1899: Cottage House Hotel & Restaurant Constructed
Replaced Burned Baptist Church / Destroyed by Fire 2010

photo credit: John G. Coleman Collection

1st Baptist Church

Baptist Church Destroyed

Cottage House Opens

Fulton House Era

Cottage House
Cottage House
Placed on Smethport Historic Registry

Cottage House
Destroyed by Fire 2010
Restaurant Named to Historic Registry
Bradford Era Thursday, September 27, 2007

SMETHPORT – Mayor Ross Porter has announced that the first of ten Smethport Historic Registry plaques has been awarded to the Cottage House Restaurant.

Porter and Mary Pierotti, chairman of the committee, presented the 11”x12” plaque to Connie and Mike Kandare, the current owners of this historic business, during a brief ceremony Monday afternoon. Also attending were Jodee and Mick Caulkins, who will take ownership of the restaurant Oct. 1.

This property, located on Fulton Street, was originally owned by the Regular Baptist Church of Smethport in 1899, J.E. Shook purchased the building and land from the congregation and build the boarding house on the property known as the “Cottage House”.

Clyde Mong changed the name of the establishment to “The Fulton House” when he acquired the property in 1950.

In 1983, Todd and Linda Simmons purchased the business and renovated it to its present state in order to revive the nostalgia of a bygone era. Other recent owners include Deborah Babcox and the Kandares.

Created in March 2006, the Smethport Historic Registry includes local homes, businesses and structures that have demonstrated architectural merits or significant historic value. Properties are nominated for recognition and evaluated by the by the Historic Property Registry Committee of Smethport Borough Council.

“The committee was formed to implement the Historic Property Identification Registry element of the Heritage Community Master Plan and to provide guidance to property owners to preserve and enhance historic resources,” Porter said. “The committee hopes to encourage the preservation and protection of historic, architectural, cultural and aesthetic resources within the community thereby strengthening the borough’s economic base and stimulating cultural tourism.”
Currently, 17 properties have been approved for the Registry. Besides the Cottage House, these include the Joseph Bouton, C.D. Comes, William Secht, Defilippi, Forrest, S.D. Freeman, and McCandles residences, St. Elizabeth of Hungary and St. Luke’s, and Trinity Lutheran churches, Northwest Savings Bank Building, H.H. Redfield and John Nevin Apple mansion, Hamilton Building, Upper Tavern.

History of Shook's famous Cottage House

In 1899 a property owned by the Regular Baptist Church of Smethport was conveyed to J. E. Shook, "when by consent of a majority of the male members of said Church, the Trustees were instructed to sell and dispose of the land". Mr. Shook constructed a boarding house on the property which was to be known as "Cottage House". Here he offered comforts and conveniences desired by the weary traveler and the public generally in the hope of making his guests comfortable. The property was then sold to M.W. Heinlein in 1904, who respectfully solicited a share of the public patronage and accomodated the needs of the traveling community. His table was always supplied with the best the market and the surrounding country could offer. Portions of the hotel register from this era are displayed on the walls today. In 1929 the Connors family puchased the Cottage House and they maintained the operation in the previously-established manner. Clyde H. Mong changed the name to "The Fulton House" when e acquired the property in 1950. The next thirty-two years brought a series of owners, each of whom made changes to reflect their own personalities. In 1983 the business was purchased by Tom and Linda Simons who have renovated it to its present state in an effort to revive the nostalgia of a bygone era.

Other recent owners include Deborah Babcox, Mike & Connie Kandare
and current owner Mick Caulkins.

Land Purchased for Shook's Future Cottage House Building
The Democrat June 30th, 1899

J. E. Shook has purchased the lot on the corner of Water and Fulton Streets on which was located the Baptist church, destroyed by fire some months ago, consideration $700. We understand that Mr. Shook contemplates building a boarding house on the lot.

Work is Progressing on Shook's Cottage House
The Democrat, October 14th, 1899

J. E. shook's boarding house on Water street is fast nearing completion. This will be one of the most imposing buildings in town when ready for occupancy, which will be in about four weeks.

Shook Sells Old House on Bank Street
The Democrat, November 17th,1899

A syndicate headed by Victor Engstrom has purchased of J. E. Shook the residence recently vacated by the gentlemen on Bank street. Consideration $1,400, at which price the purchasers certainly scored a bargain.
Shooks Wife Dies at Home
The Democrat, Dec. 28th, 1900

Mrs. Ide A. wife of Earl Shook, died at her home on Water street, on Sunday, Dec. 23 after a long and painful illness, in the 43d year of her age. Mrs. Shook has been a resident of smethport many years, and had, by her many womanly graces, rendered herself to this entire community. She leaves to mourn her death a husband, one daughter, Miss Annie; a sister, Mrs. Emma Bowman, of Cleveland, Ohio; a brother, Wilmot Woodruff, of Rochester, N. Y. The mourning family have the sympathy of the entire community. The funeral, which was largely attended, was held at the home Wednesday afternoon, Rev. J. H. McCandless attending. The interment took place in Rose Hill Cemeteries.