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Rowland House

BUILT IN 1903, RESTORED IN 2014

Constructed on the shore of Cayuga Lake by Alonzo Morgan Zabriskie in 1903, Rowland House is encompassed by ancient trees, an historic Grecian temple, and a spectacular two-story boathouse.

Rowland House offers ten chic guestrooms, each with a private marble bath, vibrant color schemes, original modern art, stunning views, and luxurious linens. Four guestrooms — along with a private lounge — comprise the entire third floor, decorated with the distinctive and playful designs of MacKenzie-Childs.

 

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Rowland House is best enjoyed in the company of other adults.
Please note that we do not accommodate children under the age of 14 without a private rental.

 

Rowland House Highlights

catered meals available with private rentals
catered meals available with private rentals
Boardroom available with private rentals
Boardroom available with private rentals
  • Spacious parlors with fireplaces and games
  • Butler’s pantry
  • Third-floor MacKenzie-Childs lounge
  • Elevator access
  • Expansive lakeside lawn with firepit
  • Comfortable wrap-around porch
  • Complimentary glass of wine each afternoon
  • Morning coffee & homemade granola bars
  • Access to resort activities & events
  • Complimentary parking
  • Dedicated, on-site innkeeper
  • Hi-speed wireless Internet access
  • In-room safe, ironing board, blow dryer
  • Bedside charging stations
  • Flat-screen televisions
  • Spa-quality bath products
  • Down duvets & pillows; Frette linens
  • In-room bottled water
  • Plush robes
With the rental of all ten guestrooms at Rowland House, guests may plan private dinners and events at the home. View our private rental packages and contact Sara at 315.364.8828 for pricing and availability.

 

History of Rowland House

Alonzo Morgan Zabriskie was born the deaf grandson of E.B. Morgan in 1867. An avid sailor, Alonzo spent much of his youth on Cayuga Lake, and even assisted in saving passengers off a capsized catamaran at the age of 17. While on land, Alonzo enjoyed raising chickens in his spare time.

Alonzo married the “beautiful and accomplished” Belle Loader of Saint Louis in 1902. An opulent, high-society affair, Belle selected a wedding color scheme of green and white. After a brief honeymoon, Alonzo began construction of a grand new home—now Rowland House—later that year. Built for entertaining, the home hosted many bridge games, charity sales, and other social functions at the bequest of Belle. In the winter, the newlyweds retreated to Palm Beach, where Alonzo could fish year-round—it was here that Alonzo conquered a nine-foot hammerhead shark with six successive shots from his revolver.

 

 

In 1912, Alonzo, Belle, and their seven-year-old son Lansing moved to an even grander home in Greenwich, Connecticut, but kept their Aurora house for future use. Tragically, Alonzo died of angina (a heart condition) less than a year later—in May of 1913. Continuing his family’s philanthropic legacy, Alonzo left his grand lakeside home to Wells College.

In October of 1913, the newly inducted President of Wells College, Kerr Duncan Macmillan, moved his family into the home. Macmillan’s two young sons made good use of the home as a playground of sorts, and Kerr hosted many of the college’s social functions here.

A noted scholar of the German Protestantism movement and ordained minister, Macmillan successfully led the college through particularly difficult times—overseeing Wells through both World War I and the Great Depression. Shortly after the war’s conclusion, a devastating fire destroyed much of downtown Aurora. In an effort to save the Inn—whose cornices began smoldering—Macmillan joined the fire brigade on the Inn’s roof, dumping buckets of water to prevent the fire’s spreading. Later that night, he took back to his home the many unattended children whose parents continued to fight the blaze. Macmillan retired from his presidency in 1936 and passed away two years later. He is buried in the Oak Glen Cemetery of Aurora, where Alonzo also rests.

During the planning and renovation phases of the Aurora Inn in the early 2000s, this home was used as the headquarters for the Aurora Foundation and Aurora Interiors. Restoration of the property commenced in 2013 under the stewardship of philanthropist Pleasant T. Rowland, an alumna of Wells College, noted educator, author of early childhood literacy programs, and founder of American Girl. Dotted with art and furnishings from her personal collection, Rowland House pays tribute to both Pleasant’s vision and philanthropic legacy.

 

Rowland House Guestrooms

 

Rowland House Room One

Tucked away in a quiet corner of the first floor, this spacious room offers one queen-size bed and one twin-size bed—outfitted in fine Frette linens—along with a writer’s desk, comfortable lounge chairs, and views of Cayuga Lake. An elegant bath features heated marble floors, plush robes, and spa-quality bath products from William Roam. This room is ADA compliant.

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Designer finishes and original, modern art complement the high-tech amenities in this room—including high-speed wireless internet, bedside charging ports, and a flat-screen television with Google Chromecast for streaming from your favorite apps and devices.

Your stay at Rowland House includes a glass of wine each afternoon; each morning, enjoy our homemade granola bars and organic, fair-trade coffee.

As a guest of the Inns of Aurora, you have access to a wide range of amenities, from stargazing equipment to our fleet of bicycles and kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddle boards

 

 

 

Rowland House Room Two

This sunny, cheerful room offers one king-size bed—outfitted in fine Frette linens—along with a writer’s desk, comfortable lounge area, and charming views of Village of Aurora. An elegant bath features heated marble floors, plush robes, and spa-quality bath products from William Roam.

Book Now

Designer finishes and original, modern art complement the high-tech amenities in this room—including high-speed wireless internet, bedside charging ports, and a flat-screen television with Google Chromecast for streaming from your favorite apps and devices.

Your stay at Rowland House includes a glass of wine each afternoon; each morning, enjoy our homemade granola bars and organic, fair-trade coffee.

As a guest of the Inns of Aurora, you have access to a wide range of amenities, from stargazing equipment to our fleet of bicycles and kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddle boards

 

 

 

Rowland House Room Three

With original Birdseye Maple trim, a decorative fireplace, natural wicker furniture, and a queen-size bed—outfitted in fine Frette linens—this room offers stunning views of Cayuga Lake and a historic Grecian temple. An elegant bath features heated marble floors, plush robes, and spa-quality bath products from William Roam.

Book Now

Designer finishes and original, modern art complement the high-tech amenities in this room—including high-speed wireless internet, bedside charging ports, and a flat-screen television with Google Chromecast for streaming from your favorite apps and devices.

Your stay at Rowland House includes a glass of wine each afternoon; each morning, enjoy our homemade granola bars and organic, fair-trade coffee.

As a guest of the Inns of Aurora, you have access to a wide range of amenities, from stargazing equipment to our fleet of bicycles and kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddle boards

 

 

 

Rowland House Room Four

This stunning room boasts unparalleled views of Cayuga Lake, a writer’s desk, comfortable lounge chairs, and playful pink accents on its king-size bed—outfitted in fine Frette linens. An elegant bath features heated marble floors, plush robes, and spa-quality bath products from William Roam.

Book Now

Designer finishes and original, modern art complement the high-tech amenities in this room—including high-speed wireless internet, bedside charging ports, and a flat-screen television with Google Chromecast for streaming from your favorite apps and devices.

Your stay at Rowland House includes a glass of wine each afternoon; each morning, enjoy our homemade granola bars and organic, fair-trade coffee.

As a guest of the Inns of Aurora, you have access to a wide range of amenities, from stargazing equipment to our fleet of bicycles and kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddle boards

 

 

 

Rowland House Room Five

With an expansive view of Cayuga Lake from its bay window, this chic room hosts a luxurious king-size bed—outfitted in fine Frette linens—a comfortable seating area with antique Chinese side tables, and a writer’s desk. An elegant bath features heated marble floors, plush robes, and spa-quality bath products from William Roam.

Book Now

Designer finishes and original, modern art complement the high-tech amenities in this room—including high-speed wireless internet, bedside charging ports, and a flat-screen television with Google Chromecast for streaming from your favorite apps and devices.

Your stay at Rowland House includes a glass of wine each afternoon; each morning, enjoy our homemade granola bars and organic, fair-trade coffee.

As a guest of the Inns of Aurora, you have access to a wide range of amenities, from stargazing equipment to our fleet of bicycles and kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddle boards

 

 

 

Rowland House Room Six

Two steps down from an entrance vestibule, this lakeview room exudes privacy and serenity. With deep windowsills, a writer’s desk, a comfortable chaise lounge, and a queen-size bed—outfitted in fine Frette linens—this room is ideal for guests seeking peace and quiet. An elegant bath features heated marble floors, plush robes, and spa-quality bath products from William Roam.

Book Now

Designer finishes and original, modern art complement the high-tech amenities in this room—including high-speed wireless internet, bedside charging ports, and a flat-screen television with Google Chromecast for streaming from your favorite apps and devices.

Your stay at Rowland House includes a glass of wine each afternoon; each morning, enjoy our homemade granola bars and organic, fair-trade coffee.

As a guest of the Inns of Aurora, you have access to a wide range of amenities, from stargazing equipment to our fleet of bicycles and kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddle boards

 

 

 

Rowland House Room Seven

This vibrant fuchsia room features whimsical pink and orange seating, hand-painted furniture and décor from our neighbors MacKenzie-Childs, and a charming view of the Village of Aurora from its queen-size bed—outfitted in fine Frette linens. An elegant bath features MacKenzie-Childs tile, heated marble floors, plush robes, and spa-quality bath products from William Roam.

Book Now

Designer finishes and original, modern art complement the high-tech amenities in this room—including high-speed wireless internet, bedside charging ports, and a flat-screen television with Google Chromecast for streaming from your favorite apps and devices.

Your stay at Rowland House includes a glass of wine each afternoon; each morning, enjoy our homemade granola bars and organic, fair-trade coffee.

As a guest of the Inns of Aurora, you have access to a wide range of amenities, from stargazing equipment to our fleet of bicycles and kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddle boards

 

 

 

Rowland House Room Eight

Tucked under a roof gable with a stunning view of Cayuga Lake, this room has been hand-painted by artists from our neighbors at MacKenzie-Childs in their signature Courtly Check pattern. Paired with a writer’s desk, a queen-size bed outfitted with fine Frette linens, and whimsical accents, this is not a room to miss! An elegant bath features MacKenzie-Childs tile, heated marble floors, plush robes, and spa-quality bath products from William Roam.

Book Now

Designer finishes and original, modern art complement the high-tech amenities in this room—including high-speed wireless internet, bedside charging ports, and a flat-screen television with Google Chromecast for streaming from your favorite apps and devices.

Your stay at Rowland House includes a glass of wine each afternoon; each morning, enjoy our homemade granola bars and organic, fair-trade coffee.

As a guest of the Inns of Aurora, you have access to a wide range of amenities, from stargazing equipment to our fleet of bicycles and kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddle boards

 

 

 

Rowland House Room Nine

Inspired by traditional hand-painted Russian designs and tucked under a gable of the house, this sweet room offers stunning lake views. A full-size bed—outfitted in fine Frette linens—features a hand-painted antique headboard, and a writer’s desk. Whimsical décor from our neighbors at MacKenzie-Childs complete the scene. An elegant bath features MacKenzie-Childs tile, heated marble floors, plush robes, and spa-quality bath products from William Roam.

Book Now

Designer finishes and original, modern art complement the high-tech amenities in this room—including high-speed wireless internet, bedside charging ports, and a flat-screen television with Google Chromecast for streaming from your favorite apps and devices.

Your stay at Rowland House includes a glass of wine each afternoon; each morning, enjoy our homemade granola bars and organic, fair-trade coffee.

As a guest of the Inns of Aurora, you have access to a wide range of amenities, from stargazing equipment to our fleet of bicycles and kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddle boards

 

 

 

Rowland House Room Ten

On the quiet north side of the house, this playful room features hand-painted “dot and decal” walls and furniture from our neighbors at MacKenzie-Childs. With an antique queen-size bed—outfitted in fine Frette linens—a comfortable reading nook overlooking the lake, and a handsome desk, this room makes for a sunny writer’s retreat. An elegant bath features MacKenzie-Childs tile, heated marble floors, plush robes, and spa-quality bath products from William Roam.

Book Now

Designer finishes and original, modern art complement the high-tech amenities in this room—including high-speed wireless internet, bedside charging ports, and a flat-screen television with Google Chromecast for streaming from your favorite apps and devices.

Your stay at Rowland House includes a glass of wine each afternoon; each morning, enjoy our homemade granola bars and organic, fair-trade coffee.

As a guest of the Inns of Aurora, you have access to a wide range of amenities, from stargazing equipment to our fleet of bicycles and kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddle boards