Wayside Inn Grist Mill, Sudbury

The Wayside Inn Historic District is a historic district on Old Boston Post Road in Sudbury, Massachusetts. The district contains the famous Wayside Inn, a historic landmark inn that is reputedly the oldest operating inn in the country, opening as Howe's Tavern in 1716. The district features Greek Revival and Colonial architecture. The area was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.The Wayside InnThe inn's archive has documents from 1686 onward, including the official inn license granted to the first innkeeper, David Howe, in 1716. Lydia Howe, a granddaughter, was born in the Inn. The inn is also known as "Longfellow's Wayside Inn", a name given to the inn to capitalize on the popularity of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's "Tales of a Wayside Inn", a book of poems published in 1863. Longfellow visited the Wayside Inn in 1862, when it was called the "How Tavern". In his book "Tales of a Wayside Inn", Longfellow republished his poem "Paul Revere's Ride" as "The Landlord's Tale".Henry Ford was the last private owner of the Wayside Inn. He purchased it in 1923, from Cora Lemon, and he also purchased 3,000 acres (12 kmĀ²) of land surrounding the Inn, with the aim of developing it into a historically oriented village and museum. Although his original aims were not accomplished at the Wayside, he did establish the non-profit institution that operates the Inn and associated museum, watermill, and archives today. Ford sold the Wayside property in 1945, ultimately fulfilling his desires to create such a museum at Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan. The inn is still in operation, offering a restaurant, historically accurate guest rooms, and hosting for small receptions.
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Wayside Inn Grist Mill Reviews
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55 reviews
  • Boston Post Road location....if you are commuting home from work...just want to rewind for a bit....great place to stop by. Ambiance is perfect with a great bartender, a warm fire and loads of colonia...  more »
  • Visit the Inn and view the furnished rooms. Also visit the Martha Mary Chapel and The Little Red school house. Check for opening times. Lovely trip to take visitors to and show them historic Sudbury. ...  more »
  • Usually love the little bar at the Wayside Inn. Stepping back in time to the age of Longfellow and our founding fathers. Bar man was excellent as usual.  more »
  • Beautiful little building that lends itself to wonderful photographs. I just visited during the spring months where everything was green. Gorgeous mill to look at. Although you can go inside of it, there isn't much to see. The little bit of movement you can see inside is worth it for the 2 minutes it takes to walk inside and through and there is no charge.
  • Lovely Mill (appears in the Steve Martin, Goldie Hawn movie House Sitter) Tour is interesting. The entire property at Longfellow's Wayside Inn and Grist Mill is full of history and is a wonderful place to visit.
  • Beautiful spot for pictures and family time. New England at its best.
  • One of the most photographed scenic sites in Massachusetts.
  • Breath-takingly beautiful and a place you'll want to spend time exploring. The grist mill is a national treasure to behold. Built by Henry Ford and wired by Thomas Edison himself!

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