SERIES OF ADDITIONS|
is an Italianate Victorian, which is almost emblematic of upstate New
The abstract for the property shows that Joseph
H. Biggs purchased
the property in April 1855 from Margaret
the widow of John McLallen and sister-in-law to Mary McLallen
Biggs had married Melissa Pratt of Covert in 1854. In the summer of
Biggs deeded over the Trumansburg plot to his father-in-law, Chauncey
In January 1856 the deed was transferred to the name of Melissa
It was during this interval that the original portion of what is now
House Bed & Breakfast was built.
a hipped-roofed cube with high narrow windows and
a double front door on the right side of the house facing McLallen
Three of our four guest rooms (McLallen, Bradley and Riford Rooms) are
in the original portion of the house.
elder son, Chauncey, was born later in 1856. Their second son, Hermann,
was born in the house in 1859. Perhaps in response to the growth of
family, the eastern rooms (right side of the photograph) were added to
the original house.
eastern addition was
built in the same Italianate style as the original, but it has a low
gabled roof. My brother,
with experience in historical renovation,
the workmanship in the addition and pronouced it identical to that in
original part of the house. In other words, it seems to have
been the work of the same builders. Today this addition includes the
Treman guest room.
additions were made to the back of the house later in the 19th
The realtor's listing (when were first looking at the house) stated
that the house was built in 1870, which
(or may not) refer to the age of the latest significant
This part of the house is gabled and has more modest Colonial-style
proportions. We now
refer to it as 'the annex' and rent it by the week.
in the northern addition are lower and the trim is simple. It
have been a
and as such represented the improving fortunes of the Biggs' family
business. Joseph Biggs was in the retail busines with his brother
David. In the early 20th century David's son William built the
Neo-Colonial home on Elm Street that is now Juniper Hill Bed and Breakfast.
1856 and 1870 Joseph Biggs bought three lots adjacent to his property
the corner of Bradley and McLallen Street. He first purchased
so-called "Catholic lot" on his east boundary. In 1861 he
the land between his north boundary and Seneca Street.
1870 he bought the triangular plot between McLallen and (Old) Main
the years after the Biggs family sold the property, the lot was
subdivided and the adjacent properties sold. Houses were built on two
of them (see map below). The triangular lot across McLallen Street
remains a village park, and the lot on Seneca was added to the property
at 26 McLallen Street.
Street in 1982. Elements now absent include the fire escape,
stairs at the west end of the front porch. Existing elements
in the photo include the cupola, shutters, and front steps.
map at right the carraige house has been sketched in; it has since been
torn down. Source: Building- Structure Inventory Form from NY
for Historic Preservation filled out by James Warren for the
Planning Workshop at Cornell.
Melissa Biggs sold the house and the property (Joseph Biggs died at age
50 in 1877) to the Wakeman family. The Wakemans transferred
to Clinton Osborn in 1911 and the house remained a private
through the 1920s.
recent addition to the house, a single room tacked on to the north end,
may have been built when the building had its first incarnation as a
In the 1930s it was a restaurant called The Colonial Inn.
a brief period as a rental property in the early 1940s, 30 McLallen
became a rest home for the elderly and remained so through the
This is the oldest stage of its evolution remembered by people in the
that we have talked with.
1960s the house was divided up into four apartments and rented
through the years until it was standing
empty and derelict when Greg Hoffmire bought it in the late
During the early part of Hoffmire's ownership the back of the carriage
house fell into the next-door neighbor's yard and the rest of the
was torn down.
to make the place into a bed and breakfast, Hoffmire made major
He had the floor plan altered from four apartments to a larger inn
and a smaller keepers' residence. Fifteen years ago he was
enough to realize that guests preferred private baths and had them
into each guest room. Many walls were moved or added in order
accommodate the new baths and closets.
to new interior walls, new heat and hot water, plumbing and electric
were installed. But in the end the business was not begun and
house was rented out as two (very large) apartments.
December 3, 2004
arrangement existed when we purchased the property in November
2003. A concrete ramp had been added to the west end of the
porch by enterprising tenants who wished to park their motorcycles out
of the rain.
baths in all the bathrooms had long since ceased functioning.
was worn out. Foundation shrubbery had become
work had been broken. It was, in short, a typical rental
Actually it was nicer than most because the extended family who
both apartments when we bought the house
were quite fond of it.
that had come to the end of their natural life (e.g. carpeting) needed
to be replaced, but most of the work was cosmetic, the imposition
of personal taste on this old house. The
Victorians favored deep saturated colors—inside and out—and the
walls have been painted
to reflect this predilection. When it comes to furnishings
though, the Arts &
Crafts aesthetic trumps the Victorian, so interiors of the house look
more like they
might have in 1910 or so, with eclectic touches here and there because,
let's face it, it's the 21st century.
Between February 2004 and October 2013 the house was used as a bed & breakfast.