Michael Mackie, Massachusetts, Accommodation, Boston, Travel

Three centuries of history and hospitality: Concord’s Colonial Inn in Concord, MA

By Michael Mackie

There’s old school. There’s historic. And then there’s Concord’s Colonial Inn, which was constructed in 1716 – sixty years before the United States of America even considered becoming united. Located just outside Boston in the postcard-worthy hamlet of Concord, Massachusetts, the hotel and eatery just celebrated their tercentennial last year. Locals proudly boast it’s the second oldest operating inn in the country.

Take one step inside the meandering Inn and it’s easy to get lost in the narrow, centuries-old corridors. “Our historic Inn is raw and natural,” said Lisa LaCoste, Director of Sales, Catering & Marketing. “It stands just the way it was built years ago. The Inn's guest rooms and parlor areas bring you back in time with tall stairways, wide plank floors, post-beam ceilings and fireplaces. Guests are always in awe as they try to find their way through the ‘maze’-like pathways."

The building – rather, three connected buildings – engulfs a prominent corner on the town’s Monument Square. It was here that militiamen and local farmers rallied in the fight against British troops in 1775. The village of Concord played a pivotal role in securing America’s independence.

Even the back-story of the hotel has a back-story. 

Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau

“The Inn witnessed and participated in the Revolutionary War in 1776 serving as an infirmary for the wounded soldiers as they fought to gain the US independence,” said Nancy Robbins, an independent event planner. “In later years the Inn also was a boarding house run by the family members of Henry David Thoreau. Many celebrities have stayed at the Inn and experienced its historical ambiance while visiting the Boston area.” (Ask to see Jackie Kennedy’s favorite seat. Of course, it’s by a window. Flattering lighting remains timeless.) 

Jacqueline Kennedy in Concord, MA (1975).

While most patrons come to enjoy the Inn’s never-ending hospitality, others make a reservation hoping to spy some paranormal activity. Yes, you read right. The Inn’s other claim to fame is that it’s haunted – allegedly. Syfy’s “Ghost Hunters” even dedicated an hour-long episode to all the otherworldly activity, which guests have claimed to see. “There's been documented friendly ghost sightings of the doctor and nurse who cared for the wounded minuteman during the war,” said LaCoste. “It’s one of our most requested and talked about guest rooms.” (According to HistoricHotels.com, “Guestroom 24 in the Main Inn is famous for ghost sightings of a woman with long braids floating throughout the room.”)

Ghost Hunters, Concord Colonial Inn and Room 24

Because the Inn is smack-dab in the middle of Concord’s town square, visitors are only a hop, skip and jump away from bookstores, antiques shops and picturesque photo ops. “We’re within walking distance to history upon history and more history,” said LaCoste. “Quaint shops and views of historic houses let the visitor see a lot of interesting architecture,” said Robbins. “Plus, it’s a friendly town -- locals and visitors stroll down the sidewalks throughout the day.”

After all the sightseeing, patrons can work up a healthy appetite. Fortunately, the Inn is also famed for their award-winning meals. Whether you’re in the mood for fine dining or casual patio lunch, the menu is teeming with authentic Colonial-esque comfort foods. Chicken potpie with a flaky pie crust? Check. Yankee pot roast? Check. (Foodie alert … if you’re carbo-loading, save room for their homemade cornbread. “And our pastry chefs famous 'Flavor of the Day' Bread Pudding for Sunday Brunch is not to be missed … it could be chocolate, rum raisin, banana, medley of berries,” said LaCoste.)

 
Side porch view of Concord's Colonial Inn, Concord MA.

Side porch view of Concord's Colonial Inn, Concord MA.

With 56 unique guest rooms from which to choose, the Inn is a hodge-podge of Colonial meets contemporary. (Don’t panic … there’s still a Starbucks within walking distance in case of emergency.) “The Inn has the feeling of days gone by with lots of comfortable and beautiful furniture and artwork,” said Robbins. “The floors have that slight slant and creek of the pumpkin pine floorboards reminiscent of old homes that have stood the test of time. The employees are extremely nice and can also help share the history of the Inn and the town.”

Looking to take a step into the Wayback Machine – where New England meets Ye Olde England? Concord’s Colonial Inn does a fine job of homespun yet historical hospitality. 

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Concord’s Colonial Inn

48 Monument Square

Concord, MA 01742

978-369-9200 | www.concordscolonialinn.com