History of the House

Dr. Samuel Porter, an early Skaneateles physician who died in 1843, originally built the home in 1805. Benjamin Porter, a nephew of the doctor and 1863 graduate of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, was killed in the assault at Fort Fisher, North Carolina in January 1865. His funeral was held at the State Street house and he was laid to rest in Lake Side Cemetary in Skaneateles.

Katherine and William Burke purchased the home in 1995 and moved in with their four children. Katherine, a fine artist and curator, was intent on restoring and revealing the original style and grace of the home. For the next ten years, the entire family poured themselves into bringing the home back to life.

During the restoration, the Burke's eldest son, Alex, departed for Annapolis and was inducted in to the Naval Academy's Class of 2002. It wasn't until the Burke's youngest child, Lia, left home in 2004 that the Burkes decided to open their home to the public as a bed and breakfast. Out of respect and admiration for the service and sacrifice of son Alex and Benjamin Porter, the Burkes naturally named their home in honor of the Civil War hero.