Susan Van Tuyl and James Gleason have been happily married for over twenty-five years – twelve of which they spent living aboard the ketch Mistral in Boston Harbor.
Susan, originally from Michigan, moved to Boston and has worked as an electrical designer - where she met James in the downtown office where they worked together. She's also served time as an interior decorator/upholsterer, caterer, and first mate and chef on sailing vessels out of Boston. She womanned the helm on whale watch cruises from Long Wharf. She and James both have crewed on the voyage from New England to the U.S. Virgin Islands aboard the seventy foot sailing yacht Doric. A lot of stories there!
James grew up in NH skiing Wildcat and Cannon (he was actually taught to ski by Ann Dodge Middleton - the daughter of the legendary mountain man, Joe Dodge) and moved to Boston to practice architecture after graduating. He grew up in the hospitality business - his family owned and operated The Queen City Motor Inn in Manchester, which had a popular dining establishment. There he worked the grounds, pool, kitchen, dining room, and eventually the lounge - which was one of his first architectural designs to be built.
Susan and James are both accomplished, self-taught chefs, and Susan has a flare for breads, cakes, mille feuille, and all things doughey. She is also a Master Urban Horticulturalist, who can make just about anything with roots thrive.
James’ copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking is even more dog-eared than the one in Julie and Julia. His repertoire includes French (including toast), Italian, American, Indian,and Asian cuisine; and he is the creator of the Wildcat Waffle.
Owning an inn has been a long-time dream of theirs, and RiverWood has brought their dream to fruition.