Decking the halls in Lyons Falls as Florissante the Mansion opens its doors for holiday cheer

Published: Dec. 3, 2022 at 6:15 PM EST
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LYONS FALLS, New York (WWNY) - A Lewis County fixture for nearly 200 years, Florissante the Mansion, has opened its doors for some holiday cheer.

Co-Owner Stuart DeCamp says he’s excited to share the space with the public.

“I don’t know whether we own the property or the property owns us,” said DeCamp.

Currently operating as a bed and breakfast and the recipient of a Lewis County tourism award, what we know as the Florissante was built in 1890 at the behest of the Lyons family, namesake of Lyons Falls. But they’ve had a history with the property since 1840.

“The home has been here for 3 centuries. So many people have a connection and the stories people hear as they come through are phenomenal,” said DeCamp.

The home has been painstakingly preserved over the years, allowing it’s woodwork and unique rooms to shine. In fact, next to nothing in the home is painted.

“And the craftsmanship on the fireplace and such is all totally different,” said DeCamp.

To celebrate the holidays, and make Santa feel welcome, just about every inch of the Florissante has been decked out in vintage Christmas decorations. A bulk of which came from mansion co-owner Jimmy Ortiz. He says it was no small task.

”It takes me almost a month in a half. It’s fun, but sometimes I’d stay up until 3 or 4 AM to get it decorated on time,” said Ortiz.

If the Florissante’s history piqued your interest, DeCamp says he’ll be offering historical tours in July and August. Each tour will take around 2 hours, and guests are expected to sign up in advance.

”It talks about the architecture, architecture firms. The connections to presidents, congressmen, senators that have been here, reflected here. There is also some murder involved in it,” said DeCamp.

Guests are welcome to explore the property for the first 3 weekends of December. Attendance is completely free but donations are encouraged.