John Pulos ’70, P’07 member of the Board of Trustees of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and his wife, Maryalice P’07, were featured in an article in the Elmira Star Gazette. The couple recently decided to open John’s late mother’s home to the public as Rosemary’s Legacy which will soon be used for a catering business.
“John and Maryalice offer their guests breakfast, lunch or dinner from their Table for Two catering enterprise. They meet with guests to arrange anything from a romantic candlelight dinner to a cookout by the pool, sumptuous or simple. The couple also do outside catering, and they make Rosemary’s Legacy available for special catered events.
John and Maryalice have planned some intriguing packages for their guests. Among them are ‘Girls Night(s) Out,’ which includes a welcome wine and cheese party, spa services, sailing or shopping, and a gourmet breakfast and dinner; ‘Wine, Water, & Watkins,’ ‘Fish and Dish’ and ‘Paddle the Marsh’ all include outdoor adventures with Seneca Lake fishing guide Mark Moskal, followed by a full body massage and gourmet dinner.
In November, the couple will begin decorating the home “Rosemary style,” using her myriad of decorations and three Christmas trees. They hope to welcome community groups for dinners, parties or family gatherings during the holiday season.
Pulos majored in mathematics at Hobart College and played football and golf. He is the parent of a William Smith graduate of the class of 2007. Having succeeded his father in running the family restaurant, Chef’s Diner (now Classic Chef’s), Pulos is now the president of MFT Limited in Montour Falls, N.Y.
The full article, with description of the home, appears below.
Elmira Star Gazette
Montour Falls home, now open for guest rental, honors memory of family matriarch.
Martha Horton •September 28, 2008
For a family home in the Finger Lakes region to be transformed into a vacation rental is not unusual.
But for the home to remain almost exactly as it was when the owners left it — same décor, furnishings, accents, even family photos and awards — is unexpected. But so it is with Rosemary’s Legacy, which opened in Montour Falls in July.
The Rosemary who left the legacy is Rosemary Pulos. Born in Reading Center, Rosemary came to Montour Falls to work at Shepard Niles, “but I’ll never live in Montour Falls,” she vowed. And then she met Tony Pulos. When Tony returned from military service in World War II, he opened the famed Chef’s Diner (now called Classic Chef’s) in Montour Falls. The couple married, and in 1949 they purchased a home (almost across the street from Shepard Niles!) which is now Rosemary’s Legacy.
Eventually their son John took over the restaurant. Tony died in 2006 and Rosemary in April 2008, just short of her 86th birthday.
Rosemary had adored her home and spent most of her time in it. Decorating the home was her passion. John and his wife, Maryalice, who live just next door, could not imagine someone else living there. They decided to make a few small changes and share the home, including all its furnishings and memories, with visitors to the area.
The two-story, white clapboard home, first owned by the village sheriff, dates back to 1855. Shutters are a sunny yellow, Rosemary’s favorite color. A small hanging sign in front now identifies it as Rosemary’s Legacy.
The “Summer Porch,” an enclosed porch at the entrance to the home, is decorated in yellow and green. White wrought-iron chairs have yellow cushions with green and white floral pillows, and awnings have yellow and white stripes. In one corner is a lounge chair where Rosemary loved to sit in the sun and read. A white wicker stand holds a charming birdhouse planter filled with ferns. Rosemary was a collector, and some of her favorite things are in evidence here — the birdhouses, little bears, candles: “We’ll never have to buy another candle,” John quips.
The walls of the gracious formal dining room are covered in beige grass cloth with a subtle shadow print; the wall-to-wall carpet is beige. Armchairs, as well as the chairs which surround the large dining table, are upholstered in a Jacobean floral print on a black background — a striking contrast to the pale neutrals of the room. Crystal and china are displayed in the handsome breakfront; drawers of a matching buffet hold Rosemary’s many sets of linens and — of course — dozens and dozens of candles.
The same beige carpeting is used for the living room, along with beige watered-silk wall coverings and beige silk custom window treatments. Black floral area rugs are placed over the carpeting to ground the look. A beige curved sofa and long coffee table face the brick fireplace; other seating is in soft shades of peach, gold and green. Wall art here and throughout the home includes many of Rosemary’s favorite botanical subjects.
John describes Rosemary’s kitchen as “the heart of the home.” The room is spacious and cozy. Warm wood tones of the cabinetry and crown moldings balance sleek stainless appliances. Four ladder-back chairs surround the breakfast table; beside it is a wrought-iron etagiere holding cookbooks and collectibles. Kitchen accents include some colorful ceramics purchased on Rosemary’s last road trip to Mackenzie-Childs in Aurora.
Adjoining the kitchen is a full laundry and the pantry. Rosemary once spotted a photo of a pantry in a magazine and said she would love to have one like it. Tony obligingly transformed a transitional space at the top of the cellar stairs into a pantry just like the one in the magazine. Here, Rosemary kept several complete sets of china and flatware, as well as more cookbooks.
Also off the kitchen is Rosemary’s favorite room, where she and her friends would settle for an afternoon “refresher.” This is called the “Garden Room” — the view includes the back gardens and a fountain. Originally, this was originally just a stone patio. Tony enclosed it with bricks from the old Masonic Hall. There’s a seating group in pale green rattan with striped cushions, and a built-in grill for indoor picnics.
The library is a wood-paneled room with built-in bookshelves and cabinets. It was formerly Tony’s den. Tony was mayor of Montour Falls for many years and served as chairman of the local hospital board and the Schuyler County Democratic Party. His many awards for service to the community are displayed here.
On the second floor is the master bedroom, which has a private balcony overlooking the pool and gardens. This restful room has pale green watered-silk wallpaper. Furnishings are in white and pale pastels. A pair of swivel rockers is placed in front of French doors to the balcony. On either side of the king-size bed are night tables and lamps for reading.
John’s boyhood bedroom, with wood-paneled walls, has a masculine look. “I was attending a Boy Scout convention in Athens, Greece,” he recalls, “and while I was gone my parents Ethan-Allenized my room!” The many built-ins provide wonderful work space (the entire house is on high-speed wireless).
John describes his sister Diane’s room as “retro-tropical.” It’s reminiscent of a ’40s musical set in Rio, with light green and yellow palm frond wallpaper and drapes in a matching fabric. Furniture is pale yellow.
The bathroom is a decorated in green and white. On the vanity counter is a television, strategically placed so that it can be seen from the tub (the way Tony liked it!). John and Rosemary plan to convert an upstairs storage space into two more bathrooms (there’s also a half bath on the first floor).
In addition to her delight in and attention to the interior of her home, Rosemary adored gardening. The land in back of the home, which slopes sharply up toward the woods, has been terraced with several rock-walled garden areas. John and Maryalice have been working to bring back some rock gardens that became overgrown with ivy.
Rock steps lead up the terraces to a swimming pool. On one level is a heated pool house and changing area that also can serve as a fun gathering spot. The walls and ceiling are decorated with Rosemary’s collection of baskets and fans.
John and Maryalice have their own interesting love story — they met courtesy of Match.com! Maryalice lived in Syracuse, where she was employed as a paralegal and in a direct sales venture. For four years, while Maryalice’s children finished school, the couple alternated weekends in Syracuse and Montour Falls. During these visits, Maryalice spent a lot of time with Rosemary, becoming a great friend and fan. And Rosemary called Maryalice her second daughter, John says.
Two years ago, when Maryalice’s children were out of school, the couple married and went into business together. (Maryalice is continuing her sales career as regional manager for Lia Sophia ladies’ fashion jewelry.)
Rosemary’s Legacy is not yet designated as a bed-and-breakfast, but food is definitely one of the attractions: John and Maryalice offer their guests breakfast, lunch or dinner from their Table for Two catering enterprise. They meet with guests to arrange anything from a romantic candlelight dinner to a cookout by the pool, sumptuous or simple. The couple also do outside catering, and they make Rosemary’s Legacy available for special catered events.
John and Maryalice have planned some intriguing packages for their guests. Among them are “Girls Night(s) Out,” which includes a welcome wine and cheese party, spa services, sailing or shopping, and a gourmet breakfast and dinner; “Wine, Water, & Watkins,” “Fish and Dish” and “Paddle the Marsh” all include outdoor adventures with Seneca Lake fishing guide Mark Moskal, followed by a full body massage and gourmet dinner.
In November, the couple will begin decorating the home “Rosemary style,” using her myriad of decorations and three Christmas trees. They hope to welcome community groups for dinners, parties or family gatherings during the holiday season. For further information, call (607) 535-4257 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.