About Our Historic Bed and Breakfast Inn in Easton, Pennsylvania
Located on College Hill, the elegant Georgian mansion, which is now Lafayette Inn was originally built as an investment property by Elizabeth Wagner Leary in 1895. The land was part of the Wagner farm owned by one of the families that helped settle Easton three generations earlier in the mid-1700s.
By the late 19th century, the development of College Hill was booming, and the former Wagner farm properties on the west side of Cattell St. were very desirable. As a former winding country road, Cattell St. became the main thoroughfare from the north to downtown Easton. It was widened during the summer of 1885 and in 1890 was the route of Easton’s first trolley.
The first known tenant and eventually the owner of 510 Cattell St. was George Elder (1862-1930), superintendent of Ingersoll Rand Co. The Elder family renovated and enlarged the house around 1917 and owned it for another twenty years. The depression of 1929 hit hard, and the building was carved into smaller apartments. In 1937 it was sold at Sheriff’s sale and over the next two decades changed hands several times.
In 1958, it was purchased by the Sigma Chapter of Pi Lambda Phi, a Lafayette fraternity. During the 1970s the fraternity itself declined and by 1982, it had disbanded, and the once grand house was left vacant.
Finally, early in 1986, a group of investors recognized the abandoned building’s beautiful proportions and potential. They purchased and renovated the property into a fifteen-room inn opening on December 19, 1986. Over the years it has evolved into what is now the elegant eighteen-room Easton, Pennsylvania hotel.