Old News – Fire!

The Cottage Hotel in Fairport was built on the corner of North Main Street and John Street (no Liftbridge Lane) about 1886. A third floor was added in 1889 along with a 60-foot long annex. In May 1922, during Prohibition, two bottles of whiskey were found in the hotel during a raid.

After the 1968 fire, the Cottage Hotel was torn down and the property is now a parking lot.


Wednesday, Feb. 7, 1968


Death stalked the halls of Fairport’s Cottage Hotel early Saturday morning as one of the town’s best known landmarks was gutted by fire.

Found dead on his smoke filled room was Estile Hampton, 28, employee by the Stappenbeck Co of Penfield. Injured and taken to Genesee Hospital was Robert Dyer, 26. Suffering from burns and smoke inhalation. He was reported in “good” condition yesterday. Charles Bonbrake, 23, was also treated for smoke inhalation and released from the hospital after treatment.

Six companies of fire fighting equipment converged on the flaming building and some 125 volunteers fought the stub burn blaze until it reluctantly came under control. Fairport Fire Chief Gardner Brown and firemen James and Ronald Schrader suffered cuts. Overcome by smoke were firemen Dale Newman and Russell Thomas. The men were treated at the scene.

A passerby noted flames licking through the window of the bar about 3:30 a.m. and alerted police and fire companies. Joseph Cannioto, a resident of the hotel told police he and another guest attempted to get to Hampton’s  room but were driven back by smoke.

Owner Albert DiRisto opened the Hawk Restaurant so that hotel tenants and fire fighters could be fed and serviced by the Red Cross who made the restaurant their headquarters.

The Rochester Fire Bureau’s arson squad is investigating the cause that all but destroyed the 70 year old hotel.

The hotel is owned by Gordon and David Abbott both of Fairport and their father Ben, of Brighton. The property was valued at more than $75,000.

Their is some doubt that it could ever be restored economically.

One Comment

  1. Thanks Dick. I don’t remember the Hotel or the fire, but in 1968 I was a senior at St. John Fisher. We often went by that corner to get to the bar (now Donnelly’s) that sold HUGE ham sandwiches.

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