The Middlebury Inn

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Discover the Middlebury Inn, located in charming downtown Middlebury, which has offered genuine comfort and hospitality since 1827.

The Middlebury Inn was constructed in the years leading up to the Civil War, when many settlers from around the world began expanding into the Old American West.

The Middlebury Inn has welcomed guests to this central Vermont shire town for more than 185 years, establishing a tradition of hospitality, comfort and friendly service unmatched in New England. But the true history of the Middlebury Inn is not in a specific year, it’s in the details; the hallways of the main building wander and dip, the original front desk graces the grand lobby, and each guestroom has been outfitted with restoration wall coverings, high ceilings, brass fixtures, and period moldings.

This charming historic property was built in 1827 when Nathan Wood opened the Vermont Hotel, a brick ""public house"" or pub. In 1852, the inn was renamed the Addison House and underwent renovations in 1865 under the new management of owner Darwin Rider. Rider was a gracious host, running a free carriage service to all trains and operated a large livery for guests. In 1897 the Addison House was purchased by Robert Cartmell and Allen Calhoun, who ignited a series of extensive renovations that included the addition of three floors, the installation of baths, electric lights, steam heat, a new kitchen, and dining room. In 1925, the hotel was sold to Middlebury Hotel Corporation, a stock company comprised of local businessmen, and underwent further remodeling. The hotel reopened in 1927 as The Middlebury Inn, hosting a gala to celebrate the occasion.

Adjacent to the main inn, the two-story Porter Mansion is also part of The Middlebury Inn. Built in 1825 for local merchant Jonathan Wainwright, the stately brick structure was named after William Porter, who eventually resided there with his family. Affording nine guestrooms decorated in Victorian style, a lovely curving staircase, fine leaded glass entrance, exquisite marble fireplaces, and intricate moldings, the Porter House offers a historic luxury that enriches the treasured charm of The Middlebury Inn.

The inn's modern annex buildings were constructed in 1968 under the management of the Treadway Company.

Image of Historian Stanley Turkel, Historic Hotels of America Image of Stanley Turkel's Book Built To Last: 100 Year Old Hotels East of the Mississippi, Historic Hotels of America.

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Nobody Asked Me, But...

Hotel History: The Middlebury Inn (1827), Middlebury, Vermont*

By Stanley Turkel, CMHS

The Middlebury Inn has been in continuous operation as a hotel for more than 180 years. Nathan Wood built a three-story brick building with 50 rooms in 1827, which he called the Vermont House. Since its opening, the inn has changed its name twice (Vermont House 1827-1852; Addison House 1852-1927; Middlebury Inn 1927-present). Once it had a cupola, later a wrap-around piazza, and later still was painted yellow. Perhaps the only bit of the original building, other than the basic masonry of the main block to survive all the changes, is the fan-lighted doorway with elliptical carved decorations looking out onto Pleasant Street and the Green. The basement and part of the first floor have housed at different times offices, stores, a barber shop, and the Middlebury Post Office. For all the changes, however, the building has a continuous history of service to the town as its principal inn and a favorite meeting spot since Nathan Wood's day.

The name Middlebury came from its location in the middle of Salisbury and New Haven. Middlebury College, one of the United States' elite liberal arts colleges, was founded in 1800. In the summer, the town plays host to the annual Middlebury College language schools, as well as the College's Bread Loaf Writer's Conference, the oldest continuous conference of its kind in the nation. The true history of the Middlebury Inn is in its remarkable and unique details: the hallways of the main building wander and dip, built wide enough to allow ladies outfitted in hoop skirts to maneuver with grace. The original front desk is still located in the grand lobby. Each of the guestrooms have been outfitted with restoration wall coverings, high ceilings, brass fixtures, and period moldings.

The last addition to the inn came in 1968, when 20 modern Annex units were added under the management of the Treadway Company. The adjacent Porter Mansion, part of the Middlebury Inn, is a stately brick home built in 1825 for local merchant Jonathan Wainwright and named for its eventual owner, the William Porter family. With its graceful curving staircase, fine leaded glass entrance, exquisite marble fireplaces and intricate moldings, the Porter Mansion adds nine Victorian-style guestrooms. Therefore, the Middlebury Inn offers the perfect blend of modern comfort and classic historic charm.

*excerpted from his book Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels East of the Mississippi


About Stanley Turkel, CMHS

Stanley Turkel is a recognized consultant in the hotel industry. He operates his hotel consulting practice serving as an expert witness in hotel-related cases and providing asset management an and hotel franchising consultation. Prior to forming his hotel consulting firm, Turkel was the Product Line Manager for worldwide Hotel/Motel Operations at the International Telephone & Telegraph Co. overseeing the Sheraton Corporation of America. Before joining IT&T, he was the Resident Manager of the Americana Hotel (1842 Rooms), General Manager of the Drake Hotel (680 Rooms) and General Manager of the Summit Hotel (762 Rooms), all in New York City. He serves as a Friend of the Tisch Center and lectures at the NYU Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism. He is certified as a Master Hotel Supplier Emeritus by the Educational Institute of the American Hotel and Lodging Association. He served for eleven years as Chairman of the Board of the Trustees of the City Club of New York and is now the Honorary Chairman.

Stanley Turkel is one of the most widely-published authors in the hospitality field. More than 275 articles on various hotel subjects have been posted in hotel magazines and on the Hotel-Online, Blue MauMau, Hotel News Resource and eTurboNews websites. Two of his hotel books have been promoted, distributed and sold by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (Great American Hoteliers: Pioneers of the Hotel Industry and Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels East of the Mississippi). A third hotel book (Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels in New York) was called "passionate and informative" by the New York Times. Executive Vice President of Historic Hotels of America, Lawrence Horwitz, has even praised one book, Great American Hoteliers Volume 2: Pioneers of the Hotel Industry:

  • “If you have ever been in a hotel, as a guest, attended a conference, enjoyed a romantic dinner, celebrated a special occasion, or worked as a hotelier in the front or back of the house, Great American Hoteliers, Volume 2: Pioneers of the Hotel Industry is a must read book. This book is recommended for any business person, entrepreneur, student, or aspiring hotelier. This book is an excellent history book with insights into seventeen of the great innovators and visionaries of the hotel industry and their inspirational stories.”

Turkel was designated as the “2014 Historian of the Year by Historic Hotels of America,” the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This award is presented to an individual for making a unique contribution in the research and presentation of history and whose work has encouraged a wide discussion, greater understanding and enthusiasm for American History.

Works published by Stanley Turkel include:

Most of these books can be ordered from AuthorHouse—(except Heroes of the American Reconstruction, which can be ordered from McFarland)—by visiting, or by clicking on the book’s title.

Contact: Stanley Turkel

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