Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.
Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/506487
In 1716, when David Howe doubled his two-room home to estab- lish a tavern on the Old Post Road, he never could have known that business would help support four successive generations of his family including Ezekiel Howe, who on April 19, 1775 led the Sudbury mili- tia to Concord. We know what happened there. In 1862, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was dining at Howe Tavern where its cozy atmosphere and stories he heard from fellow guests inspired him to write Tales of the Wayside Inn. The series of poems, including "The Landlord's Tale: Paul Revere's Ride," brought the poet and the place (as well as Revere) to national attention, and led the tav- ern's next owner, a wool merchant named Edward Lemon, to officially change his inn's name. Auto manufacturer Henry Ford bought the inn from Lemon's widow in 1923, becoming its last private owner. Then Ford acquired surrounding land, relocated several historic buildings and brought in artifacts to create a living museum of American his- tory. Upon his death in 1947, the central 125 acres was placed in a nonprofit trust. Artist Childe Hassan, who visited the inn in 1882; Charles Lindbergh, a guest in 1928; and former president and Mrs. Calvin Coolidge, who stayed in 1930; are among past guests. Also in 1930, John D. Rockefeller came for lunch and to collect ideas for his new project, Colonial Williamsburg. Since 1960, Longfellow's Wayside Inn has been a nonprofit Massachusetts Historic Landmark. It is self-sustaining, reliant on income from its hotel and restaurant operations, and conducts educa- tional programs for all ages. "There are elements here from all phases of American history, from the Revolution through the Civil War and the present, although we home in on the revolutionary period," notes Steve Pickford, the eleventh innkeeper. Honoring its heritage, Pickford brought back foxhunting (minus guns and chasing only fox scent) in 2014. The grounds are perfect for the sport, a carryover from the British tradi- tion that ended in 1955. The Wayside Inn restaurant is among the most popular in MetroWest for casual dining and special celebrations, hosting grad- uations, reunions, and more than 100 weddings a year. Open to the public for lunch and dinner daily, breakfast on weekends, and spe- cial events like wine dinners, Oktoberfest, Sinatra Night, bourbon and spirit dinners, and live music on Friday afternoons. In the origi- nal Tavern Room, grab a table by the fire, as Longfellow did, to warm a cold winter night. Ten guest rooms in the main building offer comfortable accommo- dations. Not lavish by today's standards, the guest wing nonetheless is rich in colonial-era character. 166 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s u m m e r 2 0 1 5 Since 1960, Longfellow's Wayside Inn has been a nonprofit Massachusetts Historic Landmark excursions "cozy atmosphere" C O U R T E S Y O F L O N G F E L L O W ' S W A Y S I D E I N N / P H O T O B Y J O N A T H A N D A I S Y