Like most of the buildings and businesses in Lyons Falls, McManus’s has a rich history. The property on which McManus’s currently stands originally belonged to Caleb Lyon Sr., the original founder of Lyons Falls. He transferred the property to his daughter, Laura, in 1867.
In 1880, the property was sold to Stephen Gaffney and, in 1881, was transferred to his son, John Gaffney. John Gaffney made additions to the property and kept a hotel there until his death in 1921. The hotel was called Gaffney’s and was a large influence on Lyons Falls.
After John Gaffney’s death, the property and hotel was transferred to his daughter, Elizabeth Gaffney Farney and her husband, Joseph Farney. The two made more additions to the hotel and changed the name to Farney’s Hotel around the 1940s. Joe Farney sold the hotel to Bill McGee in 1961. Bill and his wife, Emily, ran the hotel under the name of McGee’s until they sold it to Mary Ellen and Tom McManus April 1, 1975.
Mary Ellen and Tom changed the name of the hotel to McManus’ and changed the focus of the hotel from that of a boarding house to a bar and a restaurant. After they changed the ownership of McManus’ to their son, Fred McManus, the focus of the business has been more of a restaurant and a nutrition center. McManus’ is a site of the Lewis County Meals on Wheels Nutrition Program that helps supply food to the elderly in Lewis County five days a week.
But despite the new role of McManus’ in the area as a nutrition center, it still plays a large role in the Village as a restaurant. Mary Ellen McManus stated: “Over the years… [McManus’] has supported and helped with various community benefits,” including the events with the fire department, athletic banquets, academic banquets, and numerous other organizations. She says that all four of her boys, Paul, Fred, Jake, and Doug (now deceased) and their families have helped to build and maintain the business. In addition to the restaurant and the nutrition center, McManus’ also does catering events both on and off the premises. The restaurant is open Monday through Friday from 10:00-2:00. Be sure to stop by and check them out!