Contact Us

Contact Us

We would love to hear from you!


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, and 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. It’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, the city 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 pioneer automobile 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


Breakfast at the Ellwanger Estate is an event, and a major part of what makes a stay at our B&B so unique and special. A delicious gourmet breakfast is always included each morning of your stay at the Ellwanger Estate B&B. Enjoy a hot entree special served from the kitchen that is guaranteed to satisfy every taste-bud. Breakfast is 4-courses between 8-10 AM: 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!

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 OR on the Veranda. Dining tables are set for individual guest rooms.

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!

Policies/Covid 19

General Policies

Availability, Rates and Reservations

  • Check availability and reserve online anytime – the system is always completely current and provides our best rates.  We want to be sure that your experience at Ellwanger Estate, from booking through your stay, is nothing short of perfect, so we believe the only way to ensure a great experience is provide our guests with direct access to us.
  • A two-three night minimum stay is the norm throughout the year.
  • Room rates are based on double occupancy and are subject to NYS sales tax at 8%, and Monroe County lodging tax, currently 6%.
  • Room rates include a full gourmet breakfast, and a host of other perks and benefits as our guest – parking, wireless internet, afternoon snacks, and local concierge service are all included. The view is priceless!
  • Sleeping accommodationsare for registered guests only. The mansion will be a sanctuary for registered guests only. The maximum number of registered guest will be 10 total, within 7,000 sq ft mansion/veranda/patio/Rec Room/garden/lawn, and 3 beautiful idyllic acres to walk and enjoy. Any reunion with invited friends or family members will be offered in the garden, or on veranda. 
    If you wish to bring visitors during the day, please make the proprietor~Rosemary~ 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 12 and older, with well-behaved parents. We will accept children under 12 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).
  • Please remove shoes at the entry & enjoy a pair of slippers, OR you may bring your own.
  • 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.
  • Pets: Due to the intimate size of our property and the quality and rarity of the furnishings, we are unable to accept any fur babies. We are happy to recommend local kennels during your stay.
  • 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.
  • Ellwanger Estate is a NON-SMOKING property inside and out, and your complete cooperation is appreciated. The use of any item that burns such as candles or incense is not permitted. Evidence of smoking in rooms may result in cleaning charges that start at twice your nightly room rate. 
  • WiFi: The Ellwanger Estate provides complimentary high-speed wireless internet access throughout the B&B.
  • CHECK-IN is 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM. If you anticipate a late arrival (after 6 pm) please call 24 hours ahead to make special arrangements.
  • CHECK-OUT is always by 11:00 AM and parking is available after your stay to enjoy local activities. Late checkouts are available at times and are $20 per hour or any part of an hour per room.
  • Breakfast: A four-course breakfast is served daily in our Dining Room or on the Veranda (weather permitting). Dining tables are set and spaced for individual guest rooms. Help yourself to fresh, hot strong coffee, tea, cocoa, and juice. Seating times are at 8, 8:30, 9, and 9:30 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: Breakfast is prepared by me, and I am a licensed food handler. I use gloves as necessary while preparing food. All plates, silverware, cooking utensils are washed in a commercial sanitizing dishwasher
  • 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.
  • Online Reservations: A deposit equal to one night’s stay (plus 14% tax) per room is charged to guarantee your reservation. A larger deposit may be necessary for stays of 5 nights or more.  Your balance is due upon arrival at the inn: Yes CHECKS or CASH are PREFERRED & APPRECIATED! VISA & MC accepted.
  • As an independently owned and operated inn, we do not overbook our accommodations – each reservation is made for specific dates, room(s), and number of guests, and we are expecting you. Cancellations and changes made with short notice impact us significantly.
  • Major holiday periods include  all Federal holidays, Lilac fest, peony weekend, Jazz fest, all graduations, L/PGA, and Meloria weekend.
  • Gratuities: In response to inquiries 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 and an electric car charging station
  • Four-course Gourmet breakfast with fresh ingredients
  • Concierge services for recommendations and reservations
  • 24-hour access to snacks and beverages
  • Central heat/air conditioning
  • All rooms have private baths
  • Free WiFi
  • All guest rooms are television free, except “The library” located on the ground level.
  • Room rates are based on room occupancy (max 2 persons) and include a full breakfast, evening dessert and always available coffee and tea
  • A 24-hour help desk to assist with any late-night needs
  • Sunblock, bug spray, and blankets
  • Outdoor cat on premise. She is a shy rescue cat named “Meja”
  • Gift certificates available


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.

Covid-19 Policies and Important Information~Updated September 14, 2022

While we continue to monitor the coronavirus updates in our community, we have taken this opportunity to rethink, rewire, and rebalance a selection of non-intrusive and innovative guest experiences. There is an overwhelming need for discretion, privacy, and distancing, all in the pursuit of a calming and relaxing experience. Within a city environment we provide an oasis from hustle and bustle. There are many ingredients we need to have just right to enable our guests to relax – from the room layout and noise isolation and healthy dining options to non-intrusive, seamless services.
The Ellwanger Estate is following the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) “Safe Stay” guidelines, endorsed by the New York State Hospitality & Tourism Association. Consistent with the AHLA and CDC guidelines, following is just a few of the numerous measures we have instituted to keep our guests  safe and healthy:

  • Our meticulous standards continue: Before each guest arrives, rooms are cleaned top to bottom and disinfected. I use effective cleaning solutions and wipe down all surfaces throughout the mansion. Think OCD.
  • All linens are laundered in the hottest water possible. All pillows are sanitized after each guests’ stay, and encased in pillow protectors. All mattresses are covered with mattress cover so that they are changed and sanitized after each guest.
  • We engage in more frequent disinfecting of high touch areas in the common/public areas.
  • We have placed air purifiers in the dining rooms and parlor, to assist air exchange in those areas. Room doors and windows are open for fresh air circulation while cleaning. Air purifiers are also used while cleaning and disinfecting the guest rooms, prior to check-in.
  • Each room has a private bathroom.
  • Hand sanitizer stations have been placed in several public areas of the inn. Please make use of these upon each entry into the Ellwanger Estate.
  • We have resumed daily housekeeping services on request only.
  • In an effort to keep our community safe, we will be requiring all guests over the age of 12 to show proof that they are FULLY  vaccinated. We will ask all guests to provide a government-issued ID as well as a physical Covid-19 vaccine card, or your relevant state-provided vaccine pass, or a photo of your vaccination card.
  • Personal masks are now optional.
  • We ask that all guests respect and adhere to the requirements for social distancing.
  • The mansion will be a sanctuary for registered guests only. The maximum number of registered guest will be 10 total, within 7,000 sq ft mansion/veranda/patio/Rec Room/garden/lawn, and 3 beautiful idyllic acres to walk and enjoy. Any reunion with invited friends or family members will be offered in the garden, or on veranda.
  • I have been vaccinated and will continue to wear a mask when interacting with guests, while in the common areas, and while serving breakfast. Thank you for your support and understanding as we work together to keep our team and community healthy and safe.

If you have been exposed to COVID-19 recently or have symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, or shortness of breath), please help us keep everyone safe by rescheduling your stay.


Breakfast is part of the overall experience of staying at a bed and breakfast, and at the Ellwanger Estate, breakfast is always a special event.

  • Breakfast is now offered either in the Dining room or Veranda (weather permitting). Dining tables are set for individual guest rooms at reserved times between 8-9:30AM
  • Breakfast is prepared by me, and I am a licensed food handler.
  • I use gloves as necessary while preparing food. All plates, silverware, cooking utensils are washed in a commercial sanitizing dishwasher.
  • Cookies and snacks are now served on individual plates prepared in the kitchen – no communal plates or containers.
  • If any guest feels they would not be comfortable having breakfast in accordance with those arrangements, or if you would simply like to sleep in, you may opt out of breakfast~ please provide advance notice.


If a reservation is cancelled 7 days prior to your stay (by 3:00 PM), you have two options:

  1.  Your full deposit will be converted to a cancellation certificate which you can apply toward a future stay during the next 12 months.


  1. We will charge a $35.00 cancellation fee per room and refund the balance of your deposit. Please let us know which option you prefer when you cancel.

However, if the cancellation is made less than 7 days prior to your stay, you will be responsible for the entire cost of your cancelled reservation unless your room(s) is re-book for your cancelled dates. This also applies to shortened reservations.

Bookings through Online Travel Agencies such as, and their partners will be handled through their cancellation policies. So Please book Direct!

~Think Safety ~Think Best Practice~

If you are traveling from outside of the USA, we ask that you comply with all requirements prior to arrival. Please see the updated requirements of the New York State Department of Health here.

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
  • Stamped postcards and All occasion cards available
  • 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