The Lewis House Bed & Breakfast
Lewis House History
Lewis House Bed & Breakfast
Address: 38 EAST HIGH STREET, BALLSTON SPA, NEW YORK 12020 Phone: 518-884-9857

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Visit the parks around Saratoga: Saratoga Spa State ParkSaratoga National Historic Park


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Guests can relax and enjoy the beautiful flower gardens outside The Lewis House Bed & Breakfast.

Lewis House History

Today the Lewis House is an Italianate Victorian Saratoga Bed and Breakfast located on a beautifully landscaped 3/4 acre lot. It is located just east of the intersection of Rt. 50 and Rt. 67 in the Village of Ballston Spa, five miles south of Saratoga Springs. It features raised bed gardens for annuals, perennials, herbs and salads.

Historic Lewis House

Ballston Spa is the seat of Saratoga County and it is a quaint village surrounded on all sides by high grounds and is one of America's earliest resorts. The Kayaderosseras Creek runs through this village surveyed by Beriah Palmer, who found the natural carbonated mineral spring bubbling from the nearby bank of Golden Creek. Even today the "Old Iron Spring" is a well known attraction.

The 3500 sq. ft. two-story Italianate Victorian was built by Cornwall and Caroline Noxon in 1871. Even though it is located in an urban Ballston Spa Historic Area it has a rather large 125’ x 250’ lot which provides plenty of space for gardening. It was designed with central heat (probably coal furnace) and brick between the studs for insulation. Natural gas was piped through the house for lighting and was in use until early 1900 when it was wired for electric lighting. The house had a full bath for the main house, one for the Servants Quarters and a half bath on the first floor. The Servants Quarter had a private entrance, housed the main house kitchen, a sitting area, and provided private sleeping and bathroom facilities.

The Servant (s) prepared the family meals and passed them through to a formal dining area which is now the B&B kitchen/dining room. The Servants Quarters was also connected to the main house bedrooms in order to do housekeeping with a minimum amount of mingling with the owners. In the 50’s the Servants quarters was converted into income and caretaker apartments. The first floor has 12’ ceilings, massive plaster ceiling molding, huge pocket doors, wide molding around the oversized windows and doors, hardwood or wide plank floors, four fireplaces (only one was used), a Cupola, and very extravagant ornate trim both on the outside and inside. The two first floor fireplaces have marble mantels and one has hand painted tile hearth. In 1999 the fireplace fireboxes were installed in three fireplaces on the first and second floor and remote-controlled natural gas inserts were installed in all four fireplaces.

Previous Owners:

  • Cornwall and Caroline Noxon – 1871 – 1873
  • Ira and Mary Brooket – 1873 – 1886
  • Well and Jane S. Leflin – 1886 – 1893
  • Mary Fitcham – 1893 – 1902
  • Ethel Fitcham – 1902 – 1925
  • Ethel Hames – 1925 – 1946
  • William H. Conner – 1946 – 1961
  • Marjorie Escher – 1961 – 1988
  • Preston Lewis - 1988 – Present

The original Carriage house deteriorated and in 1988 was replaced by a larger two story structure 24’ x 40’ with a 10’ carport. It is heated and air conditioned for woodworking, storage, gardening, and year round play area for animals, particularly Callie, the cat. Pets are prohibited from our B&B because of guest allergies. Furthermore, each of the three furnaces in the B&B have a high efficiency air filtration system to minimize dust and pollen. The Carriage House has a 24’ x 12’ wood deck off the 2nd floor. Applications to the ZBA to use the 2nd floor Carriage House area as the Innkeepers quarters have been filed and denied six times.

In 1988 the 2nd floor of the Servants Quarters was improved with a kitchen, fireplace stove, hardwood floors and converted to a Caretaker Lodge and in 2007 it was upgraded to be the Garden Suite.

In 1991 a Victorian seven-color paint scheme was designed to accent the ornate arches and braces.

In 1998 raised bed perennial gardens were installed using Helderburg Stone and Mariaville perennial peat. The perennial beds were designed by Kerri Mendez and are maintained by Sue Melna, Sue’s Fine Gardening. In 2007 eleven raised 4’ x 10’ beds were installed for a perennial nursery.

In 1999 the owner was successful in getting a zoning change - approval to use any of the Victorians in the Historic Area for a bed and breakfast provided they apply for a use permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals. The ZBA requires off street parking, interconnected smoke detectors, and two ways to egress.

Extensive restoration of lathe and plaster walls and ceilings was done. The four fireplaces were opened up and fireboxes installed for remote controlled natural gas fireplaces.

In 1999 a high efficiency furnace and air conditioner was installed in the cupola to better regulate the temperature in the three guest bedrooms (Burgundy, Green and Blue rooms). Air conditioners were also installed so that today the house is air conditioned throughout. The guest rooms have individual thermostats for heating and cooling. The wiring was updated for to have grounded receptacles, satellite TV, digital telephones/intercoms, and wireless internet.

Today the Lewis House looks like the picture below:

Interesting features of this old house include:

  • Resident ghost – Vicky and Henry that are seen by few and felt by those receptive to the spirit of the house
  • One previous owner is said to have embezzled thousands, was sent to prison but the money was never recovered. Could it have been hidden on the property
  • Large cupola that provides access to the roof, a place to look out for the English and other militia as well as a method to vent the house.
  • A Garden Shed with grandchildren’s private place to play
  • A large fish pond with stream
  • 24’ x 40’ Carriage House with heat/AC, carport 2nd floor storage and pet quarters since the main house is pet free for the comfort of our guest with allergies.
  • Large wraparound porch with wicker furniture and a swing. A second floor porch off the Garden Suite overlooking the gardens
  • A sunning deck both in back of the main house and the Carriage House. A great place to enjoy your beverage, cheese and crackers
  • Raised beds for perennials around the main house, east side property line and 18 raised beds used for salads, vegetables and baby perennials for sale
  • Five foot wide sidewalks to stroll/exercise while viewing the other fine Victorians
  • Easy walking to the Village for antiquing and great restaurants
  • Easy access to walking and biking paths
  • Off street parking

Five tiled baths with neo-angle showers, pedestal sinks, one Jacuzzi tub and two claw foot tubs

The innkeepers are professionals that have day jobs but guest appreciate the latitude of access to the kitchen, stocked with water, beverages, fresh fruit, snacks, fresh brownies, peanuts, dried fruit, all complimentary. So, if you are looking for a wonderful old house updated for creature comforts, you can’t find a better place than the Lewis House.

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