The Merwinsville Hotel features new kitchen garden during Summer Sunday tours

The Merwinsville Hotel features new kitchen garden during Summer Sunday tours

The Merwinsville Hotel has installed a new kitchen garden thanks to a cooperative effort with the UConn Extension Master Gardener Program.

Master Gardener Janice Sniffin of New Milford has been installing a 20 X 20-foot garden on the southern lawn of the historic hotel to represent what would have been planted there in the 1840s, when the hotel was first built and in operation. Inside the picket fence marking the garden are native plants and pathways. She has planted them in a grid, with two sections for vegetables, one for herbs and one for medicinal plants. There will eventually be plant markers and a brochure explaining what ailments the plants were used to cure.

Visitors to the hotel in Gaylordsville will be able to view the garden, as well as inside the three-story hotel during Summer Sunday tours each week July 14 through Aug. 25, open 2 to 4 p.m.

The Merwinsville Hotel offers a look back at life during the 1800s, as well as providing a number of items of railroad memorabilia in a small museum on the second floor.

The hotel opened for business in 1843 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. There are several rooms on the second floor that are set up and decorated in the style of hotel rooms of the mid-1800s.

The hotel continues to undergo restoration. 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.

There is no admission charge, but donations are welcome.

The Merwinsville Hotel is a national historic landmark located at 1 Brown’s Forge Road in Gaylordsville, CT, only 15 minutes from Kent, Sherman, New Milford and the Harlem Valley/Wingdale Railroad Station. For further information, call 860-350-4443 or visit or

Author: Harlem Valley News