Rufus Tanner House Bed and Breakfast is located in the Finger Lakes region of New York state between Corning and
Elmira.The name of the inn comes from the second owner.
A Short History
show that the first owner, Edwin Nourse, lived in the house from
1864-1870. He was a dairy farmer and served as a justice of the peace.
1870, Rufus Tanner purchased "164.5 acres of good land, a large barn
and a house" from Nourse and paid $9,500 for all. He deeded a portion
of the farm to the Elmira State Line Railroad in September 1876, and a
train depot and water tower were constructed (remnants of the water
tower remain, but there is no trace of the railroad). Rufus operated a
dairy farm until he sold to the third owner, Richard Rowe, in 1886.
generations of the Rowe family lived here for 57 years. During their
tenure the size of the original house was doubled, three porches, many
outbuildings and a two story chicken coop were added. Indoor plumbing
was installed using a spring at the top of the hill and wooden pipes to
provide pressurized water. The stately Sugar Maple trees surrounding
the house were planted in approximately 1888. In 1921, Truman Rowe sold
a portion of the farmland to the Dairymen's League Co-operative
Association for construction of a milk processing operation. The Kinner
Hill Telephone Company exchange was located in the house and a list of
names (circa 1900) with dots and dashes for long and short rings is
preserved by Donna and Rick.
fourth owners, the Kelley family, purchased the farm in 1943 and sold
parcels of land for single family homes in 1950-1965. In 1965,
the Kelleys sold to the fifth owner, the Knapp family.
generations of the Knapp family lived in the house for a total of 34
years. In 1991, renovations were completed to equip the house with 5.5
baths and a bed and breakfast was opened.
2.5 acres of the original farm, several outbuildings and the beautiful
Sugar Maple trees remain. Donna and Rick Powell bought the house and
property in 1999. They continue to operate Rufus Tanner House Bed and
Breakfast. Two of the original outbuildings are used by Rick as
workshops for his hobby of wooden boat restoration. His
current project is restoring an antique wooden boat---a Rampage. The
boat, named Ghost, was one of only six built by Finger Lakes boat
builder, Murray Wright, in Dryden, NY.
and Rick treasure the old farmhouse and feel honored to be custodians
of its history and to care for its buildings. As a B&B, the
farmhouse provides a secure feeling of being home. Each guestroom has a
bath en suite. Four "common" rooms are open to guests and porches
and decks offer plenty of room to roam. All rooms have five foot
windows (many with the original Cylinder glass) and views of the
surrounding hillsides and trees.