Old Walloomsac Inn

Monument Avenue, Bennington, Vermont 05201 USA

Permanently Closed

This location is permanently closed.

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“Vermont's oldest inn!”

This place is on private property. Listing for informational purposes only. Please do not visit without express permission from the land owner.

This might look like the most haunted house you've ever seen, but believe it or not.. it's actually got tenants. That's right, there's people still living in this thing, and they aren't The Munsters.

Because of its prominent location and unkempt appearance, the Walloomsac Inn attracts much public attention as one of the obviously most historic buildings in the picturesque village of Old Bennington. The inn, which served the public as a bed-and-breakfast as recently as about 15 years ago, is a private residence whose owners wish that status to be respected.

Nonetheless, in view of the prominence and public nature of this building, the Bennington Museum has assembled this fact sheet about the inn and its history. Reports that it was built in 1764 by the first settled minister of Bennington's Old First Church, the Rev. Jedediah Dewey, for his 20-year-old son, Elijah, are exaggerated. Rev. Dewey was the builder in 1763 of the oldest frame house in Bennington, diagonally across the green from the Walloomsac Inn.

The most historically prominent guests of Dewey's Inn were Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in June of 1791. Jefferson was U.S. secretary of state at the time and wished to visit the new state of Vermont. Madison accompanied him as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

After Elijah  Dewey's death in 1818 his inn came into the hands of the Hicks family, and was known by that name during the best years of the stagecoach era – until trains came into this region in the early 1850s. Stagecoach travel from the Hicks Tavern to New York took four full days, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day, through Pownal, Pittsfield, Danbury, and White Plains, for a $9 fare. Owner James Hicks enlarged the building in 1823, adding the third floor and installing a ballroom on the second floor.

In 1848, as stagecoach travel was about to end, the inn was purchased by George Wadsworth Robinson, who changed its name from Hicks Tavern to Walloomsac House. In a vain effort to attract summer visitors, Robinson also built observatory towers on Mt. Anthony that had a habit of succumbing to high winds. For a few years the inn was owned by a relative, Mrs. Mary Sanford Robinson and her brother, Samuel Sanford.In 1891 Sanford hired a proprietor named Walter Berry, who after five years was able to purchase the inn and it has been owned by the Berry family ever since. Walter Berry added the large three-and-a-half-story addition on the rear of the original building. A few years ago an enterprising arts writer for the Bennington Banner, Hinda Mandell, ignored the “private property” sign at the front door and was welcomed by the Walloomsac Inn's current resident, Arlene Berry, Walter's granddaughter.

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Old Walloomsac Inn

Monument Avenue
Bennington, Vermont
05201 USA

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