History Happened Here!
On the northwest corner of Morgan Road and Route 31 in the town of Clay stands the site of numerous parties, dances and cotillions. The Euclid Hotel and Restaurant in the oldest establishment in the town still being used for its original intended purpose.
The structure is located in the hamlet of Euclid, which was formerly known as Clay Station and Clay Corners. The hamlet took the name "Euclid" after the town of Clay post office was established. Built in 1817, the inn and restaurant also housed a residence for the business' proprietor. At the time of its construction, the owner was one Col. William Coon.
The original structure stood where the parking lot is now. Sheds and a barn occupied the space where the current building stands. In 1853, owner J.M. Rouse reversed the structures, rebuilding the restaurant using materials from the old tavern. He also added an ice house at the rear of the property. The ice house contained ice from the Oneida River.
In the days before and after the Civil War, the hotel housed visitors who came from Syracuse by train, disembarking at the Cigarville Station two miles east of the hotel in the present hamlet of Clay. It was one of the many stopping places for travelers along Route 31, then a major east-west route for this part of the state.
Over the years, the Euclid had many proprietors. Among them was Smith Soule, who acted as Clay's representative in the Onondaga Country Legislature and whose name should sound familiar to Clay residents.
The structure also had many modifications in the last two centuries. In 1946, much of it had to be rebuilt after a truck swerved off of Route 31 and struck a corner of the building, killing a small child. In addition to the reconstruction, the owner, Marie Abbott, decided to enclose the downstairs porches to keep out dust and noise. In the following years, upstairs porches were also enclosed and then both were turned into dining space. The ice house and livery were torn down as technology made them obsolete. Central hot water heat was added, as was more parking and dining space. The shed to the west of the structure was turned into a game room and the kitchen was enlarged.
The Euclid is now a thriving restaurant and community fixture. Though it may have been modified over time, it still serves its original purpose, providing food and rest for weary travelers and community members.