300 years of American History – LongFellow’s Wayside Inn
If you like history and some yummy tastes of past this is the place. It feels like at any moment you could see a British officer come through the door to have a meal or a drink.
So, actually I have, and no, I was not hallucinating. Rather, the British officer was a part of an 18th century reenactment group. This is very big here! Go figure!
In 1716 David How’s Tavern along the Boston Post Road was called “hous of entertainment,” the actual Tavern had been operating since 1673, commonly known as, How’s Tavern.
The tavern was passed down through his family until 1861. It was then purchased in 1896 by a wealthy antiquarian, Edward Rivers Lemon, a wool merchant.
Victorian Innkeeper, Edward Lemon, desired guests of a more cultural bent to visit his country refuge, encouraging actors, artists, students, and professional people. Therefore, around 1900, Edward Lemon created the ultimate homage to Longfellow — an English country garden named for the poet and more.
It was in 1923 that Henry Ford purchased the Inn and called It Longfellow’s Wayside Inn. He wanted to create a living museum of Americana, the first of it’s kind.
Ford purchased 3,000 acres of property surrounding the Inn, added eight new buildings to the site, and collected antiquities, including lost pieces of the How(e) family’s property. He commissioned the building of a fully operating grist mill by renowned hydraulic engineer J.B. Campbell of Philadelphia that was completed in 1929.
The focus for the Inn was educational philosophies. Then in 1960 it became a non-profit.
A fun note of interest, the Grist Mill you see? It may look familiar, because it is! It is the Pepperidge Farm logo and photo. In 1952 Pepperidge Farm provided a full-time Miller to produce stone-ground whole wheat for their companies products.
Pepperidge Farm ceased in its production at the Wayside Inn Grist Mill in 1967 after 15 years that benefited both the Inn and Pepperidge Farm.
When you come away from the candle lit table, it seems like you’ve had a mini time travel vacation that took you on a colonial roots and revolutionary tour. Also, everyone at the Inn greets you with old world care and attention, sometimes in costume and you will never forget the sumptuous food experience. It’s deeply delightful and fulfilling. I’ll talk about that next time!
Well, that is a little overview of the history behind this gorgeous Inn and restaurant. I mainly want to share a bit about the ambience. Next time I will share more about the food. Trust me, the food is extraordinary!
Hope you’ve joyed the quick peak into the past of a beautiful relic affectionally known as the Wayside Inn.