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625 Mount Hope Ave
Rochester NY 14620-2730
(585) 314-1793

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Rochester’s History

Rochester - High Falls

Rochester – High Falls

Rochester is a city in the Finger Lakes region of New York state.  Rochester is known as the “Flour City” and the “Flower City.” It began as a small village around a flour mill. When the Erie Canal was built through Rochester, the city became a major trade center for grain shipped from the Midwest to the East, as well as the supplies that were shipped back to the Midwest. Rochester’s strategic location on the Genesee river allowed for the construction of numerous flour mills in the city.

On November 8, , a 100 acre (ca. 40 ) tract in Western New York along the Genesee River was purchased by Colonel Nathaniel Rochester, Major Charles Carroll, and Colonel William Fitzhugh, all of Hagerstown, Maryland. The site was chosen because of three cataracts on the Genesee, offering great potential for water power. Beginning in 1811, and with a population of 15, the three founders surveyed the land and laid out streets and tracts. In 1817, the Brown brothers and other landowners joined their lands with the Hundred Acre Tract to form the village of Rochesterville.

Erie Canal as it was built in 1842, replacing the original construction from 1823. In the 1920s, the Broad Street Bridge was erected on top of it.  By 1821, Rochesterville was the seat of Monroe County. In 1823, Rochesterville consisted of 1,012 acres (4 km2) and 2,500 residents, and the Village of Rochesterville became known as Rochester. Also in 1823, the Erie Canal aqueduct over the Genesee River was completed, and the Erie Canal east to the Hudson River was opened.

Later, after the advent of railroads, the presence of the canal in the center city became bothersome, and it was re-routed south of Rochester. By 1830, Rochester’s population was 9,200 and in 1834, it was re-chartered as a city.

Highland Park - Lilac Festival

Highland Park – Lilac Festival

Rochester was first known as “The Young Lion of the West”, and then as the “Flour City”. By 1838, Rochester was the largest flour-producing city in the United States. Having doubled its population in only ten years, Rochester became America’s first “boomtown.”

In 1847, Frederick Douglass founded the abolitionist newspaper The North Star in Rochester. Douglass, a former slave and an antislavery speaker and writer, gained a circulation of over 4,000 readers in the United States, Europe and the Caribbean. The North Star served as a forum for abolitionist views.

Thanks to the philanthropy of George Eastman, the industrialist who lived in Rochester and founded several world-renowned institutions, Rochester is home to the Eastman Kodak Co., the Eastman School of Music, and the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film.

Rochester has a history of progressivism. Large numbers of freed slaves lived in the city and Frederick Douglass’s paper, The North Star was printed there. Susan B. Anthony hailed from Rochester and her influence helped lead the University of Rochester to accept women in 1900.

Since World War II, Rochester saw a decline in population but has also seen periods of urban renewal funded by industry, such as Xerox. In the 60’s and 70’s, the city became known as the leading Jazz town in upstate New York. Today, the city holds its annual International Jazz Festival every June.

In the early 20th century, Rochester became a center of the garment industry, particularly men’s fashions. It was home of enterprises such as Fashion Park and Hickey-Freeman. It was home to the pioneerautomobile company Cunningham, produced by carriage maker James Cunningham and Sons.

Park lands

Highland Park - Reservoir Fountain

Highland Park – Reservoir Fountain – ©Matthew D. Wilson 2007

The city’s Victorian era Mt. Hope Cemetery includes the final resting place of Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglass, and George Baldwin Selden. Other scenic cemeteries are Holy Sepulchre and its neighbor the Riverside Cemetery. Rochester is also known for its parks, including the Highland Park, Cobb’s Hill ParkDurand-Eastman ParkGenesee Valley Park, Maplewood Park, Edgerton Park, Seneca Park and Ontario Beach Park. Lamberton Conservatory from 1911 in the Highland Park.

The city has 13 full-time recreation centers, 19 swimming programs, 3 artificial ice rinks, 66 softball/baseball fields, 47 tennis courts, 5 football fields, 7 soccer fields, and 43 outdoor basketball courts. As a legacy of its time as “The Flower City”, Rochester hosts a Lilac Festival for ten days every May, when nearly 400 varieties of lilacs bloom, and 100,000 visitors arrive.


Rochester has a number of festivals, many of which occur in late spring and throughout the summer. These include the Rochester International Jazz Festival, established in 2002; the Corn Hill Festival (arts, crafts, and food in this Third Ward neighborhood); the Rochester-High Falls International Film Festival; Clothesline Art Festival (artists from the region display their works on the grounds of the Memorial Art Gallery); Park Avenue Merchants FestivalLilac Festival at Highland Park; St. Patrick’s Day parade (March); Rose Festival at Maplewood Park; Irish festival (September); two Greek festivals – one on East Avenue (in June) and one on South Avenue (in Auguest); Gay Pride Festival (July); Puerto Rican Festival (August); Rochester Music Festival; and the Cold Rush Winter Celebration (celebrating winter sports in the Rochester area). During the summer, and especially on the Fourth of July, downtown after dark is lit with fireworks and a laser show at the High Falls venue.

Geography and climate

High Falls during the summer.  The city is east of Buffalo, west of Syracuse and sits on the southern shore of Lake Ontario. The Genesee River bisects the city.  According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 37.1 square miles (96.1 km²), of which, 35.8 square miles (92.7 km²) of it is land and 1.3 square miles (3.4 km²) of it (3.42%) is water.  Rochester’s geography comes from the ice sheets during the Pleistocene epoch. The retreating ice sheets reached a standstill at what is now the southern border of the city, melting at the same rate as they were advancing, depositing sediment along the southern edge of the ice mass. This created a line of hills, including (from west to east) Mt. Hope, the hills of Highland Park, Pinnacle Hill, and Cobb’s Hill. Because the sediment of these hills was deposited into a preglacial lake they are stratified and classified as a “kame delta.” A brief retreat and re-advance of the ice sheet onto the delta piled unstratified (moraine) material there, creating a rare hybrid structure called a “kame moraine.”

The ice sheets also left behind Lake Ontario (one of the five fresh-water Great Lakes), the Genesee River with its waterfalls and gorges, Irondequoit Bay, Sodus Bay, Braddock’s Bay, Mendon Ponds, numerous local streams and ponds, the Ridge, and the nearby Finger Lakes. The principal source of water is Hemlock Lake, which, with its watershed, is owned by the city. Other water sources are Canadice Lakeand Lake Ontario. The 30-year annual average snowfall is 95.0 inches (241 cm), making Rochester the snowiest large city in the U.S. The mean July temperature is 71.3℉ (21.8℃).  Rochester  has four distinct seasons, Autumn features brilliant foliage colors, and summer sees comfortable temperatures that usually stay in the low to mid 80s (upper 20s Celsius). Precipitation is plentiful year round.

Rochester is home to a large number of cultural institutions considering its population. These include the world-renowned Garth Fagan Dance, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester Contemporary Art Center, Rochester Museum & Science Center, Strong – National Museum of Play, the A|V Room, the Strasenburgh Planetarium, and numerous arts organizations. Rochester’s Geva Theatre Center is the city’s largest professional theatre.

Rochester is also home to Wet Planet Beverages, producer of Jolt Cola and other beverages. High Falls Brewing Company, maker of the Genesee beers and JW Dundee’s brand (Honey Brown) also calls Rochester home. Arbor Mist wines are produced in nearby Canandaigua, NY by owner Constellation Brands.  National frozen food manufacturer Birds Eye is headquartered in suburban Rochester. Heluva Good Cheeses and Seneca Foods are in nearby Wayne County. The Ragú brand of pasta sauce was originally produced in Rochester, and the Francesco Rinaldi pasta sauce is manufactured in Rochester. Barilla has a food manufacturing plant in nearby Livingston County, in the Village of Avon.

Other local franchises include: Bill Gray’s (a hamburger/hot dog joint that lays claim to having “The World’s Greatest Cheeseburger”), Country Sweet (known for their chicken wings and BBQ sauce), Boss Sauce, described as a “tantalizing sweet, spicy-hot gourmet after-sauce,” was born from the restaurant Eddie’s Chicken Coop, Tom Wahl’sDibella’s, Great Northern Pizza Kitchen, Zebb’s, Don’s Original, and Abbott’s Frozen CustardDinosaur Bar-b-que, which originated in Syracuse, also operates their second franchise downtown in the former Lehigh Valley Railroad station on the Genesee River.

Little Theatre

Little Theatre


The Little Theatre on East Avenue, Rochester has several districts containing bars and nightspots but the primary area is the East End District in the southeast part of downtown. Restaurants, bistros, and nightclubs can also be found in the St. Paul Quarter, Monroe Avenue (and Upper Monroe), as well as Park Avenue. The South Wedge neighborhood boasts a wine bar, a British-style pub, an Irish pub, a honky-tonk cajun bar-b-que joint and numerous other restaurants and bars.



Area Attractions

University of Rochester Medical School
Eastman Kodak Company
Frontier Field
Blue Cross Arena
Eastman Theatre / Rochester Philharmonic
George Eastman House
Memorial Art Gallery
Susan B Anthony House
Mt. Hope Cemetery
Lake Ontario Shore
Finger Lakes Wine Region
William E. Simon School of Business Administration


The Ellwanger Estate Bed and Breakfast serves an elegant delicious gourmet breakfast each morning in the dining room, between 8:30 and 10 a.m. Breakfast is 4-courses: beginning with an artistic fruit arrangement, freshly baked bread, which is followed by a full savory or sweet entree, and ends with a dessert.  A continental or a “to go” breakfast is also available for our early departures.

We are happy to serve an earlier breakfast with prior notice. Please let us know about your own dietary requirements, and we will happily create a breakfast you can enjoy!  Should you wish to invite a guest to breakfast, we will simple add $15 to your bill.

The specialty Ellwanger Estate blend coffee is freshly ground and brewed.  Coffee and tea is always available.

Picture this: White tablecloths are illuminated by soft candlelight as you are presented an award winning, thoughtful breakfast dish, such as french toast bread pudding with spiced pears or spicy sausage vegetable quiche. In season, the peaches and pears grown on the property grace the table in the elegantly appointed dining room. 

We have a variety of recipes that include some old favorites, as well as some more creative dishes. To every extent possible, locally grown foods and products are served…pear butter from on site pear trees, farm fresh eggs from free-range chicken (Eloise and her sister hens), garden fresh fruits and vegetables.  Do not be surprised if you awaken early and see us returning from the Farmer’s Market (every Saturday) with fresh fruit, and “just-picked” organic vegetables for your enjoyment!

We have a variety of recipes for many special diets, and often have created special breakfasts for:

  • Low-Carb diets
  • Low-Cholesterol diets
  • Celiac diets (Gluten-free or Wheat-Free)
  • Fructose Intolerant diets
  • Food allergies (nuts, strawberries, eggs, cheese, shellfish, etc.)
  • Lactose Intolerant diets
  • Vegetarian diets (including Ovo-Lacto, Lacto, Ovo, and Vegan)

Let us know about your own dietary requirements and food dislikes, and we will happily create a breakfast you can enjoy!


General Policies

  • Minimum stay requirements: Open year around. There is a two-night minimum. We may be able to accommodate your one-night stay depending on how our reservations fall. For one-night stays, a 100% deposit is required, and we cannot guarantee a specific room.
  • Sleeping accommodations: are for registered guests only.  If you wish to bring visitors during the day, please make the proprietors aware of this prior to the arrival of your guest.  Please, no more than 2 visitors per guest and no overnight-unregistered guests.
  • Children: The Ellwanger Estate seeks to provide a quiet, restful, and romantic environment best suited for adults. However, accommodations are available for children 8 and older, with well-behaved parents. We will accept children under 8 y/o with total house rental. Additional guest fee for greater than 2 guests in a room, applied at $50/per person/per night- including babies).
  • Pillow Menu is complimentary and is online when making your room reservations. Please DO NOT bring your own pillow from home! We will make every effort to provide a wonderful sleep.
  • Accessibility: Please note that access to your guest rooms requires the use of stairs.
  • Pets: Out of courtesy to our guests with allergies, we can not accommodate pets.
  • This is a drug free establishment: no illegal or recreational substances are permitted on the grounds or in the home at any time. Any person under the influence or known to be in possession on the property will be asked to depart at the proprietor’s discretion.  We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.
  • Firearms are not permitted: on the grounds or in the home at any time.
  • Smoking is not permitted anywhere inside the house or outside on the grounds. We cater to patrons that have allergies and sensitivities to odors and tobacco smoke.  All our rooms require ozone as a result of smoking in any room. There will be a $300 charge added to our fee.
  • Our insurance requirements prohibit the use of candles, incense or open flame of any kind in this circa 1880 wood structure.
  • WiFi: The Ellwanger Estate provides complimentary high-speed wireless internet access throughout the B&B.
  • Payment: Yes CHECKS are PREFERRED & APPRECIATED! Also Cash, VISA & MC accepted.
  • Check-In/Out: Guests are invited to check-in daily between the hours of  2:00 to 6:00 pm. Please make your travel plans accordingly. If you anticipate a late arrival (after 6 pm) please call 24 hours ahead to make special arrangements. Check-out is by 11:00 am. Late checkouts are available at times and are $40 per hour or any part of an hour per room.
  • Breakfast: A hot three-course breakfast is served daily in our dining room. Help yourself to fresh, hot strong coffee, tea, cocoa, and juice. Seating times are at 8:30 and 9:00 am. Light fares and Grab & Go breakfasts are available. Please let us know of any dietary restrictions or food dislikes when you make your reservations. Note: Please do not bring in take-out food.
  • Damages and Liabilities: Guests will be charged for damages to B&B property that may have occurred while said guests were having too good of a time, or resulting from negligence, recklessness or misuse. Cosmetic towels are provided for makeup removal and other colorful clean up jobs for your convenience.
  • Cancellations: As a small business, cancellations affect us greatly. When a reservation is made, your room(s) is/are guaranteed for the entire stay, and guests are responsible for the entire balance of nights reserved. Therefore, cancellations made more than 7 days prior to your arrival date will receive a refund minus $35 processing fee. Cancelation less than 7 days from your arrival date will be subjected to a one night charge and $35 processing fee/ per room. Regretfully, there is no refund for early departures, or shortened stays.  No shows and early departures will be charged for the full reservation.  Shortening of your reservation during the cancellation period is considered a cancellation of that night(s) and the regular cancellation policy applies. Reservations cancelled less than 30 days prior to a stay over major holiday periods or any other special event period (to include  all Federal holidays, Lilac fest, peony weekend, Jazz fest, all graduations, L/PGA, and Meloria weekend) are NON REFUNDABLE.  Full House rentals require 45 days cancellation notice and have a $200 cancellation fee. Due to the difficulty in rebooking rooms at the last minute, it is necessary for us to enforce this policy. If you have any concerns about having to cancel, we recommend you look into travel insurance. Thank you for your understanding.
  • Gratuities: In response to inquires from our guests, please note that staff members are permitted to accept gratuities. Gratuity recognition is welcome for exceptional service from any of our staff members or service teams.

  • On Site parking is provided
  • Gourmet breakfast
  • Gift certificates available
  • Central heat/air conditioning
  • All rooms have private baths
  • All guest rooms are television free, the library TV is for guest use.
  • Room rates are based on room occupancy (max 2 persons) and include a full breakfast, evening dessert and always available coffee and tea
  • Outdoor cat on premise. She is a shy rescue cat named “Meja”


At The Ellwanger Estate, it’s important to us that our website is accessible and easy to use for all persons with disabilities. When creating our website, our development team used software tools to identify web accessibility standards as outlined by the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 Level AA (WCAG 2.0 AA).

While the industry is not operating from approved, regulated legislation, The Ellwanger Estate is committed to our good faith effort to follow the guidelines available. If you have questions, concerns or have discovered an accessibility issue on our site, please contact us by email. Be sure to include specifics and any page where an issue has occurred. We will make every reasonable effort to make the page accessible for you.

Built in 1880

The building that comprise The Ellwanger Estate B&B was built in 1880. Consistent with the architectural norms of the time, there are many steps within The Ellwanger Estate. As we do not have an elevator at The Ellwanger Estate, some guests with mobility issues may find access challenging. Please count on us to gladly assist you with your bags. If you wish to enjoy breakfast in your room, we are happy to offer room service.

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Privacy Policy

We take your privacy very seriously and this privacy statement is here to help you understand what we may do with any information you give us about you. This privacy statement only relates to our website and does not extend to your use of the Internet outside of our website or to any websites that are linked to our website.

You can access our website home page and browse our site without disclosing your personal information, but if you do give us your personal details, you are accepting these terms. If you do not agree with this privacy statement, do not give us your details. This privacy statement is part of our Terms and Conditions. We may need to update this privacy statement from time to time. You should regularly check this page to make sure you have read the most recent version.

Personal information provided is stored for our own records only and will not be disclosed to third-parties.

Information we may collect about you
Personal information is limited to your name, phone number, email address. These details are only known to us if you complete the contact form.

How we will use your details
We will only use your contact details in order to contact you. We never give or sell our customers details to third parties.

Where we store your personal data
All information that you supply us with is stored on secured servers. We will take all reasonable steps necessary to make sure that your data is treated securely in line with this privacy statement.

About cookies and the way we use them
In common with other websites, we do also use “cookies”.

You can control the use of cookies on your computer and can turn them on or off at anytime in your web browser settings. This site also asks if you wish to accept cookies. The cookies we use on this site are in relation to analytics and social media:

Analytics – We use analytics cookies to helps us understand how users engage with our website. An example is counting the number of different people coming to our website or using a particular feature, rather than the total number of times the site or feature is used. Without this cookie, if you visited the website once each week for three weeks we would count you as three separate users. We would find it difficult to analyze how well our website was performing and improve it without these cookies.

Social Sharing – We use cookies to allow you to share content directly on the social networking/sharing sites like Facebook, Twitter or Google+. Examples would be if you wanted to “like” or “tweet” about a business or service on our website.



  • Gourmet Breakfast each morning
  • Newspaper, stamped postcards
  • Concierge Service
  • Laundry Service
  • Shoe Shine
  • Free Onsite Parking / Baggage Assistance
  • Library/Sitting Rooms overlooking gardens and foliage
  • Extensive Perennial Gardens
  • Wrap around Veranda with direct access to the Ellwanger Gardens
  • Abundant Bird Watching, complimentary use of bird guides
  • Large Guest Grand Room with Piano
  • Afternoon/evening tea and coffee available
  • Fresh baked goods every evening
  • Grab n go lunches available by special order
  • Guest Refrigerator, complimentary Spring Water, and whole fruit
  • High Speed Wireless Internet access and free guest printing
  • An extensive library with TV/DVD selection
  • Large selection of games, books, magazines, and activities
  • Spa Massage Available to soothe mind, body and soul
  • PranaSleep organic mattresses
  • Fine linens
  • Pillow menu available with: “Natura” Ylang Ylang,  Premium down, and/or alternative-filled pillows
  • Fitness with stationary bike, yoga mats, rolls, and free weights
  • The Ellwanger Estate is just steps away from 150 acre Highland Park and Genesee River Trail
  • TESLA Charging Station