Located in the Old Bennington Historic District, the Walloomsac Inn is the oldest inn in the State of Vermont. The building was constructed in 1764, with additions and alterations to the roof throughout the late 1700s and 1800s. Five prominent families owned and operated the inn throughout its life; the inn served the stagecoach road until the 1850s. Important figures such as Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Rutherford B. Hayes and Benjamin Harrison have stayed at the inn. Although its name has been changed a few times, it was most recently known as the Walloomsac Inn. Until about 15 years ago, the building operated as a bed-and-breakfast, but today it is a private residence. An unwelcoming sign on the front door informs the public that it is private property and to stay off the porch and property.
Can you imagine such a beautiful house suffering a fate of deterioration and neglect? It’s incredibly sad; such an important landmark in the Old Bennington Historic District and in the State of Vermont should be saved and loved! The loss of this building would be catastrophic. It breaks my heart, and I’ve only passed by the building a few times.
However, I do not know the entire story. An article (Ethan Allen, page 14) talks about the cost of code upkeep and zoning laws that would prevent the building from operating as an inn once again. Readers, are any of you Bennington residents? What is the latest news on this building? Perhaps the owners truly love the building and just do not know what to do. If that is the case, the town should certainly take an interest and develop a solution. Thoughts?
For additional historical information, read the Bennington Museum’s writeup.