Brothers Clemuel Ricketts (1794–1858) and Elijah G. Ricketts (1803–1877) were frustrated at having to spend the night on a hotel's parlor floor while on a hunting trip on Loyalsock Creek north of Ganoga Lake in 1850, and wanted their own hunting preserve. They bought the lake, Long Pond Tavern, and 5,000 acres (2,000 ha) of surrounding land in the early 1850s and soon began building a stone house between the turnpike and the lake shore to replace the log tavern. According to William Reynolds Ricketts' HABS history of the house, Petrillo's history of the region Ghost Towns of North Mountain, and the house's NRHP nomination form, the Ricketts brothers bought the lake and surrounding land in 1851, began building the stone house that year, and finished it in 1852. The year 1852 is also carved in stone on the front (west side) of the house, which faced the highway. However, according to Tomasak's The Life and Times of Robert Bruce Ricketts, the brothers purchased the lake, tavern, and land on April 13, 1853, for $550 (approximately $14,000 in 2010), and had the house built from 1854 to 1855.
According to Ricketts family tradition, Gad Seward built the mansion. While it was originally known as "Ricketts Folly" for its isolated location in the wilderness, the official name was the Stone House. The house served as the brothers' lodge and as a tavern for travelers on the turnpike. Clemuel was named postmaster of a new post office at the lake on October 3, 1853, and received a tavern license from Sullivan County on August 7, 1854. When Clemuel died in 1858, Elijah bought his share of the house and land. The post office closed April 12, 1860.
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