Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Wayside Inn

The Wayside Inn
72 Wayside Road
Sudbury, Mass.

Located on the Old Boston Post Road "Howes Tavern" was well situated to receive drovers and other travelers on the road between Worcester and Boston. Established by David Howe in 1716, the tavern and inn remained open and in the family until 1861. David's son, Ezekiel, a Lt. Colonel in the Sudbury militia, first inherited the inn and increased its prosperity. It was Ezekiel Howe who led the men of Sudbury on their march to the North bridge in Concord on April 19, 1775.

In 1863 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow published his famous poem "Tales of the Wayside Inn". Longfellow used the setting of the inn for his poem and its fictitious characters. The Inn was renamed in honor of the poem. Henry Ford later acquired the property and its surrounding grounds in the 1920's. It is thought that Ford originally planned on creating an historical village - he went so far as to build a chapel, a granary mill and move an old school house on to the property - but that did not come to fruition. He did establish the non-profit organization that owns and operates the Wayside Inn today.

The Wayside Inn continues to offer its guests fine New England style dining, overnight accommodations, a gift shop and a small museum. Function rooms for weddings and parties are also available. As an added bonus, it is quite common to see living historians, in period dress, roaming about the Inn and its grounds. During the winter the 4th King's Own conducts its drills every other Sunday on the grounds of the Wayside Inn. Feel free to ask a member of the 4th for a musket demonstration or just say hello, as they relax in the tavern after their exertions in the cold.

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