You are welcome to dine or host functions in a variety of unique spaces at Longfellow’s Wayside Inn. All of our dining rooms have fireplaces (operated seasonally), period decor, their own special charm, and vary in size so we can accommodate both small and large parties.
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.
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.
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.
This room was added to the original Inn around 1795, as increased tavern business necessitated a larger cooking space and an additional fireplace. For many years, this room served as the main bar for the Inn (and the name stuck – “Tap” being another name for “bar”). Now a dining room with old beamed ceilings, wooden floors, and two fireplaces (one with a beehive oven), this room has a warm, charming atmosphere for friends and family to enjoy our hearty New England meals.
The last addition to the Inn, this is the largest and newest of all our dining rooms. Created in 1924 by former owner Henry Ford, this room originally had a much more rustic appearance. Today, this room is more formal, decorated in a light, traditional colonial revival style. With abundant windows, brass light fixtures, and a beautiful fireplace, this room has become one of the most requested rooms for dining and larger functions.
The Innkeeper's Room was originally a separate building added on to the Old Kitchen, and likely used as a storage room. The fireplace and wood paneling were installed by Henry Ford after he purchased the Inn in 1923. Ford used this room as part of his private quarters when he was in residence at the Inn. The antique wood walls, old floorboards, beamed ceiling and fireplace create a charming atmosphere for our guests today.
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.
This room was added by innkeeper Ezekiel How (sometimes spelled Howe) in the mid-1770s to serve as living, eating, and sleeping quarters for the growing business. On completion, it doubled the size of the original Inn. Originally called the back parlor (it is located behind and could be accessed from the front parlor -- today’s Longfellow Parlor museum room), this room is now named in honor of the How(e) family, founders of the Inn. This charming, fireplaced room with soft, red painted wood trim serves as one of our smaller dining rooms.
Enjoy our delicious lunch menu al fresco on our brick patio tucked under our great oak trees and overlooking The Wayside Inn grounds, including the beautiful Longfellow Memorial Gardens. Open daily for lunch (weather permitting) from late spring through early fall.
First referenced in 1796 by Ezekiel How as the “long chamber,” this room was subsequently converted into a large room for dancing, music and entertainment by Adam How, and to this day, features a small fiddler’s stand to the left of the fireplace at the far end of the room. The black painted ceiling disguised smoke from the original candled (now electrified) chandeliers. Reconstructed during our 1950’s renovation, this room is decorated with custom hand-stenciled walls, cushioned “wallflower” seat-benches, and two fireplaces. It is a favorite room for medium-sized functions.
The Hobgoblin Room was originally built in the mid-1700s for public receptions, dancing, and entertainment as part of the second addition to the original Inn. It soon became too small for public use, and a larger hall (the “New Hall”, now The Ballroom) was added in its place. Its current name derives from a story told by a former How family member who claimed to have seen a ghostly apparition floating through this room on a dark night many years ago. During the Inn’s 1955 renovation, this room was reconstructed as an entertainment space, with rich wood paneling, beamed ceilings and a fireplace. It is now mostly used for functions.
This gallery, named in honor of one of our most famous How residents, showcases items curated from our permanent collection, as well as temporary wall-mounted exhibits. This room is also occasionally used for private functions.
Click on the red highlighted rooms for photos and description.