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The 100 Year Old Piano

"Creating memories since 1843."

milton grand piano

Cooperstown-Richfield Springs: The guests arrived at the Lake House in September 1913 to unveil the new Milton Baby Grand Piano built and purchased in New York City for the entertainment of the guests at this famous resort on the shores of Canadarago Lake just outside of Richfield Springs that was famous in that era for its Sulfur Baths. Little would these guests imagine that we would be planning the Pianos 100th birthday party in 2012. When Frank Chiodo from Richfield Springs heard about the party, he said It sounds fun and funny. Do you bring a piano a present? Will there be cake? Does the piano play Happy Birthday to itself?

But in the end, there is much more to the story than that- since its opening in 1843, the Lake House has become the home of great music and entertainment in the Cooperstown area. Many guests were delighted by Tommy Dorsey and his band with singer Frank Sinatra and Nelson Riddle on the trombone with Dorsey playing Boogie Woogie in 1940. Then there is the story of Benny Goodman playing here as well. Joann and Teresa Maneen from the Balloon Farm in Frankfort tell the story about how their dad met their mother. Their mom had come with a group of girlfriends to dance. Her dad was popular with the girls because he was such a good dancer. He was such a great dancer that the ladies would pay him a nickel for a dance with him, says Joann, that old fox always loved to dance. He said it was love at first sight when he saw their mom. He was so enamored that he went outside and blocked in the Dorsey bus so that the evening would last longer. She was his favorite and only dance partner from that moment on. The Lake House was famous for the Big Bands of the 20s, 30s and 40s.

The Milton Baby Grand that has been a part of the Lake House for 100 years has been there for Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey and many other local musicians since 1912. Now the Lake House is keeping with its made in America pledge, and plays the American Songbook through its affiliation with ASCAM with royalties going to American composers such as Burt Bacharach, Hal David, Cole Porter, Johnny Mercer to name but a few. The American Songbook is played every day here. Our own singer/songwriter Alison Stewart of Sharon Springs keeps the tradition alive of delighting guests with live music from the American Songbook and other popular music every weekend.

Please be sure to make a Holiday Memory around the 100 year old Milton piano this year and listen to the American Songbook. Remember the Lake House has been making memories since 1843. Stop in and make your own memory soon.