The Merwinsville Hotel is a living museum of one of the last-standing trackside station hotels east of the Mississippi.Read More
The Merwinsville Hotel is a living museum of one of the last-standing trackside station hotels east of the Mississippi. Built in 1843, it has been painstakingly restored and now serves as a cultural, social and educational center at its home along the Housatonic Railroad in Gaylordsville, Connecticut.
In 2021 the Hotel is celebrating 50 years of restoration. The restoration began in 1971, after the building survived a fire and a group of people formed a non-profit organization to bring the dilapidated building back to its former glory.
The Merwinsville Hotel opened for business as a meal stop for the Housatonic Railroad. Visitors will be able to step back into time, as hosts guide visitors while sharing tidbits of information about its history. Railroad buffs will be fascinated by the interior that includes a replica ticket counter and other items used during the hotel’s active railroad period.
All of the floors have been restored and renovated. The first floor has a parlor on the north end, furnished with period antiques, with the southern end featuring the recreated station waiting room with authentic railroad memorabilia and a post office box section from the early Gaylordsville Post Office. There are several rooms on the second floor that are set up and decorated in the style of hotel rooms of the mid-1800s. There are also a number of items of railroad memorabilia in a small museum on the second floor, as well as artifacts from Gaylordsville.
The hotel continues to undergo restoration. A new roof was recently installed and the third-floor ballroom has undergone major structural improvements. However, there is always more to do with this structure listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Visitors will be able to see the period kitchen garden that has been installed and is tended by volunteers from the UConn Master Gardener program. There are two sections for vegetables, one for herbs and one for medicinal plants.
The Hotel offers three annual craft and fine art shows timed with holidays. The shows are held in May just before Mother’s Day, in October for Columbus Day weekend and in late November/early December in preparation for Christmas. Each of the shows spans two weekends.
Tour time: less than 1 hour
Pricing: Free; donations accepted
Other Amenities: Open After COVID, Gift Shop, Guided Group Tours, Indoor Activity
Dates of Operation: July-August.