SCOTTSVILLE — The historic Oatka Hotel at 17 Main Street, Scottsville was seriously damaged by fire Saturday evening. Although no cause has yet been determined the fire appears to have started on the west end by the second floor and traveled up the vinyl siding and into the building. When firefighters arrived smoke and flames were billowing up near the peak of the west end. The fire was brought under control and extinguished within an hour but firefighters remained at the scene to check for embers or hotspots.
Monroe County Mutual Aid sent several companies to aid the Scottsville Fire Department and included Henrietta, Mumford, Rush, and Chili. Their quick response prevented the fire from spreading throughout the structure. Trucks, hoses, firemen, and onlookers lined the street. EMS care was on site and available should it have been needed, but there were no apparent injuries.
The Oatka Hotel has been closed for several years but its history dates back to 1824 when it was built by James Brown. He ran the hotel for several years until E.T. Miller purchased the business and added the rear portion of the building. The hotel ran for many years as a public house and each generation of Scottsvillians and others cherish memories of dinners, dancing and imbibing. Recent years have not been kind to the business as a series of owners have attempted renovations and new operating plans. None have been successful. The current owner is believed to be Jamie Swan who owns a construction company and several other buildings in Scottsville, most of which are apartments and rental homes. Construction crews have been working on the building sporadically, but even today there were repairs being effected on the front porch roof in the vicinity of where the fire appears to have originated.
Many of the Village residents who came to witness the fire expressed their sadness as one of the Village landmarks, already in jeopardy of ever returning as a viable historic restaurant suffers yet another setback and may join so many of the other celebrated establishments throughout our area which have now fallen by the wayside.