William Avery was born in Germany and eventually wanted to immigrate to the United States. To do so he first had to live in England for two years and then came to the States. He settled in Gloversville, NY around 1842. His son, Augustus Avery moved to the town of Arietta, built a log cabin and homestead on land that was not worth farming. Eventually Augustus turned his home into an inn and called it Avery's Hotel.
Augustus was called Gus and had a son name Lyman who took over the hotel after Gus died. The log cabin inn eventually burned and Lyman built a bigger hotel that had three stories. The rooms on the first and second floors had private baths while those on the third floor had a central bathroom. Lyman boarded hunters in the fall. On one day they had 132 hunters of which 60 were boarders. Always the Avery's served dinner to people vacationing or to hunters.
Lyman, besides running the hotel, was also in the lumber business. At different times he owned logging mills, one where the Evergreen Park is now in the Town of Arietta and one mill behind what is now called Avery's Lake. He owned two mills at the same time, one north of Wells across from where the school is located now and the other mill in North Creek, NY.
Lyman also decided he wanted to produce his own electricity for his hotel. He sent his son Bob to Galway, NY to bring back an old water wheel that was used by a gristmill and lumber mill. The 18-foot wheel was hooked up to produce 95 amps of electricity instead of the 120 amps that was really needed to run some of the appliances at the hotel. As a result some of the appliances would break down and Lyman realized it was not really helping as much as he wanted to. This year, 2000, Bob cleared all the brush around the water wheel and got it moving once again. You can see the water wheel on the east side of Route 10, just north of the building that was Bob Avery's Inn.
In 1939 Lyman's Avery Inn burned down. The foundation laid bared until 1946 when Lyman's son, Bob, rebuilt right on the same foundation. This time the inn was two stories but it continued to serve hunters until 1982.
Bob Avery kept up the family tradition. The hotel was open from Mother's Day until hunting season was over with in the fall. People from all over would come for the dinners served in the hotel and for the Saturday night dances. Even 30 below zero people would come for the Square Dances. Sometimes up to 200 people would fill the dance room and most had to stand for the evening. Bob Avery can remember that the most dinners served in one week were 1,340 and in one day they served 105 hunters. The hotel would even be open in the winter for the snowmobilers.
View Across from Avery's
Click for larger Pic!
As you drive the scenic route from Caroga Lake to Piseco you will notice on the west side of Route 10 an old two story building, sitting on a hill overlooking the west branch of the Sacandaga River. Bob Avery's stepdaughter and husband now own it. The view even from the highway is absolutely breath taking. As you savor the view remember also that four generations of Avery's have had the privilege of owning the land on the hill and savoring the same view as you.
Last Updated: Wednesday, 14-May-2008 13:37:24 PDT
Copyright © 2000: Annie_Weaver / Bob Avery