Longfellow’s Wayside Inn Museum a & Exhibit Rooms
The Old Kitchen The Old Bar The Longfellow Parlor The Ford Room Display Cabinets

The Old Kitchen

Part of a separate house that was incorporated into the main Inn building sometime after 1796, this room was originally a kitchen with its large fireplace and a beehive oven used to prepare meals for the many travelers along the Old Post Road. A gravity-fed brass clock jack mounted to the fireplace turned the spit to roast joints of meat. With some of the oldest surviving wood beams and paneling at the Inn, some which wear visible scars from the 1955 fire, and an old cupboard stocked with pewterware, this room is often requested by our guests for its special ambiance. In fact, this room was Henry Ford's favorite room for entertaining guest while he owned the Inn.

The Old Bar

In 1707, The Old Bar was the downstairs room of the original two-room two-story house built by David How for his family. This room was the heart of the home where all of the cooking, eating, gathering, and work was done. In 1716, when How was granted a license to operate a “House of Public Entertainment," this room became the first “public” room of the Inn for food and drinks. A “hidden” staircase tucked behind a small door provided a discreet escape for stagecoach travelers to upstairs bedrooms. Graced with an old wood-beamed ceiling from which pewter mugs dangle and capture the warm light of the generous fireplace, this room continues as our full-service bar and is a favorite refuge steeped in history for guests to gather.

The Longfellow Parlor

Inspirational setting for Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s epic work, Tales of a Wayside Inn, this room showcases important pieces from our collection and is perfect for intimate dinners or special occasions. The room is decorated in a predominately Victorian era style, reflective of the years Longfellow wrote his opus. The How Family coat of arms is prominently displayed over the fireplace mantle. n addition, to the left and right of the How Coat of Arms, are two framed reproductions of etched glass. On June 24, 1774, William Molineaux, Jr., Esq., a major serving in the Boston militia commanded by John Hancock, visited the Inn and, using his diamond ring, etched a good-humored poem into one of the front glass window panes of the Inn. The lines (no doubt inspired by good food and spirits!) read: “What do you think? Here is a good drink, -- Perhaps you may not know it. If not in haste, do stop and taste, You merry Folks will show it.”  Longfellow corresponded about the etching and referenced it in the Prelude to his Tales of a Wayside Inn.

The Ford Room

A former wood/carriage shed, in 1899, it was attached to the Inn by innkeeper Edward Lemon and opened as an art gallery to display his collection of paintings and objects d’art. After purchasing the Inn in 1923, Henry Ford added a bay window and used this room as his personal bedroom during his visits to the Inn. A double-benched fireplace alcove provides a cozy place for intimate conversations and a large iron chandelier complements the vaulted ceiling. Today, this room is mostly reserved for function use. The room exhibits framed photos reflecting Henry Ford's time at the Inn.

Display Cabinets

Display cabinets featuring a rotation of items curated from our collections are exhibited in these cabinets in the rear hallway off our main reception area.