A boat on Lake George with mountains in the background, near Erlowest.

Our History

At Erlowest

The history of the Inn at Erlowest is a captivating journey that begins in the late 19th century. Constructed in 1898 as a private residence for Mr. Edward Morse Shepard, a prominent attorney, politician, author, humanitarian, and vestryman from Brooklyn, Erlowest was his vision of opulence on the shores of Lake George in upstate New York.

The name ‘Erlowest’ itself was inspired by Mr. Shepard’s deep connection to his parents’ hometown, Westerlo. This beautiful mansion became a reflection of his aspirations, a lavish summer retreat that spared no expense.

The Grand Dining Room at Erlowest was a hub of social activity, regularly hosting influential figures such as George Foster Peabody and Spencer & Katrina Trask. Mr. Shepard, never having married, passed away on July 20, 1911, leaving his beloved Erlowest to his sister, Agnes Hewitt.

A dining room with a table and chairs, ideal for guests staying at Erlowest or any Lake George hotel or resort.
A group of people in military uniforms posing in front of a building.

During World War I, Agnes Hewitt extended her generosity by inviting convalescing officers to her Erlowest home, providing them with a sanctuary for much-needed rest and relaxation.

The legacy of Erlowest continued through the ownership of Mr. Shepard’s niece, Lucy Hewitt, and her husband, Russell C. Leffingwell. Russell, a corporate lawyer and international banker, later held esteemed positions as the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury and Board Chairman of J.P. Morgan & Company.

In the 1960s, Erlowest found new ownership in Mr. Charles “Charlie” Wood, a local entrepreneur known for founding businesses like Storytown and Ghosttown (now Six Flags Great Escape), and the Double H Hole in the Woods Camp for critically ill children, alongside actor Paul Newman.

In 1999, Mr. Wood sold the property to its current owners, who embarked on a meticulous renovation, transforming Erlowest into the magnificent inn that it is today. The Erlowest now stands as a living testament to its rich history, inviting guests to step back in time and create their own unforgettable memories in a setting that is nothing short of extraordinary.

A couple enjoys a romantic meal on a lakefront patio at a Lake George resort.