Longfellow's Wayside Inn is the oldest Inn operating in the United States. It has been serving travelers for three hundred years. The Inn was built in 1702 by David Howe and began as a two-room structure. It opened as a tavern and Inn in 1716. It was a stagecoach stop and meeting place for the local militia in 1776 to began their march against the British in the Battle of Lexington and Concord.
After opening in 1716 the Inn became a literary retreat. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's book of poems, Tales of the Wayside Inn was written at the Inn and published in 1863. The Inn houses historic archives as well as offering an 18th century Barroom, dining, lodging and a gift shop. Longfellow's Wayside Inn is a two-story building with nine guestrooms. It is filled with antiques and display cabinets containing historic papers that are scattered about, a living museum. The property has 125 acres, views of gardens, charming buildings and historic places.
Henry Ford restored the Inn after a fire as well as building a gristmill, church and other buildings. He wanted to preserve a living museum and was motivated by his love for Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. It was started in 1923 and was completed in 1945. Longfellow's Wayside Inn shares the Inn with the ghost of a woman who died in 1842. This unmarried woman's name was Jerusha Howe and she lived in rooms nine and ten. Male guests have reported being awakened by the ghost of Miss Howe. They claim that upon waking they have felt her breath on their face and have looked up into her eyes. Men spending a night alone at the Inn say that Jerusha likes a little cuddle.
Calvin Coolidge, Charles Lindbergh, Thomas Edison, George Washington, General Lafayette and John D. Rockefeller have visited Longfellow's Wayside Inn. The historic Inn is located on Massachusetts's route 27 between Wayland and Maynard. It is 11 miles from Boston. If you visit Longfellow's Wayside Inn ask about the Secret Drawer Society.