A preservation in progress

The Belva Lockwood Inn

In 1815, Charles Pumpelly built a home and lived there until 1841 when he moved to his brother’s house located at the other end of Front Street in Owego.

The home was eventually converted to a boarding and day school for young ladies, The Owego Female Seminary. ​

In 1863 Belva Lockwood bought the property and was Principal of the Seminary until 1865. Belva sold the home and moved to Washington D.C. In 1879. She was the first woman to be admitted to the Bar. She later became the first woman to argue a case in front of the supreme court. Belva went on to run for President of the United States in 1884 & 1888.

After Belva left, the original home was partially dismantled and moved to 188 Front Street, Owego and was used as a carriage house. In 1878, Jefferson Dwelle built this home which is considered one the finest examples of High Victorian architecture in the region.

The Property Later became home to the Fraternal Order of Eagles and then served as a private residence.

In late 2017, Ike & Julie Lovelass purchased the home and completed a total renovation opening the Inn and teaching the world about Belva Lockwood.

Recently, in 2022 Ike & Julie passed the torch to Brie & Matt Woods. After just one visit, the pair fell in love with the charming town, the kind people of Owego, and of course, Belva. Together, they welcome you into their home and can’t wait for you to experience all that this beautiful, historic village has to offer! 

Who is Belva Lockwood and
why we don’t know her

Belva Lockwood wasn’t just a pioneer for women’s rights, she was a champion for equal rights for all. She fought for justice in an era when the concept was far from popular, and her spirit continues to inspire us today.


First Woman Supreme Court Attorney: Belva Lockwood shattered barriers by becoming the first woman admitted to argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. And to make her story even more impressive, she won her first case!

Twice a Presidential Candidate: Long before women had the right to vote, Belva Lockwood defied expectations by running for President of the United States in both 1884 and 1888. Her campaigns, though unsuccessful in terms of winning the office, were a powerful statement about equality and possibility.

Champion for Equal Pay: Belva recognized the injustice of unequal pay for equal work, regardless of gender. She fought for fair compensation, laying the groundwork for progress in this area.


Over a century later, Belva Lockwood’s fight for equality continues. Her legacy is one of courage, perseverance, and a commitment to justice. We honor her by continuing the fight for a more just world, and by channeling her unwavering spirit.