This Federal Period building, constructed in 1817, is the oldest frame house in Ellicottville. It is located next to the St. John's Episcopal Church on West Washington St.
Baker Leonard was contracted by the Holland Land Company to build an Inn to accommodate prospective land purchasers. When finished, they refused to accept it as they thought it cost too much. The excessive cost came from the fact that the planed 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 and the way was obstructed with fallen trees, swamp land, and rough ground.
Leonard kept the house as his family's residence and opened a tavern and trading post. Prior to the erection of the County Court House in the Village Square was used for County Board of Supervisors meetings. Court was also held here from 1818-1820 and the first town meeting in March 1821. Later it served as the post office and store. Also of note, the first wedding and the first adult male death occurred here. Much of Ellicottville's early history was recorded and the property and house has remained in the same family line throughout it's entire existence (close to 200 years).
Source: Portions were from the leaflet- "Historic Ellicottville- a self-guided Heritage walking tour through the Historic Village of Ellicottville NY".