The Rural Inn





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McGrath Genealogy  |  Upperchurch Connections  |       Old Mattydale          |  What's New  |  Contact

















The Rural Inn



This is believed to be a drawing of the Baum family's former residence in the town of Salina. The drawing came from the front page of a document entitled, "Welcome Home to Rose Lawn, Mattydale, New York, Town of Salina." This drawing matches the several written descriptions of the house that have been found. The picture of that document cover, shown above, was taken by Keith Choiniere at the Salina Free Library.



This notorious establishment started as a makeover of Rose Lawn, the Benjamin W. Baum family mansion, in 1888. The Kelleys did the original out fitting of the first roadhouse. Thomas Brady took over from the Kelleys after the death of James Kelley in 1891. Brady went broke and sold the roadhouse to Lizzie Gannon, in March 1898. At the time Lizzie had been running a hotel at 1632 North Salina Street.


During Lizzie Gannon’s tenure, this original roadhouse was destroyed by fire on February 24, 1899. The destroyed roadhouse structure was replaced by a new one in 1900-01 by Hattie Hallock, wife of Horace Hallock. The new structure had a long and storied life, making it through Prohibition, the Great Depression, World War II and the Korean War. However, this second structure was damaged by an afternoon fire on October 15, 1957, while being run as Gatto’s Restaurant. It was then totally destroyed by a second fire on the evening of April 19, 1958.


The story of this particular roadhouse has already been outlined during a previous determination of the basic facts. During that earlier investigation it was first determined that the original Rose Lawn homestead had burned and had been replaced. This page finishes the task begun with those timelines by fleshing out the rest of the story.


The Rose Lawn Saga,” Michael F. McGraw, May 31, 2013.


The Missing Rose Lawn History,” Michael F. McGraw, April 9, 2013.


The Halloween Shoot Out at the Faatz Hotel, “


The Death of Benjamin Baum

In March 1886 Benjamin Baum was offering Rose Lawn for sale, the family homestead on the Cicero Plank Road. [1886-03-27] Almost a year later, Benjamin Baum died after a long illness. [1887-02-06] Within a few weeks of his father's death, Henry Clay Baum began running an ad that offered all of his father's property on the Cicero Plank Road for sale or rent. [1887-03-05] 


The Reign of the Kelleys - Rose Lawn Becomes a Roadhouse

Cynthia Baum sold Rose Lawn to Alfretta Kelley for $6000. "It is expected that the house will be open to the public by the middle of October." [1887-09-05] James Kelley had been working on fitting up the Baum place but the opening had been pushed into at least March 1888. According to the article Kelley would "soon open it (his new roadhouse) to the public." [1888-03-09]


James Kelley Had A Second Business

In addition to his "Oyster and Chop House" at 37 Warren Street, James Kelley ran a roof coating business in Onondaga and in the surrounding counties. He would apply his supposedly patented compound to his customers' roofs and he would also sell roof coating franchises to other interested parties. One of his franchisees, a Peter Parker of Oswego County, became disillusioned with the business that he had bought into. "Mr. Parker says that the patent is worthless to him and denounces the proceeding as a swindle." [1888-06-27]


Con Man Takes Kelley

During the late summer and fall of 1888, a young con man by the name of Henry N. G. Goff was operating in the Syracuse area. Prior to his activities in Syracuse, Goff had been a hotel clerk in Rochester. His con was the passing of false certified checks and his technique involved making acquaintances at the hotels where he stayed and at the saloons and roadhouses that he frequented. One of those roadhouses that was on the receiving end of this con man's attentions was Kelley's roadhouse. Goff had frequently visited Kelley's place and the two became friendly. When Goff felt that his relationship with Kelley was firm enough, he asked Kelley to cash a check for $500 for him, that was drawn on the Marine National bank of Pittsburgh. Kelley agreed and took Goff to the Third National Bank in Syracuse where Kelley had an account. "Kelly thought he knew enough not to be duped and indorsed the check. About a week later the check was protested by the Pittsburgh bank." Kelley went to the authorities and a search was begun for Goff. Goff was captured in Mobile, Alabama "on December 13th by two Mobile detectives while asleep in a sleeping car on his way to Cincinnati." Syracuse authorities traveled to Mobile and returned with Mr. Goff on December 22nd. [1888-12-19], [1888-12-23]


The Con Man Leads to the Kelley's Indictment

Young Mr. Goff had spent quite a bit of time at Kelley's place, developing a relationship that would allow him to pass off one of his bogus certified checks on Kelley. Goff had been sentenced to the Elmira Reformatory to pay for his crimes. However, the time that Goff had spent testifying before the Grand Jury had made them interested in exactly what was going on at Kelley's roadhouse. The Grand Jury began an investigation of their own concerning the Kelleys and their activities at the roadhouse. This investigation resulted in three indictments against the Kelleys: keeping a disorderly house, maintaining a gambling resort and selling liquor on a Sunday. [1889-02-06] In the end, the charges against his wife were dropped and Kelley wound up serving three months in the penitentiary and was fined $500. While he was in prison the Third National bank went after Mrs. Kelley, since the roadhouse was in her name, to recover the rest of the $500 from Goff's fake certified check that her husband had indorsed. As a result, Alfretta had to take out a $2000 mortgage from John Dunfee, in addition to the $3000 mortgage that she already had on the roadhouse, from Skaneateles Savings Bank.


James H. Kelley Died

After being released from the penitentiary James Kelley appeared to have cleaned up his act or just got better at not getting caught. On August 5, 1891 Kelley died from hemorrhage of the lungs, a condition that had been bothering him for some time. [1891-08-06] In September Alfretta Kelley sold the property to Thomas S. Brady for $11,000. This was subject to a mortgage of $4000, held by the Skaneateles Savings Bank. [1891-09-10] More details on James and Alfretta Kelley can be found here.


Thomas Brady Moves to the Cicero Plank Road

Thomas Brady had been the proprietor of the St. James Hotel on Franklin Street in the city of Syracuse when he purchased the Kelley's roadhouse. It was felt that Brady would "make a complete change in the management and in the character of the house." He held a Grand opening of the Central New York Hotel, Thursday, September 24, 1891. [1891-09-11], [1891-09-21]


Trouble Finds Brady

"It was whispered about town this morning that a certain prominent sporting man, who was supposed to have a strong 'pull' with those on the inside, had been indicted for a series of offenses. This proved to be correct and the person in question was Thomas J. (S.) Brady, the keeper of the luxurious road house on the Cicero plank road. There are five indictments against Brady. There are two for keeping a disorderly house, two others for selling liquor without a license, and one for selling liquor on Sunday." [1894-05-25] Brady pleaded not guilty to the charges and was fined $500 and sentenced to one year in the Onondaga County Penitentiary. "The imprisonment was suspended during good behavior." [1894-06-23]


Fighters Trained at Brady's Central New York Hotel

Brady offered his roadhouse as a place for sporting events, legal and otherwise, and also as a training camp for fighters getting in shape for their next fight. In 1896, "Tommy" Ryan was a well known fighter, training at Brady's, while getting in shape for a fight with "Joe" Dunfee at Buffalo on May 18th. This article follows Tommy in his training regimen for an entire day and while that is interesting in its own right, it was the description of the roadhouse and the surrounding area that is of interest here. Ryan began every morning with a bike ride on the plank road. "Every morning sees him up again, mounted on his bicycle, and speeding down the road from 'Brady's' through the avenue of sturdy elms that fringe both sides of the roadway and are themselves just getting into trim for the summer campaign, with their green leaves fast pushing out." "After breakfast Ryan rests. He lounges around on the broad piazza of the training quarters, or takes his ease in an ample hammock that is swung beneath two heavy old apple trees, whose leaves are far enough advanced to give shade, even at this early season of the year." [1896-05-05]


Brady Forced to Sell

In March 1898 it became necessary for Brady to sell the Central New York Hotel to satisfy his creditors. Lizzie Gannon bought the roadhouse for $7,000 and subject to two mortgages. [1899-02-25] Lizzie and Tom Brady practically traded places. She left the saloon that she was running at 1632 North Salina and went to "Rose Lawn." Brady left "Rose Lawn" and went to 1628 North Salina. His new place was called the St. James Hotel, just like his old place on South Franklin St. When Brady left South Franklin street and went to the Kelley roadhouse he was accompanied by Minnie Drinkwine, his common law wife. Minnie was still with him at the north side reincarnation of his old St. James Hotel. More of their antics can be found here.




1896 - "Tommy" Ryan - 146 lbs.

The Short Lived Lizzie Gannon Era Begins And Ends Quickly


"Lizzie Gannon’s road house on the Cicero plank road was destroyed by fire between 7:30 and 8:30 o’clock last night (Feb 24, 1899). The house was one of the most notorious in this section of the State, having been frequented for many years by people of sporting inclination. It was one of the most conspicuous on the road, being a 3-story structure, with a large veranda in front and on the north side. The grounds were always kept up in first-rate condition.


"About 7:30 o’clock last night a kerosene oil lamp in the kitchen was overturned and as it fell to the floor it was broken. The oil quickly caught fire and in a few minutes the entire room was ablaze and the house filled with smoke. Mrs. Gannon and others in the house quickly ran out and word was sent to neighbors to come to their assistance. In a short time a large number of men had gathered, but by this time the entire building was a mass of flames and the fire threatened to destroy the barns, which were a short distance away. The men formed a bucket brigade, and while some covered the roof of the barns with wet blankets others carried water to them. It was a hard fight, but eventually the barns were saved, although the house was burned to the ground." [1899-02-25] Find more on Lizzie Gannon here.


Hallock Buys the Burned Out Hotel

"Mrs. Hattie A. Hallock , through her broker (and husband), H. H. Hallock, has purchased from Skaneateles Savings Bank for speculative purposes the hotel property located on the Baum farm near Cicero. The consideration was $5000. There are five acres of land in connection with the hotel." [1900-05-04]


Since Hattie's husband, Horace H. Hallock, and his brother, John J. Hallock, owned the construction company that built the Iron Pier on Onondaga Lake, they were probably the ones that built the new roadhouse to replace the old Rose Lawn homestead. This new construction probably took place before the summer of 1901.


Harry Jeffs Buys Hallock's New Hotel

At sometime prior to October 1901, Harry Jeffs purchased the rebuilt roadhouse, it was called the Central Hotel according to the newspaper. [1901-10-04] Tom Brady had called his roadhouse the Central New York Hotel and it isn't known if Lizzie Gannon kept the same name after she bought out Brady. The article made it sound as if the hotel already had the name of The Central Hotel when Jeffs made his purchase. Harry Jeffs had constructed board tracks and had promoted women bicycle races around the country prior to settling in Syracuse.


George Shimer Becomes the New Owner

Between May and October of 1902, Horace Hallock ran ads for the roadhouse on the old Baum property. [1902-05-23], [1902-10-06] George Shimer bought the Rose Lawn property from Hattie Hallock on April 18, 1903 [1903 - Deed] and became the new proprietor and owner of the hotel. This would indicate that Harry Jeffs had only been leasing the hotel when he was the proprietor. On the evening of May 13th the sheriff and several deputies raided Shimer's roadhouse and captured a Klondike gambling machine. [1903-05-14a], [1903-05-14b]


Theodore Faatz Takes Over as Proprietor - The Rural Inn

Sometime after May 1903 and before February 1904 Theodore Faatz leased Shimer's Central Hotel and changed the name to The Rural Inn. For more details on Theodore Faatz click here.


War On Against Slot Machines

"The war on slot machines is still on, to judge from the motions made in the Special term Saturday morning. Frank Hopkins for the State Commissioner of Excise moved for reference in four cases. One of the cases was "against Theodore H. Faatz of the Rural Inn upon the Cicero plank road in the town of Salina, for running a slot machine on Oct. 12 and Oct 13." [1905-11-04]


Canadian Walking Race Champ Training at Rural Inn

Even as the ownership changed, athletes found the roadhouse to be a good place to set up their training camp. "Interest in the Hoagland-Slater ten-mile walk, under management of the Syracuse Rooters Club at the Armory next Friday evening, is growing. Tom Slater, the Canadian champion, is hard at training work. His quarters are at the Rural Inn on the Cicero plank road and Slater has notified the Rooters Club that he will be in prime condition for the word 'go'." [1906-04-16]


Referee Stopped The Fight After Two Rounds

This boxing match at the Rural Inn, between "Kid" Black and Louis Reagan, two local boys, was "sponsored" by the Syracuse Athletic Club. However, the authorities would break up any fight that they discovered. Therefore the challenge was to secretly promote the fight, quietly sell tickets and to stealthily assemble the attendees while not tipping off the police. About 100 tickets had been sold. "Those who had been tipped off met down town and were taken to the scene of the fray in two large carryalls. Many of the spectators also drove to the hotel in carriages. The start from the city was made early in the evening and those attending were driven in a roundabout way to the scene of the battle arriving there about 9 o'clock." After two rounds, the referee stopped the fight because "Kid" Black was in no condition to continue. A rematch was promised. [1906-12-21]


Bible Class Saves Fire Doomed Hotel

At about 8 o'clock in the evening, on Friday, February 15, 1907, a fire began in the large barn behind the Rural Inn. The fire was spreading rapidly and the probability of it spreading to the hotel was quite good. It was only nine days short of the 8th anniversary of the fire that had destroyed the old Rose Lawn mansion turned roadhouse, on this very spot. In that case the fire had started in the kitchen of the old roadhouse. This time there was a chance.


Around 8:30, good fortune brought a religious cavalry to the rescue of the Rural Inn. The Pathfinder Bible Class of the First Ward Presbyterian Church were passing by the roadhouse while on a sleigh ride to Cicero. "All piled out of the sleigh and quickly the fire brigade was organized." Faatz and a couple of his employees were trying to protect the hotel from the fire. "A ladder was placed against the rear of the hotel and three of the boys mounted to the roof of the building. Two others remained on the ladder and passed up pails of water as rapidly as they were brought from a nearby well." "Water was poured on to the portions of the roof in the greatest danger for over a half hour." After the danger had passed and with a few minor injuries the sleigh party resumed their journey to Cicero, where a dinner awaited them at the Parker House.


The hotel had been saved but the barn and its contents had been destroyed and a recently filled ice house had been damaged. "Four horses, including a valuable black stallion, were saved after the fire had gained great headway." The barn was the property of George Shimer, Theodore Faatz's landlord. [1907-02-16a], [1907-02-16b]


Faatz - the Good Samaritan

The existence of the Cicero Plank Road extended into the age of the automobile, or the "machines," as they were called then. This led to the sharing of this wooden roadway among farm wagons, horse and buggies and the new fangled machines that were capable of speeds unachievable by their horse pulled roadway rivals. The horse and buggy set had always been the bane of the slower moving farmers on the plank road but now the buggies had their own nemeses. A rural mail carrier and his passenger had been injured "when their wagon was struck by an automobile carrying a hilarious party of two men and two women on the Cicero Plank road, near the railroad bridge, just outside the city limits." "The automobile, a heavy touring car, approached from the rear at a high rate of speed and struck the wagon containing the two men. They were thrown a considerable distance and the wagon was demolished."


"One of the young women in the machine complained of an injured leg. The automobile party was outbound and continued on its way. Theodore Faatz, proprietor of the Rural Inside Inn, furnished the mail carrier with another horse and wagon, and he was able to go to his house." [1907-11-13]


Money Stolen From Faatz's Hotel

The reputation of one James Warren, of Albany, had proceeded him in his visit to Syracuse. Warren was well known to the local police as a thief and when they heard he was coming to town for the State Fair they "kept watch." The Rural Inn was the accommodation of choice for Warren during his stay in Syracuse. On the morning of September 14th, proprietor Theodore Faatz notice $37 missing from his cash register and notified the authorities. When the police heard Warren's name was on the list of guests at the Rural Inn they sent "Detective James Keefe and Deputy Sheriff Tommy Costello to welcome Jim Warren to Syracuse. It took some searching to find the money, but Keefe pulled down the shade in Warren's room and the $37 in bills, which had been rolled up with the shade, fell to the floor. The officers arrested Warren and brought him back with them." [1912-09-14] Warren pleaded not guilty and went to trial. He was convicted of petit larceny and sentenced to ninety days in the Onondaga County Penitentiary.  [1912-09-19]


Faatz's Involvement In Bad Pork Incident

Theodore Faatz kept pigs at the Rural Inn for his personal use and to feed the guests at his inn. On Monday, December 16, 1912 Faatz had butchered five (2nd report gave four) pigs, of which he kept three and gave the other two to one Edward Mendel. The contention of Mendel was that Faatz had given him the pigs and told him to sell them and to get the market price. "Faatz denied having sent Mendel into the city to dispose of the pigs. He said he killed four of them Monday and that he gave two to Mendel, as he didn't have any ice and was afraid that the meat would spoil." [1912-12-18] The following day Mendel was arraigned on the charge of violating the health laws of the state by offering meat for sale that was unfit for human consumption. Mendel didn't want an attorney and pleaded guilty and was sentenced to four months in the penitentiary. Before his sentencing Mendel admitted several things and one of those was the following; "the pigs were given to him by Theodore Faatz, who has a hotel on the plank road, not to be sold but for his own use, and it was said that the meat was not in bad condition when it was received." [1912-12-19]


George Gronau Sells The Rural Inn to Theodore Faatz

Some time after the 1907 fire, Shimer sold the Rural Inn property. It might have been directly to George and Mary Gronau. During this time Theodore Faatz remained the operator of the Rural Inn roadhouse. At some point the property came into the hands of the Gronaus. They acted as owners and not operators since Faatz continued in that capacity. During the 1907 - 1914 time period the Gronaus were operating a farm on the Cicero side of the Cicero-DeWitt border. On September 30, 1914  George and Mary Gronau sold the Rural Inn property to Theodore Faatz. [Deed - 1914]. For more information on the Gronau's involvement in this property click here.


The Moral Survey Committee

During the summer of 1916 a group of local citizens, calling themselves the Moral Survey Committee, investigated the conditions in the 2nd class hotels in the city, the roadhouses on the roads leading into Syracuse and the resorts on Onondaga Lake. They presented their results to the State Excise Commission but they took no action. In October 1916 the Excise Licenses were renewed and the previous summer's evidence became useless. In March of 1917 the Moral Survey zealots began another round of evidence gathering. They presented to the District Attorney all the evidence that they felt was indictable and asked that he present it to the Grand Jury. That was how Theodore Faatz was indicted in May 1917 for running a disorderly house. Faatz pleaded not guilty. [1917-05-29a], [1917-05-29b]


Through his attorney, Faatz requested that his case by adjourned until the fall due to the unavailability of three important witnesses. A clerk named William C. Wright had left Faatz's employ and gone to work at the Semet-Solvay Company (Solvay Process today) where his leg was seriously injured in an explosion. Wright was recovering at his home in Buffalo and was not able to travel to Syracuse to participate in the case against Faatz. Another two clerks, Howard Durston and William Corey (Corey would later be a proprietor of the hotel), had not be found. His request was granted. [1917-06-27a], [1917-06-27b]


In December 1917, the women who had been under subpoena for six months, to testify at the Faatz trial, were released from this obligation. Faatz had changed his plea to guilty and received a $150 fine and a six month sentence to the Onondaga County Penitentiary. The penitentiary sentence was suspended on the condition of continued good behavior. [1917-12-14]


The James Wheeler Era - Butcher Turned Barkeep

James Wheeler was a butcher by trade but for some reason he became the proprietor of Faatz's Hotel in 1918. He only leased the place and continued to live with his wife and children at 605 Wolf Street. Wheeler's character comes through in an incident that occurred near the beginning of his tenure at the old Rural Inn. On the evening of April 18 Wheeler and John Donley stole a car near West Water and North Clinton Streets. It was later found abandoned and displayed some heavy use. They stole the car on Thursday and by Saturday both men were in police custody. This incident didn't appear to interfere with Wheeler's time at Faatz's Hotel. [1918-04-21]


In the early hours of November 30th a fight took place at Faatz's Hotel between James Wheeler, the proprietor and two customers, Walter Martan and Matthew Emery. Wheeler came out on the losing side of the argument, "bleeding from a cut on his neck and one in the back." The police took down Wheeler's version of the story which was that the fight ensued when he refused to admit Martan and Emery and some women after closing hours. The police were able to track down the two men and their story differed from that given by Wheeler. Martan and Emery claimed that they had been drinking at the hotel for over an hour when an argument with Wheeler started. The argument led to a fight and that was when Wheeler was cut. The two men were charged with assault. In the article the approaching prohibition era could be seen. "It is said that the Faatz roadhouse, which is in dry territory, has sold nothing but temperance drinks for some months." [1918-11-30]


Wheeler Charged With Keeping A Disorderly House

On September 27, Edwin H. Harefoot was robbed at the Faatz Hotel. The perpetrators were apprehended and put on trial, with James Wheeler and his bartender John L. Platt figuring prominently in the trial. As the story evolved the authorities became interested in determining exactly what was going on in the hotel. This resulted in a November 13th raid by the Town of Salina authorities, led by Deputy Sheriff Mary Tormey. An unnamed man and a 15-year old named Margaret Lyons were arrested. Based on the information provided by the Lyons girl, James Wheeler was arrested on charges of running a disorderly house. He was released on a $250 bail awaiting the action of the next Grand Jury. Nothing seemed to have come from this arrest. [1918-12-05]


Wheeler Raided Again

On Saturday, March 8, 1919, men from the Sheriff's office raided the Faatz Hotel. The evidence found in the raid produced two indictments against the proprietor, James Wheeler. However, somehow Wheeler and his bartender, Homer Keeler, eluded the authorities and were on the run. On the morning of March 20th Wheeler surrendered himself at the sheriff's office. He was released on a $1000 bail and was arraigned later in the afternoon where he pleaded not guilty. [1919-03-20] On Thursday morning, April 3rd, Deputy Sheriff Thomas Burns spotted the missing bartender, Keeler, riding down Main Street, in North Syracuse, on top of a load of potatoes and took him into custody. [1919-04-04]


"James Wheeler, former proprietor (italics mine) of the Faatz hotel on the Cicero plank road, pleaded guilty before James Cobb on Friday to allowing his premises to become disorderly and a violation of the excise laws and was sentenced to four months in the Onondaga County penitentiary and to pay a fine of $250. Homer Keeler, his bartender, was given a suspended sentence of four months in the penitentiary." [1919-05-02]


Upon his release from the penitentiary, after serving his sentence for allowing the old Faatz Hotel to become disorderly, James Wheeler quickly went back to his old ways. "Wheeler is wanted by the troopers on a larceny charge. It is alleged that he and Joseph Crawford stole a cow from a farmer at New Woodstock." [1919-09-18]

Wheeler and his co-conspirators drove a truck out into the field and loaded on their stolen cow. Once on the road again one of the wheels came off the truck and they went to a garage for repairs. They were arrested at the garage while waiting for their truck to be repaired. [1919-09-19]


The William Cory Era

By May 4, 1920 William Cory was the proprietor of the Faatz Hotel. His appearance on the scene was announced in a newspaper article describing a raid on his hotel by Sheriff Ten Eyck and a number of his deputies. Cory was charged with violating the liquor laws and he was "ordered held in bail for the action of the grand jury." [1920-05-04]


As prohibition rolled on, individuals found ways to make money off the situation. James Phalen was "Accused of impersonating a Federal prohibition agent and collecting $141 as 'hush money' in return for protection to William S. Corrie of the Faatz hotel on the Cicero plank road. James Phalen of Seventh North street Monday morning was held to await action of the Federal grand jury." [1921-02-21] On the evening of June 15th The Faatz Hotel was raided once again. William Corrie was arrested and arraigned the following day on a charge of violation of the state's prohibition enforcement act. He was released on a bail of $1000. By the end of the month the charges were dismissed. [1921-06-15], [1921-06-30]  


The Halloween Shoot Out at the Faatz Hotel

Before Halloween night in 1921 was over, Bruno Nistico would be laying on the ground behind the Faatz Hotel, on the old Cicero plank road, dying from a bullet wound to his head. Ironically it had all started as a trick that went bad. Bruno had promised a treat but delivered a trick. When Bruno tried to play the game one more time the trick was on him and he wound up dead. More detail on the Halloween Shoot Out.


Roy Westbrook and the Westbrook Inn

Roy Westbrook was the proprietor of the Westbrook Inn, formerly Faatz’s Hotel, in May of 1924. The only time he made the newspaper was when he was picked up in a raid by the Sheriff's office of many of the roadhouses in the area. [1924-05-12a], [1924-05-12b]


From this point on largely relying on Ferrara material [Ferrara - 2000]


1923 - Theodore Faatz sold his property to Delphine A. Brown. From 1923 - 1940 the Browns were the owners.


The Hoffbrau

1932 - Feb 14 – Hofbrau ad. Joe Hoffbrau bought the business and rented site from Mrs. Brown




1937 - Feb 18 - Mrs. Brown signed deed over to her husband George J. Brown


1939 - Restaurant run by Elisa May Bull


1940 - Edward F. Zaleski took over restaurant and renamed it – Normandie Inn


1945 -  Mr. Brown sold property to Kenneth P. Buckley 


1947 - Carroll Barber & Joseph Hoffman ran the Citizen Restaurant       

1948-1949 - William Knowles ran Toots’ Tavern






1957 - Oct 15 – 1st fire at Gatto’s Restaurant



1958 - Apr 19 – 2nd fire destroyed Gatto’s Restaurant.


In about 1960 the Sports-O-Rama was erected on the site of the old roadhouse. This later became the Action Sport & Skate.




This image of the old Rose Lawn / Rural Inn site is from May 2012. The occupant at that time was Action Sport and Skate, the successor to the Sports-O-Rama of the 1960s. It is saddening to compare this to the original Rose Lawn homestead shown in the drawing at the top of this page. In the last 100 years this area has gotten barren and ugly. Gone are the towering elm trees that had lined both sides of the plank road up through the late 1950s. Gone also are all the rose bushes that were the original inspiration for Cynthia Baum giving her home the name Rose Lawn.



[1886-03-27] - Rose Lawn for sale. The Syracuse Standard, Syracuse, Saturday, March 27, 1886.

[1887-02-16] - "Obituary - Benjamin W. Baum," The Syracuse Daily Journal, Syracuse, NY, Wednesday, February 16, 1887.

[1887-03-05] - All the Baum property on the Cicero Plank Road for rent of for sale. The Daily Journal, Syracuse, NY, Saturday, March 5, 1887.

[1887-09-05] - Kelly bought the Baum homestead. "A New Road House," The Syracuse Daily Courier, Syracuse, NY, Monday, September 5, 1887.

[1887 - Kelley Deed] - Deed Book 255, p. 469, Clerk’s Office, Onondaga County Courthouse, Syracuse, NY. 

[1888-03-09] - The Evening Herald, Syracuse, NY, March 9, 1888; James Kelley boarded at the Hotel Candee at 223 E. Fayette St. according to the 1887-1888 Syracuse Directory.

[1888-06-27] - " 'Deacon' J. H. Kelley," The Syracuse Weekly Express, Syracuse, NY, Wednesday, June 27, 1888.

[1888-12-19] - "Wanted In Syracuse - A Mr. Goff Said to Have Swindled 'Deacon' Kelly," The Weekly Express, Syracuse, NY, Wednesday, December 19, 1888.

[1888-12-23] - "Mr. Goff In Town - He Arrives Escorted by Deputy Sheriff Ryan," The Sunday Herald, Syracuse, NY, Sunday, December 23, 1888.

[1889-02-06] - "They're In The Soup," The Daily Courier, Syracuse, NY, Wednesday, February, 6, 1889.

[1891-08-06] - "Death Of Mr. Kelly, - Close of the Career of the Proprietor of a Well Known Suburban Hotel," The Daily Courier, Syracuse, NY, Thursday, August 6, 1891.

[1891-09-10] - "Real Estate Transactions," The Syracuse Daily Journal, Syracuse, NY, Thursday, September 10, 1891.

[1891-09-11] - "Under New Management - The Kelley Road House becomes the Property of Thomas S. Brady," The Daily Courier, Syracuse, NY, Friday, September 11, 1891.

[1891-09-21] - "Grand Opening on the Plank Road," The Sunday Courier, Syracuse, NY, Monday, September 21, 1891.

[1894-05-25] - "Surprises By The Jury," The Evening Herald, Syracuse, NY, Friday, May 25, 1894.

[1894-06-23] - "Sentences Moved," The Evening Herald, Syracuse, NY, Saturday, June 23, 1894.

[1896-05-05] - "Ryan Trains Faithfully - He Is Getting In Good Shape At Brady's," The Evening Herald, Syracuse, NY, Tuesday, May 5, 1896.

[1899-02-25] - "Old Road House Burned," The Syracuse Evening Herald, Syracuse, NY, Saturday, February 25, 1899.

[1900-05-04] - Hallock Buys Rose Lawn property. The Post Standard, Syracuse, NY, Friday, May 4, 1900. Minor corrections: (1) The farm was on the Cicero Plank Road about two miles from the Syracuse city limit; (2) The acreage was 3.75 acres, not 5 acres.

[1901-10-04] - "Harry Jeffs Sells Out In Cleveland," The Evening Telegram, Syracuse, NY, Friday, October, 4, 1901.

[1902-05-23] - The Evening Telegram, Syracuse, NY, Friday, May 23, 1902.

[1902-10-06] - "Business Opportunities." The Telegram, Syracuse, NY, Monday, October 6, 1902.

[1903 - Deed] - Hattie Hallock to George Shimer, Deed Book 355, Pg 328, Onondaga County Clerk's Office, Syracuse, NY.

[1903-05-14a] - "Raid By Sheriff And His Deputies - At Nightfall They Swoop Down on Cicero Plank and Capture a Klondike," The Post Standard, Syracuse, NY, Thursday, May 14, 1903.

[1903-05-14b] - "Shimer's Place Raided," The Auburn Bulletin, Auburn, NY, Thursday, May 14, 1903.

[1905-11-04] - "War On Against Slot Machines," The Syracuse Journal, Syracuse, NY, Saturday, November 4, 1905.

[1906-04-16] -  "Interest In Coming Race," The Syracuse Post Standard, Syracuse, NY, April 16, 1906.

[1906-12-21] - "Referee Stopped Fight - Bloody Two-Round Battle Fought Before 100 Spectators," The Syracuse Herald, Syracuse, NY, Friday, December 21, 1906.

[1907-02-16a] - "Bible Class Saves Fire Doomed Hotel," The Syracuse Post Standard, Syracuse, NY, February 16, 1907.

[1907-02-16b] - "Bible Class Fights Fire," The Syracuse Herald, Syracuse, NY, February 16, 1907.

[1907-11-13] - "In Smashup," The Syracuse Daily Journal, Syracuse, NY, November 13, 1907.

[1912-09-14] - "Money Was Rolled Up With Curtain," The Syracuse Herald, Syracuse, NY, September 14, 1912.

[1912-09-19] - "Warren Convicted," The Syracuse Herald, Syracuse, NY, September 19, 1912.

[1912-12-18] - "Diseased Pigs Offered For Sale On Public Market," The Syracuse Journal, Syracuse, NY, Wednesday, December 18, 1912.

[1912-12-19] - "Mendel Gets Four Months Because He Sold Bad Pork," The Syracuse Journal, Syracuse, NY, December 19, 1912.

[1914 – Deed] – George amd Mary Gronau to Theodore Faatz, Deed Book 444, Pg 11, Rec. September 30, 1914, Onondaga County Clerk’s Office, Syracuse, NY.

[1917-05-29a] - "Plead Not Guilty To Indictments," The Syracuse Journal, Syracuse, Tuesday, May 29, 1917.

[1917-05-29b] - "Indict Keepers Of Road Houses; Both Arraigned," The Syracuse Herald, Syracuse, NY, Tuesday, May 29, 1917.

[1917-06-27a] - "Hotel Proprietor Secures Long Adjournment of Case," The Syracuse Journal, Syracuse, NY, Wednesday, June 27, 1917.

[1917-06-27b] - "Hotel Proprietor Given a Suspended Sentence," The Syracuse Herald, Syracuse, NY, Wednesday, June 27, 1917.

[1917-12-14] - "These Girls Were Relieved of Witness Duty," The Syracuse Journal, Syracuse, Ny, Friday, December 14, 1917.

[1918-04-21] - "Two Men Held By Police In Automobile Theft Case," The Po0st Standard, Syracuse, NY, Sunday, April 21, 1918.

[1918-11-30] - " 'Drink' In Dry Town Leads To Stabbing Fray," The Syracuse Journal, Syracuse, NY, Saturday, November 30, 1918.

[1918-12-05] - "Proprietor Of Road House Held, The Syracuse Journal, Syracuse, NY, Thursday, December 5, 1918.

[1919-03-20] - "Hotel Owner Surrenders to Sheriff," The Syracuse Herald, Syracuse, NY, Thursday, March 20, 1919. Wheeler was called "Charles" in this article. This was the ONLY report where his name was given as Charles. He was James in all the rest.

[1919-04-04] - "Bartender Found Riding On A Laod of Potatoes," The Post Standard, Syracuse, NY, Friday, April 4, 1919.

[1919-05-02] - "Hotel Proprietor Is Given 4 Months," The Syracuse Herald, Syracuse, NY, Friday, May 2, 1919.

[1919-09-18] - "Wheeler Turned Over To State Troopers," The Syracuse Journal, Syracuse, NY, Tuesday, September 18, 1919.

[1919-09-19] - "3 'Rustlers' Arrested With Disabled Auto," The Syracuse Journal, Syracuse, NY, Friday, September 19, 1919.

[1920-05-04] - "Proprietor Of Faatz Hotel Held For Jury," The Post Standard, Syracuse, NY, May 4, 1920.

[1921-02-21] - "Denies Taking 'Hush Money,' Involves Two, - James Phalen Says He Received Only One Payment From Corrie," The Post Standard, Syracuse, NY, Monday, February 21, 1921.

[1921-06-15] - "Hotel Owner Held in Bail," The Syracuse Herald, Syracuse, NY, June 15, 1921.

[1921-06-30] - "Placed On Probation," The Syracuse Herald, Syracuse, NY, June 30, 1921.

[1924-05-12a] - "Raiders Stage Clean-Up Drive Over Week-End," The Syracuse Journal, Syracuse, NY, Monday, May 12, 1924. 

[1924-05-12b] - "Woman Among 6 Held After Sheriff's Raids," The Syracuse Herald, Syracuse, NY, Monday, May 12, 1924.

[Ferrara - 2000] The Family of the Wizard, The Baums of Syracuse, Author: Susan Ferrara, Ph.D.