For 230 years, the Publick House in Sturbridge, MA has welcomed guests from the not famous at all (that would be me) to the well- known, including George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and John Travolta. Opened in 1771 to serve travelers along the Boston Post Road, this rambling inn looks like men wearing buckle shoes might appear at any moment.
They didn’t appear, but the staff I encountered during the wedding weekend of my dearest friend’s daughter were welcoming and low-keyed. Plus, here is a place meant for poking around.
As with any building with a history that dates back to before the Boston Tea Party, there have been changes. A trip to a guest room in the main inn involves a few twists and turns through a narrow hallway or two–and possibly a set of stairs. Floral wallpaper, framed pictures, antique furniture and warm tones of wooden floors and oriental style carpeting are features throughout. Guest rooms are a blend of authenticity of days gone by and modern times. The effect is cozy, elegant charm.
I was drawn, in particular, to the sitting area off of the reception area. The magazine on the table in front of the fireplace was a nod to the Publick House’s reputation as a perfect place for a wedding or reception.
Along with the inn that features: the Historic Tap Room– the Publick House’s original dining room with its post n’ beam ceiling and open hearth fireplace, Ebenezer’s Tavern, the Bake Shoppe, and 17 guest rooms and suites, the Publick House property also includes the Country Lodge, a 92 guest room building where the outdoor swimming pool is located. The Country Lodge makes a Publick House stay pet friendly.
Whether you stay in the Country Lodge or the Inn, complimentary coffee and pastries are included. The pecan rolls are simply yummy. Mine was fresh from the oven warm. The coffee and pastries are served in the main inn which means a short walk if you’re staying in the lodge.
If you do go, take in Historic Sturbridge Village. Just minutes from the Publick House, this is an 1830s Living History Museum with antique buildings and a working farm where costumed interpreters help recreate life like it was in the early 1900s.
Room rates – $69 to $179 depending upon the size of the room and location. Rooms in the main lodge are more expensive.
277 Main Street (Rt 131)
Sturbridge, MA, 01566
508/347-3313 • 800-publick
Post and photos courtesy of Jamie Rhein