Fish House started out as a small hamlet. There were stores and hotels. It was a gateway to the Adirondacks. Around 1900, it started to become a summer haven for people from New York City, Albany, and Long Island. Beautiful Queen Anne Victorian homes were built. One of the largest is the one I call the Sumner House.
This large house, built in 1900, was in the village square directly across from the Fish House Hotel. It was built by Emily and Sarah Sumner, the daughters of Alanson Sumner who had been a Superintendent of the Erie Canal and later a lumber merchant. The Sumners were related to many "big" names of Fish House- Fay, Wood, Page, Beecher. Alanson died in 1874 but his daughters Sarah and Emily continued to summer in Fish House. Sarah died in 1909 and Emily in 1920. Emily used it as a summer home and during the winter she lived on North Pearl Street in Albany. Research did not reveal who "owned" the house from 1920 - 1929, but it was probably a Sumner relative.
In 1929, houses were being burned down or moved. The Conklingville dam would be closed in 1930. John Stead owned farmland on a high knoll that was referred to as Overlook Heights. John W. Searle (a lawyer in Amsterdam) and his wife, Maybelle, purchased a lot from John Stead in 1929. The Sumner House was moved to this lot. (Near the corner of Ryder Road and Cty. Hwy. 110) John Searle was active in trying to improve the conditions of 110 from a dirt road to a more improved state road. In 1932, Maybelle died. On April 14th, 1933, John Searle married Esther Pitts. On April 19th, 1933, Searle included Esther on the deed to the Sumner house. John Searle died less than a month later on May 12th. Esther Searle owned the house until 1947.
In 1947, Harry and Ellen Lind purchased the Sumner house. They used it as a summer home, even after they moved to Texas.
In 1971, James and Dorothy Brady purchased the house. The Brady family owned the house for 31 years, the longest time of any of the owners. They lived in the house full time. In 2002, Dorothy Brady sold the house to the present owners.
In the last photo, you can see the Sumner home after it was moved. Notice how few trees surround it!