Today, it sits tucked in the far corner of a huge parking lot, on the backside of Broadway and honestly, it’s kind of tough to find. After a winning ( or losing ) day at the track, though, you will want to find this hidden gem, as it has a unique history of its own, with strong ties to Saratoga’s race course.
The History of Mouzon House
Mouzon House was built in 1883, surrounded by other Victorian homes, much like it. During the Revolutionary War, wounded soldiers were sometimes brought to the house, nursed back to health with help from the medicinal waters of historic High Rock Mineral Springs, which lay just beyond.
Ardel Mouzon bought the house in 1919. She was a Cherokee Indian who fought an uphill battle, more than once, to save the house. In the 70’s, when the urban renewal movement declared eminent domain and other homes were demolished, Ardel enlisted the help of anyone she could think of, to save her own. She organized church folk and recruited professors from Skidmore College to help fight the battle. Her modest home, amazingly, was the only residence that survived the razing.
Ardel often went to the racetrack while she lived in Saratoga. She loved to attend the festivities in fancy hats and colorful dresses. Perhaps she bet on the longshots, horses that seemed to be a bad bet in the win/place/show game.
Her daughter, Mia Mouzon, inherited the home that now sits proudly between the old world and the new. Hotels rise high above the house and there’s talk of yet another parking garage, which will certainly try to hide her completely from view.
Mia was the first woman of color to graduate from Skidmore in the 1930’s and still resides in Saratoga. She visits Mouzon House every so often and has a chair of honor in one of the restaurant’s unique dining rooms.
The Pedinotti family purchased the home and were so moved by the story of Ardel and her struggles to save it, they asked permission to name their restaurant Mouzon House. It seemed fitting.
The inside has been restored to its 1883 era. You’ll find charming rooms with personality galore. The walls are covered with colorful murals that the Pedinotti daughters have painted themselves. Some of these depict the Mouzon women and others are of the sisters.
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A Farm to Table Restaurant
A true farm to table restaurant, the family is committed to working with local farmers and vendors. Many of their menu choices lean towards Creole flavor. Menus change often, depending on availability of product and Mouzon House takes pride in what they create in the kitchen and present to the guest.
From the looks of it, racing season or not, Mouzon House is a winner. Visit their website by clicking here.
Photos courtesy of Theresa St. John