It was a dark and stormy night — literally.
Once considered way off the beaten path, a former inn, now the Tailored Tea in Latham, has a history that spans over two centuries.
Through its past, the inn is probably best known for being the meeting spot of two murderous star-crossed lovers.
In April of 1827, Elsie Lansing-Whipple of Albany’s social elite, and her handyman Jesse Strang, took up lodging at the inn during a thunderstorm. They wanted to be together forever, but Lansing-Whipple had a husband who needed to be eliminated first.
It had all the makings of a Shakespearean play, but the story doesn’t end there.
Lansing-Whipple lived in the Cherry Hill Mansion in Albany’s South End — which would have felt like a world away from that Colonie Inn. On the night of May 17, they put their plan to action.
Under the cover of darkness, Strang was on the roof of the shed and wasted no time pulling the trigger on his rifle. The bullet blasted through the window pane and lodged firmly in Lansing-Whipple husband’s shoulder. The husband stumbled out of the room before he collapsed: John Whipple was dead.
The murderous couple were not very good at covering it up, though, and were both arrested by the end of that month. The trials were so popular that the New York State Capitol was used as the courtroom.
Strang was found guilty of first-degree murder and Lansing-Whipple got off scot-free. On August 24, just one month after his trial, Strang was hanged at the then-Gallow’s Hill.
More 30,000 people from all over came to watch, but it did not go as planned. It was also the last public execution in Albany.
As for Lansing-Whipple, she left town and eventually settled in Onondaga County, where she died just five years later.
John Whipple can be found at the Albany Rural Cemetery. Some say he never left that house on Cherry Hill and still haunts it to this very day.