The Churchill family first constructed a small dwelling and mill along the swift-flowing Neshobe River early in the 19th century. Like most New England farmers, to supplement their income they dabbled in lots of fields: they manufactured wintergreen oil, sold timber, milled grain, opened Vermont’s first fish hatchery, cured piano sound-boards, and finally began taking in guests who had traveled the difficult east-west route from Rochester over “Brandon Gap.” This proved to be both enjoyable and profitable.
In 1871-1872, using lumber from trees felled on the land and milled at their mill, they constructed this 20-room house, designed as an inn. A floating floor was installed in the 3rd floor ballroom, and a 3-piece “orchestra” was hired from Rutland on certain evenings. Ask to see the dance card from the masquerade ball in 1887! Guests would come over from Rochester, have their grain milled, their horses stabled, and then have a hearty supper followed by a night of dancing. Early in the morning hours they would retire to bed and awaken to country breakfasts several hours later.
The Churchills ran their inn for several generations. Family obligations changing, the Churchills sold the inn and a small parcel of land in 1972. The inn was subsequently modernized and reconfigured in the and has seen four families of innkeepers come and go since then.
The current innkeepers, Seth and Olya Hopkins have made significant improvements to the inn, installing modern heat in all guestrooms for the first time, replacing the roof, the water heaters, all the sinks, all the toilets, and all the windows, and buying new beds for several rooms. At the same time, they respect the great history of the place and of New England country innkeeping. Many vegetables used in the kitchen are grown in the organic garden which Olya planted in 2005; Seth bakes breads and desserts from scratch using family recipes, including one from his Vermonter relatives who homesteaded near here. They look forward to welcoming you to this authentic country inn with its long tradition of gracious hospitality.