Lastupdated 6/20/20 

Welcome to the Tower House, renovated and open for guests and events June 2020!  While most of the information you will need for your stay will be here, please do not hesitate to contact Nicole or Jon or any questions or needs.


Contact information:


701 Hector St

Ithaca NY 14850

Corner of Hector and Vinegar Hill Road

Please be careful coming into the driveway while the construction is going on, that metal plate is not very big!

Your door code for this stay: will be texted or emailed to you prior to arrival

Wait until you hear it unlock before you try the door, may need to give it a shove with your hip if the humidity is up. Just press the lock button when you leave.

The driveway is brand new and will be dusty and need to settle, so drive slowly. The plan is to turn the upper driveway into a flagstone garden and sitting area once the sidewalk work is done (they are really close!)

The mail box is kind of hard to get to, up on the road where work is being done. Lily and Dave check it and will leave a pile of anything for the main house somewhere obvious. Deliveries come randomly to all the porches. It’s worth a walk around with coffee or a glass of wine once a day to see what’s arrived


Spectrum WiFie0-2G or 5G

Password: scaryshark871

Epson Printer

On shelves under stairs, more ink in the cupboard above laundry room sink but should be good for a long time!


Nicole von Suhr (cell) 206 387 3240, nvonsuhr@gmail.com

Jonathan Sampson (cell) 607 280 1270, bartabac@gmail.com

Local Property Manager:

Jesse Hill (cell) 607 280 8558, jessehillprojects@gmail.com

(for any house related issue like plumbing, electric, lawn, snow)


Phoebe (cell) 607 379 7435

Phoebe may be available to do cleaning you would like during your stay. She gets $30/hr for indoor work

Downstairs Neighbors:

Lily (cell) 631 603 7876

Dave (cell) 385 321- 0122

One of them will usually park next to the side of the house, near their kitchen entrance, their other car will be down below. All other parking is yours

ADT Security

If alarm is going off because of a fire or smoke emergency, I should be called by them immediately but you should have their number too. There is one indoor security camera on top of the cocktail cabinet in the kitchen. It should be turned face down during your visit. It is really just to keep an eye on who is in and out during projects when we are out of town.

1 888 238 2727


The dishwasher is a German machine that we don’t really understand. It works ok, seems to need a good rinse first and not great with the silverware. Try using the pots and pans setting.

Extra silverware is in the drawer under the bar cupboard. There is random stuff stashed around, please explore and if you find it, it is for you to use! There are nice plates, linens and good glasses and real silver if you want to do a fancy dinner. Otherwise, there are plenty of dishes in the rack above the sink.

There is no garbage disposal, the deep farm sink has made it difficult to have one installed

The Viking is wonderful, sometimes balky at lighting certain burners. We’ve found that lighting the one next to it helps, they always eventually light! Don’t forget to use the hood The window next to the stove opens as well.

The hidden refrigerator is ALL refrigerator; the freezer is separate. The top lower drawer works wonderfully for veggies and fruit and the very lowest drawer is awesome for just putting whole pans of leftovers in.

The floor is awful. We know this. A larger carpet (washable!) is on the way. It will be tile, someday.

The spices, any dry goods, if it is there and you want to use it, please do. 

The door to your right as you walk to the downstairs bathroom is the interior entrance to the downstairs apartment. Lily and Dave will have it locked from their side. It is useful if you need to get to the electric panels in the utility room, which is in the basement. Text or call them, the breakers are labeled well. The tankless hot water heater is also there, it has recently been serviced and should not cause issues.

If you are really lucky, sometimes fresh eggs or a fluffy orange cat appears at the top of those stairs……

Laundry Room/Prep Kitchen

Yes, that is a gigantic upright freezer with a kick ass ice maker. There are York Peppermint Patties which are necessary when it is really hot and some homemade chicken stock, which you are welcome to use. Jon LOVES making stock, so you are only enabling his happy obsession.

The laundry detergent and oxyclean are in the pull out drawer next to the washer dryer and in the upper cupboard as well. Please leave the washer OPEN after use or it gets stinky. Please no fabric softener, allergies and also the dispenser cup for it does not work on the washer. Use the high settings on the dryer (unless you want things a little damp and then air dried). We do not have a outside drying line, much to the housekeepers dismay as she loves drying sheets on the line. Next trip.

There is some bug spray, extra garbage bags, light bulbs, all sorts of stuff in there. If it is random and you need it, look there.

The biggest stash of cleaning supplies are in the white wooden cabinet against the far wall, bottom shelf. There are also supplies in the bathrooms, under the kitchen sink and a stick vacuum and other broom like things are hanging by the door.

Our cleaner uses dilute vinegar and 5:1 hydrogen peroxide for floors and counters/sinks for disinfectant once they are clean.

Garbage and recycle are right outside the door. Ithaca does mixed recycling, which is great. Plastics, cans, glass paper and cardboard all go together. There is an inside recycling bin in the pull out cupboard in the laundry, so you don’t have to walk outside all the time. We have found using a big black garbage bag in the outside bin makes it easy to just tie that up and bring it to the end of the driveway with a prepaid sticker on it (you can roll the bin out too, but then you need to bring it in). You can put out more bags if you need, but each one needs a sticker on it or they won’t pick it up. There should be stickers in the cigar box under the cocktail station in the kitchen. Recycling does not need any stickers, it goes out every other week

Garbage should go out Monday night for early Tuesday pick up

Recycling goes out Thursday night for Friday every other week

Website is RecycleThompkins.org if any questions

Water and Sewer

We are on city water, it is safe and tastes great. The hot water is tankless but tricky – it needs to be on full blast for it to stay on. If there are multiple things running, it works better! It does take some time to get upstairs, so if you are the first one up and want a shower, turning on the sink hot water and leaving it running while you take a shower keeps the hot water from turning off on you (if it goes cold just turn it all the way to hot again, tiny adjustments with the cold)

The pipes are original……….1879. Confirmed with a camera last month. They are in good shape but PLEASE be very aware that flushing anything other than body products and toilet paper could cause real issues. No tampons, wipes, paper towels, cotton swabs, etc.

Temperature Control

The house has lovely air flow, opening the downhill side porch doors and windows when it is cool in the mornings or evenings is nice. The ceiling fans upstairs are great and opening the back bedroom door and some windows in the middle sitting room and the front bedroom (again, downhill side) really works.

I am thinking that closing the black out shades in the upstairs sitting room during the time of day the sun is coming in should help block the heat, plus there are a couple floor fans to move around and the portable air conditioner is in the upstairs middle bedroom closet. 

The plan is for mini splits in all the upstairs bedrooms, once the roof and driveway are paid for  :) 

The window shades are new and a little sticky with the top down bottom up thing, go slow and be gentle with them as they get broken in. The only cords I worry about as a safety issue are in the dining room, floor to ceiling windows, please be aware if kids in the house

Bedding and Towels

There should be extra sheets and blankets (of the right size) in the dressers of each bedroom. The dresser in the upstairs hallway is stuffed full of queen sized sheets and pillow cases, there are a couple queen sized duvet covers on top of the towel rack in the upstairs middle bedroom. There are two new sets of towels out  and a set of perfectly usable white ones on the shelves in the laundry room for back up.

Outside Spaces and Fire pits

Explore outside! Just remember there can be ticks in the longer grass and there is occasionally poison ivy growing up the trees. We have removed all that we have found, but just be aware.

There are deer, rabbits, ground hogs, some kind of little weasel, woodpeckers, hawks, random neighborhood cats and lots of squirrels and chipmunks out there. Let us know if you spot any new inhabitants!

The cabana is new, just put it up before we left. The outdoor carpet can be hosed off if needed and the supports are tied down to the concrete blocks, so we don’t think it can fly away Try to put the wings down (Velcro straps at the top) for the night if you remember. Our hope with that is it will be a good, less buggy spot to watch the FIREFLIES, which are amazing. They are come up from the garden and yard at dusk, worth putting on some bug spray for. We almost named the house The Firefly Tower.

The grill works great, more propane in the henhouse if needed. The smaller fire pit can be moved to wherever you like, the larger one at the bottom of the yard is pretty darn heavy. Please pull the hose out to have nearby with which ever one you are using (it reaches to the farther one, I’ve checked). You can use any wood you find (many random piles about), there are lots of sticks for kindling about and there is starter fluid and a long lighter in the laundry room (or cardboard works fine too). There are gloves and boots for yard stuff in the laundry too, use anything that fits if you need it!

The outdoor dining table (you may need to remove a chicken), hammock and the black and brown outdoor chairs are all for use (Lily and Dave have a yellow and blue chairs), pull the chairs to wherever you like. I love having breakfast on the side porch off the dining room, the deer often don’t know you are up there and wander right by.

There are lots of newly planted things, if you see something looking wilty and want to water it, please do. The only porch plant that will need attention is the fuchsia hanging on the side porch. If it is too hard to get to, you can move it to an eye bolt on the porch on the other side (I just thought it looked nice off the dining room, but it is a reach).

Groceries and Shops

We love Wegmans and the GreenStar Natural Coop (just moved to a new building) for groceries. It is a nice walk to Greenstar if you just need a few items. Both stores will deliver or do curbside pick up. The ALDI is great, nice wide aisles and interesting stuff, great prices (same company as Trader Joes). There are a couple Asian markets that were just reopening when we left, haven’t been in but said to have terrific produce. If you are in Trumansburg, the Main Street Market is a lovely locally owned market with take out food and a terrific baker, perfect for a picnic. They post hours and specials on Facebook



Aldi, Ithaca, NY

505 Third St. Ithaca, NY

Winli Supermarket

4.5 (153) Asian grocery store

374 Elmira Rd

Open ⋅ Closes 9:30PM (607) 277-6790

Great produce

Green Castle Asian Market Collegetown

4.7 (18) Asian grocery store

321 Eddy St

Open ⋅ Closes 9PM (607) 273-7611

Main Street Market

21 E Main St (2,225.12 mi)
Trumansburg, New York 14886

Get Directions

(607) 387-8646

Ithaca Farmers Market

LOVE the market. It is a longish but very nice walk from the house on Cliff Street. Cut through the path from a parking lot down to the Childrens Garden if you don’t have a stroller, or stick to the sidewalk if you do! It is 1.6 miles, about 29 minutes.



Ithaca Farmers Market hours during COVID:

Saturdays 9am-1pm & Sundays 10am-2pm

at the pavilion at 545 3rd St., Ithaca

Wednesdays on East Hill, 4-7pm

Trumansburg Farmers Market

This is a wonderful one to plan on for dinner, there is usually live music and it is much smaller than Ithaca (our favorite)


Trumansburg Farmers’ Market


Restaurants Ithaca

Certainly not a complete list, let us know if you find any new gems!

The Boat Yard Grill


So many great places to eat! When they reopen, check if they aer still doing happy hour dinner. It is walking distance, good food for silly cheap prices at happy hour (get the steak and wedge salad with a Manhattan, $15). The atmosphere is solid 1985 but after dinner you can sit outside and watch the crew teams practice (or for now just watch the lake).

Maxie’s Supper Club and Oyster Bar


Just great local food, Southern inspired and fun. Walkable, take out, outdoor dining, dine in

Silo Chicken


We love the Silo crew and food! They are a food truck that also parks downtown at a Brewery a couple days a week. Check out where they are going to be, worth finding. Be sure to say hello to Katie and Jesse, the owners, and let them know you are staying at the Tower House!

Argos Inn


The Argos is a beautifully redone old mansion, now a boutique Inn with the best cocktail bar in town. I believe they are seating outside now, used to have live jazz. They have a new venue across the parking lot we haven’t tried yet.

The Rook


Another favorite, just great food and drinks. I believe they are doing take out for now.

Le Café Cent-Dix


Best French food in town, currently closed but worth keeping an eye on

Gorgers Sandwiches


Everyone has a different idea of what the best sandwich is, this is ours

Restaurants Trumansburg

Hazelnut Kitchen


Award winning, small, doing take out right now but try to get there when they reopen

New York Pizzaria

Really good pizza. Really.

New York Pizzeria

4.6 (186) $$ Pizza

2 W Main St

Closed ⋅ Opens 11AM Tue

Casual chain pizzeria serving brick-oven-fired pies along with soups, sandwiches & pastas.




Atlas Bowl


It is a bowling alley, bar and restaurant, very family friendly and some of the best food we’ve had in the area. Brussel sprouts that Jon dreams about. They seem to still be closed, but watch for them, worth it.

Restaurants on the Seneca Lake Wine Trail

Stonecat Café


Make a reservation for sunset. Great food and fun. If Daphne is there, she is their pastry chef and a friend Her sister is Phoebe, who is the housekeeper for the Tower House.



A true Viennese restaurant with a beautiful setting. The longtime owner and chef, Danio, died last year but his family and staff are doing a great job carrying on his beloved traditions. Higher end, dress up a little (for this area, might just be not shorts for dinner)

Wineries, Distilleries, Cider Houses- too many to list, let us know your favorites!

Most of our favorite wineries and distilleries are nearer to Seneca Lake, where our other property, Gathering Hill Farm, is. It is only a 20 min drive and well worth it to check out!

Ryan Williams Tasting Barn – great wine and food with a killer deck and view (and they are our fabulous neighbors)

Damiani Cellars – best reds in the region, in our opinion

Atwater Winery – beautiful setting, nice wine, nice people

Two Goat Brewing Company – best sunset view EVER, local good beer and a great roast beef sandwich

Finger Lakes Distillery- cool owners, Brian MacKenzie knows what he is doing. Nice bar and tasting room.

Finger Lakes Cider House

In Ovid, between the lakes

Local cider and local food, done well in a great location

Update on service at the Cider House!

Welcome back!! We are happy your here! Starting June 13th we will be opening our doors for food, cider, & farm fun. Hours for the weekend are 11-5, Summer hours will be 11-6 starting Monday June 15th. During your visit enjoy our outdoor lawn area or our indoor seating(limited space). Organic U-pick strawberries will be available starting 6/17. Curbside pick up will still be available. Check social media or call us for daily updates at 607-351-3313.

Sign up for our newsletter to stay in touch with all the latest here at the Cider House.

From our website for our rental in Burdett, over near Seneca Lake:

Finger Lakes Wine Country:http://www.fingerlakeswinecountry.com/

Whatever you want your adventure to be, Finger Lakes Wine Country has many resources for local wine trails, things to do and places to explore.

Experience the Finger Lakes:https://experiencefingerlakes.com/

Explore and plan tours and events featuring wineries, breweries, nature, fresh cuisine and more! Join a tour, or set up a personal tour to make your stay unique.

Watkins Glen Chamber of Commerce:https://www.watkinsglenchamber.com/

Gathering Hill Farm is a proud member of our local chamber of commerce. See all Watkins Glen and beyond has to offer from shopping, sightseeing, state parks and more. We also proudly stock the Watkins Travel Guide at the Farm for your viewing pleasure!

Corning Gaffer District:http://www.gafferdistrict.com/

Just a short drive and you can find yourself on the beautiful streets of Corning, NY, home of the famous Corning Museum of Glass. The Gaffer District is a great one online stop to learn all that Corning has to offer.

Visit Ithaca: http://www.visitithaca.com/

Just 35 min from Gathering Hill Farm is Ithaca- famous for Cornell University, Ithaca College and a long history for its eclectic nature!

Downtown Ithaca Alliance: http://www.downtownithaca.com/

Festivals, stores, restaurants galore! Downtown Ithaca is known for its beautiful recently renovated pedestrian center. Find vintage stores, coffee shops, nightlife and sometimes downtown festivals like the famous Ithaca Festival, Apple Harvest and more!

Finger Lakes State Parks:https://parks.ny.gov/regions/finger-lakes/default....

Maybe nature is on your list! The finger lakes is known for its beautiful waterfalls, gorges and hikes. Plan your outdoor adventures and take in all the natural beauty our region has to offer.

Visit Seneca Falls: http://www.senecafalls.com/visit-seneca-falls.php

Historic Landmark for Women’s Rights History! Visit the National Women's Hall of Fame, Seneca Falls Heritage area or the new del Lago Resort and Casino to see why Seneca Falls is considered the Gateway to the Finger Lakes.