The Tower House

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:

Tower House address: 

701 Hector St, Ithaca NY 14850                                                                      
Entrance is on the corner of Hector Street and Vinegar Hill Road                                    


Nicole von Suhr (cell) 206 387 3240,

Jonathan Sampson (cell) 607 280 1270,

Local Property Manager:

Jesse Hill (cell) 607 280 8558,

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

The kitchen door has a keypad and your door code will be texted or emailed to you prior to arrival.  Please put Nicole's phone number on your phone is the unlikely event of a lock issue.  Wait until you hear the mechanism unlock before you try the door or it will relock.  You may need to give it a shove with your hip if the humidity is high. Just press the lock button in the center of the keypad when you leave.

If you are having anything delivered during your stay you may need to take a walk around the house and check all the porches, the mail carrier is very creative.


Spectrum WiFie0-2G or 5G

Password: scaryshark871

Epson Printer

On shelves under stairs, more ink in the cupboard above laundry room sink and paper on the shelf


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

Lily is a full time resident and takes care of the chickens and the garden.  The circuit breakers and utility room are located off her apartment downstairs if there is ever a problem.  She has a private entrance and a parking spot at the end of the house near her kitchen door.  She knows the house and grounds well and is happy to interact but is generally very quiet in her comings and goings.  There is a door to her apartment off the kitchen (directly in front of you as you walk in to the kitchen).  It is locked from her side and marked "private".

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.  If it is a smokey kitchen and not an actual fire, please let them know so the fire department does not show up!  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.

ADT Security:  1 888 238 2727  


The kitchen should be well equipped for every day cooking and for events. There are nice plates, linens and good glasses and real silver if you want to do a fancy dinner, check the butlers pantry and the cabinets in the dining room.  There is a big stack of white dishes above the refrigerator for more casual entertaining if needed.  If you can't find something or have questions, please call Nicole or Jon!

There is no garbage disposal, the deep farm sink has made it difficult to have one installed.  Please use the drain screen and empty into the garbage as needed, no grease or coffee grounds down the sink please (REALLY old pipes)

The Viking is wonderful, sometimes balky at lighting certain burners. We’ve found that lighting the one next to it helps or there is a lighter in the utensil holder on the counter. Don’t forget to use the hood and 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 spices and pantry items are all for your use.  If you remember to let me know if a staple is getting low, that would be appreciated :)

Laundry Room/Prep Kitchen

Please take off shoes as you come into the house

You are welcome to use the washer and dryer, be sure to check the lint screen before use.  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 or dryer sheets, 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).

Yes, that is a gigantic upright freezer with a great ice maker.  You are welcome to use whatever is in there.

If you need bug spray, extra garbage bags, light bulbs, etc this is the room to look in!  

There are cleaning supplies in the curtained area in the entrance. 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 in the big bin.  They need to be loose, not in bags please. 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.

There is a smaller bin for garbage that should have a big black garbage bag lining it. That makes it easy to roll the bin to the end of the drive, pull out the bag and label with a pre paid sticker.  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 if any questions

Water and Sewer

We are on city water, it is safe and tastes great. The hot water is a tankless system and it may take a bit for the hot water to make it upstairs.  Once it gets there, you can't run out :)

The pipes are original……….1879. Confirmed with a camera last spring. 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.  Closing the shades during the time of day that the sun is coming in upstairs helps keep it cool.  

There are individual air conditioning units for all the bedrooms except the middle upstairs.  There is a portable unit in the closet there if needed but that room tends to stay cool.  There is a ceiling fan and a mini split air conditioner in the main sitting room upstairs as well

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.

Bedding and Towels

There should be extra sheets and blankets in bedroom dressers or in the large sideboard in the upstairs hallway.  There should be plenty of towels with some back ups down in the cleaning supply nook in the entry.

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 has an 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. Remember to watch for the FIREFLIES in the hot months, they are spectacular. 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!

There are lots of newly planted things, if you see something looking wilty and want to water it, please do.

Groceries and Shops

We love Wegmans, the GreenStar Natural Coop and Trader Joes for groceries.  The ALDI is also 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

Le Café Cent-Dix

Best French food in town

Gorgers Sandwiches

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

Restaurants Trumansburg

Hazelnut Kitchen

Award winning, small, worth making reservations

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.

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

Finger Lakes Wine Country:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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.