Before 1930 and before the lake, Fish House was a small thriving hamlet with craftsmen and general stores. From the 1850’s to the early 1900’s there were 4 hotels, two general stores, as well as sawmills, blacksmith shops, barbers, tailors, chair makers as well as many homes.
The first store built around 1805, was made of brick. It was on the corner of 109 and Old Fish House Road across the street from the Fish House Hotel. It was torn down in 1877 and then Hiram Osborn, who had been working at the Fish House Hotel, built his own hotel, the Osborn Hotel on that spot. The second brick structure in Fish House, also a store, was built further up on Old Fish House Road.
There was also a wooden frame store just down the road from the brick store. The wooden store was run by Robert Humphrey and then later by the Moores. ( In a published book, "Northampton: Then and Now", it is referred to as the Smith Store. But in doing more research, I believe this is an error
The brick store was run by J.H. Smith. Smith died in 1908. Postcards from circa 1909, refer to the brick store as the Noyes store. Delbert Noyes would have been the owner. It was also stated,,somewhere, that the Steads ran this store. Store ownership changed back and forth, I am still trying to piece together the order of the owners.s
In 1927, the New York state placed markers at the elevation of 770 feet all around the Sacandaga Valley. Any structure lower than 770 feet had to either be moved or torn down. (12 structures were moved in Fish House).
The brick store was torn down. The wooden store was moved up to CR 110. It was run as a store by the Steads from the 1930’s to the 1960’s. Now it is a private home. (It is the tan house with maroon shutters just a little north of Fish House Rd, on the right.)
After 1930, Percy Orton built a small Bait/Ice Shop on the corner of CR 109 and CR 110. Percy died in 1949. The building was enlarged and from the 1970‘s to the 1990‘s it was known as The Cozy Corner, a small ice cream shop and diner. Now it is no longer a store, but a Fish House resident’s workshop.
The store (pictured above) was built after the lake was made and run by Percy Orton. It is on the corner of CR 109 and CR 110). Orton sold bait and ice. He rented out boats and also had a fishing guide for hire.
This was the second brick structure built in Fish House.
The wooden building on the left is often referred to as the Smith Store. It was moved when the lake was made. The building to the right was the brick store. Both were on what was referred to as Main Street. It is now called Old Fish House Road, which stops at the lake. Continue walking from the road, after the water level has gone down, and you will see the foundation of the brick store. Photo was taken in 1901.
The wooden store was moved up to the new path of C.R. 110. It was run as a store by the Stead family for many years.