The Stockbridge Ramsdell House was built circa 1870 as the family home of Homer Stockbridge Ramsdell, president of the Erie Railroad, who was instrumental in bringing the railroad to Newburgh. This Victorian brick mansion, destined to become victim to “urban renewal,” was saved from demolition by local preservationist Elizabeth Lyon in 1974. She bought five houses (the “Five Bricks”) on the east side of Montgomery Street for $1000 each, thereby beginning the renaissance of Newburgh’s beautiful historic district overlooking the Hudson River. Montgomery Street and surrounding blocks boast many architectural gems designed by Andrew Jackson Davis, Andrew Downing, Frank Estabrook, Calvert Vaux, Frederick Clark Withers, and others. The neighborhood is now home to a culturally diverse group of artists, doctors, bankers, and other professionals who had the vision to preserve the homes and restore the area to a thriving community.
The Stockbridge Ramsdell House was bought in the 1980s by Tom Porfidio, a retired teacher who saw the potential in a derelict mansion that had become little more than a shell. Tom lovingly restored the house, outfitting it with architectural details true to the period in which it had been built. He then opened the house as a bed and breakfast which he ran for many years while carrying on myriad activities to foster the rejuvenation and historical preservation of Newburgh. In 2000 Tom sold the house to retire to Florida. The house passed through the hands of two different owners and is again under new ownership. The current owner strives to carry on Tom's legacy of relaxed hospitality and belief in the future of Newburgh.