Concord's Colonial Inn

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Discover Concord's Colonial Inn, which is best known for the role it played in the Battles of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775.

Concord's Colonial Inn was constructed at a time when Europeans settled in the New World throughout much of the 17th and 18th centuries.

From its prime location right in the heart of Concord, the Colonial Inn has been an integral part of the life of the Concord community for three centuries. The Colonial Inn maintains a lively spot as a gathering place for all occasions. The Inn was originally three separate buildings, the earliest of which dates back to 1716. It is best known for the role it played in the events of April 19, 1775, a day that led to the birth of a new nation. During the period of unrest leading up to the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the middle portion of the Inn, which is now the front desk of the hotel and gift shop, served as an arms and provisions storehouse for the local patriots. When the British soldiers arrived to seize and destroy all their supplies, the Minutemen were gathered at the North Bridge, just a half mile from the Inn. They were alerted of the British presence by the rising smoke, and came to defend both their town and supplies.

At the time of the battle, Dr. Timothy Minot Jr. lived and worked on the western side of the building, which is now home to the Liberty Restaurant. On April 19th 1775, Dr. Minot opened up his home to care for the wounded Minutemen. He used the Liberty Room as a hospital, one of his bedrooms, now “Room 24”, as an operating room and “Room 27” as the morgue. Minot sold the eastern building to his son-in-law, Ammi White, who was notorious for having killed a wounded British soldier with a hatchet during the battle at the North Bridge. Deacon John White bought the western and central buildings from Minot. Deacon White believed in a strict adherence to the Sabbath and would keep a watchful eye on Sundays for any folks traveling unnecessarily along Lowell Road. In 1799, Ammi White sold his portion of the house to John Thoreau, grandfather of Henry David Thoreau. John Thoreau’s son, also named John, worked for Deacon White in the store next door as a youth. In 1835, the younger John moved his own family, including his sisters, back into the house to live for the next two years while his son, Henry David, attended Harvard. In 1838, the house was sold to Daniel Shattuck, who had previously bought out Deacon White in 1811. He converted the store into a dwelling and deeded the property to his daughter Frances in 1861. Frances and her husband, Louis Surrette, turned the property into a 20-room boarding house. They named it the Thoreau House after Henry’s aunts, who spent their days entertaining in the sitting room. The property was then auctioned off to Judge John Keys in 1889. The Thoreau House was then renamed the Colonial Inn. The Prescott Wing, which houses the more modern guestrooms, was added in 1960.

The guest register, located in the sitting room, offers clues into the Inn’s impressive clientele. Margaret Sidney Lothrop, author of Five Little Peppers, stayed in 1908, as did J.P. Morgan. Franklin D. Roosevelt, whose signature in the guest register is on display, stayed the evening of May 25, 1904. More recent guests to the Inn and restaurant include John Wayne, Shirley Temple, Arnold Palmer, Jack Canfield, Queen Noor of Jordan, Robert Duvall, Bryan Cranston, Sandra Day O’Connor, Joe Manganiello, Jason Sudeikis, Olivia Wilde, and Don Henley.

  • Famous Historic Guests +
    "Margaret Sidney Lothrop, author of the Five Little Peppersbook series. J.P. Morgan, American financier and banker who headed J.P. Morgan and Co. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States whose signature in the guest register is on display. John Wayne, American actor known for his roles in Westerns. Shirley Temple, famous child star of the 1930s. Arnold Palmer, American professional golfer."
  • About the Location +
    From its prime location right in the heart of Concord, the Colonial Inn has been an integral part of the life of the Concord community for three centuries. The Colonial Inn maintains a lively spot as a gathering place for all occasions. The Inn was originally three separate buildings, the earliest of which dates back to 1716. It is best known for the role it played in the events of April 19, 1775, a day that led to the birth of a new nation. During the period of unrest leading up to the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the middle portion of the Inn, which is now the front desk of the hotel and gift shop, served as an arms and provisions storehouse for the local patriots. When the British soldiers arrived to seize and destroy all their supplies, the Minutemen were gathered at the North Bridge, just a half mile from the Inn. They were alerted of the British presence by the rising smoke, and came to defend both their town and supplies.
  • Ghost Stories +
    "Due to the hotel’s age and role in the Revolutionary War, the Inn has been rumored to have a few resident ghosts. The most famous, haunted and sought-after guestroom is Room 24. During the Revolutionary War, a portion of the inn was owned by Dr. Timothy Minot. When patriot soldiers were injured at the Battle of Lexington and Concord at the North Bridge, they were brought to his home for treatment. Dr. Minot used what is now the Liberty Room as a hospital, and Room 24 was his operating room. Several soldiers who were operated on in Room 24 unfortunately passed away during surgery. The deceased were carried directly downstairs into Room 27, which was used as a morgue. Many guests who’ve spent the night in the infamously haunted room have reported some strange activity. One of the first reported sightings of something paranormal was documented in a letter from Mrs. Judith Fellenz to former innkeeper, Loring Grimes, after they had celebrated their wedding night in June 1966. Mrs. Fellenz wrote that she had awoken in the middle of the night and seen a “grayish figure” at the side of her bed. She wrote “it was not a distinct person, but a shadowy mass in the shape of a standing figure. It remained still for a moment, then slowly floated to the foot of the bed, in front of the fireplace.” Mr. Grimes replied that the spirit could have been that of ""Dr. Minot, merely making his rounds” or Ralph Waldo Emerson “trying to sum up the courage to give a newlywed advice on achieving a good marriage.” Other guests have reported lights flickering in the room or turning on and off completely on their own. One guest woke up in the middle of the night and every light was on in the room, as well as the television. Guests hear hushed whispers coming from the closet and have seen the door to the room slam shut on its own. Some courageous guests have even used their own “ghost-hunting” devices, such as voice recorders and cameras, to catch some evidence of supernatural visitors. Various guests have captured floating orbs in the room and voices from the past. A few guests have felt someone gently tucking them into bed. Apparitions of both a middle-aged woman, supposedly a nurse named Rosemary, and wounded soldiers have appeared in the room, only to disappear moments later. Thrill-seekers travel from all over stay in the infamous Room 24, hoping to catch a glimpse of some supernatural activity. But the inn's resident spirits do not just confine themselves to Room 24; they like to wander the halls of the Colonial Inn just as much as guests do. Both an older woman and a tall, slim gentleman with a top hat have been spotted in the sitting room; perhaps it is Thoreau himself or his aunts looking to entertain some company? A young girl wearing a bonnet has been seen walking around by the front desk of the hotel. Both guests and employees have spotted spirits in colonial attire sitting in an otherwise empty Liberty Room. Things fall off of shelves and items go missing without a trace for weeks, only to turn up in the strangest places. Both guests and employees have heard voices coming from right behind them, only to see nothing when they turn around."

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