Adam Eller's Roadhouse





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Adam Eller



This is a section of a 1924 map showing 1220 Wolf Street that was the location of Adam Eller's Roadhouse. North points to the right on this map. It was the large lot east of Brewerton Road, the third lot to the right (north) of the corner of Kratz Ave., with the pink (brick) structure at the back of the lot. Eller also lived there and the brick building might have been his residence.


Adam Eller and the Pond Street Saloon

Caroline Utz, the widow of Anthony Utz, was operating the saloon at 113 Pond Street from at least 1889 until 1892. In 1893 Caroline Utz had her excise license, for that location, transferred to George Fix. In the 1892 census George and his family were living with Caroline and her daughter, also named Caroline, above the saloon at 113 Pond Street. George was a cigar maker by trade but he tried his hand at being a saloon keeper for a while. He must have tired of it quickly because in 1894 the excise license was then in the possession of Adam Eller and he was operating the saloon at 113 Pond Street.


On September 12, 1893 Charles W. Allen married Carrie M. Utz, who was the daughter of late Anthony and Caroline Utz. They were married at 113 Pond Street at the home of George M. Fix, who lived on the second floor over the saloon. (This probably got confused because Carrie's mother Caroline was also still living there). George Fix had let the excise license go to Eller, however, by 1895 Charles W. Allen, Mrs. Utz's new son-in-law, had the excise license and was running the saloon. Sometime after that Eller opened his own roadhouse on the Cicero plank road by 1897.




This is a picture of the building at 113 Pond Street in June 2011. This is where a saloon was operated during the 1890s. Given the design of the building this is probably the same building from the 1890s. In 1894 Adam Eller was the proprietor of the saloon for about one year.


On the Cicero Plank Road

In 1897 Adam Eller had an Excise License for an establishment on the Cicero Plank Road. Until the days of prohibition arrived Eller's roadhouse appeared to be a pretty quiet place, as viewed through newspaper reports.


Adam Eller and the Mad Dog

In December 1908 a mad dog was on the loose and attached a woman at the 3rd tollbooth on the Cicero Plank Road [1908-12-14a], [1908-12-14b], [1908-12-15]. Adam Eller stated, to a reporter from the Auburn Citizen, his belief that dogs don't go mad. In defending the poor creatures Adam Eller said, “There are lots of mad people, but there are no mad dogs.” In the same article he offered to let supposedly “mad dogs” bite his arm to prove his thesis. “Treat the dogs humanely and there won’t be any of them ‘mad’ “ [1908-12-18].


The Man Killed in Gravel Wall Collapse Behind Eller's Saloon  

Henry DeMars died as the result of a cave in at a gravel pit on the Thoma farm located on land at the rear of Adam Eller's saloon on the plank road. DeMars and his brother-in-law, Anthony Schultz, were "employees of the People's Ice Company. They had completed their delivery of ice on their route and were sent to the Thoma gravel bed for a load of gravel to be used in repairing the yard at the company's stables at the foot of Turtle street in the First ward. They had almost finished loading their wagon when the accident occurred." [1910-10-14] 


The Ellers Go To Court For Liquor Violations

In June 1921, Adam Eller was in court answering the charge that he had violated "the state prohibition enforcement act." His saloon on the Cicero Plank Road had been raided on June 8th. He registered his displeasure at the proceeding by arguing with the court as to where he should stand [1921-06-21]. Despite his antics he was released on bond.


In 1923 Eller was fighting the city to prove his place was outside city limits [1923-12-01]. Charles Eller, Adam’s son, was in court being arraigned on a Volstead act charge and his attorney was arguing that the search warrant had described the saloon as being city property and it was actually in the town of Salina. The case was adjourned until December while the judge sought a determination as to exactly where the city line crossed Wolf Street. The City Limit boundary can be seen as the pink line on the 1924 map at the top of this page. At one time it ran along 7th North Street, just to the west, but by 1924 it had moved half a block east placing Orton's roadhouse inside the city limits but leaving Eller's roadhouse still in the Town of Salina, as Adam Eller had argued in court.


John Luczak as Proprietor

In 1925 John Luczak was running Eller's old roadhouse. "Armed with a search warrant the raiding squad entered the place about 10 a.m. Mrs. Luczas was on guard. Picking up a tin of liquid from behind the bar, Mrs. Luczas made a quick dash for the back room. The agents followed. They were not quick enough. The woman succeeded in emptying the tin before they could grab it. It was then that Van Arman (one of the dry agents) saved his country's case. [By putting a plug in the bathtub drain.] Other agents scooped enough of the liquid to warrant bringing Luczas before the federal commissioner." Lucas pleaded not guilty.   [1925-08-10]


In September 1929 Mrs. Luczak tried her little trick once again, it was also unsuccessful this second time. [1929-09-19]


In December 1929 Mary and John Luczak's 14 year old daughter, Helen, went missing, after supposedly going to a movie with two other girls [1929-12-03]. The papers never mentioned her return but she was listed in her mother's April 1934 obituary as one of her surviving daughters so she must have eventually returned home. The family was living at 115 West Division Street at the time of Mary Luczak's death and were no longer operating the roadhouse [1934-04-18].


Ye Lucky Horseshoe

By 1934 the old place was being run under the name “Ye Lucky Horseshoe.”


Wolf Street Tavern

In 1936 the name was changed to the Wolf Street Tavern and it was being run by the Schneider Brothers. In February1938 the tavern was advertising its 17th weekly “amateur nite.”


Adam Eller Dies 

When Adam Eller died at age 84, on March 29, 1940, he was living in the apartment above his old place at 1220 Wolf Street [1940-04-01].


The Arena

In 1974, when it was being operated as “The Arena,” the tavern was damaged by fire. At some point after the fire the property was purchased by Cooper Industries and they then sold it to Netti Enterprises in 1998. 




2014 - 1220 Wolf Street today.




2014 - Aerial view of 1220 Wolf Street today.



[1908-12-14a] - "Mad Dog Attacks Woman," The Syracuse Journal, Syracuse, NY, Monday, December 14, 1908-Part 1.

[1908-12-14b] - "Mad Dog Attacks Woman," The Syracuse Journal, Syracuse, NY, Monday, December 14, 1908-Part 2.

[1908-12-15] - "Trace Path of Mad Dog," The Syracuse Journal, Syracuse, NY, Tuesday, December 15, 1908.

[1908-12-18] - The Auburn Citizen, Auburn, NY, Friday, December 18, 1908.

[1910-10-14] - "Tons Of Gravel Buried De Mars," The Post Standard, Syracuse, NY, Friday, October 14, 1910.

[1921-06-21] - "Prisoner Just Wouldn't Hang Around Courtroom, Even to Amuse 'Em All," The Syracuse Herald, Syracuse, NY, Tuesday, June 21, 1921.

[1923-12-01] - "Owner Asserts Saloon Outside Limits Of City," The Syracuse Herald, Syracuse, NY, Saturday, December 1, 1923.

[1925-08-10] - "Dry Agent Plugs Drain, Saves Evidence," The Syracuse Journal, Syracuse, NY, Monday, August 10, 1925.

[1929-09-19] - "Man And Wife Face Liquor Law Charge," The Syracuse Journal, Syracuse, NY, Thursday, September 19, 1929.

[1929-12-03] - "Girl, 14, Missing From Home Since Thursday," The Syracuse Journal, Syracuse, NY, Tuesday, December 3, 1929.

[1934-04-18] - "Mrs. John Luczak," The Syracuse Journal, Syracuse, NY, Wednesday, April 18, 1934.  

[1940-04-01] - "Adam Eller," The Syracuse Herald-Journal, Syracuse, NY, Monday, April 1, 1940.