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Longfellows Wayside Inn

Longfellows Wayside Inn Advertising Button Museum
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LONGFELLOWS Wayside Inn -South Sudbury, Mass.
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A large red barn-like building sits in a scenic green setting. A red border circles the button with white text on it.

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The Massachusetts historic Landmark, the Longfellow's Wayside Inn is the oldest operating Inn on one of the oldest roads in America, the Boston Post Road. Howe’s Tavern, a “house of entertainment” was established in 1716 by David Howe. The tavern was an extension of Howe’s home which sat on the one of the first mail routes which experienced busy coach traffic between Boston, Worcester and New York. Four generations of Howes operated and expanded the Inn until 1861 when it eliminated short-term stays at the inn.

The inn was renamed Longfellow’s Wayside Inn by its new owner in 1892 after a series of poems—Tales of a Wayside Inn—by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow who visited the Howe Tavern in 1862.  The poems were published in 1863 and recount stories from characters gathered at the Sudbury tavern.

Henry Ford purchased the property in 1923 and before his death established a non-profit institution to operate the Inn and associated museum, water mill, and archives. A devastating fire, financial trouble and board issues have been resolved and since 1960 the property has been financially stable.

Catalog ID: 
AD0077
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