The story of the Hudson House begins with our great-grandparents, George and Helena Kaufman Ringler. George arrived at Ellis Island in 1908. He moved to the Adirondacks and began working and living at Barton Mines as the manager of the boarding house. Helena Kaufman made the crossing in 1911 to work as a governess in North River, NY. They met, married in 1913 and had four children.
George was a true entrepreneur and started his own trucking business hauling the garnet out of Barton Mine. His new proprietorship was successful and in 1928 he had the resources to begin construction of this home. Helena designed every detail, always keeping in mind that the house would give her the opportunity to earn some income with the additional space. That is why there are so many bedrooms upstairs with a master bedroom and bathroom downstairs.
Once completed, Helena started renting rooms to skiers and hunters.
Their house became known as “Ringler’s Tourist Home” and it was approved by the Publicity Travel Bureau. It was one of seven listed lodging facilities when the ski train began operations in 1934.
As if renting rooms was not enough, Helena also had another "side" business serving lunches and dinners. A passionate gardener of both flowers and vegetables, Ringler's would now be known as an "Organic, Farm to Table Dining Experience."
George and Helena had 15 grandchildren who now have children and grandchildren of their own. The family still holds reunions at the house and there are descendants who still live in the area.
Ray and Fran Riding
George and Helena’s youngest daughter, Fran, married Ray Riding. Another entrepreneur, Ray opened up Riding’s Bar and Restaurant in North Creek (currently Basil and Wick’s). Many of the locals still tell stories about Riding’s Bar and the location is still a popular gathering place.
Ray and Fran raised five children in North Creek, but eventually moved to Winchester, VA. There is an essence of the "big house", though that touched George and Helena's grandsons. When George and Helena passed, two of the Riding boys George and John purchased the house in 1982 and reopened the house to "tourists".
John and Kathy Riding
In 2011, John and his wife, Kathy undertook the complete restoration and renovation of the Hudson House to make it the home you see today. Every area was updated, but John and Kathy made sure to preserve all of the Ringler touches that make this house unique.
All of the doors, doorknobs, wood trim and floors upstairs are all original. The original ironing board is still stored behind its door in the kitchen. Helena's angled staircase still opens to the original front door. The river rock chimneys were all repointed. The original siding was stucco filled with garnet chips which can still be seen on the front porch.
The heart of the house has always been the garnet fireplace. Smoke and a coating of Helena's polyurethane had turned the fireplace black. So John and Kathy approached the current owners of Barton Mines and they graciously allowed them to pick new garnet rock from the same area that George Ringler worked back in 1928. The original mantle was preserved. To mark the new era, there are also some lighter salt and pepper rocks from Ruby Mountain (the same rock that was used as the cornerstone of the new World Trade Center).
In 2017, my husband Jody and I purchased the Hudson House and became the 4 generation of the Ringler/Riding family to call the house "home". After the incredible work and love that John and Kathy put into the house, our task is easy - to preserve this amazing home going forward. The house was designed for families and it has been a joy getting to know all of our "regulars" and new friends. To tie it full circle, my husband's legal name is George and my middle name is Elena. I like to think that George and Helena are smiling. Welcome Home! Nancy