CT: Middlesex County- Essex- Griswold inn

Said to be the Oldest Continuously Operating Inn in America since 1776, the Griswold Inn found ways to even stay open through Covid!

Born of Independence, the building and launch of the Oliver Cromwell warship was at the beginnings of The Griswold Inn, a destination for seafarers and land travelers alike for more than 244 years.

This is the only restaurant I have physically eaten in since the pandemic. George Washington even once dined here! It was a weekday in early December with few around with a few tables in each room. As the bar or Tap room was closed, it also offered me the opportunity to view the decorations and memorabilia.

Reviewing the history on their website, “Quite a unique part of the Griswold Inn, the Tap Room got its start as a 1735 schoolhouse before it was rolled down Main Street by a team of oxen in 1801 and attached to the main building.” Referred to as “the best-looking drinking room in America.” It even challenged Prohibition in 1920 with rum runners from along the Connecticut River. No wonder this town and Inn have been in so many movies and TV shows.

In addition to a restaurant and an Inn, the Griswold Inn possesses a museum-quality collection of prints, paintings and objects displayed throughout the historic dining rooms.

I was most intrigued by seeing the Norman Rockwell sketch of “ Steamboat chase on the Connecticut River” in the wine bar. There are also drawings of steamboats by Samuel Ward Stanton, a historian and artist who died on the Titanic. The hostess was most familiar with the paintings and artifacts and enjoys when a patron recognizes the museum quality surroundings.

You can certainly make a day trip out of Essex as you continue your stroll down Main Street with toy shops, ice cream parlors and the Connecticut River museum (holiday train exhibit). It was also the sight of a Hallmark Christmas movie.

Essex is also the sight where the first warship of the colony was created. It was also voted the best small town in America! The below two shots is the house of the ship builder just beyond the sign. The other house along the river had cool shadows reflecting on it while being framed by the tree in the park before it. My gift of the day!

I look forward to returning in the Spring for both biking as well as kayaking around Essex which are two popular activities in this area.

Published by Belinda Sheets

This is a non-promotional blog. I am not a photographer nor am I selling anything through this blog. Professionally I am a Business Transformation Specialist focused on gaining efficiencies and reducing costs for major corporations. Recent life experiences made me better appreciate the present and all that can be seen by increasing my focus and attention on my surroundings. I always enjoyed going out and exercising and I would look but I did not see as my attention was on resolving some problem. Captured through pictures and sharing insights about various locations, I hope others can enjoy my research and insights and allow themselves to pause a few moments and truly appreciate and learn new things. When you follow me that is my only gift. To know I have touched you enough to want to follow the blog. Respectfully (Stay Safe), Belinda Sheets Business Transformation professional with interests in photography, hiking, bicycling and kayaking and learning how to be present.

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