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The History of Elmira's Painted Lady.

   
 

Featured in the renowned series of books, “America’s Painted Ladies, Elmira’s Painted Lady is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This building is a superb example of Second Empire architecture built in 1875. The building is adorned with original silk tufted in satin ceiling and wall treatments in the parlor, magnificently designed oak coffered billiard room and beautiful fireplaces around ever corner.

Financier Wilber W. Fish moved into this handsome home in 1879, four years after its construction, and his son, Edwin, lived here until 1945. One owner later in 1972, the Frandsen family purchased the home and began restoration and upgrading of the interior which took twelve years. The "Painted Ladies" series of books inspired the choice of polychrome for the exterior, and when the slate roof was refinished, red tiles were inserted with new curved-to-match gray tiles from the New York-Vermont border.

The Molisani family purchased the home in 1998 and converted it back from a four unit apartment building to a single-family home once again. Major renovations and cosmetic work were completed to prepare the home to become The Painted Lady Bed & Breakfast.

Laurie and Dorian Desmarais took over operations in August of 2003, and completed several new projects including construction of a new guestroom, installation of period wall-coverings throughout the inn and the addition of a Victorian garden with fountain. 

The B&B's current owners, Butch and Marilyn Monroe, purchased the beautiful Victorian home in October of 2008. The Inn had been closed for about a year.  After remodeling the kitchen, replacing the boiler and restoring the rooms to their former elegance, the Inn opened for business January 1, 2009 as “Elmira’s Painted Lady Bed & Breakfast”.

HISTORY OF ELMIRA

The City of Elmira is conveniently located in New York's Southern Tier, the gateway to the beautiful Finger Lakes region. Elmira is home to approximately 31,000 residents and offers a quality of life that can only be achieved and enjoyed in a smaller community.

At the start of the 1900s, the tobacco and dairy industries were the area's main agricultural activities. Elmira's early commercial district was brimming with retail and wholesale businesses and streets filled with shoppers and trolley transportation. In the 60's, the local community followed the national shopping mall trend, which lead to the development of the Arnot Mall in Big Flats. In 1972, Hurricane Agnes flooded the area, devastating homes and more than 40 percent of Elmira's commercial downtown structures. Elmira is rebuilding itself into a viable, modern community with  a state-of-the-art community civic arena, a multimillion dollar renovation of the Clemons Center, the regions premier performing arts center and diligent efforts to restore the downtown area.

LOCAL PEOPLE WHO MADE HISTORY

 MARK TWAIN - Elmira has a strong connection to the great American novelist Samuel Langhorne Clemens - best known as "Mark Twain". He spent many summers with his wife, Elmira native Olivia Langdon, and her family at Quarry Farm. There he penned such important novels as "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer", "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn", and "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court". Twain's Octagon Study and gravesite remain as two of the area's top tourist attractions.  Read more about Mark Twain.

HAL ROACH - Film pioneer Hal Roach was born in Elmira in 1892 and produced such timeless classics as Laurel & Hardy, Our Gang (Little Rascals) and Will Rogers.  Read more about Hal Roach here.

ERNIE DAVIS - A graduate from Elmira Free Academy, Ernie Davis was the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy - college football's top award. There is a new movie titled “The Express” about his life.  Read more about Ernie Davis here.

JOHN JONES – John Jones came to Elmira in 1844 after escaping from slavery on a Virginia plantation and helped 800 other slaves flee to freedom through his home next to the First Baptist Church. He is accredited with playing an instrumental role in the Underground Railroad.  Read more about John Jones here.

COLONEL EILEEN COLLINS - A graduate of Elmira Free Academy, Colonel Collins became the first female pilot of a space shuttle, and in 1999 became the first woman to command a space shuttle mission.  She then commanded NASA's Return To Flight mission in July of 2005.  She retired from NASA in the summer of 2006.  Read more about Eileen Collins here.

TOMMY HILFIGER - World famous fashion designer, Tommy Hilfiger, grew up in Elmira and opened his first clothing business, The People's Place, on North Main Street.

   
 

PHOTOS     ROOMS & RATES     PACKAGES     FOR SPECIAL OCCASIONS     RESERVATIONS     POLICIES      HISTORY     ACTIVITIES     DIRECTIONS     HOME     CONTACT US    LINKS

 
 

Copyright :  Elmira's Painted Lady 2008