Baker Leonard was contracted by the Holland Land Company to build an inn to accommodate prospective purchasers in Ellicottville, NY. When finished in 1817 the Holland Land Company refused to accept the building. It was deemed to have cost too much to build. The excessive cost came from the fact that the lumber used in the construction had to be hauled from a saw mill in Kill Buck, eleven miles away. The trail was marked by blazed trees. There were no bridges to use and the "road" was obstructed with fallen trees, swampland and rough ground. Delivering the lumber was a laborious, costly endeavor.
Baker Leonard chose to keep the home he had built for himself. He kept it as his residence and within the walls he also opened a tavern and trading-post. Prior to the erection of the County Court House in the village square, this building was used for Board of Supervisors meetings. Court was held here from 1818 until 1820. The first town meeting was here in March, 1821. It also served as the first post office and store. Located next to the St. John's Episcopal Church on West Washington Street the home has remained for 190 years in the same family from generation to generation ( Leonard, Saxton, Skinner, Ellis and Harrison).
Information from Mary Elizabeth Dunbar, Town of Ellicottville Historian