and '80s. One of the restaurant regulars was famed writer-director Rod Serling of The Twilight Zone. In 1997, Nancy and Keith sold the hotel to Susan and Tom Sheridan, both graduates of the Cornell hotel school. Tom and Susan were responsible for the construction of the Edgewood building. They sold the property to the current owners on February 12, 2016.
One of the new owners was a graduate of Ithaca College and knew the hotel very well. He enjoyed his graduation dinner in the Jones room in 1981. Recognizing the rare opportunity to reinvent this property and invite others to enjoy this spectacular setting. They changed the name of the Taughannock Farms Inn to The Inn at Taughannock Falls.
Over the past five years, substantial investments have been made to evolve this property into a luxury boutique hotel and casual fine dining restaurant. All four buildings on the 12-acre campus have been extensively renovated. In 2021, a dedicated wedding garden called "Enchantment" opened to accommodate summer events for up to 300 people in a Gatsby-like setting.
The Inn at Taughannock Falls estate has five buildings over 12 acres of sprawling grounds and is surrounded on all four sides by the Taughannock Falls State Park, boasting the tallest waterfall east of the Rockies. The restaurant started by the Agards is the longest-operating restaurant in Upstate New York, having just celebrated its 74th year in operation!