History of The Century House
It began in 1790, when the Stephen Van Rensselaer family paid a meager five schillings for several acres of Latham, NY property.
The land extended to Cohoes Falls, and was soon rented to the Frederic Roff family at a rate of 25½ Skippels of saleable winter wheat, and four fat fowls to be delivered annually to Mr. Van Rensselaer.
“You’re crazy for trying to put a restaurant out there Jim” said the unbelieving. But Jim and Dorothy knew that the only way from New York City to Montreal was to travel Route 9 through upstate New York, right in front of their new Restaurant. Jim and Dorothy risked everything to buy this “Century old” farmhouse in the middle of nowhere on Albany-Saratoga Road in Latham, NY. The home had nothing but cows and orchards for neighbors.
It was a beautiful golden autumn in 1949. America was surging in greatness due to the efforts of “the greatest generation”. Jim and Dorothy O’ Hearn, along with their children and extended family were busy fixing, painting, patching, planting, decorating, and sprucing up the old farmhouse from the early 1800’s that was to be their new home and business dream: A Hotel & Restaurant.
Jim, Dorothy, their sons Tim and Kevin and soon to follow, daughter Susan, moved in upstairs in the farmhouse and served their guests in their own living and dining rooms and provided a warm comfortable rest with excellent meals and service that made you never want to leave.
From the very first meal, Jim, Dorothy and the family provided more than just an excellent meal at great value, they provided the experience of comfort and care for the body …and soul. Guests and staff became part of the family. The Century House became part of the community, a true “Public House” where friends could share a good meal, good company, and important celebrations in their lives.
Working hard with their labor of love, the family grew the oasis to include larger dining rooms, banquet facilities and ultimately the Hotel and Conference center with pool, garden court, wonderful half mile nature trail and more of the experience of spirit of service that they showed on that very first day.
The Century House is still family owned and operated. Jim and Dorothy have passed on now, and the stewardship has continued, with son Tim and daughter Susan, along with Jim and Dorothy’s nephew Colin DeMers, who became Managing Partner in 1999.
In June of 2009 The Century House solidified it commitment to our community by developing it’s Enjoy One Share One Program whereby we provide a meal in each guests honor to “those in need” through the Regional Food Bank of N.E.N.Y. for every meal we serve and for every hotel room we provide.
Today’s Century House has a feeling of coming home and being taken care of, Where our house feels like home… a rich warm feeling that makes guests eager to return and to tell others of their great experience. A hotel to honor the service and commitment of Jim and Dorothy O’ Hearn. We accomplish this by taking the products and services normally associated with the hotel; guest rooms, weddings, meeting rooms, banquets, contemporary amenities, lunch and dinner, and present them in a blanket of sincere and genuine caring. Providing our friends and guests with the experience of comfort and care to the body…and soul in a relaxed, comfortable yet historical setting.
Since 1949 almost every local, as well as tens of thousands of travelers have had the experience of a touching Century House story, fond memories of sharing meals with loved ones, beautiful wedding days, being cared for, special birthday get togethers, milestone anniversaries, and the celebration of lives. We look forward to serving you, providing your Century Experience, helping create your story and making the world a better place!