In December 2010 the Horse & Hound was purchased by Ron Homer and Ken Adler.
At the time, each had legal careers in separate states. Ron left Boston and Ken left Madison, Wisconsin to move to Franconia, New Hampshire to oversee the restoration of the building and the creation of the business.
For Ron and Ken, the opportunity to restore and rejuvenate the Horse & Hound was compelling. During childhood they created many memories in the rugged White Mountains. In recent years, each spent more time in the area - downhill and cross-country skiing at local resorts and hiking the Presidential Range as members of the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC). Ron and Ken were drawn to the area by their mutual heartfelt appreciation and respect for history, hospitality and the Great Outdoors.
The Horse & Hound has had seven owners between 1946 and 2010. Fortunately, each owner respected the building so little had been done to change the original architectural integrity. The three wood fireplaces remained; knotty pine paneling throughout was untouched; 82 original 8-over-8 and 8-over-12 weight and pulley windows were intact. All of the floors in the entire building were the original wood. The original mahogany doors and most of the original porcelain bathroom fixtures remained.
However, layers of carpet, vinyl and wallpaper had accumulated on the floors and walls. Some parts of the building had begun to sag due to age. The Kitchen floor was structurally unsound due to inadequately sized floor joists and steam pipes underneath which had fractured and sent steam and water into the crawl space below. The original handsome Library for the inn had in later years become a tavern.
While the architecture of the building remained relatively unchanged over the decades, the focus of the business had transitioned as owners attempted to keep the inn profitable through the years. Eventually the Tavern became the primary focus of the property, and the Dining Room and lodging areas languished.
After Ron and Ken purchased the property, the building was closed for seven months for a complete restoration. The initial plan was to simply support the structure in several places and complete cosmetic work on the rest of the building. However, when they began living in Franconia and learned more about the Horse & Hound and its colorful and rich history, a much more comprehensive plan to completely and authentically restore the inn to its classic 1940s New England lodge style began to develop.
Under the direction of Ron's nephew, Rich, a general contractor from Boston and with the talents of scores of local contractors and craftsmen, a full restoration began. The structure of the inn was secured in several places. On the first floor, all hardwood floors were refinished; the bar was removed from the Library and restored to its original 1946 location as the Tavern; the pine paneling was reconditioned and restored; and the Library cabinets were restored with replicas of the original bookshelves. The Kitchen was completely renovated including the installation of a new floor and restoration of its original 1946 metal cabinetry and eight foot butcher-block countertops.
Upstairs, the rooms were fully restored: hardwood floors were refinished; walls and ceilings were painted; new handmade furniture was installed and outfitted with new mattresses and bedding. New tile floors were laid in the bathrooms, and the original porcelain fixtures were refurbished. All renovations were completed with a respect and dedication to the classic 1940s Colonial Revival architecture of the inn.
The project that began as a complex business venture turned into a labor of love. The inn is now fully restored and ready to provide decades of hospitality. The cheerful Tavern, gracious Dining Room, elegant Lobby, handsome Library, and restful guest rooms once again invite you to relax and unwind after an active day in the Great Outdoors.