and the Stocum House
Hammondsport Herald, July 12, 1893
Last Monday evening, while the HERALD man was standing on the dock at the foot of Shethar Street, looking out over the placid waters of beautiful Lake Keuka and wondering why the whole mass of tired humanity could not lay aside the burdens and cares of life for the next three months and spend the heated interim at some of her many beautiful retreats, he was awakened from his twilight reveries by the shrill whistle of the beautiful little steam yacht which glides so gracefully and swiftly and many times a day, between her landings in this place and the charming summer home of her owner Major John Stocum. We looked so wistfully in the direction of the major and his pretty little yacht that he took pity on our apparent forlorn condition and courteously invited us aboard—an invitation we were not in the least backward in accepting. After a hearty hand-shake with the sturdy old war-horse, the lines were cast off, the signal rung to the engineer and we were soon gliding merrily over the lake at a speed which only too soon brought us to our journey’s end.
Stocum’s landing is but a trifle over a mile from Hammondsport and is one of the prettiest places on the west-side. There is a beautiful carriageway from this place to the point, and all the passenger steamers make regular landings here, the fine dock making it possible for them to land at all seasons of the year. What was a few years since a rough, unsightly plot of ground, covered with a dense growth of trees and underbrush, is now a veritable paradise. Trees have been set at proper distances, and beautiful flowers and plants, from .the Soldier’s Home conservatories, fill in the space between. The first place for us to visit was Ruby Cottage—named in honor of the major’s daughter. This is a commodious, three-story building, with deep verandas extending entirely around the building, from the upper one of which may be had a view unsurpassed in this locality. The interior of the cottage is finished in natural woods and is furnished with all modern conviences. In this building, presided over by Mrs. E. A. Dill of Elmira, and a competent corps of assistants, are located the dining-room, kitchen, music and sitting-rooms, also several elegantly furnished dormitories. The cellars are in the rear of this building and are reached from a rear door of the kitchen. Just north of Ruby Cottage is the Stocum House. Here is the bar-room, the general rendezvous of those who wish to indulge in the sport of fishing. The proprietor always has on hand a complete fishing outfit and those piscatorially inclined can be rigged out in complete paraphernalia at a moment’s notice.
But we are warned by the whistle of our little steamer that “time’s up,” and are soon aboard and gliding homeward. The hour has been pleasantly spent, and to those who desire a few days of rest and recreation, we would heartily recommend them to the care of Major Stocum. At Ruby Cottage one may find all the conveniences of a pleasant home. The cuisine is under the immediate supervision of Mrs. Dill, and is supplied with all the delicacies of the season. A number of guests are expected within a few days and the outlook for a successful season is encouraging.
More about Ruby Cottage
Dick Sherer, Steuben County Historian, found the story above in the old Hammondsport