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Fixer-Upper: Historic Cook Mansion B & B Available at Auction

Fixer-Upper: Historic Cook Mansion B & B Available at Auction

by Leona Jaeger

If you’ve ever dreamed about the idea of owning your own cozy Bed & Breakfast, wake up! You don’t have to just dream anymore!

Go ahead—try it! Pinch yourself! I can tell you your dream chance has come to fruition! This stunning 1873 Italianate is on the National Register of Historic Places, and for good reason. Cook Mansion is named for the man who built the beautiful home, Elbert W. Cook, who, along with his older brother Charles Cook were instrumental in the growth of Schuyler County. The brothers were responsible for construction of several mills and buildings for various businesses, as well as a small college (The People’s College). There is a wealth of information about their family and much of the surrounding area to be enjoyed.
In recent years, Cook Mansion has operated as a lovely, comfortable, highly-rated B & B. On November 2, 2014, however, a fire broke out and caused enough damage to have to cease operations. Fortunately, the fire was distinguished quickly, and the house saved. Fire damage was contained to less than half the roof. The house has been professionally cleared and cleaned and is ready for renewal! There is some structural work to be done, but the majority is a canvas waiting for you to apply whatever glory you can imagine!
When I see an old home and imagine it to be mine (and I can imagine a lot of them!), I always hope that the one I purchase someday *actually needs* some work done. I look forward to doing what work I can on my own; for me therapy comes in the form of elbow grease, spackling, painting, finding objects I can refurbish or “upcycle”, and lots of coffee to go with it all. Easy? Not really. Rewarding down to the center of my soul? Absolutely!
The Cook Mansion is almost 6,000 sq ft of Victorian fabulousness! Hardwood floors throughout including a beautiful inlaid and parquet design in the living room. Five bedrooms, five full bathrooms, dining rooms (yes, that is meant to be plural), three living rooms (yes, more plurals), and much more space in which to roam and relax! And, as always, for me, the joy of a Victorian is in the details. Gorgeous windows, just shy of floor-to-ceiling height, are arced; wide doors with triple panels; two elegant bay window areas; two original fireplaces and mantles—quite a list to flaunt! Wander outside to experience the covered patio area and porch. Imagine planting a gorgeous wisteria vine that grows over the pergola area—such a beautiful and fragrant area—wouldn’t *that* make a lovely retreat. And speaking of retreats—the land is approximately 5 acres of wooded area trimmed along one side by Chequagua Falls.
Additional good news is that the Cook Mansion when refurbished can be made back into a single family home if that’s what you prefers. To view many more details regarding the Cook Mansion auction to be held this July 18, 2015, at 11:00 AM. The auction company’s site has dozens of more photos for you to peruse as well. For a large photo gallery of the Cook Mansion: click here!
Wake up, Sleepyhead—your dream is here!


Can’t see the potential? Check out what the B&B looked like before the fire.



From the sturdy practicality of a colonial saltbox, to the lavish details of a High Victorian, Leona believes that each old home holds a beauty, solid craftsmanship, and history that is a mystery and wonder to be explored and appreciated. Leona’s dream is to find a huge farmhouse with high ceilings, wide-planked floors (complete with hidden artifacts under a loose plank), a wraparound porch, and enough acreage to house a horse or two, some dogs, cats, goats, and a ring-tailed lemur. In her spare time she can be found with her face pressed and distorted against the car window, ogling the fantastic old homes in the surrounding areas of Pasadena, California where she lives with her loving husband (who patiently peels her face off the windows and tells her to breathe) and her vivacious 9-year-old daughter.

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