SCHENECTADY – For this edition of the Fever Confidentail we are featuring the oldest exsisting building in Glenville, The Waters Edge Lighthouse. Owned by Pat and Karen Popolizio and managed by Rit Ruzzo, the Lighthouse is a popular attraction in the 518. We had the chance to sit down with Rit and get an inside look at this beautiful establishment.
When did the Waters Edge Lighthouse first open?
5 years ago in July
When is your busiest season?
From Memorial Day to Labor Day
Tell us about the new Cabana Bar.
This is an “open air” five-sided bar, located adjacent to our patio, just above the Mohawk River. It is similar to Cabana Bars that are found in the Caribbean. Open daily at 4pm from May to September, it is a full-service bar and features appetizers and other summer favorites.
Can we expect more expansions in the future?
In 2009, we opened a state-of-the-art banquet facility – The Terrace at Waters Edge – with a seating capacity of 200+. This year the Cabana Bar has been added to our outdoor patio, and we anticipate other enhancements will take place each year.
What do you think people enjoy the most about The Waters Edge Lighthouse?
The quality food, and finest service, coupled with the ambiance of waterfront dining.
We understand there’s extensive history behind The Lighthouse. Can you share the details?
The Waters Edge Lighthouse was formerly known as The River House, Little Richard’s Tavern, and for 105 years before that, it was a farmhouse privately owned by the Seeley Family.
In the early 1700’s, the land was owned by Johannes Van Epps, later sold to Volney Freeman, the same person who built Freeman’s Bridge in 1885. Descendents of the Seeley Family, originally from Germany, lived in the residence from 1851 to 1956. The Greek revival farmhouse dates from the 30 year period in the 19th century when Schenectady County produced a large portion of the nation’s brooms. Broom corn was grown on the Mohawk River flats, cured and made into brooms by the workers who lived on the Seeley farm. Town records show that members of the Seeley family held Town of Glenville offices in the years 1898 through 1909.
In 1956, Mr. and Mrs. A. George Murray purchased the Seeley farm, a 22 room house with no indoor plumbing, running water, electricity or heat. They renovated the house, room by room, and eventually included Little Richard’s Tavern.
Because of its unique architecture for this area, the house was registered in the State Historic sites Survey and was nominated for the National Register of Historic Places. The house showed elements of Georgian, Federalist and Greek revival architecture. This combination implies that the house was built during a transitional period because it does not follow the Dutch style common here for those times.
In 1994, the Popolizio Family purchased the historic building and renovated it once again, and opened The Waters Edge Lighthouse Restaurant & Inn. The building was totally remodeled, with a 2000 square foot dining room addition, keeping the historic charm and beauty of earlier days, which includes five charming rooms at The Inn on the upper level. From the elegantly constructed archways, mahogany wood accents and bar, to the award winning two-tier patio overlooking the Mohawk River, the property has taken on a new presence in the Schenectady-Glenville area.
Further enhancements to the property were made in 2009, with the opening of a waterfront banquet facility – The Terrace at Waters Edge. This state-of-the-art venue has received rave reviews in its first year of operation, and has successfully hosted a multitude of wedding receptions, school reunions, banquets, business meetings and special events. With a seating capacity of over 200, The Terrace has already gained a reputation for offering exceptional cuisine and service, at a breathtaking waterfront setting.
The most recent addition to the complex will be visible in the Spring of 2010, when the outdoor patio opens for the season. A five-sided “Cabana Bar” has been constructed to serve the guests who come to enjoy “The Best Waterfront Dining” in the Capital District (as awarded by Capital Region Living Magazine). With the completion of this structure, and the utilization of the existing Freedom Pavilion, The Waters Edge Lighthouse now offers comprehensive patio service, not only for individual patrons, but also for outdoor barbeques, luncheons, parties, and special events.
Pat and Karen, and their dedicated team are proud of this historic property, and extend a personal invitation to come and experience the ambiance and charm, that can only be found at The Waters Edge Lighthouse & Inn and at The Terrace at Waters Edge !