Fred W. Rice came to Saranac Lake in 1876 from Essex, New York, where he had worked for the Delaware and Hudson Railway, and where he had met and married Harriet "Kitty" Todd, in 1872. He bought property on Lower Saranac Lake from Jabez Alexander, in 1983, and from Milo B. Miller, in 1886. He built a house, some rental cottages, and a two-story boathouse that housed his guideboat building shop, photographic studio and gallery. He also built a cabin near the lake shore for his teenage boys, according to Eleanor Rice Stearns; Fred and Kitty had eleven children. His home and the shore cabin still exist.
He became well known for his guideboats, and he sold photographs and did photo finishing for tourists. With William A. Martin, he built the "Water Lily", launched in 1876, the first steam-powered boat on Lower Saranac Lake; it made regular runs up to Bartlett's Hotel on a regular basis.
Fred Rice was the nephew of William Marsh Rice, founder of Rice University, who was the murdered in of one of the more sensational crimes of the early 1900s. Subsequently, ads were placed in major newspapers searching for heirs; John Harding, the owner of the Algonquin Hotel, showed the ad to Fred, who sold his inherited property to his cousin, Frank McKee, another heir.
Fred W. Rice moved to Mercer Island, Washington; later, his wife Kitty and some of the children returned to live in Saranac Lake. His oldest child, Fred M. Rice, stayed and worked as a guideboat builder and guide. He is best known as the guide and friend to Martha Reben, who wrote three books about her experiences camping on Weller Pond while recovering from Tuberculosis.
I believe the Leamers replaced the Rice House in the 21st century. Mary Hotaling