Around 1900, a minister from the south owned the inn and gave it its ‘Southern Colonial’ look when he added the two-story front veranda. Over time, the property changed hands and transformed, adding a grass tennis court, now a meadow by the pond. Mrs. Lyons called it her summer home for years, hence, Lyons Road to the side of the inn. According to longtime inn owner Mary Louise Thorburn, the home served as a station on the Underground Railroad, possibly a stagecoach stop between Rutland and Nashua (although there is no proof), and a home for elderly ladies. In 1960, it became known as Weathersfield Lodge and around 1982, under Mary Louise and her husband Ron’s care, the inn expanded to its current size. Remnants of the old stable fences and stone walls can be found in the woods and near the garden. One of the old barns is still standing across from the inn’s heirloom vegetable garden.
In October 2012, Marilee & Richard Spanjian, both originally Southern California natives, left Nashville where they had lived for years, to build a business together. They bought the inn and restaurant with the dream of starting a non-professional cooking classroom to make the inn a true culinary destination. Today, the old barn loft has been transformed into The Hidden Kitchen where cookbook authors and visiting chefs teach hands-on classes year-round. And the lower portion is now Marilee & Richard’s private home.
In the summer of 2015, the inn hired Michael Ehlenfeldt to be their new executive chef and lead the inn’s restaurant kitchen. Michael comes to the Inn from Solo Farm & Table in South Londonderry where he was a key member of their culinary team. While retaining his home in Charlestown, NH, just over the Connecticut River, the majority of Michael’s 25+ year culinary career kept him in Boston, including 14 years as the executive sous chef under renowned chef/owner Gordon Hamersley of Hamersley Bistro.
Michael is ‘the real deal.’ He’s not afraid of hard work and paid his dues in professional kitchens. He grew up on a Wisconsin dairy farm and learned early how to garden, forage, pickle, can and butcher as a child and continues to this day. For years, he also taught cooking classes to under-served urban populations in Boston.”
Michael is also one of the key instructors in The Hidden Kitchen, The Inn’s non-professional cooking classroom where chefs and cookbook authors teach hands-on and demonstration classes.